IHI Corp. of Japan, the country’s leading manufacturer of gates for rivers and dams, contracted Eaton to support the project by supplying 12 large-bore XL Series cylinders and eight mid-size cylinders. The custom cylinders open and close large barrage gates, which control and regulate water levels, prevent flooding and support critical irrigation infrastructure for agriculture. Requiring three years to complete, the high-profile barrage project was officially commissioned by the Japanese government in August 2011.
In the past, IHI relied on competitive large-bore cylinders for its civil engineering projects. Although it regarded Eaton as a cylinder source, IHI was not familiar with Eaton’s system support strengths.
“Our mission was to aggressively affirm Eaton’s capabilities in custom cylinder supply, as well as our system and servicing strengths that are actively at work around the world,” said Noriyuki Kimata, general manager of Eaton in Japan.
Introductions and information sharing began at local tradeshows, where Eaton sales personnel learned that IHI would be opening up bids for hydraulic cylinders needed for the Shinano River project. Team members met with IHI representatives in follow-up discussions to reinforce the fact that Eaton offers virtually all hydraulic system components and has been active in global infrastructure upgrade projects, such as the Panama Canal, South Korea Saemangeum Dam, Europe’s Danube River and Emsworth Locks and Dams near Pittsburgh.
The Eaton team developed a proposal that covered every aspect of turnkey cylinder supply—from full-service engineering to jobsite product support. The team emphasized the coordinated custom cylinder strengths of Eaton’s Eindhoven, Netherlands, and Decatur, Alabama, facilities by providing detailed engineering drawings of customized cylinders that would meet the project’s requirements—8550- and 8900-mm (337- and 350-in.) strokes, 310- and 260-mm (12.2- and 10.2-in.) diameter rods and 210-bar (3000-psi) operating pressures using ISO VG22 hydraulic fluid. Extensive documentation was provided on Eaton’s Hypos position sensor, a precise measurement system integrated into the cylinder, and its Application-Based Coating P2 that provides an added layer of anti-corrosion and anti-wear protection in harsh environments.
Once all the cylinder bids were in, IHI went about the task of assigning a technical score to each bidding company. Eaton received the highest score, due in part to its timely response and total project support.
“IHI’s business is a major win for Eaton and a significant breakthrough against tough global competition that has had the market share of the large-bore cylinder business in Japan’s civil construction industry,” Kimata said. “We have taken a major step forward in the civil construction arena by focusing on hydraulic product and engineered solution needs on hydropower, dam and water irrigation projects. As a result, we are gaining more and more opportunities to demonstrate our strong capabilities in this focus market, as well as provide high-value referrals when bidding on other infrastructure projects in Japan and around the world.”