Member Visit Showcases the Versatility of Fluid Power

Eric Lanke NFPA CEO


By Eric Lanke

One of my recent NFPA member visits was to Clippard Instrument Laboratory in Cincinnati, Ohio. Clippard has been an active NFPA member for a long time, but this was my first visit to their facility. And it was a fantastic opportunity to see the true versatility of fluid power on display.

Lots of things inside the Clippard plant, you see, have been “Clippard-ized,” a tribute, I think, to the engineering creativity and vision of Bill Clippard, Sr. Whenever some member of their production staff identifies a problem, Clippard engineers work to design and install a home-grown solution, one that the production staff then tweaks and troubleshoots as need be.

One of the many examples I saw was a custom-built and installed fire suppression system on their production machines. When a sensor detects low pressure (a result of a fire consuming the oxygen), it actuates a pneumatic cylinder to depress the trigger on a fire extinguisher, positioned to pump its fire retardant directly into the work chamber. At the same time, an emergency text is sent to the shop foreman.

It struck me not only as a great demonstration of fluid power’s versatility, but as a great way to give your production employees a deeper understanding and appreciation of the products they’re making.

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