A lot will be happening in Las Vegas next month during IFPE 2005. To deal yourself a winning hand, check out our complete coverage. The National Fluid Power Association (NFPA) announced that its IFPE 2005 event, to be held March 15 through 19 in Las Vegas, is its biggest ever. Three years ago, NFPA teamed up with the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) for the first time to hold IFPE in conjunction with Con-Expo, the largest construction industry show in the U. S. Since then, the economy bottomed out, but more recently has lived up to predictions of steady recovery. And the winning hand dealt to IFPE 2005 seems to indicate that this recovery has become reality. Show management attributes the positive numbers to an improved economy coupled with a demand to replace aging fleets.
If you haven't already registered for IFPE 2005, plan to arrive early to avoid waiting in line for on-site registration.
Originally launched as the International Fluid Power Exhibition, IFPE became known as IFPE — International Exposition for Power Transmission when NFPA joined forces with AEM for the first cooperative event in 2002. The broader positioning of IFPE was intended as a means of catering to all forms of power transmission (including electrical and mechanical) and control rather than focusing on hydraulics and pneumatics technologies.
IFPE 2005 already has booked more than 110,000 net square feet of exhibit space as of early February, topping the 2002 event by more than 15,000 square feet. The combined events will again be held at the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC), where they consumed more than 1.8 million net square feet of exhibit space in 2002, and drew an audited attendance of more than 108,770. This year's event promises to draw even more people, so if you haven't made arrangements for accommodations, you'll find it difficult to get a room anywhere near the LVCC.
A wealth of fluid power info
In addition to touring roughly 400 exhibits, visitors to IFPE 2005 will be able to increase their knowledge at either of two technical events.
First, visitors can attend the National Conference of Fluid Power. This year's conference features 98 presentations with speakers representing 44 companies, 21 universities, and 15 countries. Last month's issue of Hydraulics & Pneumatics contains full descriptions of this comprehensive program, including dates, times, titles of papers, abstracts, and names of presenters. This information also appears on the IFPE 2005 website at www.ifpe.com. Best of all, admission is free with registration to IFPE or ConExpo.
Second, visitors can attend the Best Practices Learning Center, a series of three-part seminars titled: Fluid Power Basics; Electrohydraulics and Motion Control Strategies; and Reliability, Maintenance, and Troubleshooting for Mobile Hydraulic Systems. Registration for the Best Practices Learning Center is free with registration to IFPE or ConExpo.
Sessions of the Best Practices Learning Center will be held on the IFPE exhibit floor, booth S14349 in the south hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center. All sessions will be conducted by educators from the Milwaukee School of Engineering.
Both educational events will be held all day March 16-18, the second, third, and fourth days of IFPE.
See the Hydristor in action at the H&P booth — S14643
We first introduced readers to the Hydristor in our June 2004 issue and provided in-depth coverage in the July 2004 issue. What is the Hydristor? It's a new design of variable-displacement, balanced-vane pump/motor. What sets the Hydristor apart is that it nearly does away with the sliding motion between vanes and side plates and the main housing inherent to conventional vane designs. This sliding motion is the chief limitation of vane pumps and motors.
The Hydristor was invented by Tom Kasmer, who came up with the term as a combination of hydraulic and transistor. Combining two patented Hydristor elements produces a hydrostatic transmission with infinitely variable output.
Kasmer installed one of his first prototypes into a John Deere garden tractor. He plans to display the tractor at the H&P booth. What's more, he has replaced the tractor's gasoline engine with an electric motor so visitors can manipulate controls and observe results. Of course, Kasmer will be on hand to discuss the Hydristor, answer questions, and cover design concepts.