In its 12-page year-end report, the National Fluid Power Association highlights its accomplishments and high points from 2013, including its three-pronged strategy of focusing on a skilled workforce, matching technological advances, and encompassing all members in its inclusiveness mission.
As it moves to develop a skilled workforce, the NFPA highlights its work with the NFPA Foundation, which gave the Milwaukee School of Engineering a $100,000 grant to establish a new mechatronics/fluid power lab. In addition, it awarded five teaching grants of $5000 each to further fluid power education at Montana State University’s Automation Lab; Marquette University’s Fluid Power System and Control Module Development; Lawrence Technological University’s Senior Captstone Project: A Gantry Crane UItilizing Fluid Power; and Purdue University’s Continuously Variable Hydraulic Transmission for a Small Wind Power Drive Simulator. Finally, the report sums up the organization’s efforts during the Fluid Power Challenge for middle school students and the NFPA’s Regional Fluid Power Career Fair.
In the technological corner, the NFPA report promotes its work at IFPE, including the 2014 International Fluid Power Summit, a meeting of leaders from fluid power associations across the globe. In addition, it reviews its other industry-wide efforts, including the IFPE Fluid Power Zone at the Motion, Drives & Automation North America at IMTS; the 2013 Fluid Power Systems Conference; and the research of the Center for Compact & Efficient Fluid Power.
Finally, as it aims for inclusiveness within the organization, the report describes the diversity of its membership, which includes manufacturers, educators, service suppliers, distributors, product suppliers, and international representatives. It details the successes of a record-breaking Economic Outlook Conference, which attracted more than 319 attendees, and finally, reviews its market reports and development of new fluid power standards.
It’s been a busy year for the NFPA and a good one, too. As the industry works up to its biggest trade show in IFPE and then prepares for what many say might be a slight tightening in the market, organizations like the NFPA will continue to strengthen the hydraulic and pneumatic industry and keep it moving forward.