Probably the best part of my job is meeting and working with many truly outstanding people. Jim Mollo was certainly one of these. For decades, Jim worked as a hydraulic system designer and troubleshooter all over the world. He was a great storyteller, and he often shared some of his exploits when we spoke on the phone.
After Jim grew weary being constantly on the move, he settled down in the Pittsburgh area. Settled isn't the right word, because Jim was restless, so focused his energy on documenting and sharing much of what he had learned about hydraulics. He authored several technical papers, did some teaching, wrote articles for H&P, and became very active in the Fluid Power Society and FPS Certification.
But Jim was a brilliant designer and held many patents, including those for a load-sensing gear pump, which he had licensed to JS Barnes pumps and Champion Road Graders, if I remember correctly. Parker Hannifin also produced load sensing gear pumps that may have been been based on his design. Jim was also truly innovative and always looked for better and simpler ways to get things done. Which brings me to this blog.
Jim wrote about what I feel is one of his most innovative ideas way back in 2001. I think the article was far ahead of its time, and all the concepts and principles he proposed are still relevant — and innovative — today. Simply stated, the article explains how you can use an infrared heat gun to assess the health of a hydraulic system. Some of the discussion gets pretty detailed by explaining how the concept works with different types of components, such as servovalves and even cylinders.
But enough of my rambling, click here to read the article.