Engineering Spotlight: Bennett Torrance

Tell me a bit about your role within the Digital Displacement team?

I started as an intern in 2017 mainly focusing on testing the pump. Slowly as I’ve gotten more into the technology, I’ve transitioned to focusing on the pump’s controller. This has given me the opportunity to take my testing experience gained from earlier years working on the pump and apply it to the development of the “brains” of the hardware. I work on ingress protection, shock and vibration resistance, thermal management, and electromagnetic compatibility testing. These efforts ensure that the controller – much like the pump – holds up to the rigorous standards that each customer has for products on their machine. Part of my role is also to look at the associated costs of production and make sure we’re being efficient as possible with design and manufacturing.

How did you get into engineering?

I was in a robotics program in high school that first exposed me to the wonders of engineering. I studied Mechanical Engineering at Iowa State University, and started my internship at Danfoss at the beginning of my Junior year. I was exposed to software, electronics, and mechanical engineering activities during this internship; this allowed me to finish my degree with an idea of how I wanted my career to look like.

Engineer booth

How did you fall into the role you are in now?

I’ve been privileged enough to have a manager that allowed me to choose a career path that was both interesting to me and beneficial to the Digital Displacement organization. If you would have asked my manager when I started with Danfoss if I’d be doing what I’m doing now, I think he’d have seen me fit into a more traditional hydraulics engineering role, unlike Digital Displacement. Digital Displacement is a complex mixture of electronics and hydraulics in one product, and I’ve tried to orient my career path towards this same mixture.

What do you find the most interesting thing about Digital Displacement?

It’s truly ground-breaking – comparable to when cars engines switched from carburetors to electronic fuel injection. A change that allowed cars to improve both fuel efficiency and performance. Now it’s Digital Displacement’s turn to revolutionize the hydraulics market!

Engineers

What would you say to someone considering using Digital Displacement pumps within their technology/machinery?

Hopefully, they are already aware of the high system efficiency and productivity that is possible with Digital Displacement. What I think is equally impressive is the fully software configurable nature of the pump. No more hydraulic control blocks, clogged spools, or spring settings. Just one version of hardware that can serve entirely different markets with a flick of a virtual switch.

What streams of engineering do you see yourself being involved with in the future?

There’s areas of the business that focus hugely on R&D and fantastic blue sky thinking. What I’m really passionate about is taking their ideas and making them a reality by working with manufacturers to make them commercially viable to take mass market. From a Digital Displacement point of view, the technology fits really well into Danfoss’ wider objectives to transform the markets we serve, whether this is making things more environmentally friendly or increasing productivity. I’m glad to be a part of it and look forward to seeing it developing in the future.

 

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