As you shop the aisle of the local grocery or relax on the back patio of your house, hydraulic cylinders are probably the last thing on your mind – but this critical component is working behind the scenes in a variety of ways to make these things, and much more, possible.
“From construction applications to materials handling, we’re making people’s lives easier on a global basis,” explains Chris Barclay, President of Precision Hydraulic Cylinders (PHC).
Leggett & Platt’s acquisition of PHC this past January resulted in a natural fit between company cultures and methods of operation. Like many L&P products, PHC’s hydraulic cylinders comprise a small but vital piece in several end products. They are essential to the functionality of equipment like dump trucks, forklifts, truck mounted cranes, and aerial platforms.
Always Right, Always on Time
With over 45 years of experience, PHC has proven design and technical support capabilities. But the hydraulic cylinder market also requires highly flexible manufacturing capabilities. Given the large number of configurations available on just one single forklift model, it’s not surprising that PHC’s customers require short lead times on a large product line that are usually built to order.
“PHC is selling a lot more than a high-quality hydraulic cylinder at a good price – we’re offering complete integration with our customer’s manufacturing process,” says Chris.
Providing just-in-time delivery for customers’ assembly-line style manufacturing requires a lot of coordination and sequencing within PHC’s own manufacturing process. But PHC’s commitment to provide the right product on time has enabled them to continue to capture and dominate within the market.
Platform for Growth
The recent boom in e-commerce, and the resulting increase in distribution centers, is driving higher demand for hydraulic cylinders for materials handling equipment. The rest of the hydraulic cylinder market is equally rife with opportunity and PHC is poised to benefit. With manufacturing locations in North Carolina, the United Kingdom, and India servicing mostly regional customers, PHC has a lot of room to grow in other regions of the world.
“Not only is there potential for geographic expansion, but PHC has a breadth of capabilities that enable it to further penetrate adjacent growing markets, including construction equipment, cranes and aerial work platforms,” explains Ryan Kleiboeker, Director of Business Development for Specialized Products. “L&P has the global operating expertise to help guide PHC’s expansion into these areas, as well as a willingness to invest in the technical manufacturing capabilities to make PHC even more competitive.”
Chris adds, “Being a part of L&P affords us an opportunity to grow the business in a more aggressive way and with confidence that we can effectively support that growth globally.”