Here at Hydraulics Online we always like to go the extra mile for our customers… but sometimes designing the hydraulic systems and sourcing obscure, or even obsolete, equipment is the easy part of the order!
An article by Ian, Technical Sales…
The sheer variety of equipment enquiries and projects that we are asked to get involved with ensures that every day is different here at Hydraulics Online… expediting standard or obscure parts to new or regular customers, or planning the specialist design for a unique one-off project – like the hydraulic systems to control the nose on Concorde, for example.
Although we get involved with some fantastic projects and real one-off designs as an international hydraulics business, having 100 years’ technical experience under our belts sometimes means that engineering the perfect bespoke solution is the least of our work!
An International Hydraulics Operation
The other day, for example, I had to send a Dowty gear pump over to Panama for a refurbishment of a ship. For an order like this, the logistics of getting the part where it needs to be quickly and on time can be a significant part of our work.
It’s fun to watch the regions we talk to change through the day as the sun rises and sets in different time zones. But these days, there is virtually no corner of the world one can’t ship to… even if it does take a little creative thinking on our part!
On a recent job, I found myself coordinating a part from the Netherlands, delivered to a Hungarian company, which needed to replace the hydraulics, a T7 Parker pump, on a German vessel that was on lease to Singapore – a truly international affair!
Working with our Partners
And as another example, earlier this week, I’ve overseen the delivery of a Bosch Rexroth pump to Kenyasi Sunyani, a remote town in the middle of Ghana. The penetration of mobile phone use in West Africa means it isn’t uncommon for us to receive orders for hydraulic parts from all over the region and we have strong established processes for making sure the part gets where it needs to go!
One of the most remote places we’ve ever delivered to is the town of Barnu in Southern Mongolia. It is so remote that none of the major courier businesses deliver there and we really struggled to find a courier of any kind who could deliver the Danfoss motor for us. But we didn’t give up and found a partner in the UK who went there regularly and he was able to take the orders over there with him on our behalf!
Closer to home, we deliver regularly to the Faroe Islands. This doesn’t sound too difficult, but quite often we are required to deliver some very large and heavy equipment, 1000kg Oerlikon Fairfield torque hubs on one occasion, and that’s what makes it more challenging. Again, the major couriers can’t help us. But our indefatigable investigations led us to a shipping company that do travel to the Faroe Islands on a regular basis and could transport even our heavier parts for us.
Its cargos normally consist of full or part loads of frozen and fresh seafood imported from the Faroes, and the company is still run by the great-great-grandson of the man who first started making the trips from the town to the islands. It’s wonderful when we find a creative solution like this that means we can help our customers, especially when they have been unable to source the part they need from anyone else.
We do pride ourselves on going that extra mile, whether that mile is here throughout the UK, en route to the Faroe Islands or in the middle of the Mongolian wilderness!
And I’ve not even mentioned, have I, that sometimes shipping international hydraulics means we even have aircraft on standby to get time-critical parts to oil rigs and other non-mainland destinations!
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