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IFSP Certification

IFSP Certification

IFSP Certification

Hello again,

I am just wondering how many of you are certified thru International Fluid Power Society? If so, did you find it to help you out in your career? I am thinking of becoming a member and taking the test to be certified as a specialist in hyd/pnue. and am hoping it will help me in my current job. How are the certification test?


RE: IFSP Certification

  I would have thought this thread would have generated more interest.  I am an end-user, a mechanic in a steel mill.  So far the HS certification has not paid big dividends-I did learn a lot from the study material and from forums like this and I would do it again as I like to learn.  If your current job is in sales/service I would definitely recommend going for the certification.  Will your boss/company pay your professional dues and for the test??
Several week long training programs/reviews are offered with the test on the last day-kind of pricey for an individual-I did not go this route but had the IFPS mail the test to the local college and they sent out a proctor to administer.  My 2 cents, good luck,  Maytag   

RE: IFSP Certification

I was holding back to see what happened...

I have no qualifications or certifications in fluid power or anything else for that matter.

Here in the UK there are some formal qualifications available through short courses in hydraulics or pneumatics.

I don't believe they are highly regarded in industry as a whole. Like a lot of other academic courses, they tell you how things should be...not how they really are.

The people I have learnt the most from are the people who have done it themselves...not read about it in a book. I don't wish to belittle the academics in the industry, but three or four weeks...months or years studying is not the same as 25 years of practical experience.

Books can only tell you so much...

I hope someone can give a balanced opinion over hydraulic qualifications.

Good luck


RE: IFSP Certification

Thank you both for responding.

I have 3 years of designing hyd/pneu for retrofitted machine tools. I learned from the shop forman and the people we bought the components from. I have taken a week long class and have a Cert for Industrial Hydraulics, but it is from 1998. I am a mechanical designer/drafter. And the company I now work for builds machines. They contract out their hyd/pneu. Because it is what I like to do, I want to pull that back in-house. I just feel that they are holding back. I am female, so that probably doesn't help, I have to really fight to be considered equal to the men in the engineering world, let along hyd/pneu. But I've designed around 100 hyd. units that are in factories. I just wanted to get certified again and was hoping that would be an influence to them that I am dedicated and knowledgable about hyd/pnue. I think I will do it for me, and then push from there.


RE: IFSP Certification

Yeah, like Hydromech said, in the UK we more or less have two industry related centres of excellence. Which although good are not highly recognised in the industry they work with. National Fluid Power Centre and British Fluid power Association.

I also have to agree with Hydromech in the fact that I have learned so much from the technical staff and engineers of my suppliers and by getting stuck into projects with them.

In my experience the people these kinds of affiliations hold most sway with, is the engineers and engineering managers who are working on hydraulic products and systems.

Couple of links for general interest.




RE: IFSP Certification

I've learned my hydraulics as I've gone along and I'm probably at the beginning of that learning process even though the equipment I work on is reasonably complex (hydraulic servos). I am reasonably well qualified as an electrical engineer - C.Eng for the UK guys - and I frequently see things which are so obviously designed by someone who has a techncian background. I don't mean that to sound insulting and I know it does. I apologise: what I am trying to say is that techncians are usually trained to repair existing equipment and perform battlefield surgery to keep things running. When these guys are put in a position to design a system they seem to essentially nail together a lot of quick fixes picked up through years of experience into a system which more-or-less works.

If what I see in the electrical world mimics what happens in FP then I wonder whether the problems I see discussed here about poorly designed and specified equipment are in part the result of a  general lack of formal education or training in FP? I'm certainly not saying that education is  an alternative to hands-on experience but neither is hands-on experience a full solution to a lack of formal training. Were there a formal course locally, even a short one, I would probably enroll. I appreciate the things that are available online such as the book BudT is presenting on his website all the more when such a course is not available.

  Sometimes I only open my mouth to swap feet...

RE: IFSP Certification

There was a guy that worked for me a few years back, a good worker and a nice enough chap.

He couldn't troubleshoot a system, he couldn't design one either. The really scary bit was that he installed a rotary shaft seal as a rod seal on a high pressure cylinder and couldn't understand why it blew out at 250BAR.

That will give you an idea of the level of his hydraulic knowledge.

He was a lecturer at a local college, teaching hydraulics. Most days he got calls from his students asking for his advice and the advice he gave was very questionable if not dangerous.

If that's not teaching bad habbits, I don't know what is.

The guy in question is now a fluid power specialist for a national engineering solutions provider. A lot of important people believe what he tells them.

I'd like to know your comments on that...



RE: IFSP Certification

I guess the big question is "Who teaches the teacher?". And perhaps follow up with "Who certifies him as being qualified and experienced enough to teach?"

I have no answer other than to say that bad lecturers exist in all disciplines. In a narrow field where true experts are a rare species they become all the more dangerous. Peer review is great, but for that you need peers!

How do you think the teaching / education aspect should be addressed?

  Sometimes I only open my mouth to swap feet...

RE: IFSP Certification

Laws governing electricians and plumbers are well known. If you want to earn a living from it then you have to be qualified. It is obvious why...they are dealing with high energy systems that can cause a lot of damage if things go wrong.

How is that different from hydraulic systems. Look at accumulators...on some big systems it possible to have 500+ litres stored at 300 BAR. That's a lot of energy. On a smaller scale, a ten litre accumulator can be just as deadly if not applied correctly.

Other than the Pressure Equipment Directive, which is difficult to apply in some cases, what constraints are there on someone to stop them applying dangerous design methods? Yes there is the threat of prosecution if things go bad, but how can you proove neglegence if there is no common code of practice that everyone has to follow.

I think there needs to be minimum mandatory level of qualification for anyone that does anything to any hydraulic or pnuematic system. It needs to be driven by the BFPA and the government in the UK and whichever applies in the US and elsewhere.

It's a very simplistic view I know, but the problem is simple...fluid power engineers are undervalued!

It's about time the fluid power industry and the engineers that drive it were taken more seriously.



RE: IFSP Certification

Q"  It's a very simplistic view I know, but the problem is simple...fluid power engineers are undervalued!

It's about time the fluid power industry and the engineers that drive it were taken more seriously. "Q

definitely agree. see it every day here.
bud's song for years.

RE: IFSP Certification

My thoughts on Trained Fluid Power Engineers and Trained Fluid Power Mechanics who are responsible for designing and maintaining Fluid Power equipment will never happen until End Users realze how much not having these persons is costing them.

As long as there is so called free Circuit Design and often Free Training from Fluid Power Distributors and Fluid Power Manufacturers the situation will not change since End Users think they are getting something for Nothing. Similar to the signs in the States at Service (Petrol) stations when I grew up that said "FREE AIR." Somehow that mentality is still around and industry keeps adding more free compressors instead of fixing the leaks and reducing pressure to actuators that can operate at lower pressures.

I hope to see a change in this situation before I get so senile I can't realize it has happened but it sure is a hard sell, at least in the states so far.

If anyone has any ideas of how to get tis problem off of Dead Center, and I do mean DAEAD, Sing Out, I for one am all ears.

At least all the Forum's are talking about it now so maybe there is a chance something good will result.

On teachers, there seems to be no bad instruction in Fluid power since the students are normally so lacking in Fluid Power that any instructor has knowledge they never thought about. Unfortunately the bad information is usually forgotten as quickly as the good since most students return to work and never work on any Fluid power equipment for 6 months anyway. By that time they can't even remember the title of the course, since the old saying "Use it or lose it" really is true. Which is the main reason for having dedicated Fluid Power persons!



Bud Trinkel, Fluid Power Consultant

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