Electrification is a buzzword throughout most industries now and is a common topic being discussed at conferences, events, and board rooms. While many businesses and industries have already embraced electrification, others are still working to understand the impacts, opportunities, and decision points to make. To add further confusion, electrification means many different things and is a broad term encompassing all types of ideas, products, movements, efforts, and industries. This confusion hinders the ability of an industry or company to digest and fully understand what is going on and how to react within the context of their business strategy.
As part of its mission to strengthen the fluid power industry, and as a key initiative within its objective of providing effective fluid power forums where its members, OEMs, and related technology partners can connect and advance their collective interests, the National Fluid Power Association (NFPA) launched an Electrification in Fluid Power Task Force in September 2022 with the following objectives:
1. Explore myths, trends, and buzzwords that have arisen in the space and that have caused confusion.
2. Define electrification within the fluid power industry.
3. Outline the electrification architectures that are commonly applied in the mobile and industrial markets served by fluid power.
4. Define and compare important metrics related to the use of electro-mechanical and electro-hydraulic actuation solutions in these architectures in order to provide guidance on potential applications and technology break points.
5. Describe potential changes in market size among mobile and industrial markets served by fluid power as a result of the likely pace of electrified system adoption.
6. Describe the product categories within fluid power that are most likely to be affected by those market changes.
7. Explore strategies for effectively marketing fluid power solutions in this evolving space.
The Task Force met multiple times to discuss these objectives, share information and resources, and develop a set of responses and recommendations.
The report and work of the Task Force has now been included in the process for refreshing the NFPA Technology Roadmap, a document that describes the evolving needs of companies in fluid power’s many customer markets, the degree to which fluid power is capable of meeting those needs, and the R&D objectives that will help fluid power meet or better meet those needs in the future.
The process for refreshing the Roadmap is overseen by the NFPA Roadmap Committee, a forum of fluid power suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, OEMs, and other technology partners with an interest in shaping the future of fluid power technology. For information on how to get engaged in the Committee and its process, contact Eric Lanke, NFPA President/CEO, at firstname.lastname@example.org.