An additional report was also published this year by the Fluid Power Advanced Manufacturing Consortium (FPAMC). That report, and the FPAMC, represents a roadmapping effort, led by the CCEFP and funded by a federal grant from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), to define a set of enabling manufacturing technologies and the research necessary to better apply those technologies to the manufacture of fluid power components.
Those enabling manufacturing technologies are:
- Composites and engineering plastics
- Sintered metals
- Additive manufacturing
- Batch free heat treating
- Hybrid manufacturing
- In-process sensing, feedback and control
These two documents describe the pre-competitive research needs of the fluid power industry, and are used to guide the selection of the research projects that will engage academic faculty and graduate students in fluid power technology.
The U.S. Department of Energy has published a study estimating the total amount of energy consumed by fluid power systems in the United States. NFPA participated in the study and uses it to help frame new technology development initiatives for the industry.
In 2014, NFPA launched the NFPA Roadmap Committee, a permanent volunteer structure tasked with developing, maintaining, and supplementing the NFPA Technology Roadmap, the industry consensus-based document which identifies the areas of pre-competitive research needed to increase fluid power’s competitive position in the marketplace, open up new markets for fluid power, and attract the best and brightest students to the field.
The Committee’s first report was published in August 2015, and it is an update to the task force report published in January 2013, reviewing and updating a pre-competitive research agenda for the fluid power industry. Because many of the challenges to be addressed in this agenda deal with the design and function of fluid power components and systems, this report has been titled the 2015 NFPA Technology Roadmap: Improving the Design and Function of Fluid Power Components and Systems.
In completing this work, the Roadmap Committee utilized many of the same processes and objectives identified by the 2012 task force, including the use of end market customer perspectives and drivers, the definition of pre-competitive research, the incorporation of CCEFP research successes and progress, and the inclusion of market education and standardization recommendations.
In 2012, NFPA convened a task force of industry representatives to review and update the Technology Roadmap for the Fluid Power Industry. Their report, A Pre-Competitive Research Agenda for the Fluid Power Industry, was published in January 2013, and addressed several shortcomings of the original Roadmap. The updated report:
- Expanded the use of end market customer perspectives and drivers in determining the fluid power research challenges to be met and objectives to be achieved.
- Defined “pre-competitive” for the purposes of the report and NFPA’s future use. The report’s research agenda is targeted in areas that are broad enough that they are unlikely to be pursued by individual companies for competitive advantage, but targeted enough that they are likely to result in technological advancements that can assist wide industry sectors.
- Reviewed and incorporated the research successes and progress of the CCEFP in the identification of future research objectives.
- Made specific recommendations for supporting market education and standardization efforts that will complement and help advance the research agenda.