There’s still time to make plans to attend IFPE 2017, set for March 7-11 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. IFPE is co-owned by the National Fluid Power Association and AEM.
In an interview, Eric Lanke, president/CEO of the National Fluid Power Association, talks about the 2017 show, who should attend and why.
- In general, what new areas of product development do you expect to see at this year’s IFPE compared to when the show was last held in 2014?
One of the most important technology trends going forward is the growing use of sensors with software, to both improve control of hydraulics and to transmit data via the internet in real-time. That data can be used to monitor performance and maintenance needs, develop predictive information to reduce downtime, and improve product development going forward. We expect you will see variants of this on the IFPE show floor.
Also, outside the hall, in the Tech Experience, look for the fluid power-related features of AME, the Additive Manufactured Excavator. The excavator will include a stick printed from welded metal, with all of the fluid flow passages embedded within the structure, as well as a heat exchanger printed in aluminum. AME visitors will get a glimpse into the future to see how additive manufacturing may transform not only manufacturing processes, but also product and system design and configuration.
- What are the advantages of attending IFPE as a team (president/CEO, purchasing/supply chain and engineering/design) versus sending individual company representatives?
The people on your team have differing responsibilities, and as a result approach exhibits and conversations from differing perspectives. By sending the team, you cover more ground, have more valuable conversations, and the information gathered is more relevant to each responsibility area, rather than filtered through a single perspective with the inevitable information loss when communicated. Make the most of IFPE by developing a plan as a team in advance, and making sure all parties participate in a debriefing after to share what they’ve learned.
- Of course there will be a lot of great new products on display at IFPE, but there will also be some outstanding educational opportunities. Why should attendees take the time to attend education sessions?
The education program at IFPE 2017 focuses on providing information on the latest advances in the design and manufacturing process. The IFPE educational sessions are college-level offerings, taught by leading experts in the field. Bringing these sessions together at IFPE offers enormous value that should not be missed, and is yet another reason to make sure your entire team attends IFPE. Your team can build upon their knowledge of fluid power control, system design, safety, performance, efficiency…and then walk out on the exhibit floor and converse with fluid power exhibitors about how their products and systems incorporate the principles taught in these sessions. What better way to assess the capabilities of companies you may do business with?
IFPE is co-located with CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2017, the largest international gathering place for the construction industries. For more information, visit www.ifpe.com.