The industrial distribution landscape is changing with the business model types and service capabilities being broader than ever before. At the all-encompassing end of the scale are Parker’s Hydraulic Technology Center (HTC) distributors, who offer a high degree of service capability in hydraulics and related technologies in addition to, the ability and expertise to support value-added services. Such services enable them to design and specify integrated system solutions including total system design, system build and troubleshooting and MRO services. The nature of these should lead to greater reliability, reduced downtime and an overall solution that is better engineered as well as more efficient and cost-effective.
Sophisticated capabilities cultivated
Traditionally, industrial distributors have been perceived as simple stockrooms and product sellers; this definition is outdated in the industry today. Under pressure from manufacturers and user demand, the modern distributor must bring added value, innovative services and build trustworthy relationships with their customers to distinguish themselves from the competition and sustain their business.
Distribution support & advanced systems integration
By definition, a Parker Hydraulic Technology Center (HTC) distributor is a focused hydraulic engineering house addressing the total hydraulic needs of industrial customers. There are many ways they can add value for end users, for instance, maintaining local stock for quick delivery in the event of machine breakdown, deploying kitting and breadman concepts. Perhaps most importantly, providing technical expertise to recommend the right product.
Value can be extended further, for example, by bringing local assistance to customers in case of urgent troubleshooting (hose replacement or cylinder repair), providing local services (condition monitoring and fluid power training) and building systems or assembling sub-systems for customers. When supporting a complete hydraulic systems approach, many additional Parker technologies and products may become part of the overall solution, including:
- electronic controls
- electro-mechanical parts
- machine intelligence
Combining these in the most optimal way is the skill of the HTC distributor. Add in the backing of Parker’s extensive expertise and resource pool gives the end user a high performance, cutting edge and differentiated solution.
For the customer, post-design benefits are as important, if not more so, than an integrated solution. Increased productivity through enhanced machine performance saves cost and maximizes competitiveness in the market place. Similarly, well-designed integrated automation solutions are likely to be more reliable than separate elements linked together. Other aspects that can be optimized are energy efficiency (a known payback of an integrated solution), precision and security.
Downtime is a concern in production environments as the costs and implications can quickly spiral. Investment at the design stage with a partner, like a Parker HTC distributor, will help reduce the risk of breakdowns and idle time. In addition, in the event a failure does occur, the local nature, broad technology expertise and experience in the system, makes a HTC ideal to get a line back up and running in the shortest time possible.
Parker HTCs succinctly apply the concept of offering multi-technology integrated designs along with test and post-implementation MRO services as a ‘360 degrees’ service offering.
Looking to the future
Parker sees its HTCs embracing Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technology allowing engineers to remotely monitor various parameters of a machine’s performance utilizing, strategically placed, wireless sensors to provide data and even control over the Internet. IIoT technology can lead to even better response rates and speed of intervention for predictive maintenance and minimize downtime.
Learn more about the many benefits offered by the experts in our Hydraulic Technology Centres (HTC). Click here.
Article contributed by Eric Zany, channel manager, Europe, Middle East and Africa , Parker Hannifin Europe Sàrl