Friday, September 23, 2016

The FPDA is doing well

After missing a few years, I had the privilege of attending the 2016 FPDA/ISD Joint Industry Summit in beautiful Savanna.  For more information about FPDA visit their website.

I wasn't sure what to expect because I had been away from the event for a few years and I was very pleasantly surprised to find out the the FPDA is alive and well.  The meeting provided some networking opportunities along with interesting topics and speakers.  Again, visit the FPDA website for all of the details.

The leadership of the Board of Directors went from Tim Gillig of Livingston & Haven to Andrea Tysdale of JEM Technical.  Thanks to Tim for a year of leadership and best wishes to Andrea.

The keynote speaker who created a lot of positive buzz was Herb Meyer in a session titled What in the World is Going On?  A Global Intelligence Briefing for CEOs.  I missed the session but heard that it was memorable.  That was followed by the UID-in-a-Day Workshops, food, networking and much more.

Great job by all involved.

Friday, September 16, 2016

IMTS 2016

This week, the IMTS show is taking place at McCormick Place in Chicago, in fact, it wraps up tomorrow.  This year's event featured hundreds and hundreds of exhibits and over 110,000 attendees. There were several Pavillions and co-located events at McCormick Place too.

I can remember when only the East Building existed at McCormick on the shores of Lake Michigan. Now there are several show halls and IMTS took up every one of them!  Wow.  In fact, there are North, South, East, and West buildings all attached by sky bridges and the Grand Concourse.

The co-located shows include Industrial Automation, MDA, Surface Technology, Industrial Supply, ComVac, EDM, Controls & CAD/CAM, and Quality Assurance.  These were held in the good old East Building, that brown, big roof structure that I visited in the 1970s for the very first time.

There was an NFPA Pavillion at the show featuring exhibits from fluid power companies in the MDA portion of the event.  To get there, I had to take the Grand Concourse and the sky bridge.  What a beautiful place!

It has been a few years since I attended a show at McCormick and every time I go there, new construction seems to be sprouting up.  This time was no exception.  It looks like several new buildings are in the works.

For more information and updates on IMTS 2016, visit their website.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Our Content is Building

One of the challenges of launching a new website is getting the critical mass of content posted to that site to make it interesting and attractive to new viewers.  We are getting there with our new website Sealing & Contamination Control Tips.

We launched this website just this year to address matters of sealing and contamination in hydraulic and pneumatic systems.  As our content grows overall at Fluid Power World, our content involving sealing and contamination or filtration issues grows as well.

Now we have a place to host information specific to seals and filters.  It is more than that though.  This new website contains content about the components but also about system designs and materials used to effect better sealing and cleanliness in fluid power systems.

So, if your company has such content, send it to us for posting on our new website.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Is our iceberg melting?

Well first of all, no, I don't think so.  While we have been experiencing a difficult few years in fluid power, we are still a stable industry with applications across many markets with new innovations every year.  However, that was a good lead in to my discussion about the book "Our Iceberg is Melting" by John Kotter which I listened to this week.

This is a book about dealing with change and you can learn much more about Mr. Kotter's works on this subject by visiting his website.  

Our fluid power industry is always in a state of change and many companies have dealt with the changes very well while some have not.  There have been challenges from other technologies, from other countries, and from changes in the marketplace.

If you read or listened to this book, your company will probably benefit from the insights about dealing with change in business as portrayed there.  Give it a look.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

A new beginning

I never get tired of seeing a brand new issue of our magazine, Fluid Power World, for the first time.  Today was that day for our August issue.

This issue feature some very important information from our advertisers.  Every ad contains a message that is helpful to designers and maintenance people working with fluid power systems.  So, to gain and hold an advantage for your company's machinery both OEM and aftermarket, check out our issues regularly.

The main feature articles are: 

Industrial Hydraulics - How does water glycol fluid affect hydraulic seals?

Sensors - Using your senses to better understand your system

Pneumatics - Right-sized cylinders ensure performance and efficiency

Mobile Hydraulics - Pilot systems for mining shovels - also the cover story

If you are not yet subscribing to Fluid Power World and you find this lineup of articles to be interesting, then please visit our subscription page of our website to order your free subscription today.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

What does it all mean?

I heard a lot of economic news and evaluation this week specifically regarding the fluid power industry and all of the markets served.  I attended the 2016 Industry and Economic Outlook Conference presented by the National Fluid Power Association.  What are my key takeaways and what does it all mean?

Well, let's start with the key takeaways

2016 has been a fairly soft year for all of fluid power with some negatives in mining and oil & gas dragging things down

US Industrial Production is low but growing and should grow through 2018

There is a possibility for inflation down the road

Brexit has had minimal effect on the world economy

The U.S. has once again become a great place to manufacturing all types of goods, machinery, and materials

2017 could be a good year for mobile hydraulics

Mining has been very depressed but could be showing a turnaround

The Chinese economy remains a concern for global economics

The U.S. construction industry has a good upside in 2017

2008-11 was the golden age for China and a new normal has sunken in

Without volume, China has a difficult time being profitable

The agriculture sector continues to over perform

The automotive industry is supporting the ISM optimism index

A low in commodities has been established

Most of the global economy will stay stable through 2018

Those are some of the themes I heard during a day and a half of listening.  I may have missed or misinterpreted some of the points being made.  There was a theme presented though and that is what I am reporting

What does all of this mean?

Well, I am not an economist but my take is that the industrial world is not great but not terrible and should stay that way for the next two years with a slight slant toward the positive.

This is still a great time to advertise to promote your company's brand awareness.  Fluid Power World can help your company with that.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Tell us what is shaping the industry

The fluid power industry has long been a very stable and mature industry.  There have been many innovations that have kept hydraulic and pneumatic components very competitive with other motion and control components even though the technology remains very much the same year over year.

In the November issue of Fluid Power World, as I have written about recently, we are using the occasion of our company's tenth anniversary in business to give our customers the opportunity to convey to their customers through our media, the major changes and improvements that have taken place over the past 10 years.  Additionally, they are asked to share their vision for the next 10 years.

I hope that your company will consider taking part in this special issue.  Our audience would like to know what challenges your company and products have addressed over the past 10 years.  What innovations have helped to keep fluid power moving forward?  What vision does your company have for the coming years?

Let us know.