BFPA 2024 Yearbook & Members' Directory 2024

36 relevant standards with the ability to search by category, by individual words, phrases or by technical committee. Whether delving into hydraulic system design principles, pneumatic component specifications or safety protocols, the library offers a comprehensive list of fluid power standards that meet the needs of engineers, technicians, researchers and educators alike. Beyond serving as a repository of existing standards, the searchable library enables professionals to stay abreast of updates as it is regularly amended in line with national and international published standards. The library can be accessed at: 65th Anniversary This is, as readers of this edition of the BFPA Yearbook will by now be aware, the 65th Anniversary of the Association. Over the years, standards have moved in line with technological developments. However, nothing seems so critical in this Anniversary year than the theme of sustainability. “This is largely why this will be the main theme of our AGM in May,” says Nicky. “During the AGM and beyond, we will be exploring just how our industry can become more sustainable and help the UK reach net zero by 2050.” Sustainability standard for the fluid power industry in development In line with the BFPA’s sustainability focus for 2024 to tie in with its 65th anniversary, the Association is looking at how it can develop a new sustainability standard focusing on the recycling of hydraulic hoses. “We aim to ensure our committee meetings entail some level of conversation about sustainability,” says Nicky. “As a result of some of these meetings, it was decided to develop the new standard. This is in its very early stages of development, but we have already begun discussing the standard with industry and are confident we should have the details drafted for ISO later this year.” A little historical context Jerry Hughes, BFPA Consultant and Managing Director, Jemlyn Ltd., makes the point that the BFPA has had its own technical committees stretching back to its infancy in the early 1960s when it was known as AHEM. “Each committee is managed and attended by experts in each respective subject,” he explains. “Our technical committees have always mirrored those of the British Standards Institution (BSI). Originally, representatives from the BSI would come to BFPA meetings and some of us from the BFPA would in turn attend BSI meetings. However, during these BSI and BFPA meetings we would quite often talk about the same subject.” External secretariat for the BSI The BFPA then became an external secretariat for the BSI. “From that point on, the BFPA became responsible for over 500 fluid power-related standards,” Jerry points out. “The benefits of this scenario to both BFPA and BSI members is that instead of attending two meetings per standards-related topic we started to hold one meeting and BFPA meetings became a combined BFPA/BSI event. Originally, we designated different names for each committee, however we now simply apply a BSI reference for each committee. The joint meeting development took place during Rob Bartlett’s incumbency as Technical Manager of the BFPA.” The experts who sit on each committee are volunteers from BFPA member companies. Jerry believes they volunteer for two primary reasons. “First, because of their years of experience and expertise, they feel a duty to help to develop standards that will be of benefit to, and valuable sources of guidance for, other companies/organisations within the fluid power industry. Secondly, through being involved at the ‘coal face’ of standards development they can also put forward recommendations borne out of first-hand experiences of their own companies and in so doing ensure the interests of their own companies are adequately represented.” National and international work Members of BFPA committees work both at national and international level. “This is largely because most of the standards the BFPA and the BSI work on these days are ISO standards,” explains Jerry. “The BFPA has two main standards committees – MCE18 and MCE 11. MCE11, chaired by Nick Peppiatt, deals with all standards related to seals used within the fluid power industry. MCE18, which I chair, covers everything else – everything from hoses and fittings through to servo valves, pumps etc. There are sub working groups for each of these committees and each sub working group has a chairman who is appointed by the main MCE18 committee.” Meetings and events An annual Technical and Standards Policy Committee Meeting (T&SPC) run in conjunction with an MCE18 meeting is held during which all the chairs convene to discuss common topics that are of interest and relevance to all the committees. The T&SPC committee also includes the Education and Training committee chaired by John Savage. This committee pulls from the Technical Committees for its Technical knowledge for training purposes. Nicky is largely responsible for managing all technical committee meetings and related events. At a national level, BFPA members attend regular meetings, during which they discuss issues surrounding current standards that maybe need updating. They then form a consensus of views at national committee level. These views are then taken to international level for discussion, acceptance or adjustment in the full knowledge that they are UK-based viewpoints that represent the fluid power industry as a whole rather than any single company’s viewpoint. “This is very important in that all the representatives from different member companies get the opportunity to put their company viewpoint forward in terms of the suggested direction of recommended changes to existing standards,” says Jerry. “I believe putting forward credible and valuable proposals at a national level, then reaching out at an international level, is a critically important process to ensure our industry is fully understood and supported by all relevant standards. In fact, this is precisely why I have been involved as chair for the past three decades.” Celebration and opportunity at this year’s AGM As well as being an opportunity to celebrate the Association’s 65th Anniversary this year, the upcoming AGM, Conference and Networking Dinner to be held in Burton upon Trent on the 16th of May, together with the Sustainability Workshop on the 17th of May, will be ideal opportunities for the Association and its representatives to discuss standardsrelated issues with member companies. “I am certainly looking forward to the event and speaking with old and new friends from the industry,” says Jerry, who adds: “This will also be a great opportunity for Nicky as a relative newcomer to network with the wider industry and meet a few new faces.”