“We represent all products made by Parker Hannifin apart from the aerospace products,” says Managing Director Frans Heirbaut. No question, the product range of Parker Hannifin is unparalleled.
Based on know-how and expertise in nine major technologies, the product program encompasses hydraulics, pneumatics, electromechanics, filtration, process control, fluid and gas handling, sealing and shielding, climate control, and aerospace. “Our selection boasts everything from valves and filters to pumps, o-rings, fittings and cylinders through to hoses and motors,” says Mr. Heirbaut.
One of the latest innovations is the company’s approach to the life science market for which it has developed laboratory services to support customers in breweries, pharmaceuticals, bioscience and medicine to help them validate its products, for example by sterilising and clarifying grade filters.
On top of this, Parker Hannifin BeLux has just launched its SciLog products, which include automated controls, sensors and bags for life science markets. Delivery just in time and value-added service are standard at Parker Hannifin BeLux. “In order to deliver added value, we combine several products into a package,” says Mr. Heirbaut. “We also take on the assembly of components, subsystems, and plug and play installations. This way, our clients save time on their assembly lines and reduce their costs.”
Today, around 40% of all products and solutions delivered by the Belgian Parker Hannifin subsidiary are customised. The company enjoys an excellent reputation as a comprehensive and competent solution provider. “We see ourselves as our customers’ partner,” says the managing director. “Yet we engage in co-engineering with our clients, especially for analysis and engineering tasks. The concept development usually takes place at our customers’ premises.”
Parker Hannifin BeLux mainly targets OEMs. Usually, the company’s products are integral parts of OEM products. The company’s reference list is long and boasts renowned OEM names such as CNH Case New Holland, Caterpillar, Atlas Copco or JLG lift equipment.
Parker Hannifin draws on a dense distribution network, most of them agents and traders specialising in hydraulics and pneumatics. Many of them have been partnering with the company for decades. Often, they are managed in the second generation. Of course, the group’s network also takes on after-sales service and the storage of standard products and spare parts.
Focusing on the Belgian and Luxembourg markets, Parker Hannifin BeLux regularly participates in international trade fairs such as the Automation in Brussels and Antwerp.
Parker Hannifin has been operating in Belgium since 1975. In 1985, Schraeder Bellows was integrated into the concern, which was a milestone in the development of the subsidiary. In 1989, the company became independent and opened the sales branch in Nivelles in the south of Brussels. In 2009 it moved to its new facilities in Nivelles-Nord, encompassing huge storage and assembly facilities for products and spare parts.
“The Nivelles facilities are very important and ensure delivery just in time and value-added services,” says Mr. Heirbaut. Today, Parker Hannifin BeLux has a staff of 70 and achieves revenues of around 70 million USD.
The US-based Parker Hannifin Corporation, originally called Parker Appliance Company from Cleveland, is one of the S&P 500 companies. One of the company’s achievements that aroused attention was the development of the Charles Lindbergh aeroplane which crossed the Atlantic ocean.
The business fields of the corporation are Parker Aerospace, Parker Automation, Parker Climate and Industrial Controls, Parker Filtration, Parker Fluid Connectors, Parker Hydraulics, Parker Instrumentation and Parker Seals. Founded in 1918, the company is now headed by CEO Donald E. Washkewicz. With a staff of around 60,000, the corporation achieves revenues of roughly 13.1 billion USD.
“Ever since the beginning, Parker Hannifin has had an excellent reputation based on its competence and reliability,” Mr. Heirbaut explains the company’s success. “The highest productivity possible and top-quality service have always been guiding principles, as well as state-of-the-art technology and the highest performance possible. In addition to this, our product program is unique and covers several important technologies. Worldwide, you will not find any competitor with a comparable portfolio. Parker Hannifin has everything you need when it comes to motion and control. Another important asset is our ‘one face to the customer’ philosophy. Our clients are able to rely on one single supplier, which results in significant cost reductions in their supply chains. Also, they save much administration. Last but not least, the Parker Hannifin network is unique. We cover over 60 countries and offer global services to global players. For example, out customer Caterpillar has an export quota in Belgium of over 90%. They can be sure that their exported machines, for example in New Zealand, will be excellently looked after by our local Parker Hannifin distributors. Local service and spare parts will be available at any time. In order to ensure excellence worldwide, our database is organised on a global basis with identical configurations worldwide.”
Of course, Parker Hannifin will not rest on its laurels in the coming years. There are many development projects in the pipeline, for example, lower noise motors for waste disposal lorries which are supposed to collect waste at night without disturbing the residents. Also, the company invests much in hybrid hydraulic energy projects, such as boom lift applications.
“This technology would result in energy and fuel savings of around 30 to 40% whenever you have to use a lift, for example when working on a church, high buildings or trees,” says Mr. Heirbaut. “More efficient steering and regulation of the pump frequencies is another current issue at Parker Hannifin. This is an important topic in the wind energy sector, for example to control the motors of wind turbines and to position their pumps.”