Safe and Secure


The Hydra-Zorb clamp, developed 50 years ago, reduces vibration on hydraulic lines.

MANY INVENTIONS THAT have the greatest impact on everyday life are deceptively simple. Auburn Hills-based Hydra-Zorb’s cushion clamp could be considered one of those breakthroughs.

The device (also called Hydra-Zorb) was created more than 50 years ago by the late Orval Opperthauser of Ortonville while he was working at F. Joseph Lamb Co., a Detroit-based supplier of machine tools to the automotive industry. Opperthauser was tasked with figuring a way to stop hydraulic lines attached to a piece of transfer equipment from vibrating and chattering. 

Within a day, he developed a large clamp and molded a piece of plastic to go around the metal to absorb any shock. The cushion clamp could be installed right on the hydraulic lines without having to tear down equipment.

Robert Dodge, Opperthauser’s stepson and current president of the 27-employee company, says once the cushion clamp made its way into the refrigeration industry, it was “off to the races.” Clients now include grocery outlets nationwide, Target, and institutions such as the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, among others.

He says the product is made entirely in the United States, and large orders that would take some suppliers months to complete can be turned around within a matter of days. “Our product is guaranteed, it’s spot-on, and we get it out the door,” he says. “I mold everything out in the shop. I weld it, I stamp it, I package it — it’s all (done) here.”

To keep pace with demand, Hydra-Zorb will double its footprint in March at a new, 52,000-square-foot facility, also in Auburn Hills, and Dodge says he plans to add five employees over the next year. 

Dodge attributes his company’s success to keeping a narrow focus and maintaining good customer service practices. “We don’t throw everything at the wall,” he says. “Our breadth of product is narrow, and the depth is long.”

Edit Module
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

Green Wave

OHM Advisors in Livonia helps limit environmental challenges like harmful algae.

Books and Mortar

Local comic book stores suffer as online retailers and auction sites become more prominent.

Data Highway

KLA Laboratories is moving into the digital world of autonomous and connected vehicles.

Vested Interest

How a local real estate agent built a $60 million client base from scratch.

Expansion Draft

Ferndale's Urbanrest Brewing temporarily shut its doors for a week for an unusual reason.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. Revered Cadieux Café on Detroit’s East Side Sold to Restauranteur Paul Howard and Musician John Rutherford
    The owners of the Cadieux Café on Detroit’s east side today announced that they have sold the...
  2. Jackson’s Henry Ford Allegiance Health First in U.S. to use Neuromonitoring System for Spine Surgery
    Henry Ford Allegiance Health in Jackson is the first hospital in the country to use Generation 2...
  3. Farmington Hills’ Plum Market to Open Street Concept Store in Downtown Detroit
    Plum Market, a food and beverage company based in Farmington Hills, will open a street concept...
  4. Bloomfield Hills-Based Sterilogy and Grand Valley Students Develop System to Help Reduce Hospital Infections
    Keeping hands clean and sanitized in hospitals and other medical facilities can be a challenging...
  5. Ottawa Towers Wins $7.4M Settlement from Pontiac Over Property and Parking Rights
    After more than six years of litigation, the City of Pontiac and the owners of the Ottawa Towers...
  6. Dykema’s Bloomfield Hills Office Adds Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Attorney
    Dykema, a Detroit-based national law firm, has announced the addition of Kenneth J. Sachs to its...