THE HISTORY OF HIDRACAR
HIDRACAR was founded in 1974 by its present manager, Manuel Carcaré – Gimeno, a technical engineer who had been working for 5 years in the oleo-hydraulic sector for the company Olaer (Mercier-Greer Group).
Though HIDRACAR started as an importer of oleo-pneumatic accumulators, very early on we were already manufacturing our own piston and bladder accumulators and pulsation dampers. Back then the company was set up on business in 100 m2 of commercial premises in the city of Manresa (Barcelona). In 1978 we also started the manufacture of oleo-pneumatic shock absorbers, and by 1980 we were also manufacturing oleo-pneumatic tensioners and hydrostatic dynamometers.
Those early products were still fully made by using conventional lathes; and designs were still made manually on drawing boards. All this limited a great deal both production and efficiency.
After years of difficult beginnings, HIDRACAR grew and gathered enough resources to start a new stage after moving, in 1981, to its own 450 m2 industrial building at the “Les Vives” Industrial Park in Sant Vicenç de Castellet, at approximately 11 km from its previous location, what made possible the expansion of the business.
HIDRACAR kept advancing; improving day by day its designs. In 1985 we were already manufacturing oleo-hydraulic starters. The purchase of two vulcanization presses enabled the manufacturing of the bladders by ourselves (previously they were imported). In 1988 the company started its computerization; and in the year 1989 we purchased our first welding table. Step by step HIDRACAR was increasing its production self-sufficiency, at the same time that enlarged successively its industrial premises and started in 1990 the building of a new industrial unit.
The 90’s were a period of great advance for the company. The use of computers evolved from mere administrative tasks to the use of CAD software for the design of products. The pool of machinery was increased and, in 1998 we purchased our first CNC lathe. HIDRACAR started the manufacture of new products like membrane type and bellows type accumulators. But, doubtlessly, the most significant advance was the beginning of exports in 1993.
The first decade of the new century were years of continuity in the modernization of the company while the building of the new industrial unit kept progressing. Both productivity and quality were increased with the further acquisition of vulcanization presses and CNC machines, and the purchase, in 2007, of a welding robot with a double welding lathe turntable. Our catalogue of products grew with the introduction of the new oleo-pneumatic suspension cylinders; and the consolidation of the exports placed HIDRACAR by the end of the decade at the top rank of the European manufacturers of pulsation dampeners.
In 2009 the new, 1,000 m2, industrial unit is finished, and from then on, both the equipment and the activity of the company will be split between both buildings. Since then HIDRACAR has carried on with its politics of improvement of the production, with the acquisition of new machinery, like a seventh vulcanization press, a CNC vertical machining centre or the retrofitting of one of our CNC lathes with a robotic arm. Today, export figures reach 80% of our total sales.
Nowadays HIDRACAR takes up 590 m2 of machining workshop, a 500 m2 area for assembly and machined and assembled parts stocks storage as well as for the dampener bladder vulcanization presses and the hydraulic testing area. And the two-storied administration offices take up 286 m2.
Today HIDRACAR S.A. facilities extend over a 2,350 m2 area in the “Les Vives” industrial park, with a 1,525 m2 built area that includes two buildings:
The older of them, of 525 m2, comprises the technical office, the metal and plastic machining workshop, welding workshop, metal and plastic raw materials storage area and the painting workshop.
The new building, of 1,000 m2, comprises the 400 m2 two-storied administration offices attached to the main 600 m2 body that includes the bladder and membrane machining workshop and its adjoined light, temperature and humidity conditioned raw rubber and finished bladder store room, the assembly workshop, the testing facilities, the stocks and finished parts storage area and the packing and delivery section.
Administration offices Technical Office
Metal and plastic machining workshop
Metal and plastic raw materials storage area Painting workshop
Bladder and membrane Raw rubber and finished bladder machining workshop stocks store room
Assembly workshop Testing facilities
Stocks and finished parts storage area Packing and delivery section
HIDRACAR has always aimed for the utmost in the manufacturing quality of its products. To achieve this purpose, it has always been a priority to equip our workshops with the latest technology. Currently, our pool of machinery includes:
- Seven CNC lathes: Four of them fitted with automatic piece loading (three of them with two chucks) and another one with two chucks and fitted with both an automatic bar charger and a loading / unloading robot arm.
- A CNC machining center.
- Two parallel lathes.
- Seven vulcanizing presses for machining bladders and membranes.
- Two welding tables with both TIG and MIG welding arms.
- A plasma & MAG welding robot with a double welding lathe turntable.
- A shot blaster machine.
- A test bench for cycling, charging with gas up to 400 bar and testing up to 1,500 bar.
- A milling borer for a maximum bore diameter of 70 mm.
- A twin head sawing stand for cutting tubes.
- A band saw for cutting tubes and bars with diameters of up to 300 mm.
- A computer assisted engraving machine.