S. Jensen
excavator equipped with hydraulics working at tradesho

This Week in Power & Motion: NFPA Launches Advanced Hydraulics Conference

Jan. 26, 2024
The new NFPA event will be co-located with iVT Expo to provide engineering education related to hydraulics for off-highway equipment, ABB establishes an R&D hub for machine automation and more industry news you may have missed.

There is much going on in the world of hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motion systems, from technology introductions and industry advancements to new trends and industry leaders. Each week the Power & Motion team collects the latest industry news to help keep our readers up to date on what's happening in the fluid power and electric motion control sectors as well as the industries they serve.

Emerson Executive Elected to Board of Valve Manufacturers Association

Andy Duffy, Emerson's Vice President of Sales, has been elected to the board of the Valve Manufacturers Associaton of America (VMA). He will be the chairperson for its board of directors for the 2023-24 year. 

In this role he will help ensure the organization provides the most value to its members and advances the valve industry at large. Duffy has served as a member of the association's board for the last 4 years. 

During his time on the board, Duffy has helped the board create a strong strategic vision and advocate for issues such as regulations.

"I am honored to serve my colleagues in the Valves Manufactures Association of America as chairman of the board," said Duffy in Emerson's press release announcing his appointment. "The association has been an important part of my life for over 20 years and is an invaluable resource for the valve industry. As the industry has changed so has our association and it is in a better position than ever to serve the wider range of organizations throughout the country."

Mechatronics Team Selected for WorldSkills 2024

Two specialists in mechatronics have been selected to represent the U.S. in the 2024 WorldSkills Competition — an international event which showcases skilled trades from several disciplines. The event is scheduled to take place September 10-15 in Lyon, France.

Gabriel Eady and Derek Summers of Tennessee were selected as the competitors for Mechatronics in the event; they were chosen by SkillsUSA, a student-led partnership of education and industry which champions the skilled trades to help empower people and create a skilled workforce.

Eady and Summers attended Roane State Community College in Harriman, TN and were the state and the national gold medalist team in the SkillsUSA Championships in 2023. They are both employed as technician's at DENSO's manufacturing facility in Maryville, TN. 

Currently, Summers is responsible for programming and teaching robots, troubleshooting and vision integration at DENSO, a role which brings together many aspects of the mechatronics field. 

READ MORE: The Role of Fluid Power in Mechatronics

ABB Acquires Software Company to Advance Machine Automation

ABB has acquired Meshmind, a software service provider, to help expand its research and development capabilities in AI (artificial intelligence), Industrial IoT (Internet of Things) and machine vision.

The company intends to integrate engineering talent, AI and software knowledge from the two companies to create a new R&D hub that will use this combination of industry knowledge to accelerate development of automaiton solutions for ABB's Machine Automation division (B&R). 

Per ABB, the integration of Meshmind’s approximately 50 employees will expand collaboration with B&R teams in a range of R&D projects — including deep learning vision systems, AI-enabled engineering tools, and IoT app development — from their office in Sarajevo, Bosnia, which will serve as B&R's new global hub for AI and software development

"AI-powered robotics and automation have the power to transform industries, providing businesses with greater flexibility and intelligence amidst critical global trends and workforce challenges," said Sami Atiya, President, ABB Robotics and Discrete Automation Business Area, in the company's press release announcing the acquisition. "Through this acquisition, we will further accelerate the development of our software and AI-powered solutions to make automation more adaptive and accessible, enabling businesses of all sizes to become more resilient."

NFPA to Co-Locate Advanced Hydraulics Conference at iVT Expo

The National Fluid Power Association (NFPA) will host a conference on advanced hydraulics for those who work in the off-highway equipment in industry during the U.S. edition of iVT Expo. The event is focused specifically on the design of off-highway equipment, and geared toward the engineers who develop these machines. 

The 2024 event is set to take place August 21-22 in Chicago, IL. 

NFPA plans to put on a 2-day conference that will run in parallel to the iVT Expo trade show to provide educational opportunities for those who work with the hydraulic systems for these machines. Potential session topics include the role of hydraulics in key vehicle objectives like thermal management, energy efficiency, noise reduction, preventative maintenance, functional safety, and autonomous operation.

The association is also encouraging its members to consider exhibiting at the expo. 

"NFPA member companies represent the cutting-edge technologies that vehicle engineers increasingly need to incorporate into their machine systems and designs," said NFPA President and CEO Eric Lanke in the association's press release announcing the event. "And they will be heavily represented as presenters in our education conference. Combining that technical content with hands-on demonstrations of their technologies on the iVT EXPO show floor will provide a unique educational experience for their primary customers."

Delta-Q Gets Closer to Net-Zero Emissions Goal

Delta-Q Technologies, a developer of battery chargers, has achieved the goals of its Scope 1 and Scope 2 net-zero emissions targets. The scope emissions categorize the emissions produced by companies at their facilities and within their supply chains to help increase understanding of emissions production and how to minimize them. 

To achieve its Scope 1 goals — which relates to direct greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from sources an organization owns or controls — the company built a new, state-of-the-art headquarters. The building includes electric heat pumps, ultra-efficient LED lighting, smart building controls and enhanced insulation to enable more efficient operation. The company said it also no longer uses fossil fuels for heathing or powering systems within the building. 

Scope 2 includes all carbon emissions from purchased energy sources. Delta-Q's Scope 2 emissions are now near zero as the company powers its sytems with BC Hydro's 98% emissions-free hydroelectric grid. 

Now the company will be focusing on reducing its Scope 3 emissions, those generated from third-party sources such as suppliers, contract manufacturers and transportation providers. To do so, the company said it plans to work with and educate partners to enact change that will benefit everyone.

"At Delta-Q, we believe that sustainability and business growth go hand in hand," said Conway Hui, Chair of the Delta-Q employee-led Sustainability Working Group, in the company's press release announcing its scope target achievements. "While we are happy with our progress to date, we aren’t satisfied and recognize reaching net-zero emissions is a journey. Our focus now is addressing Scope 3 indirect emissions and enabling our OEM customers’ accelerating need to shift from internal combustion to electric drive systems. This is integral to our core purpose and organizational values."  

READ MORE: Manufacturers Increase Sustainability Initiatives

About the Author

Sara Jensen | Executive Editor, Power & Motion

Sara Jensen is executive 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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