Michael Ference

We have turned the corner on another new year and continue to turn the corner on a recovering US economy. News reported at the end of January for the fourth quarter of 2010 reveals a positive Gross Domestic Product Index and a lofty figure of 60+ for the ISM Manufacturing Index. These reflect a strong and recovering manufacturing sector of the US economy.

This good news includes our fluid power industry, which showed strength for most of 2010 and has continued to grow in 2011. This recovery for our industry is most gratifying after such a difficult few years. Our hope is that this period of growth for fluid power will be sustained for a long time.

With that being said, we have another great event right around the corner — the IFPE/ConExpo Show, being held at the Las Vegas Convention Center March 22-26, 2011. IFPE is the largest and most encompassing  event in North America that is dedicated to the integration of fluid power with other technologies for power transmission and motion control.

With a sold-out show floor that will house hundreds of fluid power component and system exhibits and a comprehensive educational program — including the National Conference on Fluid Power, the Innovations Theater, and college-level courses — IFPE promises to be of great benefit to all who attend. There is no better time for IFPE to happen than now because of the health of the industry across all end use markets, the level of innovation taking place by manufacturers and at the Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power, and the overall level of excitement by fluid power providers and users alike.

IFPE 2011 uses the slogan “Moving Innovation Forward,” and the spirit captured in these words reflects the optimism for the near- and long-term future of the fluid power industry. This is an encouraging time for all companies and individuals working in the industry, including manufacturers, distributors, integrators, users, maintenance and repair professionals and, yes, those of us who report on the industry. This forum where the enthusiasm of the time can be embodied by the exhibitors and attendees couldn’t come at a better time.

We hope to see you at IFPE 2011, where Hydraulics & Pneumatics will officially introduce our next generation of  tools for expanding your knowledge of fluid power system design.