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Digital transformation of fluid power technologies

fluid power technologies

Fluid power technologies play a vital role in industry and digital transformation is driving innovation across a range of industrial sectors.

Digital transformation is delivering benefits as different industrial ecosystems merge to provide solutions for resource-efficient, climate-neutral and resilient production, developments highlighted by the range of innovations surrounding digitisation and fluid power technologies that are due to be showcased at Hannover Messe in April.  

“Due to their high level of innovation, companies involved in drive and fluid power technologies have traditionally been among the biggest and most sustainable drivers of innovation at Hannover Messe,” said Dr. Jochen Köckler, chairman of the managing board at Deutsche Messe.

Transformation of drive and fluid power technologies is running at full speed. Despite global challenges the two sectors are experiencing excellent economic results. Innovation and solutions competence are placing drive and fluid technology at the heart of Industry 4.0. Added to this, issues of climate protection and resource efficiency require cutting-edge technologies to provide lasting solutions. Digitisation offers new, efficient and sustainable solution approaches for customers in both industries.

“Drive and fluid technology components are the central building blocks of machines for power and motion but also as a source of data for digital value-added services and crucial to the performance of customer products,” said Hartmut Rauen, deputy executive director of the VDMA whose member companies will highlight practical examples in the context of digitisation and sustainability.

In terms of digitisation, the Fluid Power Association is a pioneer, with the digital twin created in the management shell. Data and information over the entire life cycle are available in a standardised, structured form that is compatible with other formats across all manufacturers. Sub-models containing data for specific use cases are driving new business models. The results, which have been published at, are the result of years of standardisation activities, which continue to be facilitated by the staff of fluid power member companies with great commitment.

The Power Transmission Engineering Association, with the participation of leading drive technology manufacturers, is developing OPC UA Companion Specifications for the industry in an international Joint Working Group. The first OPC UA Specification 40400-1 describes a uniform information model for the vertical integration of drive systems with the application area of asset management. In addition, the contents of the second part of the OPC UA Companion Specification Powertrain (40400-2) have already been defined

Innovations in drive and fluid power technologies are flanked by several VDMA initiatives, for example one involving the OPC UA interface standard, the ‘Industrial Digital Twin Association’ alliance co-initiated by VDMA, the ‘Wireless Communications for Machines’ working group, and the ‘Industrial Security Competence Center’, which is also exhibiting at the show. With Manufacturing-X, the federative data room ecosystem for the manufacturing industry, the platform gap is now also closing. In this way, the VDMA is helping to realise the interoperable system landscape of intelligently connected Industry 4.0 production methods.

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