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H&P Insights: Focus on Pneumatics, Cutting the Carbon Cord, Optimism is Flowing

March 3, 2021
A review of the top trends and news from Hydraulics & Pneumatics editors.

H&P Insights is a new column recapping some of the trends and highlights from Hydraulics & Pneumatics editors.

A Focus on Pneumatics

The quarterly virtual conference co-presented by the National Fluid Power Association (NFPA) and the Fluid Power Industrial Consortium (FPIC) takes place Thurs., March 4 starting with a virtual networking session at 8 a.m. Central. The topic for this session is “Advanced Technologies for Improving Pneumatic Systems Efficiency.”

The content presentations will focus on using pneumatics and compressed air more efficiently and effectively. Compressed air is often an overlooked utility. There’s seldom one big compressed air leak, and when there is, you can hear it and feel it. Plant managers have told me over the years that their most effective leak detection system is going into a quiet plant on a Sunday morning and listening for the telltale hiss of leaks.

A Zero-Net-Carbon Future?

Schroeder Industries marks its 75th anniversary this year, but the filtration manufacturing and engineering company already is looking a decade ahead. Company officials announced Tuesday its plans to be Zero-Net-Carbon (ZNC) by 2030.

ZNC may seem like an almost impossible goal to achieve, but we have a few tricks up our sleeves in our 75 years of experience,” Schroeder officials said in a press release. “As an American manufacturer to some of the most versatile ‘green material’, it is our goal to spread the word and share the technology proven to support ZNC initiatives for 2030 and beyond.”

The company initiative includes sharing information around the topic area with customers and other manufacturers, improving products and introducing new products to make the existing use of fossil fuels more efficient and working on own manufacturing facilities to make them carbon-neutral.

We hope to be emissions free/no carbon footprint by 2030. But before then, we will be doing whatever we can to get us there as soon as possible,” company officials added. “At Schroeder Industries, we know there is no Planet B, and we’re here to help us not need one.”

Optimism Is Flowing

The most recent manufacturing index numbers continue to point up. The Institute for Supply Management’s monthly PMI Index was at 60.8% in February, continuing its strong showing after three months of decline last year due to the immediate impact of the pandemic.

There is optimism in other areas as well. Hydraulics & Pneumatics recently discussed the future with Kevin Kampe, current president of the Fluid Power Distributors Association (FPDA) and president of Womack Machine Supply Co. in Dallas. He said that as the pandemic has finally turned a corner, there is room for optimism—and the potential for change.

Most members have been significantly impacted by the pandemic and are looking forward to bookings growth in Q1,” Kampe said. “Companies have deployed remote technology that have enabled their employees to be as efficient—and in many cases, more efficient—than they were in the office. I believe all our members have learned how valuable virtual selling is in this new reality. We all must meet customers where they are and continue to drive business forward.”

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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