By Eric Lanke
On September 8, 2017, I had the privilege of attending the third seminar of MSOE’s new Fluid Power Industrial Consortium (FPIC). These quarterly, half-day seminars provide a platform for fluid power OEMs, manufacturers, SMEs, and distributors to network, problem solve, and access cutting edge technology, and the September 8 seminar was a great example of this process in action – perhaps the best one yet. Forty-one people, including twenty NFPA members and representatives from OEMs like John Deere and Oshkosh Trucks, were in attendance for presentations on market-ready hydraulic fluids and the energy saving properties they have demonstrated in field trials.
The presentations included:
- Hydraulic Fluid Technologies for Enhanced Efficiency, Productivity, and Fuel Economy
Paul Michael, Research Chemist, MSOE Fluid Power Institute
- Energy Efficient Hydraulic Fluids: Case Studies in Mobile and Stationary Equipment
Sravani Gullapalli, Project Lead, Hydraulics, Shell Global Solutions
- Polymer-Based Fluids for Enhanced Hydraulic System Efficiency
David Gray, North American OEM Manager, Evonik Oil Additives
Slides from these presentations will be made available soon in a separate announcement.
Following the presentations, I took a few moments to remind the participants of the new $5 million research program CCEFP helped launch at the U.S. Department of Energy, which will be focused on energy efficiency improvements in hydraulic systems for off-highway equipment. NFPA’s just-updated Technology Roadmap, which is now being accessed to help frame that program, already includes both energy efficiency as one of its key research challenges, and the use and improvement of energy efficient fluids as one the key mechanisms for tackling that challenge. The information presented and the discussion of topics at this FPIC seminar helped illuminate several barriers to wider adoption and improvement that could become a focus of that research effort.
Dates for the next several FPIC seminars have already been announced, with the next one occurring on December 1, 2017. That one will tackle the use of composites in the construction of fluid power components and systems, another of the enabling technologies identified in CCEFP’s recently published Fluid Power Manufacturing Roadmap. Both roadmaps, NFPA’s and CCEFP’s, can be accessed here: http://www.nfpa.com/fluidpower/fluidpowertechnologyroadmaps.aspx
FPIC is turning into a unique networking and education venue for NFPA members – and participation is included in your annual membership dues.* I strongly encourage everyone to get involved.
*NFPA is a supporting partner of FPIC. As a result, NFPA member companies are exempt from the annual FPIC membership fee and are able to participate freely in the quarterly seminars. Members of NFPA’s Roadmap Committee, who assist us in maintaining the NFPA Technology Roadmap, are especially encouraged to participate. It is expected that FPIC seminar topics will provide Roadmap Committee members with an ideal way to stay abreast of the technological advancements that will influence the direction of our roadmap.