Fluid Power Industrial Consortium Grows with IoT

FPIC logoAs a supporting association partner, NFPA members can attend half-day seminars offered by Milwaukee School of Engineering’s (MSOE) Fluid Power Industrial Consortium (FPIC) at no cost. The latest FPIC seminar was held in Milwaukee on June 7, with attendees from more than 40 NFPA member companies present, and a record-breaking 100 people in attendance.

In the next year, these FPIC seminars may be coming to a city near you. More details will be available in the coming months, but the plan is to hold a series in several cities with content themed around fluid power and the Internet of Things (IoT).

  • Milwaukee, September 6, 2019
  • Chicago, December 6, 2019
  • Detroit, spring 2020, date to be determined
  • Minneapolis, spring 2020, date to be determined

The featured speakers at last week’s FPIC seminar in Milwaukee kicked off the IoT theme. IoT Diagnostics, an NFPA member company with experience enabling IoT functions for fluid power, provided the content.

Jeremy Drury of IoT Diagnostics began with a discussion of IoT strategy for fluid power companies, breaking down the development of strategy surrounding data into stages: IoT enablement (make data, move data, view data) and IoT integration (use data, scale data, analyze data, secure data, and share data). He also offered some additional key points and words of encouragement:

  • It’s important to get started. Contrary to the fears of many, nobody is too far behind. There is little information on progress in the marketplace, but relatively few are far out ahead.
  • Make sure data collected is meaningful, because data piles up fast and is expensive to store and manage.
  • Being meaningful requires implementation that takes into consideration nuances at the last mile…on the machine.
  • Security issues are critical, as are people issues related to data and messaging overload.

Other speakers from the IoT Diagnostics team used a live demonstrator that showed fluid power and IoT in action. The demonstrator is a fluid power system equipped with sensors at key points, such as the pump and filter, and large display screens with a dashboard of indicators that change as the system is operated.

The team explained how the sensors located near likely points of failure transmit key indicators via the internet and can show fluid conditions, real time pressure differentials, heat build-up, and can also help pinpoint the underlying causes.

A vibration expert on the team discussed how data on vibration from a sensor can be used to gather and interpret vibration signatures that also can be used to pinpoint specific problems.

More information will be available about next year’s FPIC seminars as the IoT presentation topics and speakers take shape.

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