What are the Criteria for Selecting a Suitable Hydraulic Servo Valve? 

Criteria for Servo Valve

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Despite the rapid acceleration of modern technology, the hydraulics industry has remained unchanged for decades and valve users are stuck using the same outdated, inefficient hardware, which forces them to compromise on size, performance, and efficiency.  

If you are looking to upgrade the servo valves in your current systems, here are 6 criteria to help you select an option that has minimal compromise:  

1. Find a High Performing Servo Valve 

When replacing the servo valves in your current hydraulic system, find a manufacturer that can offer an improvement in performance compared to the valves you are currently using.  

You can evaluate the performance metrics of various valves by examining their data sheets. If you need help with this, you can usually ask the technical sales team for support.  

The gold standard for servo valves is not only compact and lightweight, but also high speed, low levels of internal leakage, low hysteresis, and almost no null shift. The valve should demonstrate swift and precise response to control signals, ensuring accurate and efficient operation in your application. Additionally, they should exhibit minimal losses in hydraulic energy, mitigating potential inefficiencies.  

By prioritising these superior performance attributes for your valve, you can considerably enhance the overall efficiency and effectiveness of your system. 

2. Look for Reliable Servo Valves

Minimising downtime and maintenance cost is a key consideration when selecting servo valves for your hydraulic system. To ensure cost-effectiveness and operational efficiency, it is crucial to prioritise valves that offer superior reliability and durability, with minimal risk of failure.  

Valves with a pilot stage, for example, traditional two-stage servo valves, tend to have very small pressure openings. This increases the risk of a blockage from any contamination in the oil and this simple thing can completely stop the valves from functioning. As a result, two-stage servo valves are less reliable compared to direct drive servo valves which are not at risk of these blockages.  

Likewise, consider valves that have a low likelihood of electronic failure. Look for reliable, modern electronic components and robust circuitry designed to withstand harsh operating conditions, including high temperatures and vibration. This ensures uninterrupted signal transmission and control, preventing unexpected system shutdowns or malfunctions. 

3. Choose Servo Valves that Easily Interchange with your Existing System 

Ensuring a seamless integration into your current hydraulic system is crucial. To achieve this, it is recommended to directly contact the valve manufacturer or a trusted partner to enquire about their compatibility solutions. 

Manufacturers often have comprehensive knowledge of their products and can guide you towards an exact match, eliminating the need for extensive modifications to your system. They can provide valuable information regarding the dimensions, connections, and specifications required for a seamless swap. 

Collaborating with the manufacturer will ensure that the replacement valve will not only fit physically but also perform optimally within your hydraulic system. 

4. Search for the Best Servo Valve to Suit your Budget

Striking the right balance between cost and performance is essential. While it is important to minimise cost, it is equally crucial to find an option that does not compromise on quality in exchange for a lower price. 

When exploring options for servo valves, thoroughly evaluate the performance specifications and features offered by different manufacturers or suppliers. Look for valves that meet your system’s requirements and exhibit the desired performance attributes, such as accuracy, response time, and reliability. Pay attention to factors like flow capacity, pressure ratings, and control characteristics to ensure compatibility with your specific application. 

Additionally, consider the long-term costs associated with the valve. While a cheaper option may seem attractive initially, it could result in higher maintenance or replacement costs down the line if it lacks durability or reliable performance. Investing in a high-quality valve could avoid costly downtime, repairs, or frequent replacements in the future.  

5. Review the Lead Time for Delivery of Your Servo Valves 

To ensure a smooth timeline, it is essential to engage with different manufacturers to discuss their lead times. 

Begin by evaluating the timeline you are working towards and determine the urgency and specific deadlines associated with your system requirements. Then, reach out to multiple manufacturers or suppliers and enquire about their lead times.  

Manufacturers tend to have different production capacities, inventory levels, and shipping options, all of which can influence their lead times, so getting in touch will help you obtain the most up-to-date and accurate information.  

When evaluating lead times, it’s important to find a balance between timely delivery and ensuring the quality of the valve. Avoid compromising on quality or reliability by rushing the process. Ensure that the manufacturer you choose can deliver the servo valve within your desired timeframe without sacrificing performance, durability, or other important quality factors. 

6. Consider Energy Savings when Choosing Servo Valves 

Recent research conducted by McKinsey revealed that fluid pumps contribute to a substantial 15% of the total energy consumption within the European Union. Similarly, Oakridge National Laboratory estimated that hydraulic systems typically operate at only 23% efficiency. This inefficiency results in the loss of billions of kilowatt-hours annually, highlighting the pressing need for sustainable solutions in the hydraulic industry. 

Typically, two-stage servo valves are highly inefficient due to their quiescent leakage at the pilot stage. This wasted energy makes the valves more costly to run and reduces the performance of the system overall. Direct drive valves, on the other hand, are highly efficient and can lead to long term savings through less wasted energy.  

At Domin, we design and manufacture ground-breaking servo valves with these 6 criteria in mind. Our ground-breaking servo valves are affordable, small, compact, high-performing, and energy efficient. Their unique design and use of modern onboard electronics make them the most reliable servo valves currently on the market. They also sit on popular port patterns such as the SO1, NG06, SO4 and NG10 which makes them easily interchanged with most other valves.  

To find out more about upgrading your existing valves with Domin technology, contact our Sales team

Want to learn more? Check out our article on How Domin Has Overcome the Inefficiencies of Traditional Valves.

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