The International Fluid Power Conference (IFK) is widely considered one of the world’s pre-eminent meetings for engineers, academics and researchers. Held every two years in Germany, IFK focuses on new innovations and industry trends involving hydraulics, pneumatics and motion control technology. It also delves into timely related subjects like additive manufacturing, IIoT, artificial intelligence and autonomous systems. The conference, scheduled for October 12-14, attracts speakers and attendees from around the world.
For fluid power engineers, manufacturers and users based in the North America, there may never be a better opportunity to attend, as this year’s 12th IFK will be completely online due to Covid-19.
Instead of facing the expense and hassle involving long flights, hotels and transportation, the IFK will be an entirely virtual event with a significantly reduced admission fee. All presentations will be in English and recorded for viewing on-demand.
According to the organizers, attendees will experience an interactive conference on an online, multi-room platform. Presentations will be given live, followed by a moderated Q&A dialog. An Individual Speakers Corner for every session with public video stream will permit further topic-specific discussions. And breakout rooms will be available for private, one-on-one video chats. Presentation videos will be available on demand for four weeks.
The first day IFK Symposium tends to focus on research findings and cutting-edge concepts. Topics include advances involving engineered materials, fluids and components like pumps and valves; additive manufacturing developments specifically targeted at fluid power systems; and novel systems, such as actuators with energy recuperation capabilities. Forward-looking applications will also be presented, such as biped walking robots, mobile intelligent steering and autonomous control, and hydraulic-electric drives for off-road machines.
The next two days comprise the Conference, which opens with two keynote lectures, “Digital mobile machines — from cloud down to earth” by Prof. Jürgen Weber of Technical University Dresden, the IFK host, and “Industrial hydraulics: Now – Next – Beyond” by Steffen Haack and Mark Krieg of Bosch Rexroth.
They are followed by more than 100 technical sessions encompassing areas such as industrial applications, digital systems, novel displacement machines, component advances, predictive maintenance, electrohydraulic actuators, and safety and reliability.
A snapshot of the wide-ranging presentations include:
• Cyber-physical fluid power system architectures.
• Digital-displacement pumps and energy efficiency advances.
• 3D printing of servo-hydraulic actuators.
• Miniature hydraulics for mechatronic prosthetic limbs.
• How MEMS sensors can create smart hydraulic components.
• ZF’s view of how future drivetrains will impact compact and medium-size wheel loaders.
• The road to emission reductions via hydraulic hybrids.
Pneumatics-focused presentations kick off with “Pneumatics and Industry 4.0 — opportunity or contradiction?” by Peter Post of Festo. Other topics of interest include energy-efficient vacuum handling systems based on biomimetic principles; and smart pneumatic “muscles” for soft robots.
Also of note is a talk on novel system architectures titled, “Efficiency that borders on the impossible,” by Walter List of Weber Hydraulik.
In addition to the conference, a number of companies will offer digital exhibition stands showing product information, brochures, videos, presentations and the opportunity for virtual meetings.
As traditionally one of the most important meeting places in the field of fluid power, the IFK is a global forum where users, manufacturers and researchers help shape the drive systems of the future. This year, it is also more accessible due to lower costs.
Further information, program specifics and contact details can be found at www.ifk2020.com.
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