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A technician with heart and soul

Uwe Gätgens is in charge of the HANSA-FLEX Fluid Service

With its comprehensive services covering all aspects of hydraulic oil the Fluid Service is an important component of the Hansa-Flex AG service portfolio. As the leader of a team of highly specialised mobile hydraulic oil experts, Uwe Gätgens prefers to be right in the middle of the action himself.
The Fluid Service is a specially trained unit within the HANSA‑FLEX Industrial Service. The team currently consists of six service technicians who have specially equipped oil analysis and workshop vehicles at their disposal. They are proven experts in all matters relating to hydraulic oil, and work nationwide on mobile and stationary systems for customers across all industries. They are usually called upon when machine problems occur and breakdowns threaten. “The influence of hydraulic oil on the functionality and performance of systems is enormous”, explains Uwe Gätgens, “The causes of problems are extremely diverse and usually anything but easy to identify”.

Impurities in oil cause machine failures

Typical oil-related problems that lead to machine damage are water in the oil or the mixing of different types of oil. About 80 % of all machine failures are due to contamination of the hydraulic oil. In order to trace the usually tiny particles which are responsible for this and their causes, the Fluid Service takes oil samples and analyses them. The service technicians always have the appropriate equipment with them in their oil analysis.
This information enables decisions to be taken on measures which can be implemented by the fluid experts. Filtering, draining and flushing are just as much a part of their daily work as changing over to other types of oil, preparing analysis reports or designing and installing filter systems and sensors for permanent monitoring of the oil condition.

Impurities in oil cause machine failures

Typical oil-related problems that lead to machine damage are water in the oil or the mixing of different types of oil. About 80 % of all machine failures are due to contamination of the hydraulic oil. In order to trace the usually tiny particles which are responsible for this and their causes, the Fluid Service takes oil samples and analyses them. The service technicians always have the appropriate equipment with them in their oil analysis.

On-site troubleshooting

The results of the analyses don’t always lead to unambiguous findings. Often the fluid experts then start to investigate the causes on the machine on site. For the dedicated technician Uwe Gätgens (“Even as a child I never wanted to become anything else”), these assignments are close to his heart. “Troubleshooting on the machine is wonderful technical detective work that I really enjoy,” he says with enthusiasm.
In spite of his management responsibilities the 61-year-old remains strongly involved in the operative business. He spends around half of his working time in direct contact with customers and working on machines throughout Germany. At his desk in his home office near Potsdam he looks after commercial matters and the management tasks relating to his team (“They’re really competent and committed colleagues and I can only take my hat off to their motivation”). In addition, he is responsible for the interpretation of oil analyses and the planning and scheduling of operations.
The former agricultural machinery technician and workshop manager acquired his knowledge of oil and machines over many decades of practical experience in mobile and industrial hydraulics. In addition, he has attended various further training courses, including qualifying as a certified lubricants specialist with the STLE Society in the US and as an expert under Germany’s Water Resources Act (WHG). At HANSA‑FLEX he started as a mobile service technician in 2003 and switched to the Fluid Service in 2008. He took over the management of the team at the beginning of 2013.

Developing and passing on know-how

Whenever his time allows he is involved in preparing his practical knowledge and spreading it within the company. He has been particularly successful in doing so with the HANSA‑FLEX “Fluidmanagement kompakt” publication, which appeared in 2017 and has now been translated into 18 languages. The 64-page reference work in a handy pocket-sized format is now used by “many maintenance staff for developing their own approaches to solutions and for persuading their management of the importance of fluid service operations”.
 
To promote the further qualification of service technicians at HANSA‑FLEX he also participates in a regular nationwide exchange of experience between top technicians. Together with Robert Becker from the International Hydraulics Academy (IHA) he regularly invites around ten colleagues who learn from each other by discussing specific practical cases and then working together on the test bench to reconstruct them. “This type of practical knowledge transfer will help us all to move forward, and I would like to continue actively supporting this.”
 
FFor the future of his team the enthusiastic cyclist (“I like long rides – they help me to relax wonderfully” has plans for a lot more. “We are developing some very exciting fluid-based service concepts for manufacturers of hydraulic systems, and intend to market our oil analyses more intensively,” he reports. “In addition, due to the great demand we are urgently looking for further competent and hands-on service technicians for three regions.”
 
You also want to become a fluid service expert with a specially equipped oil analysis and workshop vehicle? Then take a look at our job offers now: https://www.hansa-flex.de/en/careers/vacancies/.

"This way of imparting knowledge in a practical way moves us all forward, and I would like to continue to actively support this."

Uwe Gätgens

Service technician fluid service

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