Fluid Power Talk
IFPE

Courtesy of Vegas Issues

4 Experiences I Am Most Excited about at IFPE (If I Had to Choose)

The International Fluid Power Expo will take place March 7-11 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. (Courtesy of Vegas Issues)
 
Besides my eagerness to witness the glitz of Las Vegas for the very first time, (none of my friends have had their bachelorette parties yet–imagine that!) I can't wait to see some of the sights that will be on display at the International Fluid Power Exposition in the Las Vegas Convention Center. IFPE wil begin on March 7, with college-level courses beginning at 8 a.m. on Monday, March 6. See you there!
 

1. Back to School

Pictured is an accurate depiction of me in an 8:00 a.m. college course. But early is when the learning happens!
On Monday, March 6, the day before the show, I'll be heading to the convention center to go "back to school". I will be taking notes for a college-level course called "The Fundamentals of Electrohydraulic Systems" taught by Dr. Medhat Khalil, director of professional education, Milwaukee School of Engineering. Dr. Khalil is the chair of the 2017 IFPE Education Course Committee, and just recently released Volume 2 of his textbook, Introduction to Hydraulics for Industry Professionals. The course will offer the basics on how to design safe fluid power systems, along with every day basics of hydraulic and pneumatic circuits and components. To register for this course and others on the following days of the show, go to www.ifpe.com/visit/education. College level courses will be located at Westgate-Pavillion 6; they will span 4 hours. 
 
In addition, the Energy Efficient Hydraulics and Pneumatics Conference (EEHPC) will begin on Wednesday, March 8th. I hope to find the time to attend courses like Using Electronics to Improve Efficiency and Productivity (Hydraulics) to understand how systems can become more efficient using technologies available today. The courses will touch on electronics and programming so that fluid power professionals can know what skills are important as the industry evolves toward smart and continuously monitored systems. These courses will be located in South Hall 3 at rooms S233 and S232. 

2. 3D Printed Excavator

The 3D printed excavator will feature a carbon fiber cab designed by a student team at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, and printed at the Oak Ridge National Labs. It will also showcase a 3D-printed heat exchanger from the University of Minnesota. While I am exited to walk around the show to see the large mobile machinery, and inquire about the hydraulic systems that drive them, I am especially looking forward to seeing the 3D printed excavator, which will be operated at the New Tech Experience. As capabilities in 3D printing become more advanced, 3D printed metal parts are likely to appear in more heavy-duty machinery within the next several years. It will be interesting to hear about the design challenges and processes to create the excavator's 3D printed heat exchanger, and realize the benefits of a printed carbon fiber cab.  

3. Fluid Power Experts' Q&A (includes conversations en Español)

Finally, I look forward to picking the brains of our fluid power experts, Brendan Casey, Bob Sheath, and Carlos Sorazono, all of whom will be at our booth (#S80156) to answer any questions about the pulse of the industry, troubleshooting, and other topics. Hydraulics & Pneumatics will host an ice cream social on Wednesday from 1:00 until 3:00, so make sure to stop by! 

4. Putting faces to Names

In addition to these three experts, I can't wait to finally meet the people that I have written about or communicated with in the fluid power industry throughout my career as an author for Hydraulics & Pneumatics. Please stop by our booth #S80156, or look for me (I will be wearing a shirt with our logo on it!) to chat. 
 
 
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