Exciting times for Fluid Power

Michael Ference, publisher

These are exciting times for fluid power technology and for the companies that supply the components and systems that drive industry. In fact, there has never been more opportunity for advancement and growth of our industry than there is right now. There is movement on many fronts to advance fluid power and the extent of that progress and growth is up to engineers like you who design, operate, and maintain the machinery that makes our world great!

In 2008, several significant events and developments will take place to further fluid power even more. In March, the IFPE will take place in Las Vegas and offer all interested technical attendees the largest display of fluid power technology in the U.S. Congratulations to the NFPA for their efforts to make this event better than ever.

According to Executive Director, Eric Lanke “NFPA is encouraged by the amount of international cooperation going on in the fluid power industry. Through a series of international summits, the next one occurring at IFPE, the global fluid power community is coming together to tackle such shared challenges as appealing to a new generation of workers and worldwide standards of certification.” Plan to make IFPE part of your travels in 2008.

On another front, even greater advances are taking place at the new Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power (CCEFP). According to Director, Kim Stelson, “CCEFP is making rapid progress on its experimental research programs on the excavator, rescue robot, orthosis, and a hydraulic hybrid vehicle. In the education area, CCEFP is joining with NFPA and other national fluid power organizations to sponsor two videos, one to introduce the general public to fluid power and the other to introduce engineers to career opportunities in fluid power. The videos are being produced by Twin Cities Public Television for broadcast on public television in April.”

The work done at the CCEFP will drive our technology and industry even further in 2008 and beyond, so be aware of their good work and the excellent developments taking place there. I anticipate great things will come from this project that will make fluid power the right design choice for many decades to come.

In addition, in April 2008 the IFPEX will be taking place in Birmingham, England, and Fluidtrans Compomac will be held in Milan, Italy in May. Both events will showcase the progress of fluid power components, systems, and technology. Here in the U.S., in addition to IFPE, Hydraulics & Pneumatics magazine will sponsor two events called Fluid Power Conference & Expo. The first will be in Milwaukee in May and the second in Dallas. Details can be found at www.fluidpowerexpo.com.

The future is very bright for fluid power. The future is up to you the engineers and technicians who design, operate, and maintain machinery and equipment powered by fluid power systems. Fluid power continues to be the right design choice for many, many applications. Let’s keep moving forward with fluid power! Happy New Year!