AI and Fluid Power Manufacturing Applications + Mini Survey #3

NFPA members will get the opportunity to learn about AI from Mike Marks of Indian River Consulting Group, who will be leading an interactive workshop titled Application of AI Technologies to Industrial Companies at the NFPA 2024 Industry & Economic Outlook Conference – Register Now!

By Mike Marks
Indian River Consulting Group

Manufacturers and distributors have learned that the closer they partner, the better the outcome is for both parties. Today’s technologies like AI are helping in that endeavor.

There are three critical benefits associated with deploying AI in fluid power applications, according to Frank Latino of Festo Americas, as relayed during a Power & Motion webinar:

  • improving maintenance processes
  • increasing product quality
  • lowering energy consumption

Latino says that AI is just another tool in the manufacturer’s arsenal. AI applications can find anomalies or create dashboards to easily access information when used with the Internet of Things, Edge computing and software like ERPs and MRPs.

Manufacturers should identify their primary pain points and determine what data may be available to collect and analyze to solve those pain points. Latino recommends sifting through, contextualizing and identifying the data that is valuable for the use case you want to solve before selecting any AI tools.

Latino also recommends considering the future when designing components such as cylinders. Spec it out so you can quickly put sensors on that cylinder if you deploy an AI system. To help you in your search, here are some examples of applications for AI currently used in the fluid power manufacturing industry.

AI Applications for Manufacturing Processes

Predictive Maintenance: AI machine learning techniques, such as one by Intelliarts, can monitor and analyze data from hydraulic systems, improving maintenance practices and reducing downtime. McKinsey reports that manufacturers can obtain the greatest value from AI by using it for predictive maintenance, generating $0.5 trillion to $0.7 trillion in potential value impact globally.

Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) Optimization: AI systems can monitor and detect missing materials or quality issues. The application generates automatic failure notice alerts in production control, allowing manufacturers to mitigate failures and maintain high-performance assets.

Optimal Design of Fluid Machinery: Because designing fluid machinery is a complex task that requires careful consideration of various interdependent factors, AI tools can generate design options based on constraints and requirements, speeding up the design process.

Automated Quality Control: AI systems can automate monitoring of production lines to ensure products meet quality standards.

Safety Alerts: AI systems can monitor safety hazards in the workplace and alert staff to potential risks.

Edge Analytics: AI systems can be a more effective method for performing this type of analysis of non-central components of the system, such as sensors, switches and various connected devices. Edge analytics provides fast and decentralized insights, allowing for quick decision-making.

Supply Chain: AI applications can help predict product demand, allowing manufacturers to restructure production schedules and adjust inventory levels.

AI applications are transforming manufacturing, allowing fluid power manufacturers to be more responsive to changing market demands. AI’s ability to analyze large, complex datasets and learn from patterns makes them invaluable tools.

NFPA’s AI initiatives for Fluid Power Distribution and Manufacturing

We hope you will help further NFPA efforts to support the fluid power industry’s AI journey by joining us at the upcoming NFPA 2024 Industry & Economic Outlook Conference. You will learn about AI and participate in NFPA’s AI initiatives in our interactive workshop, Application of AI Technologies to Industrial Companies. Mike Marks of Indian River Consulting Group will lead the workshop, guiding attendees in piloting and deploying valuable tools and resources to use in your journey into AI.

Registration for the NFPA Industry & Economic Outlook Conference is now open.  We look forward to seeing you at the conference. Also, watch for the next AI post and survey. 

Mike Marks is the founding partner of the Indian River Consulting Group. Prior to founding IRCG, Marks worked in distribution management for more than 20 years. His narrow focus in B2B channel-driven markets has created an extensive number of deep executive relationships within business verticals such as construction, industrial, OEM, agricultural, and healthcare. Reach Mike at

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