Damen Marine Components (DMC) 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.
DMC and WK Hydraulics 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.
“WK Hydraulics will deliver on all its contracts under its own brand until the end of March,” says Peter Kok, its managing director. “After that, our product range will be sold under the Damen Marine Components or the Van der Velden Marine Systems brand names. The transition will be complete when we join the DMC team at its new facility at Hardinxveld, which is currently under construction. Support for users of our existing systems will continue without interruption.”
Steef Staal, managing director of Damen Marine Components, added, “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.”