ESD: How would you describe the Dellner Bubenzer Group to a defence procurement officer (military or prime contractor) in light of its unique – yet complementary – portfolio of products and services for all military air-land-sea “vehicles”? …Or, what would you say it does the best?
DBG: The Dellner Bubenzer Group is a niche supplier of high quality specialist parts for military aircraft, land vehicles and sea vessels. Through our different business divisions, we supply brakes and braking systems for ship propulsion systems, lifting and platform equipment; polymer and rubber products for aircraft and off-highway vehicles operating in the most arduous environmental conditions and, following the Group’s recent acquisition of UK company Silentbloc, vibration control solutions for combat vehicles and ships, delivered through rubber to metal bonding.
These complementary products are developed to a consistently high standard by the Dellner Bubenzer Group. Our business divisions work closely together to provide customers with a seamless service.
ESD: When and why did Dellner Bubenzer Group start working within the defence industry? How has its dealings within this sector changed since then?
DBG: Supplying the defence sector has been a core part of our operation for at least 30 years. We have seen some changes over the years, particularly in terms of the documentation required and things like ‘know your client’ (KYC) and integrated logistics support (ILS) protocols. At Dellner Bubenzer Group, we have fully embraced ILS into our technological development and system engineering processes to ensure we can deliver long-lasting, low maintenance systems for our clients, every time. There is also now a greater requirement from our customers globally for longevity of supply, and we are generally being signed up for a longer period to ensure that this can be achieved.
ESD: How much of Dellner Bubenzer Group is involved with the defence-related sector?
DBG: Around 10% of the Dellner Bubenzer Group’s business is in the defence sector.
ESD: Which of these defence areas dominate this part your business and what are they mostly? (e.g. air, land, sea products) Which is the most significant product category for each?
DBG: Sea would be our biggest sector, followed by land and then air. Our most significant product for each sector is as follows:
- Air – coated fabrics for swing wing aircraft seals
- Land – vibration control systems
- Sea – propeller shaft stopping (braking), locking and turning (STL) systems
ESD: In which product sectors do you predict more growth for the Dellner Bubenzer Group in the defence sector?
DBG: All our product sectors present opportunities for growth. As a niche supplier of specialist parts, we are looking into organic growth within these niches, and will continue to investigate other products we could add within these niche areas.
ESD: How does Dellner Bubenzer Group, as a preferred supplier around the world, work with defence OEMs and Prime Contractors to ensure that scheduled maintenance, MRO and MLU programmes are effective and use the latest material and engineering technologies and innovations?
DBG: Wherever possible, our expert engineers work with OEMs and contractors as an integral part of their team from the start to the end of a project. This was certainly the case when we worked with Rolls Royce to supply our pioneering STL braking systems to the UK Royal Navy for their new QUEEN ELIZABETH Class aircraft carriers and Type 45 destroyers, on projects that have spanned several years.
Our know-how also helps us tremendously when talking to our customers’ engineers, as the development of systems to meet various shock standards and levels is normal business for us and we can respond accordingly.
As a business, we have a strong focus on technical innovation and we work closely with OEMs, contractors and end users to make sure equipment is maintained, serviced and upgraded to the very highest standards, using the very latest products and innovations. Ongoing maintenance, repair and upgrades are delivered remotely or on-site through our global service team, whenever and wherever our customers require it.
ESD: As a unique supplier to the defence-industrial complex with a rather wide range of solutions, what KPIs do you use and how do these make Dellner Bubenzer Group a competitive and reliable partner?
DBG: For us, our two most important KPIs are customer satisfaction and on-time delivery, as well as being able to supply spare parts on a global basis in just 24 hours.
We aim to deliver a complete end-to-end service, from upfront consultation to establish exact requirements, full liaison throughout the development process, on site installation and comprehensive after sales support and training.
We assure our customers of the very highest quality products that are made to last and operate in the very harshest environments, with minimum need for maintenance.
ESD: When looking at Dellner Bubenzer Group’s vast expertise in the naval domain, is it fair to describe the STL braking system as perhaps one of its most advanced innovation to date? What is it best suited for why is STL so effective?
DBG: Dellner Brakes is a pioneer of the innovative STL (stopping, turning, locking) system, and this is certainly one of the company’s most technically advanced developments to date. This groundbreaking system has been developed to meet specific customer demand for a flexible, fully modular system to provide complete control over a vessel’s stopping, turning and locking functions, all operated through a single control panel, an optional remote hand held control or even wirelessly through a smartphone or tablet.
In marine vessels, the STL system is specially designed to fit around the propeller shaft to enable faster directional changes with maximum manoeuvrability. It also helps lower fuel consumption, reduces load on propulsion systems and makes routine maintenance quicker, easier and safer. Securing the propeller prevents damage to the shaft and bearings if the vessel is drifting or buffeted by waves. It also allows ROVs and divers to operate around the propeller blades in safety. When in harbour, using the turning function to rotate the propeller can also help to reduce marine growth on the blades and lubricated shaft bearings.
Specifically for military vessels, STL can be laboratory tested and built with flex in the mountings to provide shock protection and avoid damage to the system in the event of impact.
There are hydraulic and electrical versions of the STL, and the fully automated all-electric STL system is a world first that Dellner Brakes has developed in direct response to an increasing global focus on environmental issues, along with a demand for smaller, flexible braking solutions. The patent pending electrical system is powerful, compact and needs no additional piping, making it quicker, easier and less costly to install – especially where space is at a premium. It’s simple to use, hard wearing and easy to maintain, and is perfect for applications where a clean environment is paramount, or for use in green shipping lanes.
ESD: When reviewing your portfolio of land system products what are the top three most critical products Dellner Bubenzer Group provides and how does it work with its customers and the end-users to ensure quality and increase performance?
- Dellner Silentbloc, Vibration control solutions for all-terrain vehicles: Dellner Silentbloc has unrivalled know-how in the dynamics of vibration, materials and processes. We work closely with our customers and a host of partners, including NASA and the UK Catapult centres and universities, to fast-track cutting-edge technologies and spearhead intelligent solutions, from concept through extensive qualification testing, to implementation. This unique, dynamic and collaborative way of working, together with significant investment in technology, ensures that our vibration control solutions are, and remain, truly world leading. Our patented NDure compound helps to minimise wear, lengthen equipment life and reduce operating costs, and we build sustainability into our products, many of which benefit from a modular approach that saves customers time and money by enabling them to repair and replace individual components rather than whole parts. Our products also have a built-in ‘Data to Knowledge’ (D2K) process that enables real time performance monitoring and system optimisation. Innovation is integral to our DNA and we are fully focused on creating solutions that deliver a lifetime of reliability, cost savings and energy optimisation.
- Dellner Woodville, Tank track link rubberisation, Fighting vehicle dust suppression kits and flexible mudguards: At Dellner Woodville, we place customers at the heart of what we do and we have an in-depth understanding of their commercial requirements and challenges. This, together with our strong attention to detail, means we can develop and deliver innovative, flexible solutions that truly meet our customers’ needs. We process customers’ requirements from concept to completion, and quality is assured every step of the way. In fact, we continually strive to achieve the highest standards of quality performance in everything we do, incorporating continuous improvement and 5S activities as part of our everyday routines, all delivered through our in-house facilities for product design and development, materials technology, testing and processing.