Fluid Power Journal


Save The Date For These Events!

2014 CCEFP Annual Meeting

October 13-15, 2014
Vanderbilt University Marriott Hotel
Nashville, TN

NFPA Industry and Economic Outlook Conference (IEOC)
August 11-13, 2014
Westin Chicago North Shore, Wheeling, IL

2014 IFPE Fluid Power Zone
September 8-12, 2014
McCormick Place, Chicago, IL

NFPA’s 2014 Industry and Economic Outlook Conference

Join NFPA for the Industry and Economic Outlook Conference (IEOC) August 11-13, 2014 at the Westin Chicago North Shore, Wheeling, Ill. This event offers hard data and expert analysis for everyone involved with the fluid power industry. This year’s conference will offer critical insight and opportunities in four major areas: Economics, Industry, Technology, and Networking.
This year’s schedule is packed with an outstanding lineup of industry experts. IEOC favorites Alan Beaulieu, Eli Lustgarten, and John Walker return with engaging presentations. NFPA also offers exciting new additions. Highlights include the following:


  • Global Economics from an ITR Perspective
    Alan Beaulieu, Institute for Trend Research
  • Global Economics from an Oxford Economics Perspective
    John Walker, Oxford Economics
  • Geopolitical Analysis of Global Economics
    Peter Zeihan

Market Forecasts

  • Fluid Power Industry Forecast
    Ryan Reed, Parker Hannifin Corp.
  • Fluid Power Customer Markets Overview
    Eli Lustgarten, ESL Consultants
  • Construction Machinery Forecast
    Chuck Yengst, Yengst & Associates
  • Agricultural Machinery Forecast
    Karen Ubelhart, Bloomberg Research
  • Heavy Truck Market Forecast
    Don Ake, FTR Associates
  • Industrial Markets Overview
    Dan Meckstroth, MAPI, Inc.
  • Industrial Machinery Market Forecast
    Scott Hazelton, HIS Economics


  • Market Technology Trends—Construction Industry
    Chuck Yengst, Yengst & Associates
  • Market Technology Trends—Pharmaceutical Processing Industry
    Donna Ritson, DDR Communications


  • IEOC Invitational Golf Tournament at Chevy Chase Golf Course
  • IEOC Welcome Reception at Chevy Chase Country Club
  • Power of Association Reception and Dinner

IEOC Speakers Forum

Have all your questions answered at the IEOC Speakers Forum. Join IEOC’s most popular speakers for an interactive session to close out the first day’s program.

Registration is now open for professionals at www.nfpaevents.com/ieoc/.
Register by July 11 to receive the lowest registration rate.

New Faces in Fluid Power

By Eric Lanke, CEO, NFPA

I’ve written before about the Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power (CCEFP)—the network of fluid power research laboratories, academic faculty, graduate and undergraduate students at seven universities—that is making a difference when it comes to preparing a better educated workforce for the fluid power industry.
The CCEFP has created a 500% increase in the number of fluid power-focused advanced degrees awarded in the United States, with almost half of its graduates going on to work in the fluid power industry.
One of those graduates is Mark Elton, a former PhD student at the Georgia Institute of Technology and now a senior development engineer at HUSCO International.
According to a recent presentation I saw given by the chair of the CCEFP’s Student Leadership Council, Mark credits the frequent presentation requirements of his research work within the CCEFP with preparing him well for the communication and presentation demands of industry. Working as a graduate student on fluid power-focused research projects, Mark had plenty of interaction with industry advisors who helped him develop greater insight into the challenges facing industry and the structured solution processes used to tackle them.
Mark is just one of the many new faces in the fluid power industry who are better able to hit the ground running because of their research and education experience within the CCEFP.

Want to learn more? Visit www.ccefp.org.

Fluid Power MOOC to Debut at University of Minnesota

By Mike Gust, CCEFP Industry Liaison Officer

nfpa class

Have you ever heard of a Massive Online Open Course (MOOC)? This is a recent trend in academia whereby courses are offered free online to interested students, which is an excellent means for reaching a high number of interested participants. In fact, some MOOCs have been taken by over a million students! Two CCEFP researchers, Professors James Van de Ven and William Durfee, will be offering such a course this fall titled “Fundamentals of Fluid Power.” This course will introduce students to the fundamental principles of fluid power systems, circuits, and components. Students will learn the following:

  • The benefits and limitations of fluid power compared with other power transmission technologies
  • The function of common hydraulic components
  • How to formulate and analyze models of hydraulic components and circuits
  • How to design hydraulic circuits for specific system requirements

The course will be delivered through short, focused video presentations that will include lectures, laboratory demonstrations, large system demonstrations, and interviews with industry experts. The target audience for the course includes entry-level engineers, senior-level undergraduate students, and entry-level graduate students. The six-week course will first be offered during Fall 2014.

To learn more about the program, contact
Alyssa Burger at 612-624-4991.

Monkeys Fly at Georgia Tech, Thanks to Pneumatics

Students in the ME2110: Creative Decisions and Design class at the Georgia Institute of Technology used pneumatic actuators and control valves to make monkeys fly during a design competition. The project was made possible by a teaching grant from the NFPA Education and Technology Foundation, and the use of pneumatics.
The ME2110 course consists of various lab activities as well as the end-of-semester competition. Student teams are supplied with an air tank, actuators, control valves, tubing, and connectors. During the mechatronics portion of the course, students include these pneumatic components in the design and construction of their competition devices. During the process of designing and building their mechanisms, they receive a large amount of hands-on experience with the pneumatic components.
The size of the ME2110 class has been steadily growing. In the fall 2013 semester, 268 students were enrolled in ME2110. The support provided by the NFPA Foundation has enabled Georgia Tech to expose a larger number of students to pneumatic systems, and introduce them to a variety of pneumatic components.

To learn how your company can get involved with other Foundation initiatives, contact Carrie Tatman Schwartz at ctschwartz@nfpa.com.

What is Power2Move?

by Eric Lanke, CEO NFPA

Like almost everyone else I know, I had never heard of fluid power before. When I came on board as the CEO of the National Fluid Power Association (NFPA), I was coming from an organization that managed professional medical societies. I knew a lot about running an association. But fluid power? Not so much.

Now it’s six years later.* Needless to say, I’ve learned a lot about fluid power and have come to understand this industry in ways most people do not. As I reflect on this journey, two important concepts really stand out.

First, there is a lot worth knowing about fluid power. Far from being the stagnant and outdated caricature some people like to paint, hydraulics and pneumatics represent foundational technologies that our modern society absolutely depends on. That hasn’t changed in a hundred years and isn’t going to change anytime soon. In the last ten years, there has been a literal renaissance going on within our industry. By integrating with other technologies, and by pursuing high-level research and development, fluid power is not only solidifying its hold on those foundational applications, it is expanding into ever-increasing frontiers.

That’s the first concept I’ve come to understand. What’s the second?

Still, nobody knows this.

nfpa power2move

Suppose you’re an engineer or technician working for a company that builds machines that rely on fluid power components or systems. Or perhaps you’re an owner or operator of one of those machines, someone who depends on fluid power to perform tasks critical to your livelihood. Or suppose you’re an engineer responsible for design solutions across a wider spectrum, constantly looking for new ways of solving old problems. Or perhaps you’re a member of our technically literate public, someone just curious about new technologies and novel ways of doing things.

If any of these descriptions fit you, then you should know more about the changes going on in the fluid power industry. And, more importantly, we want you to have a stake in the conversation that’s driving those changes forward.

That, in a nutshell, is why we created Power2Move. It’s a blog where we will share information that reflects what’s new and exciting about hydraulics, pneumatics, and the industry behind them. And it’s a place where we hope to connect with the broad community of fluid power users and those increasingly reliant on our technology.

To read and/or subscribe to the Power2Move blog go to www.PWR2MOVE.com. 

* This blog originally appeared in October 2012 when NFPA first launched Power2Move.

Understanding NAICS Codes

by Eric Armstrong

If you’re involved in manufacturing, there is a good chance you have or will encounter NAICS codes. Depending on your position, you may be, or will need to be, very familiar with these unique series of numbers. I thought I would share a brief overview of the NAICS codes for those interested in learning more.

What are NAICS codes?

The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes are the identifying numbers used by the federal government to identify and classify companies by industry for the purpose of collecting, analyzing, and publishing statistical data related to the U.S. business economy.  Working with the United States’ counterparts from Mexico and Canada, the U.S. Economic Classification Policy Committee (ECPC) wanted to create common industry definitions for use across the three countries. NAICS replaced the now-obsolete Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system in 1997.

Why Use NAICS Codes?

NAICS codes help provide uniformity and comparability in the classification of business establishments and presentation of statistical data, so many statistical agencies (including most government agencies) use NAICS codes to collect/organize statistical data and generate reports.  Such a widely used classification system makes market analysis and data resource identification much easier and more representative.

How Are NAICS Codes Structured?

The NAICS numbering system employs a six-digit code at the most detailed industry level. The first five digits are generally (although not always strictly) the same in all three countries. The first two digits designate the largest business sector, the third digit designates the subsector, the fourth digit designates the industry group, the fifth digit designates the NAICS industries, and the sixth digit designates the national industries.

For example, lawn and garden equipment manufacturing would be NAICS code 333112. Here is the breakdown:

33 stands for Manufacturing.
333 stands for Machinery Manufacturing.
3331 stands for Agriculture, Construction, and Mining Machinery Manufacturing.
33311 stands for Agricultural Implement Manufacturing.
333112 stands for Lawn and Garden Equipment Manufacturing.

NFPA organizes many of its market information programs by NAICS codes. Visit NFPA’s Market Information at http://theieoc.com/market-information/ to find out how.

Standardizing Energy Measurement for Fluid Power Systems

nfpa-eric-lankeBy Eric Lanke, CEO, NFPA

The following article was written for NFPA’s Power2Move blog–a site created for those interested in knowing more about new technologies and changes going on in the fluid power industry. To learn more about Power2Move go to www.pwr2move.com.

One of the core challenges identified in the Technology Roadmap for the fluid power industry is increasing the energy efficiency of hydraulic and pneumatic systems. According to a study recently published by the U.S. Department of Energy, fluid power systems in all environments—mobile, industrial, and aerospace—account for roughly 2-3% of our nation’s energy, and they run at an average efficiency of only 22%.

Organizations like the National Fluid Power Association, research universities in the Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power, and companies throughout the fluid power industry are working—and succeeding—in making improvements on this score, but one area that is just starting to get attention is finding a standardized way to measure energy consumption in fluid power systems.

It is a critically important area to focus on. Without such a standard, demonstrating energy efficiency improvements in the marketplace as a result of new component designs, new system architectures, or other technical advancements is a very subjective proposition.

Imagine if there was no standard driving cycle by which miles per gallon were measured in automobiles. Every car manufacturer would use its own driving cycle, publish its own results, and the consumer would have no way to compare cars from different manufacturers. Perhaps more importantly, automotive suppliers who wanted to sell products to the car manufacturers that would help improve fuel economy would have to have truly remarkable breakthroughs—adding 10 or more miles per gallon—before such breakthroughs would be adopted by the industry as a whole. Such leaps in fuel savings would be necessary in order to show progress on all of the various testing methods being employed by all the car manufacturers.

Fortunately for the car industry, there is a standardized way of measuring fuel economy—consumers can reliably compare the efficiency of one automobile versus another, and suppliers can introduce products that demonstrate incremental savings on fuel economy. Unfortunately, however, this is not the case for the fluid power industry and many of the heavy equipment industries that it serves.

But now, an effort is underway in order to change that. ISO Technical Committee 131, the international body responsible for fluid power standards, is initiating a discussion on how to tackle this problem in hydraulic and pneumatic systems. I was able to participate on its inaugural teleconference on the subject and will be part of the expanded discussion as it moves forward. There will even be a meeting of interested parties at the upcoming Fluid Power Systems Conference this November.

We welcome all perspectives into the discussion.

Fluid Power Journal is the official publication of the International Fluid Power Society
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