A microexcavator designed and built by CCEFP researchers is available for training and education to demonstrate the power and capability of hydraulics or pneumatics

CCEFP researchers develop new fluid power training tool

Jan. 25, 2012
A micro-excavator, powered by water hydraulics or pneumatics and small enough to fit in a hand-carried storage bin, provides an exciting new platform for increasing understandings of the importance of fluid power as well as insights into the technology itself.

I'm a little bit behind in my news and blog posts but don't want this cool story to slip by without sharing it. I love stories about education and training and anything that helps bring fluid power to life for the non-engineer in me is always a bonus. So this story from the Center for Compact & Efficient Fluid Power (CCEFP) sparked my interest right away.

The Center just announced its researchers have developed and built a micro-excavator, powered by water hydraulics or pneumatics that is small enough to fit in a hand-carried storage bin, which can be used for training, in schools or even in corporate settings. We are working to hopefully have the excavator on display at our upcoming Fluid Power Conference & Expos in Las Vegas and Minneapolis. Hope it comes to pass, I would love to try it out!

A new micro-excavator designed and built by the CCEFP is available for training and teaching students about the capabilities of hydraulics or pneumatics.

As one of the CCEFP’s education and outreach projects, the micro-excavator was built and developed under the direction of Professor John Lumkes at Purdue University. His project team has included a number of his engineering undergraduate and graduate students, most notably Jose Garcia, now a professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology; high school teachers in Project Lead The Way; and the staff of the Minnesota Science Museum. The National Fluid Power Association assisted the CCEFP in providing financial support.  

“Based on our extensive field tests with students in and out of school settings, we know that the micro-excavator is an effective hands-on teaching tool that makes it fun to learn about engineering principles while seeing first-hand how fluid power technology works,” says Lumkes.

The accompanying curriculum guide lays out effective strategies for maximizing the teaching power of the micro-excavator. (Teachers involved in the project have assured that this curriculum correlates with education standards and outcomes [Indiana].)

A kit to build a complete, working micro-excavator, either powered by water hydraulics or pneumatics, can be built and readied for classrooms and hands-on displays for approximately $800. The kit includes a water pump, necessary power supplies, hardware (nuts, bolts, etc.), cylinders, valves, tubing, fittings, an excavator arm and a storage case. No special assembly tools are needed; the demonstrator is built using common shop tools (wrenches, screwdrivers, hacksaw and drill).

A construction manual, bill of materials and curriculum guide for students in grades 8-12 are all posted at the CCEFP website (www.ccefp.org).

Lumkes hopes to help teachers and instructors incorporate the micro-excavator into their STEM curriculum and also is willing to work with companies who would like to sponsor these projects and mentor students in using them. He can be contacted at [email protected]. More information can be obtained by visiting the CCEFP website at www.ccefp.org.

Continue Reading

Handbook Simplifies Advanced Aspects of Mobile Hydraulic Controls

May 10, 2017
Author Brendan Casey lays out his hydraulics know-how that he acquired over 27 years in a simple handbook made for people that want to improve their skills in troubleshooting ...

Kidney loops: They aren't just for hydraulics any more

Sept. 1, 2004
When was the last time you changed the oil in your refrigerator's compressor? That was a question posed to me by Ken Stofen of Racine, Wis. The answer, of course, is never, and...

Sponsored Recommendations


May 15, 2024
Production equipment is expensive and needs to be protected against input abnormalities such as voltage, current, frequency, and phase to stay online and in operation for the ...

All-In-One DC-UPS Power Solutions

March 13, 2024
Introducing the All-In-One DC-UPS, a versatile solution combining multiple functionalities in a single device. Serving as a power supply, battery charger, battery care module,...

Motor Disconnect Switches

March 13, 2024
With experienced Product Engineers and Customer Service personnel, Altech provides solutions to your most pressing application challenges. All with one thought in mind - to ensure...

DC Power Solutions: Streamlined Power Supplies for Every Need

March 13, 2024
CBI All In One UPS Power Solutions combine the requirements for several applications in just one device which can be used as power supply unit, battery charger, battery care module...