These biographies have been compiled using information believed to be reliable, some submitted with these persons’ nominations to the Fluid Power Hall of Fame, and additional information on the Internet and other sources.
Robert E. Kraft
Bob Kraft, and his wife Marie, founded Kraft Fluid Systems (KFS), in 1972. The now 100% employee-owned company addresses the growing need for integrated mobile hydraulic and electronic control systems. KFS serves 11 Midwestern and Mid-Atlantic States. Setting the standard for employee education, training, and experience, KFS is an industry leader, and requires IFPS Certification for all technical employee-owners.
Bob Kraft earned both CFPS and CFPE certifications early in his career. He has been an active member of IFPS and served on the Board of Directors from 2003 through 2008, leading as President of the IFPS Board in 2007. Before his retirement, he was committed to the Fluid Power Distributors Association (FPDA), and the Strongsville Chamber of Commerce.
In 1961, Bob earned a BSME from Ohio University and then served 3 ½ years in the U.S. Navy. During his naval service, he was awarded a patent for the Inductive Kick Suppression Solenoid. While employed at Paul Munroe Hydraulics, Bob was a principal contributor to the first edition of the Lightning Reference Handbook, which became the fluid power industry’s standard reference book.
Quoting Bob, “Throughout my career, I believed education, training, and experience lead to learning and competency.” More than 20 years ago, Bob and Marie established the Kraft Family Associate Professorship Awards. These professorships have provided monetary and professional support for the junior faculty in the Department of Engineering Technology and Management at his Alma Mater, Ohio University.
Frank S. Flick (1906 – 1986)
Frank S. Flick graduated from Loyola Academy and in 1927 earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois. Mr. Flick is credited with 56 patents, of which 42 were for improvements and innovations for both pneumatic and hydraulic cylinders. About 460 of his original cylinder dimensions are now incorporated into the industry wide NFPA cylinder standards.
Along with his partner, William J. Reedy, Frank purchased the Miller Motor Company in 1942 and the descendant of that company has been known by both Flick Reedy Company and Miller Fluid Power Company. Miller is now a division of Parker Hannifin Corporation.
Mr. Flick received numerous awards, including three National Industrial Recreation Association Helms Awards for excellence in employee relations. Frank was awarded Citizen of the Year and an Americanism Award from the VFW, the First Partnership Award of the Labor-Management Association, Senior Citizen of the Year Award from the Chicago Park District, and the Pro Ecclesia et Pontific designation from Pope Paul VI.
As early as 1957, Mr. Flick saw one of his inventions go into space: six tiny nuts were used to seal the highly corrosive fuel, helping to thrust a 4 1/2-pound Vanguard satellite while 300 miles up. Implementing his fervor for education, Frank trained hundreds of his employees. He became known for his successful and effective employment policies and was known to have “trained the industry”.