In the past, Fluid Power has been good enough for Arnold Schwarzenegger and Terminator 2, and over the course of 23 years, the Buffalo, NY-based company has been pumping out hydraulic repair success stories for its customers throughout New York State — and across the nation. Much so, that the company has been on an expansion binge, even during a time when most firms are scaling back.
Fluid Power specializes in hydraulic cylinder reconditioning, component repair and building standard and custom power units and control systems for a variety of applications, such as supplying and installing the hydraulic systems for Terminator 2 3D for Universal Studios in Florida.
But that’s just its “celebrity” project. What Fluid Power is really famous for is its success at delivering repairs of hydraulic cylinders, pumps, valves, motors and electrical controls to customers — to the tune of 90 percent on or before the promised date. In addition to its repair capabilities, Fluid Power also re-chromes cylinder rods up to 20 ft. in length.
According to Fluid Power President Keith VanTine, his company is the only full-service hydraulic facility that offers in-house chrome plating and he guarantees a quick turnaround and at lower cost.
Fluid Power also has access to one of the largest used construction parts inventories in the nation, ensuring a speedy delivery and virtually eliminating downtime.
Founded in 1981, Fluid Power is nothing short of the proverbial success story, but the past couple of years have been remarkable. Recently, Fluid Power has grown by increasing its work force by 20 percent, including the addition of three in-territory sales and support people.
Bruce Chojnacki, who covers Erie and Niagara counties; Doc Smith, who specializes in mobile and industrial sales and service and covers the southern tier of New York state; and Tom Lattuca, who focuses primarily on industrial sales in the Rochester, NY-area, were all recently brought on board to handle Fluid’s growth.
Jim Laughlin, a full-time electrical engineer with a strong automation background, particularly applicable to hydraulic work on recycling equipment such as shears, balers and packing systems, is yet another new addition to the Fluid team, which has been receiving expanded education so all will be certified by the Fluid Power Institute. A rigorous training program, the Institute currently has three who have attained certified status — the owners of the company, Ken Jirak, Marc VanTine and Keith VanTine.
Not only has Fluid Power invested in its work force, the company also has augmented its equipment and support fleet. To further serve its customers, Fluid has added fully equipped service trucks that are specially tooled with flow meters and diagnostic equipment, which allows the company to perform diagnostic work and some on-site repair.
The company also recently purchased a stake truck with a 14-ft. bed (which now allows Fluid to do pickups and deliveries of large hydraulic cylinders) and a new vertical mill in the machine shop, which increases Fluid’s support to cylinder repair, and finally, an improved emission system in its chroming tank, which allows the company to far exceed (24 times) EPA emission standards.
Recent projects in which Fluid Power is involved are already showing the benefits of all these additions. Currently, the company is working on a specialized project supplying new controls and hydraulic power units for the Chattaqua County transfer stations and packing systems. And Fluid is building and installing the hydraulic power system for the “Le Reve” theater, which will be part of a new Steve Wynn casino in Las Vegas scheduled to open in April 2005.
Whether it’s getting hydraulic cylinders or pumps repaired, procuring much needed replacement hydraulic components, or obtaining hydraulic power unit and control system design, over the past 23 years Fluid Power has shown and continues to prove that it can help its customers say “hasta la vista” to costly downtime.