Damen adds hydraulics and expands anchor opportunities

Malcolm Latarche
Malcolm Latarche
ShipInsight

13 June 2019


Damen Group subsidiary, Damen Marine Components (DMC) has acquired the assets of WK Hydraulics, a specialist maritime hydraulics systems manufacturer located in Barendrecht, the Netherlands. DMC and WK Hydraulics already overlap in areas such as steering gear and hydraulic power units, however WK Hydraulics also brings particular experience in the building of larger, customised hydraulic systems for winches, cranes, bow thrusters and other applications.

The WK Hydraulics product portfolio additionally includes towing pins, wire and chain stoppers, and equipment to flush large hydraulic systems, which will be new to DMC’s current product range. However, these will fit in well alongside its core rudder, steering gear, winch and nozzle systems.

Hydraulics
Peter Kok (former Owner/Managing Director WK Hydraulics), Steef Staal (Managing director, Damen Marine Components)

Both organisations have worked together on projects in the past, and in today’s highly competitive market the management of WK Hydraulics recognised the benefits of taking that relationship a stage further by becoming part of a larger entity. Its goal was to broaden its business model from being purely focused on hydraulic systems to becoming a supplier of drive systems in all their different forms. This required bringing in additional skills and resources in disciplines such as electronics and PLC technology, which could only happen if WK Hydraulics gained access to greater resources than it can currently command. This ambition in turn fits neatly with that of DMC to become a 'competence centre' covering the entire hydraulics sector.

Steef Staal, managing director of Damen Marine Components, said, “WK Hydraulics has always been an important supplier and indeed partner for Damen Shipyards. With DMC now moving to extend its product portfolio, we identified the need to enhance our capabilities in hydraulics and hydraulic-driven deck gear. WK Hydraulics is ideally positioned to fill that gap. We are very happy to welcome the complete WK Hydraulic staff and their skills and knowledge. We are looking forward to a successful future together.”

Another Damen subsidiary, Damen Anchor & Chain Factory (AKF), has signed a joint partnership agreement with Fendercare. The agreement came about from a mutual understanding that both parties’ clients were seeking wider availability of products.

Under the agreement, the partnership will build up complementary stock of anchors, chains and chain fittings and conduct installation of anchors and chains. Working together in this way will ensure the partnership’s clients of product availability from numerous, well-positioned locations around the world.

Speaking on the occasion of the signing ceremony, AKF managing director Walter Treffers explained the thinking behind the agreement, saying, “This partnership represents a win-win for all stakeholders. It increases the product portfolio of Fendercare with AKF’s proven product range and gives AKF products an even wider geographical distribution than before. Of course, the real benefit here is for our client, as we intended. They will now have improved availability of our products, equalling shorter lead times, which, ultimately means more uptime and improved earning potential. We are very much looking forward to working together with Fendercare in the future.”