The fluid power industry has three organizations working on its behalf – the International Fluid Power Society (IFPS), the National Fluid Power Association (NFPA), and the FPDA Motion and Control Network (FPDA). Understanding the mission of each organization, as well as how they work together, can clarify the role these three associations play in the marketplace.
“We recognize that confusion exists as to the purposes and intersections of our three organizations,” said Eric Lanke, NFPA CEO, “so we work together to build a common framework that can be used to define and shape appropriate areas of collaboration.”
The three associations address distinct needs in the fluid power industry. NFPA and FPDA are trade associations, which means their members are companies in the fluid power supply chain. The IFPS is a professional society, which means its members are individuals with fluid power technical expertise. All three associations connect with a diverse industry network, including many different types of companies and professionals. In Fig. 1, the colored arrows indicate the primary areas of focus in that network.
The IFPS, NFPA, and FPDA have similar types of programs that serve their memberships, but each set of programs is aligned with each association’s unique mission and set of strategic priorities.
Each association pursues its own strategies, but they also collaborate in the areas of greatest synergy. Leadership teams meet twice per year in order to connect the fluid power community. A perfect example of this collaboration is the creation and execution of the Energy Efficient Hydraulics & Pneumatics Conference, to be held in March 2017 in Las Vegas, Nev.
According to Patricia Lilly, FPDA executive director, “This planning effort brings together the combined knowledge and experience within each association to build a program to educate OEMs and end-users about how to design and maintain energy-efficient fluid power systems.”
The IFPS, NFPA, and FPDA spread awareness through Youth Outreach, such as the NFPA Fluid Power Challenge and the upcoming in-progress Hydraulics and Pneumatics Boy Scout Merit Badge efforts of the IFPS. The associations are also exploring the potential for creating a joint young executives educational and networking program, which would bring together the rising stars in the fluid power industry for enhanced networking and education specific to their needs.
As Donna Pollander, IFPS executive director, explains, “Workforce development is also a focus of IFPS as the certification body for potential employees of the NFPA and FPDA member companies. All three organizations strive for a plentiful, highly skilled, safe, efficient fluid power workforce.”
Contact the FPDA
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