As a leading manufacturer of high-pressure gas and liquid equipment, Haskel is deeply committed to high quality in all facets of their business. Haskel's rich network of distributors is key to upholding these standards in various industries across the world. Haskel recognizes the hard work their distributors put in and the important role they play in the company's success. To share appreciation for these partnerships, Haskel is highlighting some of their longtime distributors.
Wainbee Limited, a company that provides leading expertise in hydraulics, pneumatics, electromechanical automation, assembly tools and filtration, met Haskel in 1981 when they were looking to advance their pneumatic automation product offering. Haskel's air amplifier was the solution the company was looking for. Since then, Wainbee has been a key Haskel product supplier in Canada, serving the needs of customers from coast to coast. Members of the Wainbee team, including Campbell Tourgis, Vice President; Jeanine Frutuoso, Marketing Business Unit Manager; John Chiarelli, Pneumatic Product Manager; and Vital Neron, Hydraulic Product Manager, discussed how the 36-year partnership has created success for each company.
What makes Wainbee unique as a Haskel distributor?
Wainbee's extensive experience makes us an ideal partner to match Haskel's expertise. Our role in the partnership is much larger than distribution of product sales. From the beginning phases of troubleshooting and specification design to post-sale maintenance, Wainbee is equipped to support customer needs with a full range of solutions that include engineered systems, products and services.
One of Wainbee's biggest value-add offerings is our ability to provide maintenance services on the liquid pumps, air amplifiers, and gas boosters our customers use. The company has 16 locations across Canada, with 11 of those having full service facilities. Beyond the service centers, we have two product managers that specialize in Haskel products: John Chiarelli, Pneumatic Product Manager and Vital Neron, Hydraulic Product Manager.
Why has the Wainbee and Haskel partnership been so successful?
For any distributor relationship to be successful, two factors are necessary: mutual benefit for each company and the flexibility to operate in a way that creates further business opportunities. In our partnership with Haskel, it was important that Wainbee was still able to utilize the engineering capabilities that we pride ourselves on.
Haskel has always rewarded Wainbee the opportunity to flex our skills in custom applications. There have been several opportunities for our companies to collaborate on customer requests and take advantage of the unique expertise each company possesses.
How has Wainbee's engineering expertise molded the Haskel partnership?
All customer relationships begin with a system or product challenge. Our technical team, which consists of 36 engineers and 45 technical sales representatives, troubleshoots the issue and determines the best solution. First, the team evaluates if any of the standard pumps or compressors will serve the needs of the customer. If it's decided that a custom fix is needed, our engineers create a list of questions and specifications that gets vetted with the Haskel engineering team. From there the process becomes very communal and a lot of sharing of ideas occurs.
It's very helpful to have this type of collaborative relationship with a distribution partner. The addition of different perspectives creates an advantage for Wainbee, Haskel, and especially the customer. As we have developed this joint design approach to custom work with Haskel, their experts have become an extension of our own engineering team.
Why does Wainbee's ability to service equipment increase the value of your Haskel partnership?
At Wainbee, our team is committed to seeing projects from start through to finish. Our team specializes in a number of disciplines. They begin with the technical challenges, design a product that meets customer needs, and then finish the project with service and maintenance to ensure the system efficiency.
Having a full service team is an advantage itself, but the greater advantage is that all of the processes are done side by side. The main facility, our assembly facilities, and service facilities are connected so the entire team is in one location. This promotes cohesiveness on projects, ensuring that engineering, production and service are all on the same page about a project. When a pump or amplifier comes in for maintenance, the team is already aware of how the equipment was designed and the technology is familiar.
As markets continue to advance, what trends do you see coming next in high-pressure pneumatics and hydraulics?
Although they sometimes move at different paces, the Canadian and American markets tend to mirror each other. Liquid pumps are still the most popular in oil and gas, while aerospace is continuing to grow, and new marketplaces have been developed as our customers’ ingenuity expands into different automation fields.
Botanical extraction is growing exponentially right now, and we're seeing new leads come in every week for requests in that market. We're also seeing increased needs in offshore oil and gas applications. We're working closely with Haskel to clearly understand the needs of these two emerging markets.
Hydrogen is an area of interest for Wainbee as well. Although it hasn't seen the growth in Canada yet as it has in the United States, a research center has been established and it could certainly be a growing market. That type of technology, such as Haskel's H-Drive, is more complicated than typical equipment Wainbee manages but we are able to support that industry with new knowledge when the need comes. In addition to hydrogen technology, we're seeing customers increasingly interested in electric gas boosters. That technology would be a welcome addition and we're interested to see what happens in that product market.