Hallite UK expands its automated storage facility to further enhance the customer experience
Hallite continued investing in operational infrastructure throughout 2020 despite the pandemic. In conjunction with the recent addition of several new moulding machines at the UK production site, Hallite expanded its AutoStore automated storage facility.
(images courtesy of Dematic/Autostore)
“This expansion allows Hallite to continue to provide customers with the flexibility and agility that they value,” says Leigh Gibbs, commercial director. “Further development of the AutoStore automated storage solution plays a key role in our commitment to enhance the customer experience and deliver meaningful innovations. It ensures that our storage capabilities, shipping speed, and accuracy exceed customer expectations.”
Jennifer Shaikh, procurement and supply chain manager, has a clear vision for her department moving forward. It is fully aligned with the Hallite promise to look beyond technology to deliver against the specific requirements and parameters of customers and partners across the whole supply chain.
“My vision is to improve efficiency and flexibility in our team to further enhance the customer experience with a sleeker turnaround and shipping service, said Jennifer. “AutoStore has already proven instrumental in increasing storage capacity by 25 percent whilst reducing the store’s footprint by nearly 40 percent, and reducing manual handling of product, which has improved employee satisfaction.”
Logistics manager, Steve Berry, adds: “AutoStore significantly reduces our exposure to manual handling whilst improving our picking efficiency. This enables us to concentrate on improvements across the process from production to the customer.”
The project was successfully completed ahead of schedule in January, minimizing downtime that may have impacted customers during implementation.
An introduction to Teknikprodukter
Teknikprodukter is an established distributor in Sweden for engineered components in sealing, transmission and friction. Sealing solutions is a key part of their business ranging from O-Rings , shaft seals and gaskets to complex hydraulic solutions. They have worked with Hallite for over 20 years.
Per Alfredsson has been with the company since 2009 and is now Managing Director. Per has been talking to us about the business and the key benefits of working with Hallite.
There are two main areas of focus for Teknikprodukter, MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul) and OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer). MRO requires a fast, responsive and technically competent supply partner. Teknikprodukter serves this market with comprehensive stocks, locally based supply points and class leading logistics.
“The partnership with Hallite within this market is perfect,” says Per. “With Hallite’s quality products combined with Teknikprodukter’s fast service and availability guarantee, we can supply the market with an A Brand product when and where it is required.”
The OEM market requires a different approach. Here the customer demands engineering development and problem-solving expertise along with the capability to support volume production. Teknikprodukter are uniquely positioned to take care of this market as both a seal specialist and logistics expert. In this market the technical support of Hallite, together with their product development and specialist fluid power sealing knowledge fits perfectly with Teknikprodukter’s market presence as both organisations drive mutual growth.
Providing further support through focus and structure: The Global Distributor Partnership Programme
At Hallite we have recently launched a Global Distributor Partnership Programme. The programme aims to collaborate effectively with our key distributors worldwide to increase recognition of our brands and to stimulate growth for both companies.
Committed to enhance the customer experience and based on our key value of partnership, Hallite provides support to strategically appointed distributors as well as added focus in their markets.
Key partners such as Teknikprodukter have seen this programme make positive improvements. “We now have a structured approach to business and growth that can only help us keep focused and challenged in a positive way at all times,” says Per.
Clive Hill, Distributor Account Manager at Hallite says:
“Through the Partnership Programme our distributors are experiencing a depth of support never before realised and we are applying our core values of partnership and product development through it. By embracing our distributors as an extension of our own sales team we can focus on mutually beneficial growth. Teknikprodukter are a living embodiment of the value of this programme.”
Hallite Refreshes its Brand and Expands Global Testing Capabilities
A new look and more testing align with the company’s promise to enhance the customer experience and drive product performance and innovation forward
HAMPTON, Middlesex, December 1, 2020 – Hallite Seals International Ltd. are incredibly honoured to unveil refreshed branding today. As the specialist partner in hydraulic cylinder sealing solutions, one key strength of Hallite is its ability to build long-term partnerships across the entire supply chain. This was the focus from the company’s beginning in 1903 with the original partnership of the Hall brothers, and it is one of many distinctive competitive advantages underscored on the company’s journey to a new look and feel.
The work involved in refreshing the Hallite brand began with its customers and their feedback which was obtained through a series of qualitative interviews. This led to the development of an in-depth customer decision map, which became the focus of globally-led workshops where multifunctional teams collaborated to align Hallite vision and strategic projects with customer expectations.
Refreshed values and a vision designed with the customer in mind emerged from this year-long process, as reflected in various communications channels, such as an updated website. The new website was designed with the customer journey in mind. It features and focuses on key elements of the Hallite portfolio, history, and benefits.
With the launch of the new website, Hallite also introduces a new customer and partner exclusive portal — the Hallite Academy. It features a portfolio of brand assets developed in response to customer and partner needs for an easy-to-use toolkit of resources that enable seamless, uncomplicated collaboration with Hallite. The portal hosts a flexible, shareable fluid power training platform offering an unprecedented level of hydraulic fluid power education. Trainees gain practical knowledge about hydraulic sealing products based on demonstrations on applying them in industrial equipment.
The Hallite Academy also hosts the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) partnership platform that showcases external testing capabilities. For almost a decade, Hallite has partnered with MSOE to push the boundaries of hydraulic seal product testing and produce repeatable and comparable results that benefit the end-user.
Today, Hallite is also pleased to announce plans to expand its UK product testing facilities. The plan involves enhancing current test and laboratory capabilities for improved characterization and comparing materials. And it involves moving all equipment into a single state-of-the-art space inside the existing lab at 130 Oldfield Rd in Hampton. Hallite external and internal testing activities will be collaborative and complementary. The company will break ground in January 2021 on phase one of a three-phase facility expansion project expected for completion by the end of Q3 2021.
“Refreshing our brand and expanding our in-house product and material testing capabilities are major markers in Hallite history to drive forward our commitment to innovate into the future,” said John Curtis, Global Managing Director at Hallite. “Significant capital and human resource investment in these initiatives provide a unique opportunity to affirm a long-standing brand legacy and validate our promise to help customers and partners optimize their investment in our products and services.”
Follow the hashtags #WeDriveSealinnovationForward and #WeDriveSealperformanceForward on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube for updates about Hallite’s seal manufacturing heritage, refreshed branding, and innovative product and material testing activities.
New equipment puts Hallite on the path for increased manufacturing capacity
In response to customer demand, Hallite has invested in new highly efficient injection moulding machines. The machines, manufactured by Arburg, will be installed at Hallite’s UK Hampton facility for primary use with high-performance polyurethane materials, producing multiple seal types, including some of our key ranges such as our 605, 621, and 839 products. These seals are used in construction/off-highway cylinder applications, agricultural equipment, and mechanical handling applications, all of which support essential industries globally.
“The goal is to increase our capacity with additional flexibility across the moulding department, “said Andie Reeves, Head of Operations for Hallite. Our ability to respond to our customers’ demand is critical in these challenging market conditions, where supply chains are being tested by the erratic demand caused by the global pandemic. The addition of these machines will allow us to further enhance our agility in meeting customer requirements.”
Hallite has taken delivery of the first of two machines to arrive by the end of November. Both machines are scheduled to be set up and fully operational by the end of the year. Meanwhile, the manufacturing operations team in Hampton continues to work toward the achievement of a million man-hours without a loss-time incident because safety is an important component of Hallite’s operational growth plan.
Al Curnow hydraulics and Hallite: A partnership to be proud of.
Founded in 1996 in Albany, Western Australia, Al Curnow Hydraulics has been successfully serving customers around a vast 500 square km area around Albany in Western Australia’s south west.
Al Curnow, founder and owner of the company has 45 years’ experience in the trade and he now employees a team of 10. Part of the team operates directly from the main workshop and travels around using the 6 distinctive service vehicles.
The company’s mission is centred around speed of response. They use technology to gather as much information as soon as possible to be able to find a solution in a timely fashion. “We sort out your hydraulic hoses and issues and get you back up and running in no time.”
The company have been a Hallite partner for over 25 years and now an official distributor “Hallite is a job increaser and a money saver” said Al. “Hallite is the brand we use the most, they produce quality products from the UK”. Our customers and our business are not concerned with the cost as long as we are providing quality products.”
A proactive approach to selling to promote continued growth
Al Curnow has a distinctive entrepreneurship approach to business. They maintain a vast inventory of the Hallite products but, in addition, to save time and provide a professional service, the company packages Hallite kits ready for the customers. An incredibly proactive approach and example of promoting the continued growth of both brands.
This proactive approach is also bringing new business in a very difficult climate, with Curnow Hydraulics having received orders from 15 new customers in the last few weeks.
A partnership to provide solutions
Al Curnow Hydraulics have been very successful throughout the years thanks to their fast response and technical expertise provided. The partnership with Hallite has played a part in their success, according to Al. Whenever they need spare parts or further technical assistance, the Hallite Perth team is always there for them.
Al Curnow hydraulics stocks a large range of Hallite seals, and the quality of these products endures the harshest conditions on all types of machinery used in the area.
“There was this one time”, Al said, “where we received a job to repair a wool press cylinder we had never seen before. A single acting piston seals with a i.d. of 3.187”: lot of work was put into this job, investigating the problem, trying to find the best solution to the problem, drawing different scenarios to solve the issue. And the Hallite team was right there with Al and the team at Curnow hydraulics, providing their expertise and working in partnership to find the best solution. A set of seals where manufactured by Hallite Perth to solve the issue in a timely manner.
Jamie Moorby at Hallite Perth continues: “It’s been a long road so far, but we did something right. We put a lot of effort at the very beginning to ensure we analysed what Al Curnow Hydraulics were buying, understanding their purchasing patterns and filling the gap in their stock.”
A fantastic example of the spirit that runs through Hallite’s employees. A spirit of partnership and collaboration.
Al has a big vision to grow Curnow Hydraulics in the future and he firmly believe Hallite is the right partner to do so.
Al has a young very ambitious team of experts that he aims to grow into leaders of his business. Hallite is right there to support with our online and onsite training packages which will be made available to the Curnow hydraulics teams as well as other key partners across the world. Find out more about our training packages by contacting your local representative.
Hallite Recognises Special Day for Fluid Power Professionals
Today is Fluid Power Professionals’ Day, an annual date designated by the International Fluid Power Society to recognise and celebrate fluid power workers worldwide. Thanks to the dedication of thousands of fluid power engineers, technicians, mechanics, and operations staff globally, the industrial marketplace benefits from countless products and services provided with the aid of hydraulic fluid power, enhancing our daily lives.
From agricultural and material handling equipment used to maintain food production and transport, to waste management and construction equipment that keep our communities clean and safe, fluid power professionals use their expertise to keep essential services in motion. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the value of essential services has been more evident and crucial than ever before.
As a global provider of hydraulic sealing solutions for over a century, Hallite is at the forefront of the fluid power profession. It has been privileged to help some of the most talented and accomplished fluid power specialists develop careers centred around the application of sealing solutions for practically every industry. At the same time, it is an honour for Hallite to have worked alongside fluid power pioneers. They have shaped and revolutionised seal design, manufacturing, and performance to do the incredible work required by today’s industrial equipment and machinery.
John Curtis, Global Managing Director for Hallite, said: “We want to take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank everyone — especially those who have worked so hard over the past few months, demonstrating the true meaning of fluid power professionalism. For example, in May, our Hampton, UK team met a year-long milestone of 500,000 working hours without a loss-time injury. Today allows us to reflect on that achievement again as we continue to make health and safety a top priority. Hallite shares its focus on and commitment to health and safety across each location and with customers and partners who also deserve recognition for their contribution to the fluid power profession.”
Hallite Achieves HSE Milestone in the UK While the Government Announces Plan for a Phased Return to Work
Despite the challenges faced in recent months due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, on 1 May Hallite manufacturing operations in Hampton, UK reported the achievement of 500,000 working-hours and a full year without a loss-time injury.
“This is a phenomenal milestone and a testament to every employee’s contribution and commitment to health and safety,” said John Curtis, Global Managing Director for Hallite. “We look forward to continued performance towards the achievement of a million man-hours without a lost-time incident. The team accomplished this in the past, and I am confident that if we keep good habits in place, we can do it again.”
The Covid-19 self-assessment questionnaire helps safeguard the health and well being of all Hallite personnel
On Sunday, the UK government announced a phased plan over the next few months to bring the coronavirus lock down to an end to get the country back to work. Hallite is responding to the gradual loosening of restrictions that begin this week with a sustained focus on the health and safety of employees, customers, and partners. Several measures will remain in place for the foreseeable future, such as hand sanitation, regular office disinfection, non-contact temperature checks, and health screenings, workplace restrictions that emphasise social distancing, the use of masks and protective equipment, working remotely where possible, restricted facility access for remote staff and visitors, and a careful return-to-work process.
To meet customer needs, the Hampton team is working hard to push orders forward, reschedule requests as needed, and custom mould parts to keep customers operational. Hallite is also poised to support the Ventilator Challenge — a consortium of industrial, technology, and engineering businesses from across the aerospace, automotive and medical sectors to produce medical ventilators for the UK.
“Hallite continues to remain operational with minimal impact on production and delivery,” said John. “As our customers and partners begin returning to work, the excellent communication, health and safety practices we have established and maintained during this period will play an important role in our journey forward.”
Hallite Shanghai Resumes Production with an Unwavering Commitment to Health and Safety
Shanghai employees wear face masks and keep a safe distance
The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the world as we know it, especially when it comes to conducting business. One of the first places touched by the virus was China, where Hallite has a main office and a manufacturing facility in Shanghai — less than 700 kilometers (a little more than 400 miles) from the pandemic’s original epicenter in Wuhan. From the beginning of the global crisis, Hallite’s team in Shanghai took a proactive approach to protect employee health and safety. Best practices adopted from working through previous pandemics such as SARS and Swine Flu coupled with prevention guidelines provided by the local government and the Michelin Group were quickly implemented.
Disinfection and temperature checks help office staff stay healthy
The local government lockdown in Shanghai lasted for 20 days, beginning on January 23.
Hallite was busy in advance, collecting information and preparing to respond to the pandemic by ordering masks, disinfectants, thermometers, and hand sanitizers. The team was ready and equipped to implement all appropriate safety measures. Such measures included taking employee temperatures twice a day, disinfecting public areas and personal items, distributing and requiring employees to wear masks, and practicing social distancing at all times. There were 638 confirmed coronavirus cases in the city of Shanghai with no confirmed cases at Hallite.
Seating separation at mealtime promotes safety
“Not only did we take care of our employees, but we also took care of our customers and partners,” said Vincent Chong, Managing Director for Hallite Shanghai. “For example, two customers were unable to obtain masks, so we shared what we had in stock, and we also helped distributors purchase thermometers for temperature screening. Restricted supplier deliveries and visits from outsiders to the premises are an important preventative measure that we continue to practice, keeping our community safe and healthy.”
No delays in customer deliveries
On the manufacturing floor in Shanghai, both Computer Numerical Control (CNC) and injection moulding machines produce a variety of both machined and moulded sealing products. With operations shuttered, constant communication and updates between staff and distributors about the production situation played a critical role in avoiding product delays to customers. By prioritizing delivery to essential end-users, like mining, for example, and working with the U.K. manufacturing team in Hampton, Hallite met the industry’s demand for hydraulic fluid power sealing products without delay. The Shanghai facility resumed production on February 12.
“With production resumed, we are helping customers clear their backlogs,’’ said Vincent.
“And as we move ahead, we remain focused on monitoring the global health situation to respond in a way that ensures our employees, customers, and suppliers will receive the best support now, through the recovery, and in the future.”
Maintaining Safe, Reliable Customer Service in Australia
Hallite Australia remains busy supporting customers
Hallite’s operations in Australia are unique because, unlike the company’s manufacturing facilities in other parts of the world, Hallite Seals Australia conducts Business-to-Consumer (B2C) business from storefronts. Daily, employees working across Australia support customers with urgent cylinder repair needs. These are fast-paced, customer-facing environments where commercial transactions are conducted over a counter.
Plexiglass shields installed at the counter in Perth
In response to the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, several location-specific precautionary measures have been put into practice to protect everyone’s health and safety. Plexiglass shields were installed at the counter, cash is no longer being handled, strict social distancing methods have been implemented, and diligent hand-washing and disinfection are imperative. Masks and non-contact thermometers will be used by staff. There are separate bottles of hand sanitizer at the counter for customers and staff, and where appropriate back office staff work from home, to mitigate the risk.
“There is so much abnormality in our lives at the moment that some normality is good for all,” said Tony Pace, Managing Director for Hallite Seals Australia. “We remain very busy with some end-users ordering product now to ensure they have supply later. This activity relates to large cylinder builders who have received some orders in advance from their end-users. The use for these cylinders is quite varied because they are applied across a wide range of industries, and the seals required to keep them running are equally wide-ranging”
Strict social distancing promotes customer safety
According to Tony, demand from some smaller repairers and sole traders has slowed, but larger customers remain busy. Hallite is structured to ensure the continuity of its business operations, even under the most challenging circumstances. Hallite’s Australian team feels proud to be able to continue offering help and support that customers and partners need during this time.
Collaboration is Key
Working collaboratively with other Michelin Group companies in Australia is helping Hallite navigate the situation. The pooling of orders for masks, gloves, and thermometers is one example. Other actions taken include ensuring appropriate orders are in place for raw materials and maintaining regular and frequent communication with staff, partners, and customers through video conferencing to provide excellent support and customer service throughout the crisis. When asked what businesses could do in the meantime, Tony advised that they develop their ramp-up plans in readiness for when the crisis subsides.
“Most important, we encourage the business community to follow all the guidelines provided by local governments and healthcare authorities to stay safe. Look after your team, support suppliers, and be good community citizens.”