Fluid Power Journal

Upgraded Electronic Controls Specialist Certification Elevates Fluid Power Competency

By Donna Pollander, ACA, IFPS Executive Director

donna-pollanderThe IFPS strives to keep pace with changing fluid power and motion control technologies, and the development and re-release of an upgraded version of the Electronic Controls Specialist (ECS) certification is a prime example. Properly designed and installed fluid power systems are reliable, safe, and productive. Electronic control has an integral part in maintaining those features. But, the fact is, there is little or no cross training of fluid power and electronics. Proper training and certification is necessary to ensure the safe and effective integration of the technologies. This was the Board of Directors’ impetus for the development of the ECS certification.

The IFPS developed the ECS with a cross-industry advisory committee to verify the competency skills associated with the successful application of electronic controls. With support from the fluid power community, many companies and individuals spent countless hours researching, constructing, and financing the certification to reflect this technology. The development process included a rigorous psychometric evaluation and beta testing. The ECS certification is designed to review and test understanding, specification, and application of the full breadth of electronics used in fluid power, from simple sensors and limits to HMls, controllers, and networks. It includes a brief review of applicable pneumatic and hydraulic principles, as well as in-depth examples for both mobile and industrial fluid power equipment.

Our newly revised study manual not only helps you prepare for the certification, but it is also a stand-alone reference guide. It contains vital and practical information on best practices for anyone responsible for designing, analyzing, or selecting components for the electronic control of fluid power systems.

If you currently hold a Hydraulic Specialist or Pneumatic Specialist certification, or both, this is a perfect complementary certification for you to obtain. For more information about the ECS certification, visit www.ifps.org or call 800-308-6005.

electronic control spec

What current certificate holders are saying about achieving ECS status:

“I achieved my ECS in 2009. It was a logical next step after getting PS certified the year before. I still use the ECS training manual as a reference. As electronic controls become more and more a part of fluid power, this certification is ideal to prove your qualifications.”

James Krause, CFPS, CFPECS, Fluid Power Systems Engineer

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“I wanted a competitive advantage over other fluid power sales people. My IFPS certifications are proof of my knowledge. It builds immediate trust with my customers and prospects. They can be assured in my abilities.”

Matt Kennedy, CFPECS, CFPS, Sales Territory Manager

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“I set a goal for myself to become a Certified Fluid Power Engineer in 2015 when I achieved my CFPHS. Most recently I passed the Electronic Controls Specialist certification. As electronics become more and more the standard in fluid power, I think engineers and technicians that deal with controlling hydraulics with most anything other than a manual control would benefit from ECS training/testing.”

Ross Groening, CFPECS, CFPHS, Project Engineer

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“Getting certified as a CFPS (Hydraulic and Pneumatic Specialist) is a requirement of my job. I went the extra mile to get certified as a CFPECS. The knowledge gained from studying for these exams has already proven to be invaluable. Being certified provides instant trust and credibility with customers. Truly understanding hydraulics and pneumatics allows for a better understanding of a client’s needs. I can properly recommend systems, and avoid potential downfalls and problems of a poorly designed system. Anyone in the fluid power industry could benefit from getting IFPS certified.”

Jordan Pritt, CFPECS, CFPS, Territory Manager

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“Certification/training is a ‘common core’ that builds professionalism in the industry. Second, maintaining a ‘noise level’ to stay on the radar of young professionals and students, especially those interested in technology, maintains the influx of youth and subsequent generations into fluid power.”

John Juhasz, CFPHS, CFPS, CFPECS, CFPMHM, CFPIHM, CFPMHT, Territory Manager

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“By mandating IFPS certification for our entire sales force, we are showing our customers that our staff is fully knowledgeable about the products we provide to the industry. This level of product competence sets our sales force ahead of the rest.”

Jon Jensen, CFPPS, CFPECS, CFPAI, Energy Conservation Group Manager

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“I received my ECS certification in 2013. I also was eager to learn, given my prior background in mobile electronic controls, including fluid power systems. I feel that the knowledge gained while studying for the exam was helpful in my previous job in sales. I was able to understand the control language and speak with my client’s engineers much more comfortably. I would recommend this test to anyone I know that deals frequently with fluid power controls, particularly if it is necessary to understand multiple communication protocols.”

Joe Barron, CFPSECS, CFPS, Mechanical Engineer, Knorr Brake Company

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“I saw getting ECS certified as a means to get an affirmation that my accumulated knowledge was accurate and useful. Passing the test has served as a confidence-builder for my employer that I have significant knowledge with regards to electronic controls and electro-hydraulics, and how it relates to fluid power. I would definitely recommend the ECS certification. It demonstrates competency.”

Paul Stephens, CFPECS, Engineer

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“Gestamp began certification training last year (2014). The training has dramatically decreased equipment downtime and costs, since the technicians systematically troubleshoot the equipment and do not simply swap out parts until the machine runs again.  Since certification training teaches proper installation techniques, repeat repair calls have virtually been eliminated because they now ‘do it right the first time.’

Unexpected benefits arose from the certification process, primarily the sense of ownership and teamwork that resulted from IFPS training. It has also instilled a greater sense of value and professionalism in the staff.

I have heard many managers say they cannot afford to have training for their staff; I say you cannot afford not to.”

Brian J. Szuch, CFPHS, CFPPS, CFPS, CFPPM, CFPPT, CFPCC, CFPECS, CFPSD, CFPMHM, CFPMHT, CFPMMH, CFPMIH, CFPMM, CFPMT, CFPIHT, CFPIHM, CFPAI, CFPAJPP, CFPAJPPCC, Hydraulic Engineer

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“I was ECS certified in 2012, and I consider it a personal and professional achievement. I wanted to learn more about electro-hydraulics. It certainly made me more familiar with the terms and overall electronic controls subject matter. As a result, I am now able to troubleshoot and produce logic for our in-house HPU, as well as obtain signals from various sensors. Not only do I recommend the ECS certification, I would also recommend any of the certifications from IFPS. They are very informative, and the study manuals continue to be useful as job reference material. They are proof you know what you say you know.”

Dave Tetzlaff, CFPHS, CFPECS, CFPE, Senior Project Engineer

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Electronic Controls Specialists (To date of printing this publication)

Matt Arndt, CFPECS, CFPHS, CFPCC, Materion
Joseph Barron, CFPECS, CFPS, Knorr Brake Company
John Behnke, CFPECS, Cross Fluid Power Co.
Jim Blaylock, CFPECS, CFPHS, Business Technical Services LLC
David Chatterton, CFPECS, CFPS, DAC Tech, LLC
Brad Chenoweth II, CFPECS, CFPIHM, CFPIHT, Engineered Sales, Inc.
Martin Collison, Jr., CFPECS, CFPS, Bogataor, LLC
Brent Coppock, CFPECS, Eaton Corporation
Donald Cottrill, CFPECS, CFPE, CFPS, Hydro Air Hughes, LLC
Dennis Courtright, CFPECS, CFPE, Eaton Corporation
Jeffrey Davis, CFPECS, CFPPS, SMC Corporation of America
Harold Dean, Jr., CFPECS, CFPMM, CFPMT, CFPMIP, CFPCC, C.W.C.C./DCE
Robert Delaat, CFPECS, CFPHS, GS Hydraulics, Inc.
Blake Despain, CFPECS, CFPHS, Hydraulic Controls, Inc.
Kenneth Dulinski, CFPECS, CFPAI/AJPP, CFPHS, CFPMIH, CFPMMH , Macomb Community College
Adam Emmings, CFPECS, CFPHS, SunSource
Walter Fetzer, CFPECS, CFPHS, Hydrodiagnostics, LLC
Jonathan Fischer, CFPECS, CFPS, Midwest Engineering Works, LLC
Jason Flemming, CFPECS, Power Systems Inc.
Mark Flora, PE, CFPECS, CFPE, CFPS, Hydradyne, LLC
Brad Fraley, CFPECS, CFPHS, Eaton Corporation
Kevin Gilbert, CFPECS , All Control
Nathan Girouard, CFPECS, CFPHS, Wilson Company
Raul Mario Gonzalez, CFPECS, CFPAI, CFPPS, SMC Corporation of America
Scott Gower, CFPECS, CFPS, Gulf Controls Co., Inc.
Ross Groening, CFPECS, CFPHS, Roto-Mix
Kevin Hatton, CFPECS, CFPAI, CFPS, CFPCC, Kaman Industrial Technologies
Daniel Helgerson, CFPECS, CFPAI/AJPP, CFPS, CFPMT, CFPPT, CFPSD, CFPCC, CFPSOS LLC, Perisseuma Energy LLC
Rance Herren, CFPECS, CFPAI/AJPP/AJPPCC, CFPSD, CFPMT, CFPPT, CFPCC, National Oilwell Varco
Hugh Jamieson, III, CFPECS, CFPAI/AJPP/AJPPCC, CFPS, CFPMM, CFPCC, Simulation Technologies, Inc.
Jon Jensen, CFPECS, CFPAI, CFPPS, SMC Corporation of America
John Juhasz, CFPECS, CFPS, Kraft Fluid Systems, Inc.
Bryon Kanenwischer, CFPECS, CFPE, CFPS, FLSmidth
Vincent Kelber, CFPECS, GS Hydraulics, Inc.
Matthew Kennedy, CFPS, CFPECS, Force America, Inc.
James Krouse, CFPS, CFPECS, Kundinger Fluid Power
Bo Li, CFPS,CFPECS,CFPE,CFPCC, United Equipment Accessories, Inc.
Colin Loudermilk, CFPS, CFPECS, Aerospace Testing Alliance
Brian McKenzie, CFPS, CFPECS, CFPMM, CFPCC, CFPMIP, CFPMIH, The Boeing Company
Cesar Meza Soria, CFPECS, CFPHS, Hydraquip Custom Systems, Inc.
Benjamin Parker, CFPHS, CFPECS, McCoy Global
Jordan Pritt, CFPS, CFPECS, Gulf Controls Co., Inc.
Heath Proffitt, CFPHS, CFPECS, Kraft Fluid Systems, Inc.
Jon Rhodes, CFPECS, CFPAI, CFC-Solar, Inc.
Charles Schulte, CFPS, CFPECS, Fluid-Tech, Inc.
Cameron Setzepfandt, CFPS, CFPECS, SunSource
Robert Sheaf, Jr., CFPAI/AJPP, CFPS, CFPECS, 
CFPE, CFPCC, CPFMMH, CFPMIP, CFPMIH, CFPMM, CFC-Industrial Training, Inc.
Paul Skrant, CFPHS, CFPECS, CFPMHT, Kraft Fluid Systems, Inc.
Jeff Starkey, CFPECS, Cross Fluid Power Co.
Paul Stephens, CFPECS, Engineered Sales, Inc.
Steve Stoehr, CFPECS, GS Hydraulics, Inc.
Thomas Stringer, CFPECS, CFPAI, CFPE, MotionTek, Inc.
Brian Szuch, CFPECS, CFPAI/AJPP/AJPPCC, CFPSD,CFPS, CFPMT, CFPMM, CFPMIH, CFPMMH, CFPMIP, Gestamp Mason
David Tetzlaff, CFPECS, CFPE, Ordered Motion Systems, Inc.
Daniel Thomas, CFPECS, Kraft Fluid Systems, Inc.
Jim Thorington, CFPECS, CFPS, Motion Industries, Inc.
Roy Turpin, CFPECS, Mica Respute Center
Chris Vrettacos, CFPECS, Cross Fluid Power Co.
Gary Warner, CFPECS, Cross Fluid Power Co.
Todd Welsh, CFPECS,CFP S, Hydraquip Custom Systems, Inc.
Timothy White, CFPECS, CFPAI/AJPP/AJPPCC, CFPS, CFPMT, CFPMM, CFPMIH, CFPMMH, CFPMIP, The Boeing Company
Xiaodong (Alan) Zhao, CFPECS, CFPS, Flex Pipe Systems

thanks

The following companies and individuals have provided financial support, information, and expertise during the preparation of the Electronic Controls Specialist Certification Test and Study Manual. The IFPS would like to say thank you for making this certification possible.

Support Level/Company Name

Underwriter
Eaton Corporation
Danfoss
Parker Hannifin Corporation

Sponsor
Iowa Fluid Power
SMC Corporation of America
Bosch-Rexroth

Champion
Hydraquip Distribution, Inc.
Kraft Fluid Systems, Inc.
Fluid Power Distributors Association
HydraForce, Inc.
Mark Law
SunSource
CFC Industrial Training, Inc.
OEM Controls, Inc.

Advocate
Sun Hydraulics

Patron
Elizabeth M. Rehfus

Supporter
Cross Fluid Power
Power Systems Division of HEB, LLC
Applied Industrial Technologies, Inc.
Hyspeco, Inc.


Thank you to the following industry professionals who provided their expertise to help make this certification possible.

Jerry Auble, retired – CFC Industrial Training, Inc.
John Berninger, CFPE, Parker Hannifin Corporation
Tom Blansett, CFPAI/AJPPCC, CFPS, CFPCC, CFPIHT
Alan Blohm, SMC Corporation of America
Tony Casale, HydraForce, Inc.
George Day, CFPAI/AJPP, CFPMHM, CFPECS
Mark Densley, IMI Precision Engineering
Ken Dulinski, CFPAI/AJPP, CFPECS, CFPHS, CFPMIH, CFPMMH, Macomb Community College
Sandra Dolan, Ph.D., Psychometrician
Bob Evans, CFPS, Trackmobile, Inc.
Andrew Fellner, Bosch-Rexroth
Parveen Gupta, Bosch-Rexroth
Dan Helgerson, CFPAI/AJPP/AJPPCC, CFPMT, CFPS, CFPSD, CFPECS, CFPSOS LLC
Rance Herren, CFPSD, CFPECS, CFPMT, CFPAI, National Oilwell Varco
Terry Hershberger, Bosch-Rexroth
Lynn Jansen, Danfoss
Jon Jensen, CFPAI, CFPPS, CFPECS, SMC Corporation of America
Jack Johnson, PE
Jim Kaas, CFPS, CFPE, Iowa Fluid Power, Inc.
Peter Nachtwey, Delta Computer Systems
Scott Nagro, CFPS, HydraForce, Inc.
Chuck Parker, SMC Corporation of America
Leif Pedersen, Eaton Corporation
Jyotsna Phadke, CFPAI, CFPHS, Eaton Corporation
Denis Poirier, Jr., CFPAI, CFPAJPP, CFPIHM, Eaton Corporation-Hydraulics Group
Alan Porteous, SMC Corporation of America
Liz Rehfus, CFPE, CFPS, Crafting Solutions, Inc.
Dan Ricklefs, Danfoss Power Solutions
Dan Schroeder, SMC Corporation of America
Robert J. Sheaf, Jr., CFPAI/AJPP, CFPE, CFPS, CFPECS, CFPMT, CFPMIP, CFPMMH, CFPMIH, CFPMM, CFC Industrial Training, Inc.
AJ Smith, Eaton Corporation
John Thornton, GS Global Resources
Mike Tonyan, Bosch-Rexroth
Sam Tosi, CFC Industrial Training, Inc.
Tom Wanke, CFPE, CFPHS, Milwaukee School of Engineering
Dave Warner, SMC Corporation of America
Gary Warner, CFPECS, Cross Fluid Power Company
Todd Welsh, CFPE, CFPS, Hydraquip Custom Systems, Inc.
Alan Young, SMC Corporation of America
Tim White, CFPAI/AJPP/AJPPCC, CFPS, CFPECS, CFPMIH, CFPMMH, CFPMIP, CFPMT, CFPMM, The Boeing Company
Bob Yund, CFPPAI/AJPP/AJPPCC, CFPS, CFPIHT, CFPCC, retired – Hennepin Technical College

For more information about the ECS certification, visit www.ifps.org or call 800-308-6005.

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