Photo Contest Results Are In!

In celebration of Sun's 50 years in business, we invited our customers to participate in the "50 Years In The Field" photo contest. We were looking for photos that exemplify 50 years of Sun technology in the field, and we received so many submissions that highlighted just that.

Thank you to everyone who participated. We are thrilled to announce our finalists and a grand prize winner in the Amazing Application and the Timeless Technology categories.

Amazing Application Grand Prize Winner

The Amazing Application category called for a photo that captures Sun products in a unique, demanding, or interesting application.

Rocket Lift and Rapid-Retract Ground Support System
Submitted by Chad Burkhardt from Advanced Fluid Systems, Inc. in York, Pennsylvania, USA

Chad writes, "This is Northrop Grumman's (formerly known as Orbital Sciences Corp.) Antares rocket lift and rapid-retract ground support system. Since 2013, Antares rockets have been delivering supplies to the International Space Station from Launch Pad 0A at Wallops Island, Virginia, USA. Advanced Fluid Systems, Inc. designed and built the hydraulic and electrical motion control systems responsible for lifting the Antares rocket prior to launch, and then retracting the lift structure away from the rocket during launch."

This application is powered by:

  • 7 custom Sun integrated packages (four unique model codes)
  • 184 Sun cartridge valves (includes 31 unique model codes)
  • 20 Sun manifold bodies (eight unique model codes)

This is what some of our judges had to say:

"The launch pad is really amazing! It is equipped with so much technology. Sun started with a simple hydraulic valve, and now contributes to the future of mankind."
-Heinz Gotzes, Sun Hydraulik GmbH in Erkelenz, Germany

"The sheer complexity of this hydraulic circuit makes this a unique and challenging application where Sun reliability and safety become absolutely necessary."
-David Swetz, Sun Hydraulics in Sarasota, Florida, USA

The amazing applications didn't stop there...

Amazing Application Runner-Up: 

Tunnel Boring Safety System 
Submitted by Andre Schwerzmann from ATP Hydraulik in Switzerland

This is an inclined shaft tunnel boring machine used in the construction of a new underground electrical storage plant 600 meters deep into a mountain in the Swiss Alps. ATP Hydraulik AG is responsible for engineering the hydraulic safety mechanisms in this tunnel boring system, and since this tunnel ran at an incline of 45°, the tunnel boring machine must be equipped with an intelligent fallback system. The safety fallback device must be able to withstand 650 tons of weight, and as the power supply in the tunnel is not always guaranteed, it was not possible to secure it with conventional pumps. ATP used solutions from Sun Hydraulics to create a way to guarantee the safety against relapse in a simple and effective way. In the event of a power failure, oil is forced into the cylinders with pre-stressed gas accumulators. These extend and press the gripper plates against the tunnel walls, which makes it impossible for the tunnel boring machine to fall back.

Amazing Application Third Place Winner: 

Underwater Tree Harvester
Submitted by Jeff Magnolo from Peerless Engineering Sales Ltd. in Canada

The Sawfish™ underwater tree harvester not only navigates precisely by a remote pilot, it can operate to a depth of approximately 1,000 feet. It weighs 7,000 lbs. on land and is slightly buoyant in water. It operates fully-remote with eight video cameras and sonar powered by a 75-HP electric motor, using biodegradable and vegetable oil-based hydraulic fluids. Also equipped with a feller grapple and 55-inch chainsaw, it handles larger trees than any land-based mechanical harvester due to water buoyancy.

To view the complete list of our Amazing Application finalists, click here

Timeless Technology Winner

The Timeless Technology category called for a photo that captures the oldest Sun valve in use in the field today. We are incredibly impressed with these entries as they are a testament to our product performance, quality and reliability.

Timeless Technology Winner

Sun RPGC-JDN with Date Code 43: Made in JULY-SEPTEMBER 1980 
Submitted by Heinrich Schwerzmann from ATP Hydraulik AG in Switzerland

"Pictured here is a pile driver that is used to drive piles into the ground to provide foundational support for buildings or other structures," said Heinrich. "It uses a Sun relief valve RPGC-JDN. Throughout the 1970's, ATP Hydraulik's customer had problems with the valve block on their machine. ATP engineered a new solution using Sun Hydraulics valves and the problem was solved! ATP has used these Sun valves for more than 40 years!"

Timeless Technology Runner-Up: 

Sun Relief Valve with Date Code 49: Made in JANUARY-MARCH 1982
Submitted by Maddie Swem from Womack Machine Supply in USA


This custom machine is built around a five-station rotary table to do the finish-out on the solenoid end cap for one of Womack's AAA Product valves. It is loaded by a single operator, then through the rotation of the five stations, it drills five holes, taps two holes and reams another. Sun relief valves are used to control the pressure delivered to the tap units. The machine is still in use today.

Timeless Technology Third Place Winner: 

Sun YRGN-LCN with Date Code 8J67: Made on OCTOBER 28, 1987 
Submitted by Stewart Becroft from Hydrualic Cartridge Valves, Ltd. in New Zealand

TimelessTechThirdPlaceThis is a tractor-powered, six-inch wide chain trenching machine for draining wet ground with clay field tiles. The Sun YRGN transmission flushing and relief valve is fitted in the chain motor drive lines and has been in place for over 30 years.

To view the complete list of our Timeless Technology finalists, click here.

Thanks to everyone who participated in our contest and helped us celebrate Sun’s 50 years of fluid power innovation.  Thank you also for your support of our products in the field.  We are inspired by the response and number of submissions we received. There are so many stories to be shared, and we are honored to be a part of them.