Hydraulic systems are used in applications requiring a large amount of force and slow speeds. When used for continuous actuation they are mainly used with position feedback. An example system is shown in Figure 23.1 Hydraulic Servo System. The controller examines the position of the hydraulic system, and drivers a servo valve. This controls the flow of fluid to the actuator. The remainder of the provides the hydraulic power to drive the system.
The valve used in a hydraulic system is typically a solenoid controlled valve that is simply opened or closed. Newer, more expensive, valve designs use a scheme like pulse with modulation (PWM) which open/close the valve quickly to adjust the flow rate.