“More informative, modern and of course responsive. Finally our new homepage sees the light of the world. The relaunch of our website is just one milestone in the revision of our corporate design. After the successful introduction of our newly designed logo, we are pleased to be able to present our website in a fresh design as well.
Our new online presence simply reflects much better what moves us and what we do. So you, whether you are a customer, partner or interested party, will get an even more detailed overview of our core competencies and the range of services we offer.
We hope you enjoy discovering our completely renewed website. Of course, we look forward to your feedback and are just as grateful for suggestions as for any kind of positive or negative feedback. Simply use our contact form.”

Alexander Schmidt, Managing Director IFS Germany GmbH.

We interviewed Hervé Hennerich, Branch Manager of Hypress France, as another key figure in our company.

The Interview

You are part of this group since many years, how your professional figure has grown over time?

I am completely self-taught in my work. It’s been 25 years since I met the world of hydraulics. I joined the IMM Group 12 years ago by opening a structure in the east of France. My professional career has evolved through the interest, ambition and opportunities that came to me.

Hervé Hennerich, Hypress France

Could you tell us, briefly, which are the main services you provide to your customer?

My first vision of a structure like ours is on the service. Reactivity, advice and availability are the watchwords for customer loyalty. You have to know how to adapt to their demands and their needs.

And the goal of the branch?

The main goal today is to provide small and medium-sized customers with the service that large structures cannot manage directly. We are an added value, a technical support is essential to the cohesion of a group like ours.

How important is, in your sector, to work with a close-knit team?

This is undoubtedly a dilemma today and an important part of my job. Create and keep a team welded or everyone can split in his work, place each in the right place according to his abilities. All success depends on the team and the shoulder that everyone can give themselves to each other. From the pure technician to the handler, all must be soldered like a chain. Customers then feel a group of cohesion that they can trust.

How important and  how affects your work, the technical and technological development?

Of course we are at the heart of the needs, we can direct the production on the needs of the market that is constantly evolving by daily customers. We are the source of demand and guide the technical and technological production.

Mechanical Maintenance Team Leader

We interviewed Bruno Padoin, Mechanical Maintenance Team Leader. He will soon leave us to retire.

The Interview

Let’s go back to the very beginning, to your first day of work at I.M.M. Hydraulics

I started in September of 1998, on the 21st. I remember it very well.
There are always a lot of unknowns when you start working in an unfamiliar environment, really a lot of things.
From the expectations of senior management who have hired you and believe in you based on your CV, to colleagues who see you as a stranger coming into their world.
As for my allotted duties, namely mechanical maintenance, I had no problems as regards the type of product, because I already had twenty years of experience in the mechanical field.
Fortunately, the unknowns disappeared quite quickly, as demonstrated by the fact that I have been at IMM for twenty-one years now.

Comparing the company yesterday and today: in your opinion what has changed?

When I joined I.M.M. Hydraulics, it was just starting out on the path of its great expansion, and this has led to what it is today.
It was a purely family-run business and relationships were more direct.
Then over time things changed, as they should.
First it became a limited company and then joined the INTERPUMP group. After that a binding hierarchy developed and relations have therefore have become less direct.
The development of the company has of course brought benefits for all – for employees and for IMM Hydraulics.

What values have you absorbed in these years spent in I.M.M. Hydraulics?

I come from the north, from Piedmont. The environment for work – but not only work – in Abruzzo has been (and is) certainly very positive, both in terms of human and professional relationships.
I was 34 years old when I started in 1992. In all that time I’ve never had second thoughts. Except for the occasional bout of homesickness.

What professional advice would you give to a young person today starting out on their career?

The first thing I would advise is definitely humility. Nobody is perfect and it’s important to have that drive to do and to learn, as well as to listen and ask colleagues for advice.
But don’t be afraid to make mistakes because we only learn by failing. In our business, you learn something every day; everything enriches your personal experience.

What can you tell us of your future projects?

Definitely some rest and a much calmer way of life!
The 5.30 am wake-up routine will be abolished.
I would like to devote more time to my passions, like foreign travel (something I’ve always enjoyed, time off allowing).
And then there’s my long-held dream of constructing a miniature railway.
And of course I want to enjoy my motorbike!
In conclusion, I have to say that the twenty-one years at I.M.M. Hydraulics have flown by.
I have seen the company grow from a small concern to a large production company, and I’m glad to have been a part of it. But mostly I’m happy to have made a contribution to the company’s growth.
And I hope that growth continues.
Now, at 61 years old with 43 of them spent in engineering companies, it’s time to give my place up to others.
Best wishes for the future to everyone.

Bruno Padoin
Mechanical Maintenance Team Leader

Hydraulic hose suppliers

We interviewed Lorenzo as another key figure in our company. We asked him to tell us the key features that most distinguish his work.

The Interview

Can you tell us what your role of Technical Manager involves?

Some of the processes the Technical Manager is responsible are:

  • Product Design, Development and industrialization;
  • Product Certification;
  • Technical Documentation issue.

Another main task is to ensure that the documentation, procedures and communication flows smoothly. Also ensuring everything is in compliance with our high standards. After all, our target is – “Excellence”. As I.M.M. Hydraulics core business is technical products (Hose, Fittings & Machines) It is paramount the technical manager keeps everything clear, precise and accurate. Alongside this I have to consider the technical needs of our two crucial stakeholders:

  • Customer: specification, requirements, requests;
  • Company: the technical business unit is responsible for the correct communication aimed to inform and to train towards production (process engineering and documentation), marketing (technical documentation to support the proper product launch in the market), sales (technical support), quality (specs definition in order to define the related control plan), purchasing (in order to define the proper terms of purchase for the supplier).

Lorenzo is also the focal point for all phases of technical product management for the Stakeholders.

What is the value of timings as the person responsible for all these procedures?

First, I would like to thank you for this question and quote Peter Ducker:

Time is the scarcest resource and unless it is managed nothing else can be managed.

It is clear that the “Time to Market” concept is not only applicable to sales & marketing, but it can be extended to all company levels. In my specific area of the company, time management is a critical success factor. For example, in project management. Time is one of the main constraints as well as cost, quality and scope. Once technical construction specification is set up, timing is the base of product management. The engineering process cannot exceed certain time parameters, this also includes the fulfilment process of our production lines. These provide the final product from the raw materials.

Have you adapted any methods over the years to help with these output targets?

The outputs, as a measurement of the process, are not the only interesting parameters for a technical manager. An important issue to consider is the outcomes, as are the results of a process or a project that can be evaluated in terms of ROI or impact on business.

I have 3 methods I like to use:

Project Management – This is a really efficient tool that can generate great value in my position.

The Deming cycle – PDCA (Plan – Do – Check- Act) This is my second most important tool. An important task for me is to support and promote the continuous improvement of products and processes. For this reason, it is paramount to create a worthy cycle that takes the “AS IS” condition and establishes a path for an improved “TO BE”.

Risk-based thinking is also a powerful tool I use. I use this approach to do a risk evaluation and analysis (in accordance to technical specs, process and non-conformity or failure mode) and produce a dedicated action plan for design and construction process this then minimizes any the negatives and maximize the opportunities coming from a product and a process “value added” base.

All tools I use for technical issues must be based on the final target of a proactive approach to participate with all company entities, business development and continuous improvement with a clear and committed focus on the customer (internal and external).

What are the possible obstacles that you may have to overcome in this role?

As per my role and vision, I aim to always have a clear layout of targets and numbers. All related to the process and/or the product to be managed. Then my first challenge is to fully analyse the problem that I need to overcome, whilst keeping our different stakeholders in mind. The second challenge is to ensure we are always getting the best results from our inputs and meet all requirements. I wouldn’t call them obstacles within the company but more an “inertia” that comes from natural company dynamics with different approaches due to several entities involved.

Finally, my most important task is to keep a value-added approach coming from our products. Making sure they are:

  •  perfect for the requirements;
  • customer focused;
  • developed in an efficient, productive and sustainable way;
  • Always in a continuous improvement process.

Versatility and customer satisfaction: focus over the role of the Quality Manager

With the aim to present to the experts and, above all, the amateur the complexity of the development processes of a large company like ours, we asked Vincenzo CiarelliIMM Hydraulics Quality Manager – to tell us about his role and to linger over the meaning of some concepts that mostly identify the centrality of his profession. Here you can find a brief interview that we have prepared for you. Enjoy the reading.

The Interview

What does a Quality Manager do? Does he have a very flexible role?

The Quality Manager is responsible for implementing the company’s quality processes and systems so that they are conforming to the reference standards. He oversees the overall company’s qualitative machinery, making sure that all processes respect the quality plan and guaranteeing the achievement of the targets within the established time frame. Obviously, this implies a professional adaptability that includes the attention to the customer, the planning, the constant participation in the manufacturing and business processes in general.

What does it mean for you to be Quality Manager in a company like IMM Hydraulics?

IMM Hydraulics is a company belonging to Interpump Group and has been working in the hydraulics for more than 30 years. Being a QM in a market leader is first of all a challenge and it also requires a constant professional updating and daily commitment to the creation of value for the company.

Could we say that the QM is the guarantor of all the internal and external company processes?

The QM is certainly the guarantor of the company processes globally intended and aimed at quality. He has a systemic vision of the organization for which he works, and through involvement and participation he can be considered as the driver of the continuous improvement for internal and external satisfaction. However, we need to point out that every company branch carries out its own task, taking into consider the quality of the processes and of the systems. The awareness of each area to achieve quality targets lays at the basis of the creation of the quality itself.

Quality must be perceived as a mission by the organization. The task of the QM is to increase the collective commitment towards the service of the quality. The QM alone is not able to create quality for the whole organization as well as for the customers.

Nowadays more than ever business and quality go at the same pace. Do you agree with this statement?

I absolutely agree. To be a successful company nowadays you must be able to match all the costumers needs, to guarantee a constant improvement of the product offering, to invest in research, development and updating, to create new technologies and study focused procedures in order to get better results. This allows to create a virtuos a continuous process which must never stop, assuring the growth of the company itself.

Do you have new targets for this year?

Customer is my priority.

This is the Quality Department’s main target for this year and this is the message that we want to pass within the company. We want to improve all the manufacturing-and-not processes in order to increase costumers’ satisfaction. We’ll therefore direct the know-how, the experience, our strong motivation for improvement towards the costumer, because we believe these drivers are synonyms of reliability and trust.



Sorry I don’t speak hydraulics…

On reflection, most of the tiny hurdles that stand between you, the newbie, and you, the knowledgeable employee who, a few months down the line, is clapped and cheered every morning as you enter your place of work (does this not happen to other people?) relate to the simplest of workplace customs such as understanding the finer balances of interpersonal relations, finding out who knows how the printer works and to learning how often to offer to make everyone else a hot drink.

In the right environment, feeling like you belong shouldn’t take much time at all, but sounding like you belong might take a little longer…

As with every industry, the hydraulic hose crimping industry has its own technical language, a combination of highly specific terms and well-established jargon to set it apart. In fact, I’d say that our industry sits even further apart in that the subject itself is so niche, yet in many cases there is no standardisation in terminology, meaning that a relatively fixed list of equipment is referred to by any number of names and combinations of descriptions.

At Hydralok, most of us speak two or three languages meaning that we’ve had to tackle these linguistic technical difficulties on several fronts, often with quite interesting results.

The translation for ‘die set’ brings up some good examples. Whilst ‘jeu des mors’ in French, which translates as ‘set of jaws’, just about makes sense, I only initially knew the Spanish equivalent, ‘mordaza’, to mean ‘gag’, as in ‘ley mordaza’ or ‘gag rule’. When a South American customer asked for eight female greyhounds for their swaging machine, I was even more confused. It turns out ‘galga’ – which does indeed translate at ‘female greyhound’ – can also mean ‘die set’ and is also the name of a species of yellow ant in Honduras. This was also news to me, but I imagine that all the Spanish-speaking myrmecologists* out there probably already knew that.

Ever fashion-conscious, French hydraulic engineers even have hydraulic skirts or ‘jupes hydrauliques’. Whilst the mind boggles at the potential applications of hydraulic clothing, that doesn’t quite tell the whole story. ‘Jupe’ is the French word for ‘ferrule’, which I suppose makes perfect sense if you were to think of a hydraulic hose as a pair of human legs. Even so, I’d say that if it takes more than 100 tonnes of crimping force to get your skirt on securely, it’s almost definitely too small. The word in French for the main part of the machine, the ‘head’ in English, is ‘cloche’, which translates literally as ‘bell’ and prompted a bit of confusion the first time we heard it in the office – the word, not the bell.

Across France and Spain, a quite common translation of ‘hose’ is ‘flexible’ (say it in the French-est or Spanish-est accent you can). However, if you’ve ever tried bending one of these hydraulic hoses, you’ll likely agree that ‘flexible’ is the last word you’d use to describe them!

Almost no matter the description, with a healthy mix of determination and good humour, we always manage to decipher even the most uncommon technical requests. After all – and I don’t want to jinx it – to this day we still haven’t sent any customer a box of eight yellow Honduran ants or a brand new replacement bell.

*Specialists in the study of ants

Daniel Keevill
Logistics and Sales Coordinator

Girls can do technical

“Could you pass me on to someone technical please” – The immediate response of quite a high number of customers when the Hydralok phone is answered by a female member of staff. For a lot of people in the hydraulics industry this is natural reflex and I’m sure there’s no offence intended but for me it’s the same sinking feeling mixed with rage and indignation that I feel in toyshops when faced with an aisle of pink, glitter and domesticity.

GIRLS CAN DO TECHINCAL. We can distinguish compact and swept fittings, convert PSI to bar and talk you through calibration methods – all in a day’s work here at Hydralok.

This industry is still undoubtedly male dominated – yes, we’re frequently mistaken for secretaries, the sole female in meetings and all too often asked to make the tea- but there are positive steps being made at all levels to change and challenge this culture. Hydralok for example has consistently employed female staff and in roles throughout the company; technical sales, purchasing, engineering, logistics. Government is playing their part in encouraging and showcasing women in STEM subjects. Big business has recognised the importance of women in industry with the likes of Audi, Boeing, and Amazon sponsoring events such the WoMen Power conference at Hannover Messe and International Women in Engineering Day 2018.

We need to do everything we can to support these actions and promote change. I think that part of it is making people, especially young girls, aware of the varied opportunities with engineering and industrial sectors. Yes, engineering can be bridge building; computer-work and CAD design; oily machines and dirty hands… and no, these are not just “jobs for the boys”. But it’s also so much more; innovative technology; life-long learning, global opportunities….

I fell into the engineering sector almost by accident, but am very happy to stay and encourage others to join!

Katherine Séverin, Operations Manager, Hydralok