Over a period of more than three years, Parker has established and developed a relationship of trust with its customer Quadra, a manufacturer of production units for concrete products. More importantly, it has contributed to the success of the largest vibrating concrete press produced by Quadra. Parker has now become its sole supplier of hoses and hydraulic couplings. This is a true success story in which a number of chapters are still waiting to be written.
Quadra wanted the very best technical solutions in order to design and produce the concrete press delivered to its customer Plattard at the beginning of May.
“The level of automation and performance we set ourselves in this challenge was very bold indeed,” explains Daniel Ancrenaz, CEO of Quadra enthusiastically.
This is where Parker, the world’s leading manufacturer of motion and control technologies with annual sales totaling 13 billion dollars worldwide and 379 million euros in France, joined the adventure.
Over the years, Quadra has developed a relationship of trust with the Plattard group, with large-scale industrial investments entrusted to Quadra. These projects have always been undertaken using an innovative approach giving rise to technological breakthroughs.
For the latest project of constructing a complete concrete kerbs production unit, Parker was asked to bring its expertise to bear.
The main originality of this solution is the combination of two pumps – one dedicated solely to the tamper enabling the concrete products to be compacted, the other designed to fulfil the other functions – with a single motor. This is what tipped the balance in favour of Parker.
“It was the best solution submitted to us,” explains Christophe Gounant, the technical manager of the mechanical and hydraulic workshop at Quadra, who freely admits to having consulted a number of Parker’s rivals before taking his final decision. “It is interesting not only in technical terms, but also from an economic and ecological standpoint as it uses a single motor,” he adds. “This is also an advantage for our customer.”
In the end, Parker played an important role in this project. It was Parker who defined the hydraulics and thus the slaving of the main tamper and drawer functions of the press. The group provided all the connectors for the press, including the hydraulic hoses and couplings, as well as the tools and crimper required to assemble the equipment. It also fitted the press with hydraulic pumps using tandem-mounted pistons (PV180 + PV046), managed hydraulic distribution by providing the five proportional servo-distributors (cetop8-D91FP) and participated in programming the electronic axis card (type COMPAX 3F) which manages movement and slaves the tamper and drawer functions. Finally, Parker was present during the machine tests to provide assistance in making the press operational with regard to the hydraulics and automation elements.
This on-site assistance to the end customer as the product goes into production is also an essential point.
“If the supplier doesn’t include this in the service proposed, I don’t work with him,” asserts the technical manager of the Quadra mechanical and hydraulic workshop. It is all the more important as Parker cards have their own language.
In light of this, the world’s leading manufacturer of motion and control technologies provided training relating to its axis cards for several Quadra technicians at the Contamine site. However, making this undertaking a success took more than a simple click of the fingers! The story began three years earlier with Parker’s decision to approach Quadra, the manufacturer of production units specializing in concrete located a mere four kilometres from its own site.
This decision fell under the “Win Value” commercial approach specific to the Parker group.
“Initially, it was a case of determining the customer’s needs before identifying the right contact partner and gradually developing the partnership,” explains Christian Hartz, Parker Key Account Engineer. “Quadra was approached with regard to our know-how in the field of connectors: hoses and couplings,” continues Christian Hartz. “The technical teams were sometimes faced with leaks and waste,” he recalls, “and we suggested solutions adapted to their machines, which are subject to severe operating conditions.”
Parker has now become the main supplier of hydraulic hoses and couplings for all Quadra machines. At the same time, Parker has also begun to supply Quadra with pumps.
“We endeavour to satisfy their needs as precisely as possible and we have developed a climate of trust. We have globalised our offer through an approach focusing on quality and value added,” asserts Christian Hartz. “We have also installed a hose production workshop within the Quadra plant, offering them a high degree of autonomy and saving a considerable amount of time.
In conclusion, Daniel Ancrenaz states that,
“in Parker, we have found an ideal partner – as demanding as we are ourselves and sharing the same desire for innovation. This vibrating concrete press – the largest in Europe – is living proof of that.”
Article contributed by Christian Hartz, Key Account Manager, Parker Hannifin France SAS
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