In the Driver’s Seat

Dec. 16, 2016
All the shows we cover deal with fluid power in some size, shape, or form.
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Waste Expo 2016

All the shows we cover deal with fluid power in some size, shape, or form. You’ll find a lot of exhibitors showcasing hydraulic components at Waste Expo, where hydraulic cylinders squeeze all kinds of materials to a fraction of their original size for more effective disposal or recycling. Powerful hydraulic motors also rotate shredder blades to reduce tires, furniture, and appliances into small pieces for efficient processing. Catch Waste Expo May 9-11, 2017, in New Orleans.

You’ll find even more hydraulics at the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC), which will be held in Houston May 1-4, 2017. OTC showcases the power and precision of hydraulics in a wide variety of marine, offshore, and dockside applications. What sticks in my mind most from visiting OTC is learning how hydraulics can move loads weighing hundreds of tons while controlling their position within inches, despite random motion of ocean waves.

Let’s not forget about pneumatics. Packaging is probably the single largest industry that relies on the speed, reliability, and many benefits of pneumatics. Pack Expo is the venue that covers this important sector of pneumatics, and it is held every year, alternating between Chicago and Las Vegas. Las Vegas will host Pack Expo next year from Sept. 25-27.

However, the largest sector of pneumatics is factory automation. In fact, it’s also a huge sector for industrial hydraulics. Both technologies are addressed by the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS), held every other year in Chicago. Each IMTS introduces more and increasingly sophisticated controls to the manufacturing marketplace, and this year was no exception. Look for more of the same in 2018, when IMTS storms into Chicago’s McCormick Place Sept. 10 through 15.

One of my favorites is the International Construction & Utility Equipment Exposition (ICUEE), also held every odd-numbered year, but in Louisville, Ky. Next year it will be held Oct. 3-5. As its name implies, ICUEE does not focus on hydraulics, but hydraulics is such an integral part of construction and utility equipment that it’s a must-attend event because of its many fluid power exhibitors. It’s also known as the Demo Expo because you’ll be able to see all kinds of machines lifting, digging, and moving all kinds of loads—all thanks to hydraulics.

The largest single industry in fluid power is construction equipment. The construction industry comes together every three years in Las Vegas for ConExpo, which will convene in early March 2017 in Las Vegas. However, the big news is IFPE 2017, which will be held in conjunction with ConExpo.

IFPE 2017 is all about fluid power. More than 350 exhibitors will show off their products and services March 7-11 in the South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center. This issue kicks off our First Look at IFPE with an article by staff editor Leah Scully beginning on page 38.

Our coverage will continue next month with a detailed preview of the technical conference, college-level courses, and other educational opportunities offered at IFPE. Then our February issue will be our big splash, with extensive coverage of what IFPE has to offer, including a list of exhibitors, floor plan, events surrounding the show, and a preview of products that will be showcased by exhibitors.

We have a few things planned for our booth that we’ve never done before. They’re not really a secret, but they should be a big draw for anyone with an appetite for learning about fluid power.

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About the Author

Alan Hitchcox Blog | Editor in Chief

Alan joined Hydraulics & Pneumatics in 1987 with experience as a technical magazine editor and in industrial sales. He graduated with a BS in engineering technology from Franklin University and has also worked as a mechanic and service coordinator. He has taken technical courses in fluid power and electronic and digital control at the Milwaukee School of Engineering and the University of Wisconsin and has served on numerous industry committees.

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