Viking Interview with Roger Palmer, VP Innovation and Technology, Parker Hannifin

Author:  Carey Robards, Viking AT

Roger Palmer, Parker Hannifin RAC-ING Instrumentation Group
Roger Palmer, Parker Hannifin RAC-ING Instrumentation Group

 

 

“Technology is leading us all in a very exciting direction, where the line between real world application and virtual world optimization will seamlessly work together and alter the paradigm of industrial and commercial products. It will change a lot of things. 

– Roger Palmer, Parker Hannifin

 

 

 

 

 

Technology: One small word for one giant and endlessly evolving anomaly in which we, as humans, get to participate in co-creation 

Brilliant and innovative people are inspiring… period.  But what or who  inspires these innovators? We’ve caught up with Roger Palmer, Vice President of Innovation and Technology, spearheading their technology program for the RAC-ING Instrumentation Group. Roger was great enough to share some of his thoughts during our interview with a brief look into technology and some methodology .

We would like to look into what it is like being responsible for many of the innovative decisions for a group that size. What would you say is the key to technology innovation management?  

I would say that one of the most vital key components to technology innovation management is consistently being open to new ideas, new concepts and maintaining an open look into the way we all do things.  Sometimes we hear, but we don’t really listen. Most engineers collect new technology and new ideas, but very few of them collect customer’s “points of pain”, or issues, and make those notes. Realizing where the intersection of innovation can be made to these points of pain is where your greatest accomplishments will be made for consumers.

Second, I would say that you have to be well networked and be well tuned in to what is going on.  We often look towards universities, start-up companies and inventors to collaborate on our ideas and efforts and listen to theirs. You look for brilliant problem solvers exchanging their ideas in abstract ways, creating mental pictures with their words, quite an experience really.

Would you say that there have been significant changes to motion control in the past decade?  How would you sum up today’s technology focus?  What do you feel is the most interesting thing happening in motion control right now?

Most definitely. Probably the greatest advancement we have seen has been in electronic controls and motion sensors.  I would say that the most intriguing technology focus today has been the connectivity between the real world and the virtual world. It can be quite difficult to try to explain. This technology will lead us in a direction where the line between real world mechanical application and virtual world optimization will seamlessly co-create, which will change the paradigm of industrial and commercial products. It will change a lot of things and is rather exciting.     

What would you say is the hottest growth area for Parker right now?

I would say that the hottest area of growth for Parker recently has been in oil and gas. As consumer demands continue, the oil and gas companies are constantly drilling and looking towards new drilling environments and looking for new technologies that will adapt to the unique properties within these different environments.

Our companies have collaborated together on different projects over the last few years now.  How would you describe your experience with Viking so far?

Quite exciting really. I have found in working with Jeff (Viking’s CEO), him to be extremely creative and definitely an outside of the box kind of person. One of the things that I like most about Jeff is his ability to move past obstacles with his creativity that results in sound problem solving. I have dealt with a lot of engineers from all over the world, and you have those who you give a difficult challenge to – who come back saying that it can’t be done or that they can’t do it. With Jeff, you hand him a challenge, he takes a minute, and will come back to you with a solution and the steps that it will take to get it done in great detail.     

We know that Parker shares a strong interest in safeguarding the environment and is continually improving processes and products to support environmental stewardship and technologies.  As a final question, do you believe that mass-scale change for a more sustainable future is possible?  And, do you see any significant changes now?

Parker’s technology philosophy is based off of Professor Richard E. Smalley’s list of “The Top Ten Problems Facing Humanity for the next 50 years” with the number one problem being energy. We develop technologies and products that support solutions to those top ten problems in Smalley’s list and take it seriously. 

 

Parker Company Information:

Parker Hannifin reported annual sales exceeding $13 billion in fiscal year 2013, with locations in 49 countries supporting 139 divisions and 341 manufacturing locations. Their products can be found in almost anything that moves.  They are the world’s leading diversified manufacturer of motion and control technologies and systems, providing precision-engineered solutions to a wide variety of mobile, industrial and aerospace markets.  The company employs approximately 58,000 people in 49 countries and growing.

 

 

 

Parker Hannifin – The Movers and Shakers of the Motion Control Industry

Author:  Carey Robards, Viking AT

We were shooting for this week or next to host an interview with Roger Palmer, of Parker Hannifin and due to scheduling it looks like that will be next week.  In the meantime, this week we would like to talk a little bit about Parker as a company and their consistent evolutionary impact on our lives through the development of products and technologies that we use every day as dynamic human beings.

 

Company Information: Parker Hannifin, with headquarters in Cleveland, Ohio reported annual sales exceeding $13 billion in fiscal year 2013, with locations in 49 countries supporting 139 divisions and 341 manufacturing locations… Their products can be found in almost anything that moves.  They are the world’s leading diversified manufacturer of motion and control technologies and systems, providing precision-engineered solutions to a wide variety of mobile, industrial and aerospace mark aerospace, climate control, electromechanical, filtration, fluid and gas handling, hydraulics, pneumatics, process control, and sealing and shielding.  The company employs approximately 58,000 people in 49 countries around the world.

Parker began as “Parker Appliance Company” and was founded in 1917 and has been publicly traded on the NYSE since December 9,1964 and ranked 211 in the Fortune 500 list published by Fortune Magazine.  While it is incorporated in the United States, Parker-Hannifin has focused on its international growth which has been resulted in more than half of its revenue coming from overseas.

Corporate climate:  Parker’s business code of ethics, diversity, and global social responsibility is truly an experience that we at Viking AT have seen during our years of working with them.  Their company’s concentration on “A winning culture, passionate people, valued customers and engaged leadership” really shines through.

 

Cool Technologies:  Obviously there are more products and technologies than we could possibly mention in this article that we would rank as very cool products, and a few of them have our ViVa actuators in them.  Here are a few that are new or in the works that fall into the cool innovation list:

 Natural Gas & Green Technology 

  • VeParker_Veriflo_CNG_Dispensingriflow – Fast-fill compressed natural gas fuel dispenser. The user friendly design and awesome speed that this dispenser offers CNGg stations is phenomenal.  Veriflow is designed with the utmost safety control in mind  and offers consumers a High Tech dispensing experience while filling up.

 

 

Advanced Medical Technologies:

  • Negative pressure wound therapy – a miniature diaphragm pump with a brushless slotless motor is used within NPWT devices to pull a vacuum on the wound site and the wound bed. The vacuum pulls exudate from the wound site and physicallyX Valve_Automation_745X220 draws the wound together, promoting blood flow, thus expediting the healing process.

 

 

  • Indego – a powered lower limb orthosis (or exoskeleton) enabling people with mobility impairments to walk again.  Forbes Magazine calls it “This amazing robot exoskeleton”

    Parker Indigo Exoskeleton
    Parker Indigo Exoskeleton

 

  • Aircraft Fuel Cell Power System – Partnering with Airbus to develop a multi-function fuel cell system which will replace the small engine located near the rear of the aircraft known as the auxiliary power unit.

 

For more information on Parker Hannifin, go to www.parker.com.  If you would like assistance in reaching Parker Hannifin for product development inquiries, we would be happy to help and you can contact us at crobards@vikingat.com.

We look forward to sharing our interview with Roger Palmer, which we hope to have for you next week!

Viking AT Piezo Actuator and Valve Technology