BFPA 2024 Yearbook & Members' Directory 2024

18 apprenticeships and technical qualifications, is not only good for the future of the company concerned; it’s also good for the industry as a whole in so far as there are then more qualified and active people working within our industry, bolstering the overall skills pool. Another crucial point to make is that while the engineering and manufacturing industries are fundamentally technologydriven, they cannot function without a backbone of accounts, marketing and sales professionals and human resource personnel. It is all connected. So, when member organisations talk to local schools and colleges they should not purely think in terms of STEM or engineering in general, they should also think about training people who would like to work in the store or the warehouse, or in admin and all the other areas of a business. Sustainability Another fundamentally important topic that not only affects our industry but everyone on our planet is that of the environment. Indeed, sustainability is a theme that resonates with a lot of young people who want to have influence on how we look after the planet both in their professional and social lives. For our part, the BFPA is committed to doing its bit and encourages the membership to do the same. For example, a key focus for the Association is to reduce the amount of training material that is available in printed form and will start to migrate this material across to a digital format, not just in terms of the training booklets but also the certificates. As part of the strategic plan, our members wanted help on how to get their journey to net zero started, how to progress this journey and what tools they need to be able to measure and monitor their carbon footprint. Investing with CAFA (Climate Action for Associations), we have developed a guide that our members can use to understand the jargon that surrounds sustainability. It will explain in simple terms how to measure and improve how their own company impacts the environment and at the same time understand what can be done to get closer to carbon neutrality. The guide will become available Q2 2024 and will form a large part of our May AGM followed by a ‘Sustainability’ workshop run by two representatives of CAFA, which is free for our members to attend. Standards Another important aspect of the BFPA is managing industry standards. Indeed, the Association holds the secretariat for approximately 500 different standards that people work to globally. I must admit that, while I have been involved in the fluid power industry in various capacities over the years, I had little idea just how involved the BFPA is in this work. Holding the secretariat and managing standards through the technical committees and direct engagement with ISO and BSI is crucial to keeping our industry as safe as possible. Members of our technical team travelled to the 2023 ISO review held in Milwaukee and through the BSI, will have representation at this year’s ISO review in Tokyo. The BFPA will also attend the London ISO review later in the year. Some companies might think it is not worth becoming a member of the BFPA, but they may not realise that the standards they work to every day are managed, controlled and maintained by the BFPA. I would like to offer particular thanks to Jerry Hughes, who has played a significant role chairing the technical committees for many years. I would also like to thank Nicky Quinn, who has only been a part of the Association since mid2023 but is already doing an excellent job managing this aspect of the Association. Statistics For nearly five decades, the Association’s statistical surveys have provided valuable information about key current trends in our industry to member companies. Indeed, statistics are considered as one of the most valuable assets of membership. Moreover, under the banner of ‘market intelligence service’, statistics have become a key ‘Strategic Pillar’ within the Four Pillars that were introduced following our strategic review in 2021. The ‘Industry Intelligence Strategy Team’ working group chaired by Kevin Mooney of Moog Industrial Group, addressed several key issues raised during a consultation with members in the initial stages of the project. I would like to thank all concerned for taking our statistics/market intelligence service to even greater heights. I would also like to thank Sarah Gardner, the BFPA’s Market/Statistics Manager, for her all her hard work ensuring up-to-date and accurate and invaluable statistics are regularly provided to the members who take part in our range of surveys. Four Pillars development In fact, all the BFPA’s Four Pillars, profiled extensively in last year’s edition of the Yearbook, are developing apace. It was decided to establish the Pillars to directly address some of the most important aspects of people working within the fluid power sector. They comprise Education and Training, Industry and Standards, Health, Safety and Environment and Business Intelligence/Industry Insights. A big thank you to the Leaders and teams of each of the pillars for their outstanding work and dedication over the past two years. This work continues. Serving our industry for 65 years So, the past year or so has been a busy and eventful time, with much to celebrate. For example, the positive feedback we have received from many member companies related to the greater engagement we have established over the past year has been truly inspiring and puts us on a positive footing going forward. However, the celebrations certainly don’t stop there. This year marks 65 years of the Association’s existence. Some may ask, industry associations, why should we bother? 65 years tells you why. For the BFPA, it’s about the people – the engineers, technicians and innovators—who have dedicated their careers to advancing our technology. It’s about the partnerships forged with our members to drive collaboration and knowledge sharing. It’s also about the collective effort to address global challenges, such as sustainability and resource efficiency, by developing greener technologies and promoting best practices. Over the past six decades, the Association has striven to serve the fluid power industry diligently and, with the help of its members, fight its corner in the corridors of power whenever necessary. There is content within this edition of the Yearbook that looks briefly at some of the Association’s history over some six and a half decades, while also considering how the industry itself has changed. Fluid power is the hidden force in manufacturing. It is a fantastic industry filled with thousands of talented people. We must continue to create curiosity and to offer opportunity to a new generation of designers, engineers and business leaders of the future. The BFPA and its membership are truly stronger together.