Originally two separate, long-established private companies, leading designer and manufacturer of maintenance machines for the combustion chamber area for two-and four-stroke engines, Chris-Marine acquired IOP Marine in 2009 in order to pool their combined extensive knowledge; since then the two firms have operated as one entity.
Chris-Marine is based in Malmö and IOP Marine is located in Copenhagen, each has its own offices and production facilities. Chris-Marine serves clients with their portfolio including maintenance machines for grinding, honing and machining, while IOP Marine focuses on hydraulic power units and fuel injection test equipment, an ideal combination dedicated to the design and manufacture of stable, reliable and accurate state-of-the-art maintenance machines that are user friendly and easy to operate.
One research and development team supports both firms and develops tools together with global clients and engine manufacturers. “Our equipment is generally custom made for each client,” explains Sales and Marketing Director Alexander Malt. “However, what begins as an idea for one client can often be used by our R&D team to respond to the needs of other clients too.”
The heart of the business lies not only in the supply of equipment, but in strong partnerships with customers to accurately analyze requirements and identify the most effective solutions. This includes guiding clients in terms of a planned schedule of work; quality equipment requires planned investment and the company offers competent advice in terms of prioritizing their purchase order, allowing clients to manage their budgeting in the most efficient way.
The R&D team has recently developed and upgraded a new version of the LEMAG Electronic Cylinder Pressure Indicator – LEMAG ECI – which, with improved design and quality, improves engine uptime and lowers operating costs by allowing technicians to balance, fine tune and monitor main and auxiliary engines.
In view of the quality equipment, it is vital that the clients’ own employees are sufficiently trained to operate and maintain the machinery correctly and this is another area where Chris-Marine and IOP Marine excel.
For maintenance or repair requirements which the clients’ own staff are unable to fulfil, the Technical Support and After Sales (TSA) team can usually be on site within 24 hours. “We put our clients first,” points out Mr. Malt. “We understand not only their technical requirements, but also their daily operational challenges, and respond accordingly. We cooperate very closely with them – they are 100% involved at every step of the process – which also often leads to developing products that improve on what they already have. We have a flat organization which makes it easier to brainstorm and develop ideas.”
Chris-Marine and IOP Marine have a worldwide coverage. Besides the headquarters in Sweden and Denmark,there are offices in Brazil, Ecuador, India and Japan, and offices and workshops in China and Singapore. A subsidiary was recently established in Rellingen near Hamburg following the acquisition of monitoring products from LEMAG, a renowned supplier of top class equipment.
In addition, the company works with a number of longstanding agents who are trained in both the equipment and the company’s preferred sales methods, putting client needs and advice ahead of sales targets. Engine manufacturers and end users such as workshops and ship- and dock owners form the main customer base, with the power plant industry also beginning to take off.
“It is vital that we always take time to visit our customers so that, no matter where they are, they are close to us,” notes Mr. Malt. Putting the customer first is also reflected in the company’s latest client concept.
The Engine Care Academy forum will offer videos, instructions and manuals for sales, technical information and troubleshooting, and will be launched at the end of 2017. After one year in the company, Mr. Malt sums up what motivates him. “It is the drive and energy that everyone here puts in, how they make a difference for our customers and the way they are so proud of the products and the company. We are like a family, everybody is supportive; it makes my job so much easier.”