Since it's inception The Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power (CCEFP) has been working to improve access to fluid power education for engineers and technicians of all stripes. Access to fluid power education remains a challenge for many at the university level. The Fluid Power Institute and the Professional Education department at the Milwaukee School Of Engineering (MSOE), are key members of this consortium and continue to contribute research and host educational workshops for students in the CCEFP educational program.


The Fluid Power Scholars Program is a collaborative effort between the Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power (CCEFP), MSOE and companies within the fluid power industry who are corporate members of the Center. Fluid Power Scholars, in this highly selective program, begin their summer internship with an intensive 3 day instructional program in fluid power technology at MSOE's state-of-the-art component and systems laboratory. Topics covered include identification of features of hydraulic and pneumatic systems; application of industry standards to hydraulic and schematic systems; analysis of circuits from a schematic drawing; understanding of the operation and applications of valves, cylinders, pumps, and motors; identification of the chemical and physical properties of fluids, etc. Following this instruction, each scholar begins a paid three or six month internship at a sponsoring company.

If your organization would like to participate in this valuable program and take a leadership role in fluid power education, contact the CCEFP,

The National Fluid Power Association has been instrumental in developing standards tools for assessing the reliability of fluid power components.

These standards can be used to:

  • benchmark current levels of reliability and measure improvement and
  • provide customers with reliability data they can use in designing and maintain their machines.


The following standards have been published:

  • For Hydraulics – Recommended Practice NFPA/T2.12.11-2-2007 provides guidelines for assessing the reliability of hydraulic components by testing and reporting for components used in fluid power systems. Specific requirements for assessing the reliability of the components are contained in annexes for the following components: accumulators; hydraulic cylinders; hydraulic filters; hydraulic pumps and motors; and hydraulic valves. The standard provides:
    • general requirements for reliability testing;
    • statistical methods for assessing reliability;
    • an example of reliability calculations; and
    • annexes with specific test guidelines and threshold level criteria for each component listed above.

ISO has also published ISO/TR 19972 1:2009, Hydraulic fluid power — Methods to assess the reliability of hydraulic components — Part 1: General procedures and calculation method, which lists a number of methods that can be used to assess the reliability of hydraulic components, including several that do not require testing.

  • For Pneumatics – The ISO 19973 series, titled Pneumatic fluid power — Assessment of component reliability by testing, was published in 2007 and currently consists of:
    • Part 1: General procedures
    • Part 2: Directional control valves
    • Part 3: Cylinders with piston rod
    • Part 4: Pressure regulators


Does your organization utilize these best practices? Join us for a seminar dedicated to ensuring you get consistent reliable service from your hydraulic components. Join us for "Service and Operation for Improved Hydraulic System Reliability", August 11 - August 15.

The International Fluid Power Society has designated June 19th as International Fluid Power Professional day. Designed to highlight the achievements of professionals in the industry and awareness of the fluid power industry as a whole, IFPS has some excellent suggestions to commemorate the day on their website.


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Incidentally, June 19th is significant because Blaise Pascal—a French mathematician, inventor, writer, and physicist was born on this day back in 1623. His work in hydrodynamics and hydro-statics, including the invention of the hydraulic press, paved the way for host of innovations in the nascent fluid power industry. Blaise Pascal’s work in fluid power laid the foundation for an industry that would be critical in our transformation from an agrarian to industrial economy.

The performance and longevity of equipment can be greatly undermined by the contamination of hydraulic fluids and lubricants. Dirty fluid causes 80% of all hydraulics systems failures, according to design engineers.

The performance, life and reliability of hydraulic components are acutely sensitive to the quality and maintenance of the hydraulic fluid used in the system. Fluid Power experts concur, it pays to use a high quality hydraulic fluid, inspect fluid samples at regular intervals, and practice regularly scheduled preventive maintenance. By observing these simple precautions, system downtime will be reduced and the overall life of the hydraulic system will be increased. High-performance hydraulic systems require very clean oil to maximize performance and extend the life of system components. It is not unusual for high performance hydraulic equipment to “silt up” and perform erratically when subject to contamination.

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Hydraulic fluid contamination and deterioration are normal consequences for most hydraulic systems. Failure to adequately remove contaminants, or to change hydraulic fluid before severe fluid breakdown occurs, will lead to poor system performance.The most common hydraulic fluid contaminants are entrapped air and water, along with particles of metal, rubber or dirt. To maintain clean hydraulic fluid, samples must be taken regularly and appropriate maintenance should be conducted immediately.

Regular monitoring and maintenance of the hydraulic fluid promotes the maximum operating performance and increases the service life of the hydraulic system and its components. Join us for a seminar on Service and Operation for Hydraulic Systems Reliability, August 11-Aug 15 to learn more about improving the longevity of your hydraulic systems.

The Rapid Prototyping Center (RPC) is a powerful ally that helps businesses achieve prototype quickly and take products to market faster. This joint effort of industry, government and MSOE is dedicated to the application of proven technologies to novel challenges.


Companies such as Johnson & Johnson, Harley-Davidson, Bombardier Recreational Products, Ecolab, Trane Co., Oshkosh Truck and HUSCO International have already taken advantage of the multiple additive manufacturing solutions offered by RPC. With state of the art 3-D scanning technology and all five commercially available rapid prototyping systems, RPC can reduce the time and cost of industrial products ranging from functional models to full-scale production.


RPC’s research wing RP-Research, compliments and advances RPC’s core mission. RP-research continues to make leaps and bounds in the realm of research in additive technologies and hybrid fabrication for medical, aerospace, fluid power, metal fabrication, nano-tech, and bio-tech applications. Product designs emerging from RP-research are in use around the world. Structures and processes developed in the RP-Research laboratory extend the realm of what is possible in rapid prototyping. Connect with RPC to learn more about this research powerhouse. 

If you are looking to pursue a career in hydraulic system sales, design, or modeling and supervising system operation, it is vital to get a hydraulics certification. The International Fluid Power Society is the only organization that provides comprehensive technical certification offerings for all professionals in the fluid power and motion control industry. IFPS certification tests provide an objective, third-party assessment of an individual’s skill level and are recognized industry-wide. Individuals who successfully master a level of competency are issued a credential signifying an elevated status in the workforce. For fluid power distributors, manufacturers and end users this means a safer more efficient workforce. The Professional Education department at MSOE is here to assist you with getting ready for the test. Sign up for our Hydraulics Certificate Review session on July 8th and you will receive a detailed overview of all test topics followed by a mock exam. Connect with us to learn more.

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The 2014 International Fluid Power Expo was one of the largest ever with over 120,000 attendees visiting 400 exhibitors, representing a wide cross-section of the fluid power industry. The MSOE booth at the expo featured hands on demonstrations of universal fluid power trainers used in hydraulics training, fluid power testing equipment as well as 3-D scanning technologies used in rapid prototyping and research. MSOE students also got a chance to interact one on one with potential employers.

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As we turn the corner from this successful show we look forward to building partnerships to assist you with your professional education needs as well as research testing and product development in the area of fluid power and rapid prototyping. Connect with us to learn more.

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