A Road Map for Fluid Power
ITG: The NFPA published its first Technology Roadmap in 2009. Can you describe how this roadmap has evolved over the last decade?
EL: Our Technology Roadmap is intended to identify the research and development objectives that the fluid power industry should pursue to help ensure that its products continue to meet the needs of its diverse customer base. An update is published every other year and, since its inception, we have dramatically increased the number of customer voices that are part of the Roadmap’s development process. Today’s Roadmap is much more focused on the actual needs expressed by those customers.
ITG: About which aspects of the 2019 Roadmap are you most optimistic?
EL: The 2019 Roadmap shows strong alignment between fluid power and many of the primary needs of our customers. For example, when looking for technologies that can help increase productivity or performance, lower the capital or operating costs, or increase the power density of machines, customers frequently choose fluid power as a primary technology. In some of the other areas of need, fluid power finds itself more frequently competing with other technologies. However, the Roadmap lays out several research and development objectives that the industry is readily adopting in order to improve its competitive position in those spaces.
“The eight drivers cited are the eight most important things that fluid power customers are trying to deliver to their own customers – the buyers of their machines.”
Fluid power's machine builders want to provide their customers with machines that offer:
- lncreased availability and up-time1
- Lower capital and operating costs2
- lncreased productivity and performance
- Autonomous operation
- Compliance with safety regulations and machine directives3
- Easier and more predictable maintenance
- Greater integration of technologies, including data acquisition, utilization and ownership
- Weight reductions and increased power density
- “Increased energy efficiency” and “Component interchangeability” were both discussed as possible Customer Drivers but were ultimately seen as ways to provide customers with “Increased availability and up-time.”
- “Increased energy efficiency” and “Manufacturing close to the customer” were both discussed as possible Customer Drivers but were ultimately seen as ways to provide customers with “Lower capital and operating costs.”
- “Lower environmental impact” was discussed as a possible Customer Driver but was ultimately seen as a way to provide customers with “Compliance with safety regulations and machine directives.”
Trelleborg Sealing Solutions presented on this subject at a recent Fluid Power Industrial Consortium.
To find out more, go to:
Eric Lanke is the President and CEO of the National Fluid Power Association, a trade association of more than 330 organizations serving the hydraulic and pneumatic industries.
He is responsible for setting NFPA’s strategic direction, and overseeing the programs and communications needed to achieve its objectives. He also serves as the President and CEO of the NFPA Education and Technology Foundation, an affiliated charitable organization that supports outreach, education and research programs in fluid power.
Want to contribute to the next NFPA Roadmap? Contact Eric Lanke via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit the Fluid Power Forum Podcast to hear episodes on the innovative technologies in fluid power systems and more:
Founded in 1953, the National Fluid Power Association (NFPA) focuses exclusively on fluid power technology with members representing the entire fluid power supply chain.
Headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in the US, the NFPA began with 35 fluid power companies at the inaugural meeting on May 1, 1953. Its membership has now grown to over 340 companies with an ever-growing impact toward ensuring fluid power is a customer’s technology of choice.
To learn more about the NFPA, and to download the complete 2019 Technology Roadmap, visit:
The NFPA and Trelleborg Sealing Solutions As a Supplier Member of the NFPA, Trelleborg Sealing Solutions donates to the organization’s PASCAL society and actively participates in several committees, including the:
• Supplier Leadership Council
• Future Leaders
• Education Committee
• FAMTEM hubs
• Fluid Power Challenge