By Eric Lanke, NFPA CEO
NFPA first published a Technology Roadmap for the Fluid Power Industry in 2009. The purpose of this Roadmap is to provide NFPA member companies and their research partners with an industry-wide consensus regarding the research and development needs of the fluid power industry. Since its publication in 2009, and a subsequent update in 2012, the Roadmap has been used by the NFPA Education and Technology Foundation and the Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power (CCEFP) to guide their respective research efforts, by NFPA to guide its standards development work, and by numerous members to inform decisions about research partnerships and product development.
In 2015, NFPA will embark on two roadmapping projects:
• A second update to the existing Technology Roadmap—focused on improvements to the design and functioning of fluid power components and systems.
• A new fluid power manufacturing roadmap—focused on improvements to the manufacture of fluid power components and systems, and resulting improvements to the manufacturing sector served by fluid power technology.
On February 24, an introductory conference call was held to launch the effort and inform potential participants of the project’s intended objectives and outcomes. The manufacturing roadmap will seek to describe how new manufacturing technologies can be used to improve the manufacture of fluid power components and systems, and how those improved components and systems can be used to improve the competitiveness of fluid power’s industrial end market customers. To help create such a map, the process will be designed to identify the specific needs the industrial end market customers have of their fluid power suppliers, as well as the needs fluid power manufacturers have for new manufacturing technologies.
As one of its primary outcomes, the Fluid Power Manufacturing Roadmap will then identify the key challenges for fluid power products to deliver increased competitiveness to industrial end markets, and the key technologies that can improve the manufacture of fluid power products.
A wide industry coalition of end market customers, distributors, fluid power manufacturers, suppliers and manufacturing technology experts is currently being assembled to participate in the facilitated process that will create the manufacturing roadmap. Plans are currently underway to schedule and organize two, two-day sessions in the summer of 2015 to complete the roadmap.
Filed Under: Fluid Power World Magazine Articles