High Pressure, High Flow Control Manifolds: Part 2


By Supreme Integrated Technology February 23, 2021

This blog is the second in a series that addresses the five main technologies for manifold operation and control. Read below for a brief write-up on hydraulically-operated high-pressure manifolds.

While manually-operated manifolds are quite common in oil & gas applications today, the second most popular technology for operating manifolds is hydraulics. Hydraulically-driven manifolds have been around for decades and they have a few distinct advantages over their manually-operated counterpart: safety, power density, user-friendliness, and reduction in manpower . Manually-operated manifolds require a technician to be at the manifold skid, potentially putting the technician in harm’s way. They must also use a gear operator or valve bar to rotate the plug and choke valves. This is a labor-intensive process, especially if being performed with high pressure, high velocity media flowing through the manifold. Incorporating a hydraulic power unit (HPU) and hydraulic actuators dramatically reduces the manpower needed to operate the manifold.


  • High Power Density: high pressure of hydraulics provides for compact, lightweight actuators
  • User-friendly Operation: individual valve functions are easily controlled with manual handles or push buttons
  • Reliability: robust components and hydraulic conductors
  • Safety: HPU or hydraulic control panel can be located away from the high pressure, high velocity manifold
  • Hazardous Certification: system incorporates low-cost components that meet hazardous area requirements such as air-driven pressure intensifiers, hydraulically-piloted directional control valves, and hydraulically-operated plug and choke valves
  • Operational Costs: hydraulic automation drives down labor costs needed to operate the manifold


  • Operator Mobility: HPU and/or hydraulic control panel are tethered to the manifold
  • Maintenance: fluid conditioning/filtration requires routine management
  • Environment: high potential for leaks due to numerous hydraulic components and connections (can be mitigated with drip pans and environmentally-considerate hydraulic fluids)
  • Footprint: hydraulic equipment such as the control panel, HPU, and fluid conductors increases size, space, and weight consumption on work site
  • Startup: additional time to connect manifold with the remote hydraulic control panel, HPU, and numerous hoses
  • Installed Cost: the additional equipment and maintenance requires a greater capital expenditure compared to manually-operated manifolds

Hydraulically-operated manifolds are a field-proven technology embraced within the well stimulation market. Hydraulic fluid power is reliable, user-friendly, and provides ease of automation for the manifold’s plug and choke valves. While reducing manpower is a strong benefit for manifold operators, one must also consider the bulkiness and weight of the added hydraulic equipment. However, these items can be remotely placed such that a technician can control the manifold from a safe distance.

The following blogs in this series will cover the three remaining operating technologies (pneumatic, electric, wireless).

news and insight

News and Insights

View Post
piston of hydraulic pump repair

Four Common Hydraulic Pump Problems: Comprehensive Troubleshooting Guide

View Post
Filtration Solutions with Schroeder Marine

Schroeder Filtration Solutions for Marine Applications

View Post
Sea Air Space 2024

Sea Air Space 2024: Accelerating Ship Production and Advancing Military Partnerships