IFPS conducted its spring meeting Feb. 27-March 2 in New Orleans, reporting that, even with a virtual option, attendance was more than 90% in person.
IFPS committees delivered reports on their recent work.
The Education Committee has continued developing new training videos to help with certification preparation. Since the fall meeting in San Diego, IFPS has developed two new educational videos visible to members only: Proper Identification of Fasteners and Fittings, and Fluid Power Symbology. The committee continues developing these kinds of videos. The Education Committee has also worked diligently work to release new IFPS safety posters. The feedback on the newly released Fluid Power Math and Hydraulic Mechanic training modules is excellent, and they are selling well.
With Waukesha County Technical College, IFPS successfully conducted two courses in fluid power fundamentals. The courses are a great foundation for learning fluid power basics, and IFPS will continue to offer them for as long as they remain popular. In addition, IFPS will partner with the Auburn Career Center to use IFPS certifications in curriculum, starting with Connector & Conductor. The C&C pilot occurred in January and February and was a success based on the initial feedback. The advisory committee will meet soon to debrief and start planning the second semester. IFPS hopes to launch similar programs in other locations.
IFPS launched a 12-week Hydraulic Specialist review training course led by Tom Blansett, IFPS technical director. The committee plans to run similar courses, starting with the Pneumatic Specialist certification in late summer or early fall.
In June 2022 the Certification Committee reviewed the C&C certification study manual and test. This “mini” review led to updated graphics and standards. The committee plans a major revision this year, and a subcommittee convened for that purpose. So far, the subcommittee has reviewed and updated the study manual and continues reviewing and upgrading the written and job performance tests. The planned release of the full upgrades is late spring or early summer.
Concerned about pass/fail ratios, IFPS CEO Donna Pollander convened a subcommittee to review and update the Mobile Hydraulic Mechanic certification test. A subcommittee also convened to work on a major revision of the Electronic Controls Specialist certification. The update is scheduled for release in the fall.
Blansett proposed an outline for the technician certifications. He proposed developing one certification for technicians and that the job performance test be conducted online. The committee approved the outline. But it decided to develop two certifications, one for pneumatics and one for hydraulics. Certified members interested in participating on any of these subcommittees can email email@example.com. The committee plans to upgrade the pneumatic mechanic when the technician certifications are underway.
The Spanish translation of the Hydraulic Specialist test is complete and available for purchase. The committee begins work this month on translating the Mobile Hydraulic Mechanic written test. The nontechnical associate certification subcommittee determined that the development of the study manual has stalled. The committee asked Pollander and Blansett to finalize the study manual, draft the test questions, and review them with the subcommittee.
Pollander proposed a grant program for educators to obtain their first certification free. The committee approved the program (see page 20). More information is available at www.ifps.org/certification-grant-for-educators-2.
IFPS staff and the Marketing and Public Relations Committee have been working on increasing our social media presence. Followers on all platforms have increased since the last meeting. An upgrade to the IFPS website to enhance visitor experience has begun. An oversight committee meets quarterly to ensure that IFPS is satisfied with the content published in Fluid Power Journal and to brainstorm article ideas.
The Membership Committee provided an update on IFPS’s increased communication with members. Because of the dissolution of the chapters, the committee drafted and approved an updated mission statement: “The Membership Committee will implement innovative strategies that will increase the value of an IFPS membership which will involve, influence, attract, and retain members.” The committee also met via conference last month to brainstorm about offering members opportunities to communicate and network. The committee decided to hold another conference call in the upcoming weeks to continue brainstorming and determine which are feasible to execute successfully. The committee also determined to continue the mentorship program next year, but the number of mentors and mentees will be limited to five, with additional clearer communication.