Dave Price Q&A

IFPE Chairman: “Unique” Event Offers a Wealth of Knowledge

Feb. 6, 2020
David Price of HydraForce talks about how the show can help industry address the future.

As chairman of IFPE 2020, David Price, global marketing manager of HydraForce Inc., has been leading the show’s management committee and industry volunteers in planning this year’s event.

“David has been an active and enthusiastic participant in IFPE planning and contributed greatly to the show’s success,” said John Rozum, IFPE show director.

Price began his career serving nine years in the United States Navy where he held numerous positions in the electronics systems management and training fields. He joined HydraForce in 2008 and has been instrumental in growing its brand image around the world. Price has served on past IFPE management committees as well as chairing its marketing committee.

Price discussed this year’s show and its array of opportunities with Hydraulics & Pneumatics:

H&P: It’s been three years since the fluid power industry gathered for IFPE. What’s the biggest change in the industry since then?

Price: The amount of change that has occurred over the last three years cannot be overstated. Machines developed for today’s markets need to be the perfect blend of efficient and productive in order to remain competitive in today’s market.

Dovetailing from the Tier IV engine initiative, machine manufacturers today are trying everything possible to ensure their machines meet and exceed regulatory requirements for machinery efficiency while reducing their emissions. Machines now more than ever must carefully balance hp requirements with appropriate engine size and the correct and most-efficient machine controls.

The major changes I see are that there has been major advancement and adoption of autonomous vehicles as well as additional advancements in the realm of electrification. The adoption of the hybrid powertrain is something that has become more prevalent over the last three years. Electrification of low-hp, intermediate-use machine functions have also seen a shift from hydraulics to motion control devices such as electric motors and linear actuators. These changes are measured and limited at this point, but they’re visible. It’s tough to beat the compact, power-dense performance of hydraulic controls for most machine functions, but I expect continued use of electrical devices where it makes sense.

The other major changes I’ve seen are in the form of financial challenges, primarily in the form of tariffs and trade barriers that were not present three years ago. Now, more than ever, component manufacturers need a smart sourcing approach in order to stay competitive. This makes a show like IFPE even more beneficial as OEMs and component manufacturers alike can peruse the entire world’s market of fluid power and motional control components under one roof.

H&P: What are some of the key challenges HydraForce has faced in the last three years?

Price: Tariffs have had a major impact in that there are huge opportunity/manpower costs associated with the effective management and mitigation of tariffs. Things appear to be taking a positive turn over the past couple of weeks and I hope we can all return to business as usual in the short term.

H&P: As management committee chairman for this show, you’ve gotten to see this event emerge from the ground up. What new attractions should industry veterans expect from this year’s event?

Price: I have served on the board over the last eight years and am fortunate to chair the 2020 show. There is such a concerted effort behind the scenes to ensure that every single show is better. It’s impressive to see things unfold and to see the thought and hard work that the AEM and NFPA put into this.

Every single IFPE I have been involved in has been better than the last. This year’s show is no different. Over 400 exhibitors will be onsite, showing off the latest technology for machinery control.

In addition, the award-winning TECH Experience promises to be one of the best places to witness and learn first-hand about the future state of construction sites, mobility, sustainable construction practice and infrastructure changes coming in the near future.

H&P: This is not just another trade show. What makes IFPE so special, both for NFPA and for individual companies?

Price: There really is something for everyone at this show. The improved education programs, the future technology focus and the forums come to mind. This show has really matured into a thought leader in terms of what is important for our industry.

Being the largest, singularly focused show in our space, coupled with the excellent co-location puts this show in a unique position to provide solutions for the OEM and industrial market making fluid power and motion control decisions for their present and future machinery.

H&P: How will the 2020 event prepare the fluid power industry for the future? And what does that future look like from your perspective?

Price: The unique combination of educational opportunities, the quantity and type of vendors, and the unique co-location of the IFPE show make it the ideal place to learn about the state of our industry. There is no better place in NA or internationally to witness the latest that our industry has to offer.

The wealth of networking and educational experiences is truly unmatched in our industry and both the AEM and the NFPA have done everything in their power to ensure that every type of visitor can add value to their careers and organizations by attending this show.

This show offers a great chance for visitors to see the best practices and components of the present day and provide a unique glimpse into the future of our industry. There is nothing else like it, and it is not to be missed.

About the Author

Bob Vavra | Senior Content Director, Power & Motion and Machine Design

Bob Vavra is the Senior Content Director of Power & Motion and its sister publication Machine Design. Vavra has had a long career in publishing, media and events. He has covered all aspects of manufacturing for the past 20 years and is a regular attendee at events such as IMTS and Hannover Messe. Vavra is also a sought-after webcast moderator and event emcee, and has presided over events in the U.S., Germany and China. 

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