As the leading global manufacturer of rotating unions, Deublin remains strong with a dedication to technology and close relationships with its customer base.
By Staci Davidson, Managing Editor, Knighthouse Media
If a company in any industry needs to transmit air, water, oil or hydraulic fluid from a stationary source into a rotating section of equipment, a rotating union is an easy fix. The likely solution is Deublin, the world’s leading manufacturer of rotating unions. With its state-of-the-art global manufacturing facilities, modern machining centers and advanced quality systems of its production process, Deublin takes pride in being the leader in this market.
“We have many competitive advantages,” stresses Afzal Ali, Director of Corporate Communications. “We are a technology leader with a long list of patents – a long list of patents in place and a long list underway. We push the technology, and typically, the rest of the industry follows. Additionally, we have many global locations and five manufacturing plants, and that is more than any other single competitor in the world. As a result, we can produce and serve any geographic area efficiently and cost-effectively. We also have sales channels worldwide so we can serve customers locally. Unlike other companies in the business, we don’t specialize in one specific market, we offer solutions for any market in any part of the world.”
Based in Waukegan, Ill., Deublin is certified ISO 9001 and ISO 14001, as well as being certified as an authorized economic operator (AEO), meaning its supply chain is secure and reliable. Its complete operation is organized to ensure quality and a high level of service to its valued customers. The company’s innovations include All-Media, AUTOSENSE®, Pop-Off® and Controlled bypass flow unions, high-pressure and hydrostatic unions, and electrical slip rings for power and signal transmission.
“The AutoSense technology is unique,” Ali says. “It is patented for machine tool applications, and no other company has a similar solution. Most companies have sealing technology for the machine tool industry, but they have one type for air, one type for coolant, one type for MQL [minimum quantity lubricant] and one type for dry machining. Our AutoSense technology can sense the media and seal it accordingly. It’s a single, high-tech solution.”
Deublin works closely with customers, not only to ensure its products are meeting their needs, but also to respond when customers’ needs evolve and change. In addition to its global sales offices, the company has manufacturing facilities in the United States, Germany, Italy, China and Brazil, ensuring it is close to customers when support is needed.
“We keep our ears to the ground and have close, in-person connections with customers globally,” Ali says. “As customers’ needs evolve, we are there and have an understanding of their requirements. We can change with their changing requirements so we can continue to meet their needs with the best technology.”
Brazil is the company’s newest manufacturing location, and it’s doing very well. “We are seeing excellent results in Brazil,” Ali says. “The facility can produce rotating unions quickly. It’s an 11-hour flight from the United States, but by producing there, we can serve many of the local industries with high-quality products and short delivery times. From the time of the request to the time of delivery, it would take a long time to ship from the United States to Brazil, but now we are quickly serving the Brazilian steel industry, plastics, rubber, automotive and machine tool industries.”
He notes this is just one example of ways in which Deublin has invested in its growth throughout its history. Several years ago, he says, Deublin acquired Barco Seals. This allowed Deublin to expand its product line into new markets. The company also introduced electrical slip rings to enhance solutions for customers, ensuring long-lasting, high-quality rotary transmission of electrical signal and power.
Additionally, Deublin continually invests in its quality through its Deublin Performance System (DPS), which is its production process that was modeled on the Toyota Production System. The company established DPS in 2008 with the goal of implementing an integrated approach toward increasing customer satisfaction, reducing surplus production, balancing resources and avoiding non-value-added activities. Through DPS, all of the company’s departments work toward continuous improvement of all processes, and Ali notes this has resulted in ongoing expansion for Deublin.
“We are definitely growing from a technology standpoint,” Ali adds. “We are strong domestically and internationally. As an example, we succeed in Japan with U.S.-made products. That is a rare situation that an America company can claim.”
He notes Deublin is confident in its ability to keep growing because the organization is full of motivated people and committed senior management. Additionally, because it is dedicated to working closely with its customers, Deublin takes pride in growing alongside them.
“This culture is one of team spirit,” Ali says. “We all work together collectively. The company recognizes everyone contributes to providing a cost-effective solution to the customer that meets our high-quality standards, and there is no silo mentality here. People understand the big picture and understand how each department interdepends with another. There is a great spirit of teamwork and collaboration throughout the company, and that’s what keeps us successful.”