Fluid Power Journal

Notable Words

“Those Who Can, Do. Those Who Can Do More, Volunteer.”

When I was asked to write the Notable Words column for this issue of the Journal, I sat awhile trying to determine on which subject I should write. That lead me to reflect on the 12 years I have been working with IFPS and how grateful I am, not just for the career opportunity, but […]

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NFPA Career Connections – Making A Difference in Tomorrow’s Workforce

Price Engineering. Thirty high school students. A tour. Fluid power classroom kits. Sharing. An internship. What does all this equal? The new NFPA Student Career Connections (SCC) program. The first SCC event took place at NFPA member Price Engineering in Hartland, Wis., on March 17, 2015. The SCC program is a newly developed initiative from […]

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An Emerging Workforce Crisis for U.S. Manufacturers

A sound recruitment strategy can help small- and mid-sized manufacturers stay competitive in the hunt for talent Manufacturing companies across the country are searching high and low for trained, experienced workers for drill press, welding, lathe, injection molding, and a myriad of other manufacturing positions. Despite rapidly rising salaries, an estimated 600,000 skilled jobs are […]

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Fluid Power Mobile Technology – Past Achievements and Future Opportunities

Since this is the off-highway issue, it seems like a good time to reflect on the advances made in the mobile industry over the last 46 years and two months—the time I spent at Power Systems before retiring in July 2014. In 1968, the year I began my career, the ORBIT motor [developed by the […]

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IFPS Membership – What Do You Make of It?

I am sometimes questioned about the IFPS logo on my shirt. Once I was asked if it was a symbol for some type of “secret society.” This gave me a chuckle and the opportunity for a short elevator speech, but it also gave me pause for thought. I happily explained that the International Fluid Power […]

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IFPS Certification is a Bright Idea

Have you ever wondered what happens when you flip on a light switch? Fluid power might not be the first thing that comes to mind, but electricity suppliers and transmission companies rely on equipment controlled by hydraulic and electronic systems to install and maintain our energy supply. Technical fluid power knowledge is paramount for the […]

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Wake-Up Call

If you are reading this article, you probably already know what fluid power is, how most of us ended up in this field, and how hard it is to find your replacement. For those of you not familiar with fluid power, it is many times referred to as the “hidden giant”—unmatched power density working behind […]

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Increasing Awareness, Strengthening Our Industry

I would like to thank each and every member of the IFPS for making the Society what it is today. There is a bond of professional fellowship among us that I have not found anywhere else in my career, and I say that after serving in both the Atlantic and the Pacific U.S. Navy submarine […]

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Fluid Power Profitability – The Power of a Business Accelerator Model

There is untapped profitability to uncover for the design and engineering teams sizing up hydraulic and pneumatic sealing and bearing systems for specialized fluid power applications. This can be especially true for those development engineers who have a need for complex total sealing configurations, which often can be analogous with fluid power applications. In fact, […]

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What is Your Competitive Advantage?

The fluid power marketplace is competitive; no one disputes this statement. In order to thrive in today’s market, you need to ask yourself some important questions: What is my company’s competitive advantage? What can I do to make my systems as efficient and reliable as possible? How can I ensure my employees are working in […]

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The Fluid Power Educational Foundation – Evolving with the Needs of the Industry

The Fluid Power Educational Foundation (FPEF) has charted a new course focusing on two major missions over the calendar year 2014. Our primary mission is to award scholarships to individual students who have selected fluid power as their primary academic discipline. We are the only fluid power non-profit organization focused on scholarship awards to individuals. […]

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Next-Generation Hydraulics: Efficient Machines, Precise Control

In today’s hydraulic marketplace, manufacturers and end users need efficient equipment they can rely on to get the job done. Regardless of the end application, equipment is facing growing expectations for productivity, efficiency, safety, and machine controllability. As companies look to build smarter, more precise machines, hydraulics needs to become smarter, as well. Where hydraulic […]

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MOOCs and the Future of Fluid Power Education

Fluid power is an important enabling technology for mechanical, agricultural, and aerospace engineering. These disciplines graduate over 20,000 engineers a year, and every one of these graduates should be familiar with fluid power as part of their degree program. However, access to fluid power education is an enormous challenge at the university level. This challenge […]

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Training the Fluid Power Professionals of the Future

Ask a group of sixth graders what they would like to be when they grow up. You will receive glamorous answers, such as professional athletes and actors. You will hear prestigious answers, such as doctors and lawyers. You will also hear adventurous answers, such as police officers and pilots. If you ask the same question […]

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Safety in Fluid Power Systems

As an employee at Womack for 26 years, I have had several jobs. I spent almost 10 years as an outside salesman in West Texas, working around oil field equipment and mobile units. From there, I moved to Dallas, and for three years I supervised the Publication Department and trained inside and new outside salesmen. […]

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Perfect Reliability

Is it possible, in the 21st century, to build a hydraulic system that doesn’t break down? Mechanical devices will eventually wear out, of course, so by “break down” we really mean fail unexpectedly. To help us achieve this aim of perfect reliability, we now have systematic tools available, such as proactive maintenance procedures and Design […]

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“What a Long, Strange, Trip it’s been.”

In the words of one of my favorite bands, “What a Long, Strange, Trip it’s been.” Having been elected to serve as the 2014 president of the International Fluid Power Society (IFPS), I can pause and reflect on just how I arrived at this point. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine this day […]

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What is Mechatronics?

The latest buzzword used within colleges and among many industry leaders is “mechatronics.” If one consults Wikipedia, the definition provided there is: “Mechatronics is a design process that includes a combination of mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, control engineering, and computer engineering. Mechatronics is a multidisciplinary field of engineering; that is to say, it rejects splitting […]

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Fluid Power Systems Conference

Reliable and Efficient Hydraulics and Pneumatics for Today and Tomorrow This November, the three leading fluid power organizations—The International Fluid Power Society (IFPS), the FPDA Motion and Control Network (FPDA), and the National Fluid Power Association (NFPA)—will once again embark on a mission of education and training to ensure fluid power is a more competitive […]

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To Be or Not to Be…Certified

Certification adds a third dimension to your portfolio; education and experience are the other two. In baseball, we look for a player with the complete package—one who can throw, bat, catch, run, and be smart enough to make the many quick decisions that inevitably impact the outcome of a game. Certification in our industry mimics […]

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For the Kid in All of Us

The term “outreach” isn’t typically associated with our professional lives. When I think of outreach, I think of church or a volunteer organization. There are plenty of opportunities and organizations to choose from; just throw a stone in any direction and you’ll hit a target. As a member of IFPS’s Chapter 49 & 50 in […]

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A Call To Action

As president of the International Fluid Power Society this year, I have had the pleasure of attending a large number of trade shows and national meetings, completed many local customer calls, and heard the same dialogue being repeated: “We need skilled people.” I don’t care if it’s at the salesman level, engineering disciplines, trades, whatever. […]

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Is IFPS Certification Right For You?

How safe are my employees? How efficient and reliable are my systems? What is my competitive advantage? Am I certifiable; are my employees? These are questions every leader asks. Well maybe not that last question in the literal sense, but you should consider it in the professional sense, by asking is IFPS certification right for […]

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Sustaining a National Research Program for Fluid Power

In my last Notable Works column two years ago, I highlighted the energy-saving potential of fluid power. The data for that column came from a draft of a Department of Energy (DOE) report, “Estimating the Impact (Energy, Emissions, and Economics) of the U.S. Fluid Power Industry.” The report has recently been officially released. You can […]

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The Importance of Female Mentors in STEM

As a society, we learn about the world and advance our well being through science and engineering. The United States may be known around the world for its higher education, but we lack a strong focus on educating scientists and engineers. One significant reason we have fallen behind is that we do not encourage our […]

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