Skip navigation

Fluid power, the right design choice

We at Hydraulics & Pneumatics obviously feel that fluid power is a great design choice for a wide variety of industrial and mobile machinery and equipment. From packaging and processing machines to metal working and forming machines, to harvesters and skid steers, fluid power gets it done. The reason I say obviously is that every month we write about unique as well as standard applications of fluid power technology.

In order to keep fluid power in the forefront of design, continuing education of all aspects of fluid power is critical. In fact, it would be great if fluid power were made a mandatory part of any mechanical engineering degree. With the help of industry leaders, designers, and buyers of fluid power components, as well as distributors, such an effort to make hydraulics and pneumatics more prominent in the curriculums of engineering colleges makes sense.

But what about having a fluid power degree added to the offerings of engineering colleges. I fully support this idea as a means for continuing the knowledge of existing hydraulic and pneumatic systems as well as making the kinds of advances that will make our technology more than competitive.

In fact, high school and even middle school kids need to be more aware of the wonders of fluid power as well as the practicality of the components and systems that make moving things work. Programs like the FIRST, and Project Lead the Way go a long way to helping our young people understand pneumatics and hydraulics.

We need even more awareness. Many of you may have seen the Modern Marvels episode on the History Channel on hydraulics that featured our own editor, Alan Hitchcox. That was great publicity for our technology and we need more of it.

In the meantime, we can all be ambassadors for fluid power simply by proudly telling our own success stories of fluid power application success. Every issue of our magazine includes such stories and we hope you find them both useful and interesting. In addition, we now offer educational webcasts and our new Fluid Power Conference & Expo as means for updating the education of fluid power users.

I would love to know your ideas on how we can continue to create more awareness of this awesome technology called fluid power. Please e-mail me or visit our Fluid Power Forums at We hope to hear from you soon.