Fluid Power Talk

Daman Products busy with new inventions, student work

I think I've mentioned in the past that I have a soft spot for Daman Products Co. Inc., Mishawaka, Ind. Not because I think the company is any better than others out there—it's because a trip out there was my first company visit when I first joined Hydraulics & Pneumatics nearly seven years ago. So whenever I see news from Daman, I try to share it.

The first story from Daman is also another item I am pretty passionate about—education. Once again, the manufacturer of manifolds will be sponsoring a Fluid Power Challenge from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on December 2, at Notre Dame's Stepan Center. The competition, which was developed by the NFPA Education and Technology Foundation, challenges 16-20 teams of four from each of South Bend's Junior High Schools to solve an engineering problem using fluid power. They work in teams to design and build a fluid power mechanism capable of solving the work related task. The competition focuses on developing mechanical and fluid power skills. The teams will have a finite amount of time on competition day to reconstruct their machines from a new set of materials and compete. The goals are established to encourage students to select more engineering courses in their high school curricula and to keep their options open for technology-based post-secondary studies.

I've written about the Fluid Power Challenge numerous times in the past; someday, I hope to see one live in action, but regardless, I think it is critical to start engaging young students in fluid power as early as possible. I'm glad to see Daman is doing it for at least the second year that I know of.

The other news from Daman comes about an invention employees there created to reduce worker injuries when it comes to torquing vises used in machining fluid power control parts. A team developed a pneumatic torque multiplier, or angled nut runner, to automatically torque vises, replacing a manual operation that led to a number of repetitive motion injuries.

Not only does it protect workers but the tool offers better load control, preventing over-torque damage to vises and shifting of machined work pieces in vises without adequate torque. The company plans to add one of the tools to all of its work cells in 2012. Daman's Creative Team, which is charged with building new products, is currently looking at the multiplier tool as a possible product to bring to market.

Visit Daman's website and click on "Latest News" to read a complete press release about the device and its implications as well as see some photos of it in use.