NFPA Provides an Effective Forum for the Fluid Power Industry

Eric Lanke headshot 2017

 

By Eric Lanke, NFPA President/CEO

One of NFPA’s core strategic objectives is to provide an effective fluid power forum where NFPA members, OEMs, and related technology partners connect and advance our collective interests. There are a lot of ways for members to get engaged in our programs dedicated to advancing this objective.

  1. We’re offering two options for our next Annual Conference, one of the top industry networking events for the fluid power community. The conference itself will be offered online, February 24-26, 2021, and will include morning sessions that feature a forecast by Alan Beaulieu of ITR Economics, presentations by past favorite Peter Zeihan on geopolitics, and Harry Kraemer of the Kellogg School of Management on leading in disruptive times. Registrants will interact with the presenters and can also participate in virtual networking sessions and committee meetings each afternoon. For more information and to register, go to https://nfpahub.com/events/conferences/nfpa-annual-conference/.In addition to the online event, NFPA is planning to offer an in-person networking during the Power of Association event. The event will offer the in-person conference aspects our members have come to expect and will be managed in accordance with the latest COVID-19 regulations. More details will be available pending the confirmation of a safe and suitable venue.

     

  2. Our new Executive Leadership Program is going strong – again virtually during the pandemic, but coming back together in-person as soon as it is safe to do so. We’re working in collaboration with the Kellogg School of Management to offer a series of six programs on the topics most needed to help develop future leaders for our member companies. Cadenced over an eighteen-month period of time, the twenty or so participants enrolled in our first cohort work between sessions with their learning partners to apply the things that they are learning and to up their performance for their companies. Anyone interested in joining the second cohort – which will launch with the 2022 Annual Conference, should email me at elanke@nfpa.com.More details on program content and fees can be found here: https://www.nfpa.com/home/membership/Future-Leaders/NFPA-Executive-Leadership-Program.htm
  3. A long list of leadership and standards-setting committees are still operating and serve as great opportunities to connect with your colleagues, competitors, and customers. On the standards side, remember that NFPA is the ISO secretariat for fluid power, responsible for 233 published ISO standards with 29 other standards currently under development. We have more than 150 industry volunteers working within these structures to help ensure a fair playing field for U.S.-based fluid power manufacturing, but we could certainly use more. If you or your engineers would like to join these efforts, your best bet is to contact Denise Husenica at the NFPA office at dhusenica@nfpa.com.
  4. There are a lot of other engagement opportunities in our NFPA committees – with one of the most prominent being our Roadmap Committee, which has begun its biennial process to update the NFPA Technology Roadmap. This process brings together a wide cross section of the fluid power supply chain to accomplish three key outcomes: (1) Describe the evolving needs of our customers; (2) Assess fluid power’s ability to meet those needs; and (3) Identify R&D objectives that will help fluid power better meet those needs in the future. Through December 17, 2021, the committee is collecting responses to an open survey on the key drivers in fluid power’s 20 largest customer markets. A link to that survey can be found HERE, and all NFPA members and their customer contacts are invited to submit their responses. A lot of members use this committee’s report to shape their own product development plans – and NFPA uses it to choose the topics that get presented at our Regional Conferences.You can find more information and download last year’s Roadmap document at: https://www.nfpa.com/home/industry-stats/NFPA-Technology-Roadmap.htm
  5. And finally, those Regional Conferences are still being held every quarter – again, virtually until it is safe to go back to in-person gatherings. These events are a great way for NFPA members to keep up-to-date on the latest technological changes in the industry. They are held in partnership with MSOE’s Fluid Power Industrial Consortium, which helps connect these programs to the all-important customers and OEMs that are driving many of the technological changes we discuss. The next event is scheduled to take place March 4, 2021. Stay tuned for updates.

 

All of these activities mean that NFPA is the place where the fluid power industry can come together in an effective forum for its own education, networking, business development, and, when needed, collective action. If you would like your company to become more engaged with NFPA, please reach out to me at elanke@nfpa.com or (414) 778-3351.

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