Hydraulics vs. Electromechanical, which is better?
There seems to be an endless debate about whether hydraulic or electromechanical technology is better when it comes to automation. While this article may not end the debate, it can help you navigate which one may be best for your next project.
When you hop on a plane, you're putting your life in the hands of hydraulics. The pilot relies on hydraulics to change elevation, turn the airplane, raise/lower landing gear and many other tasks. Why choose hydraulics when conventional wisdom says electric motors are more efficient? The windings in electric motors are more sensitive to their environment, so things like saltwater spray, dust, and extremely cold temperatures can have an adverse effect on them. Hydraulics on the other hand remain reliable in these environments.
Now let’s talk about gate operators. While Nice | HySecurity manufactures some electromechanical gate operators in our residential and commercial lines, we've spent the last 35 years perfecting the art of hydraulics in our industrial and ASTM F-2656 M30-M50 Hostile Vehicle Mitigation (HVM) lines. Why? Our heavy-duty hydraulic gate operators:
- Provide ultimate reliability
- Move heavier gates
- Use fewer moving parts
- Require little or no maintenance
- Consistently operate in cold climates at -40 F
- Use less than 1 gallon of hydraulic fluid (biodegradable fluid is available as an alternative)
The bottom line
It all boils down to the application. If you are looking for something with a lower up-front cost that doesn't require supreme reliability and don't mind some maintenance, electromechanical is probably a good bet. But if you are moving a larger gate, require a more hardened access point, or want something that will require little to no maintenance (and you’re willing to pay for it up-front, knowing your return on investment is right around the corner) then hydraulics is probably the best bet. And if you have any questions, we are here to assist with complimentary and personalized perimeter security specification support.