The upcoming International Fluid Power Expo this March 6-11 in Las Vegas is a mega-tradeshow showcasing all the newest and best of the fluid power industry. There will be more than 400 exhibitors on hand, with various educational events all week long. It is held in conjunction with the CONEXPO-CON/AGG, which is an epic show in its own right. If you are involved in fluid power on any level, you must absolutely attend this event, which is held only every three years. Here are my Top 5 reasons to attend.
5. It’s in Las Vegas. How often do you get the opportunity to have fun at a trade show event (I mean, really have fun … anyone can get drunk in a hotel bar at a local show)? I can tell you how often—every three years.
Las Vegas is an absolute blast, and if you can expense part of the fun, you have nothing to lose. The food, the shows, the casinos and the people watching don’t get any better than this. Yes, the hotel prices are astronomical over this week in March, but it’s worth every penny. No other place lets you do so much in so little time, because take it from someone who’s been to both New York and Vegas, this is the real town that never sleeps.
4. To keep up on the latest technology in your industry. Exhibitors are primarily world-players in the fluid power industry. They bring their newest technology to the show, trying to one-up each other to remain competitive in an evolving world of machinery.
Will additive manufacturing take a foot hold in fluid power? What can the latest energy efficient pump designs do to improve the performance of your machine? What does Industry 4.0 have to offer your manufacturing plant? There are answers to all these questions at the show, and also the answers to questions you never knew you had.
3. You can find new business alliances. Everyone is displaying at this shows for one reason; to grow revenue. They want people like you to buy their wares or sell it for them. If you are a distributor, you will see what others are selling to help decide what direction you need to take. If you are a manufacturer, you can see what holes need filling in your product line.
Not only can you learn what direction you should take your own manufacturing or distribution company, you can partner with international suppliers not yet popular in North America. That new cylinder manufacturer you find at Booth XYZ could be that new product line you’ve been looking for. If you’re a cylinder manufacturer, you will discover all the top brass at the continent’s premiere fluid power distributors. It’s a win-win event for manufacturers and distributors alike.
2. Educational opportunities. Believe it or not, there are some solid courses being held. There are four choices of four-hour courses in hydraulics. On Monday the 6th, there is the Fundamentals of Hydraulic Systems. You can add to that Hydraulic Fluid Properties, Efficiency and Contamination Control, which is offered on the same day as the latter.
On the second day, the morning offering is Hydraulic System Design Strategies for Mobile Applications. Rounding out the list is Electro-Hydraulic, System Design and Control held on the Tuesday afternoon. You can take any one course, or all four.
Offered from Wednesday through Friday is the Energy Efficient Hydraulics and Pneumatics Conference, which is a series of presentations and keynotes regarding the efficient use of energy in fluid power systems. There are over twenty topics covered, providing you insight from robotics to plant design.
1. I’ll be there! The NFPA is hosting the World Fluid Power Summit, in which fluid power industry leaders will meet to discuss economics, standardization and education. I’ll be representing Canada and the Canadian Fluid Power Association. I’ll be there discussing market trends along with delegates from Australia, China, Europe, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Taiwan, Turkey, United Kingdom, and of course, The United States.
This event takes place only once every three years, so I’m honored to be a part. It takes place Thursday, March 9, in the afternoon, but is a closed event. However, keep an eye out for my big, goofy grin elsewhere at the show as I visit with colleagues, presenters and exhibitors around the entire convention center over Thursday and Friday.
–By Josh Cosford