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According to Peter-Michael Synek, "Digitalization, integration, communication between components and systems, modularization, as well as resource-saving materials handling and energy efficiency are the everyday challenges facing power transmission and fluid technology companies." The Acting Director of the fluid engineering association of the German Engineering Federation (VDMA) has been observing the "high speed of innovations" in his sector. According to him, shortened development time and product life cycles are decisive factors in day-to-day competition with competing drive technologies.

In hydraulics for example, the challenge is "combining familiar advantages such as high power density, robustness, overload security, and small space requirements with the advantages of electrical systems, that is electronics and IT," says Synek. The results are "greater efficiency and availability, and the possibility of faster operation."

The fact that intelligence is not always synonymous with high-end tech but is also the result of consistent enhancements made to existing systems is demonstrated at the new special display Smart Power Transmission and Fluid Power Solutions at HANNOVER MESSE 2018. The companies Aventics, Bosch Rexroth, Schaeffler, Bucher Hydraulik, Linde Hydraulics, and Argo Hytos are demonstrating their concepts and solutions for intelligent power and fluid technology in Hall 23 (Stand B 20).

Bucher is using a fork lift to show how adapting a hydraulic system to an electric drive can improve dynamics, sustainability, and CO2 emissions over internal combustion engines. The hydraulic two step switch transmission that Linde Hydraulics is presenting at the special display can also be used for fork lifts. With standard components and basic control technology, "shift in motion" enables smooth shifting in vehicles that frequently switch between transportation gears and working operation, and which require a great deal of driving power and speed.

Across from the special display in Hall 23 is the new Motion & Drives forum which will be examining the subject "Intelligent Fluid and Drive Technology". Manufacturers of hydraulic and pneumatic components and systems will be presenting decentralized drive solutions with integrated intelligence such as hydraulic pumps, hydraulic motors, valves, and cylinders with integrated control technology and the ability to communicate with each other. "Proportional hydraulics and servo-pneumatics," is what Peter Michael Synek calls the best examples of how intelligent drive technology with extensive sensor interfaces, diagnostic functions, and control possibilities can support efficient, scalable applications and processes. "They are therefore an essential component of integrated, self-regulating systems, enabling us to maximize the value inherent in digitalization," says Synek