20 October, 2019

University of Bath steps up focus on hydraulic system engineering

13 April, 2017

The Centre for Power Transmission and Motion Control at the University of Bath has extended its range of courses with a focus on hydraulic system engineering and efficiency

Short courses for Continued Professional Development (CPD) are a major part of the activities at the Centre for Transmission and Motion Control (PTMC). Founded in 1968 as the Fluid Power Centre, the Centre is an industry-facing part of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Bath.

The suite of courses is designed to improve delegates’ technical understanding enabling them to increase their effectiveness or to take on new challenges. In order to cater for different requirements, the Centre offers courses at different levels, starting with the basic principles of hydraulic systems and then addressing non-ideal behaviour and component selection. These hydraulic topics are complemented by courses focusing on electrical drives and control applications.

With energy consumption increasingly a major driver in the design of new systems, it is important for practitioners to not merely select appropriately-sized components, but to combine them into efficient and high-performing systems. This task is addressed by the new FP3 course ‘Hydraulic Systems and Efficiency’. Delegates learn where losses occur in hydraulic systems, about the importance of the system’s duty cycle and how the characteristics of engines and electric motors interact with the hydraulic system. Furthermore, a section of the course is dedicated to energy recovery as well as new technologies that are available in the market already, such as electrohydrostatic actuation, and those that are still reserved for special applications, such as individual metering. However, the course also discusses future technologies, drawing from the Centre’s extensive research expertise; for example, switched inertance systems – basically, the hydraulic analogy of pulse-width-modulation.

As is common with courses at the Centre, teaching is via lectures and practicals, ranging from pen and paper design exercises to an introduction to advanced system simulation, as well as lab demonstrations and activities.

In addition to the standard portfolio of courses, the Centre also offers more specialised courses – e.g. on fluid borne noise and circuit simulation – and bespoke courses tailored to a company’s requirements. All course information can be found at the following web address:


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