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Fluid Power Completes Expansion of Buffalo Facility

Fri April 24, 2009 - Northeast Edition
Jennifer Hetrick

The expression “good things come in small packages” certainly applies to Fluid Power Service Corporation, Lancaster, N.Y.

Founded in August 1981 with just two employees the company began as a hydraulic component reconditioning facility. Over the years, growth and change have been more or less a given for the company.

In 1991, for example, the company had grown to 12 employees, moved to a new location and diversified the services it can perform to include not only reconditioning, but also performing field service and designing and building hydraulic power units, which sometimes included installing the equipment and the electronic controls.

The year 1998 saw the acquisition of AAA Hydraulic Cylinder Service in Lancaster, N.Y., which resulted in combining the two businesses in that location and adding hard chrome plating to the list of available services. In 2001 Fluid Power became employee owned and operated.

Today, 37 employees make up the company, which specializes in hydraulic cylinder repair, design and manufacturing; field service and on-site hydraulic hose service; hydraulic power units and control systems and hydraulic pump, motor and valve service. The company services a large array of Komatsu, Caterpillar and John Deere construction and municipal equipment.

Fluid Power offers an array of new/rebuilt replacement hydraulic parts and components from its resale and distribution department as well. Its market is western New York, upstate New York and northwestern Pennsylvania.

Creating More Space, New Products

Fluid Power has recently completed a physical expansion of its Buffalo, N.Y., facility. The project, which began in April 2008 and was completed in October 2008, added 7,000 ft. (2,133 m) to the location, creating a total of 27,000 sq ft. (2,508 sq m) for the operation.

The newly expanded shop area contains one 5 ton (4.5 t) and two 1 ton (.9 t) overhead cranes. The company now has the capability to repair as many as 2,000 hydraulic pumps and 2,400 hydraulic cylinders each year.

Fluid Power also continues to develop and manufacture new products. One of the most recent is a portable hydraulic filter cart. This device allows the user to pump hydraulic fluid from a machine, filter it down to as little as three microns and then pump it back into the machine. It also can be used to filter new hydraulic fluid before it goes into a machine, to ensure that the fluid is as clean as it can possibly be.

Glamour Shots

Although cutting-edge and interesting, this line of work does not sound especially glamorous yet the Fluid Power has developed a talent for making hydraulic systems both interesting and entertaining. Projects such as supplying and installing the hydraulic systems for the Universal Studios Florida attractions “Terminator 2: 3-D” in 1996 and “Twister…Ride It Out” in 1997, have led to the company taking on high-profile projects ever since.

In 2004 Fluid Power designed, built and installed a 725 hp (540 kW) system for Wynn Resorts “Le Reve” aqua theater show in Las Vegas. In 2006 new hydraulic and control system were supplied and installed to operate the Emergency Vertical Lift Gates at the Eisenhower Lock in Massena, N.Y. This is a 385 t (349 t) submerged gate that can be raised 45 ft. (13.7 m) to block off the St. Lawrence River in the event of a lock door failure.

In 2008 Fluid Power designed, engineered and tested a hydraulic system that is currently being installed on the largest cruise ship ever built. This is the newest class of ships for Royal Caribbean Cruise Line and is named “Oasis of the Seas,” slated to hit the high seas in late 2009.

The ship features a large swimming pool that will not only provide recreation for passengers during the day, but also will be an amphitheater for water shows in the evening.

Construction of a second system also is currently under way for the sister ship “Allure of the Seas.”

These ships will carry 5,200 passengers and 2,400 crew.

Fluid Power has four Certified Fluid Power Specialists on staff. It is located at 4474 Walden Ave. in Lancaster, N.Y.

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