In operation since 1962, Continental Hydraulics is a manufacturer of hydraulic pumps, valves and power units used in some of the most hostile environments imaginable—most recently 5000-ft. under the sea, to help the BP oil spill effort in the Gulf of Mexico. The company formerly operated as a division of Continental Machine Inc., whose parent company is DoALL. In the spring of 2011, Continental Hydraulics was acquired by Duplomatic, an Italian manufacturer of hydraulic valves. The acquisition helped expand product offerings, create cost efficiencies and make new opportunities for growth and innovation. All manufacturing is done in the U.S from Continental’s manufacturing facility based in Savage, Minn.
Employing about 100 people, Continental is the largest manufacturer of variable volume vane pumps in North America. It also manufactures an extensive line of directional and proportional control valves, as well as hydraulic power units. All are manufactured for challenging applications—high contamination, high stress and fatigue for specialized OEMs in the automotive, brick and block, construction, food manufacturing, entertainment, machine tool, solar and wind, wood and paper industries. About 90% of the company’s business is within the U.S. Its main competitors are Parker Hannifin, Vickers (a part of Eaton Corp.) and Bosch Rexroth.
Between Continental and their parent company Duplomatic, there are complementary product portfolios and common corporate values. Both focused on being a center of excellence for hydraulic component manufacturing and high-touch customer service. In the acquisition, Duplomatic gained a reputable American company known for quality, durability, high customer care support and quick delivery—to fulfill its expansion plan. Continental gained the investment capital for upgrading manufacturing machines, technology, new product development and depth and breadth for its product line.
The culture is focused on quality—to be mighty and tough (even when you’re small). Continental still makes parts for machines in demanding applications that customers have had for more than 40 years.
The company says it has a signature ability to personally answer the phones: “No complex menu maneuvering. No automated transfers. Just a warm, friendly customer service staff who in most cases can answer customer questions without a single transfer.” And the corporate rhino symbol is a brand icon that the employees of Continental live and breathe. The company explains that it represents the tough, rugged, durable products that it manufactures.
Over the coming year, Continental plans to grow its distributor network and “steal market share from the big boys.” The company is also planning on relaunching their website soon, the new look can be seen at the top right of this article.