Fluid Power Vehicle Challenge Starts Rolling

The NFPA Fluid Power Vehicle Challenge is starting off with a bang this year! Thirteen university teams are registered to compete, including the University of Cincinnati, California Polytechnic State University, Illinois Institute of Technology, Murray State University, Purdue University, University of Minnesota, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Western Michigan University, University of Akron, Cleveland State University, Milwaukee School of Engineering, West Virginia University, and Iowa State University.

The Vehicle Challenge strives to promote original thinking in a competitive setting by combining two technology platforms that are not normally associated with one another—bicycles and fluid power. A fluid-powered bicycle presents engineers with a familiar yet challenging platform for change.

Students start on their project in September or October. Usually coinciding with the university’s senior capstone design course, students gain knowledge in fluid power components, circuits, and systems, as well as their use in controlling force and motion. Teams identify project objectives and create initial design and mechanical drawings to illustrate the fluid power control circuits that will be created for the vehicle. Then, teams build, test, and adjust their vehicles. By March, students prepare for the Final Competition Event, which is being held April 12-13, 2018 at Danfoss in Ames, Iowa this year. Teams will present on their design process and demonstrate the safe function of their vehicles. The Final Competition includes judging criteria for three races: A Sprint Race, an Efficiency Challenge Race and an Endurance Challenge Race.

We are looking for industry judges and mentors for the Vehicle Challenge!* This is a great opportunity for NFPA members to meet and recruit some of the most creative and innovative students in the industry. For more information about getting involved, contact Lynn Beyer at lbeyer@nfpa.com or (414) 778-3364.

Many thanks to all of our Vehicle Challenge Sponsors: Danfoss for serving as the Final Competition Host, Eaton and SunSource for serving as the Parts Suppliers, Parker Hannifin for their continued support and LubeTech for serving as the Fluids Supplier.

*This opportunity only available to Gold or Silver donors in our Pascal giving society. Learn more about the Pascal Society and find out if your company is already a donor here.


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