By Eric Lanke
Below is a recording and transcript outlining the Fluid Power Manufacturing Roadmap and its significance. The Roadmap is the first project of the Fluid Power Advanced Manufacturing Consortium, a collaboration that NFPA and the Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power (CCEFP) are involved with to help advance fluid power manufacturing in the United States.
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Hi, it’s Eric Lanke with another message for NFPA members.
You may have seen the news recently that the NFPA will be participating in something called the Fluid Power Advanced Manufacturing Consortium.
That’s the name that’s been given to a new collaboration between the NFPA, the CCEFP, the Association of Manufacturing Technology and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, to advance fluid power manufacturing in the United States.
It is the result of acquiring more than $400,000 in grant funding from the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
It is, in my humble opinion, a very big deal for our industry and our association.
The first project of the Consortium will be to define a fluid power manufacturing roadmap.
This roadmap, like the Technology Roadmap NFPA completed and published a few years ago, will focus on identifying the areas of pre-competitive research that are needed to advance fluid power technology in the United States.
But unlike our existing roadmap, which focuses primarily on improving design and performance characteristics of our components and systems, the fluid power manufacturing roadmap will focus on improving the mechanisms and methods for manufacturing our components and systems.
The end goal will not just be better ways to make our products, but finding ways to use new and emerging manufacturing technologies to achieve the performance goals identified in our existing roadmap.
If successful, the manufacturing roadmap will not only improve the way we make fluid power products, it will improve the products themselves and help deliver those improved products to our end customers.
A kick-off session for the Consortium to begin working on this new roadmap has already been scheduled for late July at Georgia Tech, and we already have more than 40 participants confirmed.
What makes this project so important is that the NIST grant that’s funding it is tied to several of the broader manufacturing improvement initiatives of the federal government.
That means that, once identified, the roadmap recommendations for how to improve the manufacture of fluid power products have a greater likelihood of attracting significant research dollars from multiple branches of the U.S. government.
Incorporating the roadmap results into the overall research strategy of the CCEFP, will therefore not only help us grow that network of fluid power researchers and educators, it will provide an added industrial and manufacturing focus to those activities.
It’s an exciting opportunity, and it all starts to come together later this month in Atlanta.
If you’d like more information on the project, please visit our website, or, as always, feel free to contact me directly.
Thanks for listening.
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