Fluid Power Industry Roadmap
Identifying Fluid Powers’s Pre-Competitive Research Needs
The NFPA Technology Roadmap describes an industry-wide consensus regarding the pre-competitive research and development needs associated with improving the design, manufacture, and function of fluid power components and systems.
The research and development agenda it describes is focused on advancements that will help the fluid power industry meet the future needs of its customers, expand into new markets, and attract the best and brightest students to the field.
It is used by the NFPA and the Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power (CCEFP) to guide their research efforts, by NFPA members and other industry partners to inform decisions about research partnerships and product development, and by academic, government, and other organizations that wish to pursue research and development projects of importance to the fluid power industry.
It is updated every two years under the guidance and leadership of the NFPA Roadmap Committee.
Current Technology Roadmap Update Process and Timeline
The 2017 NFPA Technology Roadmap identified seven areas of pre-competitive research challenge:
- Increasing the energy efficiency of fluid power components and systems
- Improving the reliability of fluid power components and systems (e.g., increasing up-time, reducing maintenance requirements, making fluid power safe and easy to use)
- Reducing the size and weight of fluid power components and systems while maintaining or increasing their power output
- Building “smart” fluid power components and systems (i.e., ones that perform self-diagnostics and troubleshooting and that integrate easily with “plug and play” functionality)
- Reducing the environmental impact of fluid power components and systems (e.g., lowering noise, eliminating leaks)
- Improving and applying the energy storage capabilities of fluid power components and systems
- Improving and widening the scope of applications for fast, accurate and cost effective fluid power control.
2017 FPAMC Manufacturing Roadmap
- An additional report was also published in 2017 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
U.S. Department of Energy Study on Energy Consumption of Fluid Power Systems
- 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.