Fluid Power Technology Conference returns to Milwaukee


Fluid Power Technology Conference Milwaukee-at-nightThe Fluid Power Technology Conference, presented by Fluid Power World, will once again be held at the Milwaukee School of Engineering’s Kern Center, on Tuesday and Wednesday, May 16 and 17, marking the return of this opportunity for experts and users to gather together at the one of the nation’s most innovative fluid power universities.

The event will be led by three keynote presentations over the two days, including sessions by Allen Carlson, of University of Florida, College of Engineering (and retired CEO of Sun Hydraulics); John Thornton, President of GS Global Resources; and Joseph P. Maher, Sales Manager – Americas, Electronic Components, Danfoss Power Solutions.

In addition, sessions will be offered from several key fluid power manufacturers, offering insight into specific technologies and applications. These sessions will give design engineers looks at up-and-coming technologies and industry updates, system design solutions, and more.

Finally, attendees will have an opportunity to choose between five technical sessions offered by faculty from the MSOE Fluid Power Institute (FPI) and Professional Education and Research Development (PERD), as well as Carl Dyke, founder of CD Industrial Group, and contributor to FPW. This schedule is current as of press time; for the most up-to-date version, visit fluidpowertechconference.com.

Tuesday, May 16

Registration — 7:30 a.m.

Main Stage


Allen Carlson, of University of Florida, College of Engineering (and retired CEO of Sun Hydraulics)

9:30-10:30 — Opening keynote: Building a winning engineering team for the coming decade—Presented by Allen Carlson, of University of Florida, College of Engineering (and retired CEO of Sun Hydraulics). In his presentation, Carlson will focus on the importance of technology, innovation and entrepreneurism as key drivers in today’s high tech, fast-paced economy. To accelerate this requires an education system that expands both capability and capacity. It also requires a pipeline of STEM talent coupled with business and leadership acumen.

Carlson will provide perspectives and thoughts on how to succeed at building a strong and sustainable technical work force. He will draw upon his own experience from working in the fluid power industry with assignments in engineering, marketing, operations and concluding as the CEO of Sun Hydraulics. He will also draw on his current initiative with the University of Florida’s Sarasota Innovation Station.

10:30 — Exhibition/Networking Break

11:00-11:45 — Six Reasons Your System Might Need a Smart Cylinder—Presented by Tony Cassassa, Application Engineer, Aggressive Hydraulics. The use of “Smart Cylinders,” or hydraulic cylinders with integral electronic linear sensors, is on the rise. The driving factors include the capabilities and reliability of machine control electronics and sensors, as well as increasingly demanding design goals due to competition, customer expectations and regulation. With examples from different industries, about six potential system improvements that are made possible by smart cylinders are presented.

12:00-1:00 — Exhibition/Luncheon

1:00-1:45 — Improving the Reliability of Hydraulic Cylinder Position Sensors—Presented by Chris Heberlein of Balluff. Magnetostrictive linear position sensors are the dominant technology for hydraulic cylinder position feedback. They are preferred over alternatives due to their high accuracy, wide variety of electrical interfaces, signal stability across temperature variation, wear-free operation, and tolerance of shock and vibration. This makes them popular in a wide range of industrial hydraulic applications for smart cylinders and servo-hydraulic systems.

Despite the inherent ruggedness of the sensors, highly demanding industrial applications exist that push and sometimes exceed the limits of survivability for standard product offerings. Compromised life expectancy can result in premature sensor failure and/or preventive maintenance intervals that are shorter than desired.

Best practices for installation and mounting can help alleviate exposure to the most damaging effects of harsh application environments. Heberlein will discuss common industrial application challenges and propose potential solutions that can enhance sensor reliability and extend life expectancy.

Fluid Power Technology Conference session

Attendees will have an opportunity to sit on more than 20 technical sessions, including three keynote presentations.

1:45-2:30 — Electro-Hydraulics Troubleshooting for Motion and Force Control — Presented by Carl Dyke, CD Industrial Group. Proportional valves, servovalves and fine motion control systems offer challenges to the maintainer and troubleshooter. Many proportional valves are used for systems with little to no motion at all. These force control systems come with their own unique challenges. The emphasis will be on understanding the internal workings and normal operating characteristics of complex valves, making system adjustments and maintenance checks for proper operation, and also troubleshooting tips.

2:30-3:00 — Exhibition/Networking Break

3:00-3:45 — Creating a more precise model with co-simulation—Presented by Céline Cabana of FD-GROUPS America, North American subsidiary of FLUIDESIGN Group. FLUIDESIGN recently performed a dynamic simulation study on a multi-purpose gantry hydraulic system. The results indicated a gap between the virtual prototype and the actual machine. While in operation, torsion in the structure affected the hydraulic system’s performance. To close this gap, the company used a methodology integrating the deformation of the static parts with the dynamics of the vehicle in a study of a new articulated boom lift. The co-simulation allows for the understanding of the interaction between the two physics that govern the boom behavior and the impact on the hydraulic system. Attendees will learn the many benefits of using co-simulation, including the ability to foresee the future perspectives of using this type of methodology.

3:45-4:15 — You Can’t Paint on Reliability; Design For Reliability (DFR) in Fluid Power Applications—Presented by Tim Kerrigan, Assistant Director Fluid Power Institute FPI and Joe Munski, Fluid Power Test Engineer, FPI. This presentation focuses on the technique of applying the Design For Reliability (DFR) methods to fluid power applications. Processes like Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA), Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM), and Reliability Availability Maintainability (RAM) analysis will be addressed and shown how they can be applied to the design process of fluid power applications to ensure reliability. In addition, these processes can be applied to existing designs and systems to improve reliability and production.

5:00 — Cocktail hour and networking

Breakout Stage

11:00-11:45 — Learning Fluid Power Schematic Reading by Osmosis— Presented by Carl Dyke, CD Industrial Group. Schematic reading can be a joy or perhaps just a necessary task but can be a source of frustration to fluid power professionals and many technicians. Like learning any foreign language it helps to have a few aids and tricks. Dyke will draw on his 18 years teaching schematic reading and will share the learning methods and tools that he and his team have created to make schematic reading easier and more intuitive.

1:00-1:45 — Proper Hydraulic Line Sizing for Pressure Drop – Laminar and Turbulent Flow Considerations— Presented by Tim Kerrigan, FPI. This presentation will address the old rule of thumb for line sizing hydraulic plumbing that the maximum recommended pump suction line velocity is 4 ft/sec and pump discharge line velocity is 20 ft/sec. What is the real effect on pressure drop? What is the effect on power loss? What is the effect on system dynamics?

3:00-3:45 — Math Modeling Hydraulic Transmission Lines in a System— Presented by Dr. Medhat Khalil, Director of PERD. This presentation focuses on modeling hydraulic transmission lines in a system. The Lump-Parameter model the determines the resistance, inertia, and capacitance effects on the dynamic transients in a hydraulic transmission line. These models may have significant effects on having accurate results of a hydraulic system model.

3:45-4:30 — Pneumatics Challenges in the Great Outdoors—Presented by Carl Dyke, CD Industrial Group. Pneumatic principles, component design and system functions will be the foundation for a sometimes humorous look at the challenges Dyke faced adapting his early experiences with sawmill pneumatics to design pneumatic powered driver training aids for teaching collision avoidance.

Wednesday, May 17

8:30 a.m.— Networking Breakfast

Main Stage


John Thornton, President GS Global Resources

9:00-9:45 — Keynote presentation: What role will system integrators play in the future of fluid power?—Presented by John Thornton, President of GS Global Resources. Thornton will discuss whether the line card is dead, taking a look at how adding value to a client relationship is a matter of perspective and more important than a product line. He will draw on GSGR’s own journey to lasting value. GSGR not only survived the “Great Recession,” but came out stronger than ever, having doubled in size since. Thornton will discuss how the importance of developing new products and bringing new application solutions to market has been a key driver of this growth, and will offer insight into how others can tap into this potential.

In addition, he will discuss the importance of having a team that is capable of easily helping OEMs interpret, adapt and adopt technology at the intersection of fluid power and electronic control.

10:00 — Exhibition/Networking Break

10:30-11:15 — Enhancing Productivity—Extending Cylinder Life and Reducing Cylinder Maintenance Cycles—Presented by Peter Frymark, engineering team leader and Douglas Lacina, Global Marketing and Engineering Leader for Milwaukee Cylinder. Downtime, whether planned or unplanned can be costly. What if downtime related to cylinder use could be reduced? Cylinder life and maintenance cycles are a factor of many issues—operation, environment, and design. This topic will explore various opportunities to increase the life and reduce the maintenance cycle of a cylinder, with a focus on specific design and instrumentation possibilities. The company will also be introducing its new in-cylinder temperature monitoring.

11:15-12:15 — Exhibition/Luncheon

The Fluid Power Technology Conference will be held at MSOE's Kern Center.

The Fluid Power Technology Conference will be held at MSOE’s Kern Center.

12:15-1:00 — Mobile Hydraulics Troubleshooting – Tales (and photos) from the Crypt— Presented by Carl Dyke, CD Industrial Group. In this presentation, participants will follow along on a series of real investigations by CD Industrial Group into malfunctioning mobile hydraulic systems. The symptoms of trouble that first became evident, the process of finding the root cause and the components that finally failed will be discussed and shown. The case studies will come from mining, agriculture, construction and logistics/handling and will feature components from simple check valves to spool valves and cylinders.

1:00-1:45 — How can pressure intensifiers simplify and reduce costs in hydraulic systems?—Presented Bernd “Ben” Hunger, IC Fluid Power. In this session, attendees will first learn how pressure intensifiers can be used in hydraulic systems, and how these devices can simplify and reduce cost when used in HPUs. Pressure hydraulic intensifiers transform hydraulic power at lower pressure into a reduced volume at higher pressure. In addition, attendees will learn how to correctly size and specify pressure intensifiers as well as the different types of mounting options for pressure intensifiers.

1:45-2:15 — Exhibition/Networking Break

2:15-3:00 — Importance of Contamination Control in Hydraulic Systems—Presented by Tom Wanke, CFPE Director of the FPI. Experts agree that 70 to 80% of all hydraulic system failures are a result of contaminants circulating within the hydraulic system. This presentation will cover the types, sources and effects of contaminants on hydraulic components and systems. Methods and technologies will be discussed that eliminate, reduce and/or control contamination levels for improving hydraulic system reliability.

3:00-3:45 — Identifying Safety Issues in the Fluid Power Industry—Presented by Andrew Wasielewski, President, CEJN North America. Safety within the work place is a hot topic and a focus for all companies. The fluid power industry is no exception to workplace injuries. Situations resulting in personal injury or death can be catastrophic for any company including reputation, financial impact and legal consequences. Identifying and implementing safety precautions should be at the top of the list for any company.
CEJN, being a safety, quality and performance-driven manufacturer, will present ideas in identifying some common safety issues that could be seen across all fluid power industries whether it is pneumatic, hydraulic, or fluid transfer.

Joseph P Maher

Joseph P Maher, Sales Manager – Americas, Electronic Components, Danfoss Power Solutions

3:45-4:30 — Closing Keynote: Connected components: The intersection of fluid power and the IoT—Presented by Joseph Maher, Sales Manager – Americas, Electronic Components, Danfoss Power Solutions. Everyone has heard about “Telematics” and the “Internet of Things.” But how does that apply to Fluid Power and original equipment control systems? How can this technology be leveraged to generate meaningful insights from machine data, and what value is it to me and my customers? This session will present a high-level view of use cases, practical applications, and how the technology can improve both OEM and end user profitability.

Breakout Stage

10:30-11:15 — Test and Evaluation Methodology— Presented Joe Munski, Fluid Power Test Engineer, FPI. When engineering tests are necessary to validate engineering design, what is the best test methodology to apply? Is the test repeatable? Will the data and results be sufficient to make a decision? Is the test cost effective? Objective oriented Test and Evaluation is necessary for objective evaluation of a product and have it accomplished in a cost- and time-sensitive manner.

2:15-3:00 — Load Sense Hydraulics for the Maintainer/Troubleshooter—Presented by Carl Dyke, CD Industrial Group. A colorful exploration of the internal workings of a typical load sense system awaits as Carl shares 2D and 3D simulations. His team’s experiences with what goes wrong in the winter cold and the summer heat—along with the challenges technicians face to understand and adjust these not-so-basic systems will provide the human story.

Finally, special thanks to all sponsors, including the following:

Host University:

  • Milwaukee School of Engineering

Gold Sponsors:

  • Aggressive Hydraulics
  • Balluff
  • CEJN
  • Famic Technologies Inc.
  • FD Groups America
  • HBC Radiomatic
  • IC Fluid Power
  • Nimco Hydraulic Systems
  • Milwaukee Cylinder
  • Price Engineering
  • Ritter Technology LLC
  • Thomas-Magnete
  • Webtec

Program Sponsors:

  • Dura Bar
  • OEM Controls
  • Servo Kinetics
  • UltraClean Technologies Corp.

Media & Industry Sponsors:

  • Design World
  • Fluid Power World
  • International Fluid Power Society
  • OEM Off-Highway

To register for the Fluid Power Technology Conference and for the latest schedule updates, visit fluidpowertechconference.com.

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