New Roadmap Prompts Call for Podcast Guests


Eric Lanke headshot 2017


By Eric Lanke
NFPA President/CEO

I hope everyone is downloading and enjoying our bi-weekly episodes of Fluid Power Forum – NFPA’s new podcast focused on interesting and innovative uses of fluid power, and the people behind them.

With the publication of the 2019 NFPA Technology Roadmap (download your copy here), there’s a new laundry list of fluid power advancements that we are anxious to discuss on the podcast and in other venues. These topics include:

Improving fluid power control systems

  • Novel control architectures and algorithms in fluid power system hardware and software
  • Increased integration with electric power drivers, monitoring, and controls
  • Use of machine learning to improve monitoring and control

Monitoring, gathering and using data generated from working fluid power products

  • Sensors able to withstand vibration, magnetic interference, and ambient temperature extremes to measure real-time fluid conditions, pressure, temperature, position, flow, and torque
  • Use of data analytics to drive/perform automatic/adaptive control functions
  • Diagnostic and analysis modalities that effectively use statistical algorithms and logic considerations and that are specifically applied to component function and wear, and to fluid monitoring and conditioning

Improving fluid power’s reliability and durability

  • Use of “smart” tools in fluid power component manufacturing to improve reliability
  • Improved surface finish properties for advanced reliability and durability of fluid power components
  • Anti-friction, anti-wear and/or corrosion-resistant coatings that are easy to apply and that provide improved substrate interface strength

Increasing fluid power’s energy efficiency

  • Increased energy conversion efficiency in fluid power systems, especially through hybridization and/or component integration
  • Reduced energy consumption of current system architectures, especially through the use of energy efficient fluids
  • Energy-efficient fluid power system architectures, especially those that employ electrification and/or power on-demand

Increasing fluid power’s power density

  • Reduced component size/weight without reducing operating pressure and flow, especially through the use of composites or engineered plastics to replace metals/castings
  • Increased operating pressure and flow without increasing component size/weight, especially through the use of higher-strength, lighter-weight materials in the construction of fluid power components

Reducing the environmental impact of fluid power components and systems

  • Reduced external leakage in fluid power components and systems, especially by improving seal technologies, by detecting and preventing leaks, and/or by increasing integration of system components
  • Biodegradable and non-toxic fluids that offer improved water tolerance and extend fluid life
  • Environmentally-friendly processes that reduce or eliminate toxic chemicals in the manufacture of fluid power components

Reducing lead time for fluid power components and their respective control elements

  • Use of advanced automation (including robotics) to reduce lead time
  • Intrinsically safe human/machine interfaces for collaborative robots
  • Use of artificial intelligence for advanced (faster, more reliable, tighter tolerances) manufacturing system control

If you or someone you know can speak on any of these issues – and would like some free publicity on our podcast – please contact me directly at