Hydraulics expertise

Timeless fundamentals:
From Eiffel’s hydraulics to the hydraulics of the 21st century

Limitless power

Nothing replaces hydraulics when it comes to deploying the major forces needed to set large masses in motion, like those of built structures.
This is one reason why Gustave Eiffel had adopted this technology for his elevators. And hydraulics is a technology choice which remains valid today in many areas of activity, from offshore platforms to industrial presses and theater stages.

The major power density of hydraulics makes it possible to deploy eminently greater forces and torques than can be obtained, at equal size, with pneumatic or electromechanical technologies.


The Ekofisk project, a demonstration of perfectly controlled power: simultaneous lifting of a field of seven offshore platforms, of a total mass of 42,000 tons, 6.50 meters high by 120 cylinders. The lifting precision was 10 mm between the two cylingers which were further apart (1.2 km).

Simple, efficient and reliable technology

Industrial Hydraulics has always enabled the deployment of substantial forces in a perfectly controlled manner and with impressive positioning accuracy. Its robustness makes it a technology designed to last: it is only after more than 100 years of heavy use of the East and West elevators, that it was decided to carry out a major renovation!

Already in 1899, the operator could use pulleys, cables and linkages to control the direction and travel speed of the elevator and finely position the cabins on the floors.

The integration of electronic control systems today provides even more accuracy: positioning to the micron, pressure adjusted within a millisecond and discharging control functions for the operator.

Proven robustness and reliability: example of the drive hydraulics of lock gates – St. Lawrence Seaway Canal, Canada

Constantly evolving technology

More precise, more dynamic

Building on its tremendous power density and on its outstanding controllability and coupled with high performance electronic control systems, hydraulic technology, due to its dynamics, is superior to many other technologies and is the only one that enables certain applications with exceptional performance.

The deployment of colossal forces with exceptional dynamics and precision – Inverse Hydraulic Crash Facility for simulation of vehicle crashes – Autoliv France, Gournay-en-Bray.

Smarter and more flexible

Bosch Rexroth’s restoration attempted, as much as possible, to use technology consistent with the 1899 original system design. However, in one area a decision was made to use current-day hydraulic technology. It was decided to replace the up/down valves on the hydraulics controlling the elevator movement with variable displacement pumps – technology that had not been invented in 1899, and which is much more energy efficient.

Variable displacement pumps are an example of the tremendous growth and technological sophistication that has occurred in hydraulics since the Eiffel Tower was first built – leading a broad array of hydraulic components that today can satisfy the constant search for optimized performance in applications across all industries and settings.

The search for excellence can clearly not stop at component level.

Today, this extensive range of hydraulic technology, and the associated automatic and other control systems, is the starting point for the development of new, compact and highly effective drive system concepts. These new industrial drive system solutions benefit from the full range of hydraulic advantages, while offering greater flexibility and adding smart features to this technology, for total integration in the most sophisticated automatic control concepts.