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Continuous Growth

Continuous Growth Trajectory MOTION AND DRIVES The machinery and engineering sector is booming around the world. However, this high level of demand is posing great challenges for supply companies. Delivery difficulties and even a reduction in quality are expected. To see how these problems are avoided in the first place, I visited HydraForce – an American manufacturer of cartridge valves and hydraulic manifolds in Chicago. Author: Peter Becker, editor World of Industries Based in Lincolnshire, the site is approx. 50 km north of Chicago. Parker, Kubota Engines, and many smaller suppliers from the mobile sector are based here, including HydraForce Inc. with its main factory, Factory 2 for machining, and the Innovation and Technology Center, that contains the marketing, engineering, and laboratory facilities, as well as recently expanded assembly operations.. The latter was also my first stop on my trip through the main areas of the globally operating valve, manifold, and system manufacturer. After stepping inside, my eyes were initially drawn to the timeline on the wall that summarizes the successful history of the company. Founded in 1985, HydraForce first made a name for itself by collaborating with smaller manufacturers of mobile working machines. Following the construction of its European plant in Birmingham in 2001, the company developed into a global player. Additional production sites in China and Brazil followed in subsequent years. In 2017, HydraForce produced more than 13 million cartridge valves and approx. 1.2 million manifolds. Enormous growth rate The HydraForce vision is positioned right next to the time line: The company’s vision: “To be an independent provider of innovative technical solutions that can change the world.” 28 WORLD OF INDUSTRIES 2018

And the mission: “To create worldwide customer delight by providing the highest quality products and the most responsive customer support in the world at a globally competitive cost.” These guidelines are not modern marketing slogans but are the founding principals that have driven the company from the very beginning. Russ Schneidewind, VP of Global Sales and Marketing at Hydra- Force, explains how closely these sayings are adhered to while showing me around the company’s Innovation Center. The roughly 150,000 m² large building was purchased back in 2013. However, up Last year we expanded by nearly 30% – significantly above the average Russ Schneidewind until last year only a fraction of the space was being used as only the development engineers, laboratory, and marketing department were based here. Back then, HydraForce assumed that it would continue to grow and would consequently need to build up its innovation and development capacities to be able to keep the brand promise. Last year, this move turned out to be a blessing. This is because, “we have grown far beyond the market average. In 2017, we increased our sales by nearly 30 percent,” explains Russ Schneidewind. Strict application focus One of the reasons for this certainly is the practical approach with which HydraForce demonstrates its value to customers. I meet up with David Dornbach, Hydraforce’s Application Engineering Manager, in the applications laboratory. He explained how closely HydraForce works on the application with the customer. “We either buy machines in which our products are usually implemented or our customers provide us with the vehicles. We outfit them with our products and solutions and then invite costumers to come and compare the standard machine with the Hydraforce version. This 01 Several vehicles under development in the applications laboratory WORLD OF INDUSTRIES 2018 29