HPU order secured despite delays

HPU order secured despite delays

HYDAC WA persists in the face of setbacks until it secures an order for a test and flushing HPU.


An Australian government business enterprise involved with Australian naval shipbuilding contacted HYDAC WA to enquire about a mobile filter unit (MFU) after having a satisfactory experience of its performance at one of its facilities. 

“Contact was made in April 2019 because the company, which has three facilities in Australia, had used the MFU at its site in South Australia for the transfer of oils on equipment and wanted to replicate it in Western Australia,” HYDAC Internal Sales Engineer Steve Nolan says.

“I took the call and became the contact for the customer. I was keen to meet up with the company representative to take things further and discuss HYDAC’s capabilities.”

HYDAC’s first step in the process was to arrange a face-to-face meeting with the prospective client to review HYDAC’s capabilities and provide a technical product overview.

“The company’s point of enquiry to a planned meeting spanned months due to busy schedules, but we got there in the end and the wait was well worth it because in February 2020 we received an official purchase order for the MFU, including accessories. The order value wasn’t high, but it showed a statement of intent from the company that it was adopting best practice principles with regards to hydraulic/lubrication fluid transfer,” Mr Nolan highlights. 

Outdated test and flushing HPU presents opportunity

Prior to Covid-19 affecting Western Australia, HYDAC representatives visited the company’s Technical Superintendent at its Western Australian facility for the second time.

“We had a tour of the facility which was great, including viewing a vessel on the hardstand. This is where we were shown the incumbent test and flushing hydraulic power unit (TFHPU),” Mr Nolan points out.

“The existing TFHPU was an out-of-date design that had been used for decades and required a modernised hydraulic upgrade to assist the maintenance team in its need to serve and maintain the frontline of Australia’s naval defence capabilities. At this point, we were advised that a competitor had already submitted an offer for a testing and flushing HPU.”

The customer, upon introduction to HYDAC’s hydraulic capability and competency, then requested a proposal for a replacement TFHPU.

The ensuing Covid-19 heavy months presented many related challenges but they didn’t deter the HYDAC WA team from maintaining close contact with the customer.

The potential pipeline project was officially allocated to HYDAC Sales Engineer Chris Sherwood and the HYDAC Melbourne engineering team for detailed design and a technical review.

HYDAC HPU order secured despite delays

HYDAC emerges as clear winner for HPU order

“The HYDAC proposal and technical approach was immediately recognised and highlighted as preferential by the associated customer,” Mr Nolan says.

After months of technical clarification and review, the final outcome resulted in a “bespoke tailored solution”, fulfilling the maintenance team’s requirements whilst upholding an above-average industry-standard in related hydraulic design.

“This was a win-win for both parties,” he says.

Government has identified Australian Industrial Capability (AIC) as any information or knowledge, technology or technology application, which in this particular case made HYDAC a perfect fit as it builds subassemblies, puts systems together and constantly innovates as well as providing personnel, skills, discipline, training and education.

 “Our associated fluid power competence, system innovation and established national support network complemented the AIC Program initiative,” Mr Nolan says.

“One of the biggest challenges experienced was maintaining critical contact and communication from March through to receiving the order in December, navigating through the COVID disruption.”

“We maintained a high level of communication through phone calls, emails and Microsoft Teams’ meetings. The overall success experienced was fundamentally a result of HYDAC and the customer’s Australian teams finding common ground and forging a unified approach towards the application’s ultimate needs and requirements. This brought us to where we needed to be, culminating in the eventual contract award of HYDAC as the preferred TFHPU manufacturer.”

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