by Eric Lanke
The U.S. Department of Energy maintains more than twenty Industrial Assessment Centers (IAC) around the United States—university programs where energy management engineering students perform no-cost assessments of industrial facilities and make recommendations for reducing their overall energy consumption. According to the data I saw when I attended an IAC directors meeting last year, these centers perform about 500 assessments annually, identifying $33 million in energy-saving recommendations each year. And up until recently, none of those recommendations had been focused on the more efficient use of the ubiquitous hydraulic and pneumatic systems that are in these plants.
They’re a black box to us, one of the IAC directors told me at this meeting. We see them operating in our facilities, but we don’t know how to determine if they’re operating efficiently, or what changes to recommend even if we could.
Game on, I thought. There are lots of experts in the fluid power industry who could teach the student assessors what to do and recommend in those situations, and, with the help and support of the International Fluid Power Society (IFPS), I was able to find two great ones.
Earlier this year, two webinar presentations were given to IAC directors and their students across the country. Tom Blansett, CFPS, and formerly of Behco-MRM, presented “Increasing Energy Efficiency of an Industrial Hydraulic System,” and Jon Jensen, CFPPS, CFPECS of SMC Corporation of America presented “Pneumatics Best Practices.” Both presentations provided the basic information engineers and technicians need to diagnose, correct and maintain energy efficient fluid power systems.
Both presentations can be downloaded for local viewing, which I would encourage you to do for your own education and training needs. Click here for hydraulics and here for pneumatics. They’re so good, in fact, that we’ve asked Tom and Jon to repeat their performances at the upcoming Energy Efficient Hydraulics and Pneumatics Conference, which will be held in conjunction with IFPE, March 8-10, 2017, in Las Vegas, NV.
The feedback from the IAC directors was quick and immediate. Thank you, they said. Now our students have some idea what to look for and recommend when they encounter hydraulic and pneumatic systems in their assessed facilities.
But things won’t end there. Now that fluid power is on their radar screen, the students and their directors are going to need ongoing support for any technical questions they may have. And the plants that receive the improvement recommendations are going to need suppliers and vendors with the expertise to implement those changes. This new opportunity is available to any interested company. If you’re willing to serve as a non-compensated resource for IAC students and to have your firm listed in the referral directory given to companies that receive an IAC assessment, please contact me at email@example.com. We’ll need a contact name and information, as well as a short description of your company, the regions its serves, and the specific areas of expertise.
Meet the Fluid Power Vehicle Challenge Teams – Part 3
Article By: Mary Pluta Programs like the Fluid Power Vehicle Challenge are made possible in part by the generous support of industry volunteers as well as NFPA Education and Technology Foundation, Pascal Society, and Tom Wanke Legacy Fund donors. Support these efforts by making a donation. Twenty-three teams from universities around the country are getting ready to participate in…
Groundbreaking Attendance Records at IFPE and CONEXPO-CON/Agg 2023
As the largest trade show in North America, it is no surprise that IFPE & CONEXPO-CON/Agg continued to grow in exhibitors and attendees. This year’s show reached a new high, attracting over 139,000 attendees from around the world. IFPE 2023 showcased the fluid power industry and featured many new innovative and cutting-edge fluid power technologies as…
Catching Up With NFPA Robotics Challenge Scholarship Winners; 2022 Winner Seeking Fluid Power Internship
By: Haley Nemeth The NFPA Education and Technology Foundation has awarded six scholarships to students through the Robotics Challenge Scholarship. The scholarship awards $30,000 ($7,500 per year for four years) to high school seniors who participate in a VEX, FIRST®, or NRL Robotics Competition Team and uses pneumatics in the competition robot. The goal of…