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This Week in Power & Motion: NFPA Gears Up for Fluid Power Vehicle Challenge Final Competitions

April 1, 2022
Danfoss and Norgren will each host the final competitions for the 2022 NFPA Fluid Power Vehicle Challenge, Volvo CE expands availability of its electric excavator to Asia, and more industry news you may have missed.

There is much going on in the world of fluid power and motion control from technology introductions and industry advancements to new trends and industry leaders. To keep our readers as informed as possible, the Power & Motion team has collected some of the latest news which could be pertinent to their work. 

This past week's news included a mix of new electrification related announcements and those aimed at advancing the future engineering workforce. Almost every week there seems to be even more news related to advancements or availability of new electric powered equipment. This is of course an important area for readers to watch because it will have huge impacts on how hydraulics, pneumatics and other more traditional technologies will be used and designed in the years to come. 

Supporting the future workforce is vital, and will remain so in the coming years as those referred to as boomers start leaving the workforce. There is a large skills gap that will need to be filled, making any efforts to teach and support younger generations important to our industry. 

Keep an eye out for a new edition each week to ensure you stay up to date on what's happening in the world of fluid power and motion control. 

Schroeder Industries introduces predictive maintenance kit

Schroeder Industries has launched a new kit to aid with Filter Debris Analysis (FDA), enabling predictive maintenance which can be used alongside traditional oil analysis methods. The kit includes a prepaid testing label and a return kit for sending in a filter for FDA. 

FDA can help determined the root cause of premature wear and failures in equipment by looking at the types of wear particles captured by the filter. Five laboratory testing criteria are performed during FDA says Schroeder Industries which include: 

  • Analytical Ferrography (ASTM D7690)
  • Micropatch Analysis
  • Elemental Metals Analysis by ICP (mod. ASTM D5185)
  • Acid Digestion
  • Gravimetric Solids.

The company also notes FDA can be used in a wide range of applications and industrial machinery. 

Oshkosh Defense receives first order for next gen delivery vehicle

The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has placed its first order with Oshkosh Defense for the Next Generation Delivery Vehicles (NGDV). USPS has ordered 50,000 vehicles. 

Oshkosh Defense was awarded the contract from USPS to design and produce a next generation fleet of delivery vehicles in February 2021. This is the first large-scale fleet procurement for the postal service in three decades. Oshkosh Defense intends to build both zero-emission battery electric and fuel-efficient low-emission internal combustion engine vehicles for USPS at its facility in Spartanburg, SC. 

The company says the first vehicle order for USPS will include a minimum of 10,019 battery-electric vehicles, and expects production of the NGDVs to begin in 2023. 

bauma Innovation Award entries due May 3

Organizers of the triennial bauma—one of the word's largest trade shows for the construction and mining industries—are currently accepting entries for the event's bauma Innovation Award. Exhibiting companies are able to enter their product innovations until May 3. 

The bauma Innovation Award is meant to honor innovative technologies designed to benefit those in the construction and mining industries. Entries can be submitted using the online form. Categories for the 2022 award include: 

  • Category 1 Climate protection
  • Category 2 Digitalization
  • Category 3 Mechanical engineering
  • Category 4 Building
  • Category 5 Research

bauma is known as one of the top events for construction equipment manufacturers as well as component suppliers—including those in the fluid power industry—to showcase their latest innovations. bauma 2022 is currently scheduled to take place October 24-30 in Munich. The show was pushed back from its usual timeframe of April due to the COVID-19 pandemic with the hopes that exhibitors and attendees would be better able to prepare for and travel to the event, and that the pandemic will be in a better situation. 

NFPA Fluid Power Action Challenge taking place in April

The National Fluid Power Association's (NFPA) Fluid Power Vehicle Challenge will have two final competitions in April 2022. One will be hosted by Danfoss Power Solutions April 20-22 in Ames, IA, and the other by Norgren April 27-29 in Littleton, CO. 

NFPA says having two separate final competitions enables more students and universities to participate as well as more industry members to connect with students at the events. 

Teams competing at this year's events include:

Danfoss event - 

  1. Iowa State University
  2. Michigan Technological University
  3. Milwaukee School of Engineering
  4. Murray State University
  5. Northern Illinois University
  6. Ohio University
  7. University of Alabama at Birmingham
  8. University of Cincinnati
  9. South Dakota State University
  10. West Virginia University
  11. Western Michigan University

Norgren event - 

  1. Arizona State
  2. Cal Poly State University
  3. Cleveland State University
  4. Loyola Marymount University
  5. North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
  6. Purdue University
  7. Purdue University Northwest
  8. University of Utah
  9. Texas A&M
  10. University of Denver
  11. University of Akron
  12. University of Louisiana at Lafayette

During the vehicle challenge, students are tasked with redesigning a traditional bicycle using hydraulics for the power transmission. They can do so as part of a senior capstone design project or as an extracurricular activity, explains NFPA. The challenge provides students the opportunity to experience real-world engineering as there are strict deadlines, testing and more that must be met. 

NFPA members serve as mentors and judges while also enabling students to build up their professional network by working with these members and other students. It also provides students the chance to further advance their knowledge of fluid power technology.

Those interested in participating in this year's challenge can register to attend the event.

Prizes are given in three races sprint, efficiency and endurance. 

H2X Global providing fuel cell vehicles to City of Gothenburg

Australian hydrogen fuel cell vehicle manufacturer H2X Global Ltd. recently signed an agreement with one of Sweden's major municipal waste companies to deliver hydrogen fuel cell powered vehicles. H2X Global will provide Renova—a waste and recycling collection firm owned by 10 municipalities across the Gothenburg Region—with five commercial vehicles from its product range. These include an 18-tonne back loader truck, a 28-tonne demountable truck and three 3.5-tonne tail lift vehicles. 

The agreement will help H2X Global expand its operations while also enabling Sweden along its path toward becoming a fossil-free country. Sweden's goal is to achieve net zero emissions by 2045 and reduce emissions 70% compared to 2010 levels by 2030. 

The City of Gothenburg also has its own emissions reduction targets. By 2023 the city's vehicle fleet will be fossil free and by 2030 carbon emissions from its entire transport system will be reduced by 90%. The Gothenburg Green City Zone is targeting emissions-free transport by 2030. Use of hydrogen powered vehicles such as those provided by H2X Global will help the city and country achieve these goals. 

"The H2X model matches the highly innovative and forward-thinking Scandinavian approach," said Peter Westh, H2X Global's Head of northern Europe in the company's press release announcing the partnership. "Our unique hybrid model of vehicle development using supercapacitors instead of batteries is a key component."

Emerson accepting applications for engineering scholarship

Emerson has announced college and university students studying engineering, instrumentation, systems or automation can apply for its 2022 ASCO Engineering Scholarship program. Applications are due May 30, 2022.

Two scholarship packages will be awarded to students demonstrating academic excellence, service to others and leadership potential. These include a $5,000 scholarship and a $1,000 grant to the engineering department at each recipient's school. The students may also be eligible for an internship with Emerson. 

This will be the 15th year Emerson has given out the scholarship, helping students and their schools achieve their goals and supporting the future engineering workforce. 

Volvo CE electric excavator now available in South Korea

Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) has announced its ECR25 Electric excavator can now be ordered by customers in South Korea, a country which is increasing its focus on sustainable construction solutions. According to Volvo CE, its 2.5-ton battery-electric machine is the first by a major manufacturer to be available in Asia.

After South Korea the company plans to make the electric excavator available in China, Japan and Singapore. Emissions regulations, government incentives and interest from the market in being more sustainable are driving demand for electric powered construction equipment in Asia just like they are in other parts of the world. 

Volvo CE's electric excavator, as well as two wheel loaders and two other excavator models, are currently available in Europe and North America. 

The company says it chose Korea as the first Asian market for its ECR25 Electric because of the region's desire to adopt new technologies and innovative ways of working. There was also quick response to building electric charging infrastructure, a necessary component of electric equipment uptake. 

The ECR25 Electric features an integrated on-board charger to recharge the battery from 0-80% in under 6 hours. An optional fast off-board charger is available to recharge the battery within an hour. 

Volvo CE intends to switch its entire compact excavator and wheel loader lineup to electric and will eventually stop producing new diesel powered compact machines. 

A reservation tool is available for customers to place an order for their electric machines for which delivery is expected in the third quarter of 2022.  

About the Author

Sara Jensen | Technical Editor, Power & Motion

Sara Jensen is technical editor of Power & Motion, directing expanded coverage into the modern fluid power space, as well as mechatronic and smart technologies. She has over 15 years of publishing experience. Prior to Power & Motion she spent 11 years with a trade publication for engineers of heavy-duty equipment, the last 3 of which were as the editor and brand lead. Over the course of her time in the B2B industry, Sara has gained an extensive knowledge of various heavy-duty equipment industries — including construction, agriculture, mining and on-road trucks —along with the systems and market trends which impact them such as fluid power and electronic motion control technologies. 

You can follow Sara and Power & Motion via the following social media handles:

X (formerly Twitter): @TechnlgyEditor and @PowerMotionTech

LinkedIn: @SaraJensen and @Power&Motion

Facebook: @PowerMotionTech

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