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Eaton Corporation Technical Center – Hydraulic Fluid Conveyance

Eaton Corporation Technical Center – Hydraulic Fluid Conveyance
Member of the Month

Eaton is a vast international company with over 92,000 employees, started more than 100 years ago. They offer electrical and industrial power management services and make an immense variety of products, from mechanical devices to furniture and golf club grips. The Maumee Technical Center focuses explicitly on Hydraulic Fluid Conveyance Engineering and Product Management. Currently, 62 employees report to the well-equipped combination of laboratories, training facilities, and offices at 1660 Indian Wood Circle, constructed in 1992. 

Paul DeWitt
Paul DeWitt, Manager of Global Engineering Services

The customers of their various fluid conveyance products include John Deere, Caterpillar, Coca-Cola, Cummins, Volvo and Freightliner. “We make all kinds of hoses and what is needed to connect them. In Maumee, we do Engineering and Product Management of Fluid Conveyance products, taking care of existing products and developing new ones. Applications vary from aircraft carriers to Coca-Cola dispensing machines. We convey everything from jet fuel to cookie dough. Think: hoses, adapters, and fittings,” reported Paul DeWitt, Manager of Global Engineering Services.

“We apply our engineering expertise to maintain and improve reliability, efficiency, and safety of our products. Our services include design, analysis, installation, start-up, commissioning, project management, preventive maintenance, training, and troubleshooting,” continued Mr. DeWitt. “And business is improving nicely for 2021 with business starting to ramp up again after the economic and business impacts of 2020”

Eaton Training Department
Eaton’s Training Department offering hi-tech, professional training for product use and implementation.

The facility is multifunctional where they perform:

  • Current Product Engineering support and Product Management for the Americas
  • New Product Introductions
  • New and existing materials development and improvements
  • Supply chain management (material suppliers)
  • Reconfiguration of products for customer-specific applications. (a significant business driver)
  • Hi-tech, professional training for product use and implementation (across the drive in a separate building)
  • Product and Materials Testing

The labs, as you would expect, are impressive! 

The Engineering Lab for the development of rapid prototypes includes a large production style 3D printer.
The Hydraulics Lab holds many machines for conducting formal qualification testing of the hydraulic components. This lab has A2LA (high-level) accreditation. Eaton uses a 4:1 factor of safety on hydraulic hose where a 5,000 psi rated hose will not burst until it reaches 20,000 psi!
The Impulse Lab includes robust machines for testing the fatigue life of hydraulic hoses and other components. Impulse or pressure cycling of the hoses at high pressure while under rotary and flex stressors helps simulate the real-life application (picture a backhoe digging a miles-long trench hour after hour, day after day).
The Oven Room offers the capacity for various high temperature testing to replicate applications like engine compartments, steel mills, and hot desert locations.
The Environmental Chambers can run as low as 40 degrees below zero to test how the materials and products perform at low temperature with the capability to add movement and pressure.
The Materials Science Lab develops compounds and polymers to suit the needs of the specific fluids customers flow through their systems.
The Pilot Plant. This facility provides the opportunity to simulate hose manufacturing within the Tech Center. This capability is very beneficial when setting up future production at a plant.
Application Engineering. This lab can take a thermoplastic product, bend it over a form (fixture), and heat it to create a formed hose or tube to fit into a particular application, like routing the hose around a wheel well or steering column. The fixtures are sent to the production plant to copy en masse for the client. 
Autoclave Conference Room is the think tank for the Tech Center. It offers the opportunity to analyze products as a team with all managers and engineers together.

New Signage Coming!

More than a year ago, Eaton entered into an agreement to have the Hydraulics Group acquired by Danfoss– a Danish Company. “Within the next few months, we will officially become a new part of Danfoss. Our blue “Eaton” sign will turn to red and read ‘Danfoss’. Danfoss has no hose or fittings products in their wheelhouse. We are a natural extension of their hydraulics product lines, and our resident experts and vast knowledge of hose and fittings will bring great value to Danfoss” shared Mr. DeWitt.

Why Arrowhead Park?

Mr. DeWitt answered, “The original reason we put roots into Arrowhead Park is that we used to be part of Aeroquip and their headquarters were in Maumee. We are still here, and not at Eaton’s Cleveland headquarters or their Minnesota office, because we show we have value right where we are with an ideal Midwest location not only for business but brain power too with UT and BGSU providing extraordinarily talented people – right at our doorstep”.

“This location is centralized to many of our customers across the Midwest, to the East coast. We like being part of the Park Association and take advantage of collaborative opportunities like the park cleanup coming up on April 22. Eppstein Park is a wonderful attribute, and the installation of the sidewalks was a huge bonus! It has made such a difference for the employees. Maumee takes good care of us.”