Fluid Power Journal

Cleveland State Takes 2020 Fluid Power Vehicle Challenge

For the second year in a row, Cleveland State University was the overall champion of the National Fluid Power Association’s 2020 Fluid Power Vehicle Challenge, which took place virtually April 15-18.

It was the largest competition ever, with nearly 150 students, university faculty members, and industry supporters taking part, NFPA said in announcing the winners.

The 2020 second-place winner was the University of Cincinnati, while Purdue University took third place.

This year’s event highlighted the use of pneumatics in addition to the traditional hydraulic systems in teams’ designs, with a new prize for the best use of pneumatics, sponsored by Bimba, taken home by Western Michigan University.

The competition combines two technology platforms that are not normally associated with one another: human-powered vehicles and fluid power. In a typical year, teams design and build their own fluid power vehicles and then, with the help of sponsors, judges, and mentors, compete against each other in three races.

The races could not happen this year due to quarantines and school closings, so students gave virtual presentations on vehicle construction, quality of vehicle design, and the lessons they learned constructing the vehicle.

“This competition was a wonderful experience throughout the year,” said Bogdan Kozul, faculty advisor for the Cleveland State team. “We received a textbook education in all the joys of working on a challenging project with a diverse group. I know each of us is leaving this experience with a strong self-awareness of our internal and external motivations.”

“The winning group was focused on improving the frame design, trying to reduce weight in simplifying component mountings,” said Tim Miller, of sponsor Trelleborg Sealing Solutions.

“They wanted to improve a hydraulic circuit that was safe, user friendly, and easy to operate. I have to say that if I saw it, I would assume that it was a professional product on the marketplace, so hats off to them.”

Companies that participated as judges, mentors, and sponsors included:

• Bimba Manufacturing Company

• Bosch Rexroth Corporation

• Danfoss

• Deltrol Fluid Products

• Eaton Corporation

• FORCE America

• Gates Corporation

• HAWE Hydraulik

• IMI Precision Engineering

• International Fluid Power Society

• Iowa Fluid Power

• JM Grimstad, Inc.

• LubeTech

• Parker Hannifin

• Source Fluid Power

• SunSource

• Trelleborg Sealing Solutions

• Walvoil Fluid Power

For more information on the Fluid Power Vehicle Challenge, contact Stephanie Scaccianoce at sscaccianoce@nfpa.com.

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