NFPA Publishes Third Annual Report on U.S. Fluid Power Industry

The third annual Report on the U.S. Fluid Power Industry is finished and available for download on the NFPA website.

As in previous reports, this new document outlines the size and economic impact of the fluid power industry, provides energy and efficiency information, and summarizes key research challenges and opportunities in fluid power technology and manufacturing.

The information provided in the report is useful to fluid power professionals, customers, and prospects alike. Key conclusions include:

  • Fluid power (hydraulics and pneumatics) is a workhorse of the U.S. economy. It is a cross-cutting technology of choice for dozens of industries and hundreds of applications.
  • In 2016, the manufacture of fluid power components was a $19 billion industry.
  • The U.S. fluid power industry is strongly competitive around the world, with 2016 exports valued at $5.5 billion.
  • It is estimated that 862 companies in the United States employ more than 67,149 people in the manufacture of fluid power components, representing an annual payroll of more than $49.3 billion.
  • Fluid power has a significant downstream economic impact. Ten key industries that depend on fluid power are estimated to represent more than 23,200 companies in the United States, employing more than 778,056 people with an annual payroll of more than $49.5 billion.
  • Fluid power and the industries it serves depend on a highly-educated workforce. Investments in new fluid power education and training resources are occurring and more 2-year and 4-year colleges are teaching fluid power.
  • Fluid power systems consume a significant portion of our nation’s energy. Existing technologies and best practices have been shown to reduce energy use in fluid power systems, in some cases by up to 30% or more.
  • Through the Technology Roadmap for the Fluid Power Industry, the industry is identifying and addressing key research challenges that will continue to meet the needs of its diverse customer base.
  • Fluid power has an active industry/academic coalition that focuses on these key research challenges. Recent breakthroughs have been made in increasing energy efficiency, increasing energy storage capabilities, and reducing the size of fluid power components and systems.
  • Future directions of fluid power research will additionally focus on improving its reliability, building “smart” components and systems, and reducing its environmental impact.
  • A new effort to address the specific manufacturing needs of the fluid power industry has begun. This effort will seek to leverage several key manufacturing technologies to improve the production and performance of fluid power components and systems.

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