Success Story: Royal Shakespeare Company

The Royal Shakespeare Company might be used to performances raising the roof, but it came to Hydraulics Online when it needed to be able to lift the stage…

The Royal Shakespeare Company’s Stratford-upon-Avon theatres play host to more than one million visitors each year – all drawn by its breath-taking family Christmas shows, innovative productions and workshops and the finest theatre productions of Shakespeare’s plays in the world.

Nobody could beat Hydraulics Online on price.   (Gill Leefe, Control Systems Engineer, RSC.)

When the Royal Shakespeare Company staged Wendy and Peter Pan in its Royal Shakespeare Theatre in 2013 and 2015, the whole team wanted to create a magical, beautiful experience for its family audiences.

Control Systems for Heavy Lifting

Gill Leefe is Control Systems Engineer at the RSC in Stratford and was responsible for the control of the hydraulic system.  Gill says: “There are important safety considerations when using hydraulic equipment and we have to be very careful, but they can be very useful in the theatre.  We do have our own mains power system for the hydraulics and we make use of them when there are big, heavy things to move.”

For the production of Wendy and Peter Pan, the hydraulics were used to move large pieces of set, to startling effect.

Gill explains: “While Wendy is looking for the lost boys, the stage begins to rise, revealing Tinkerbell underneath.  In the space the elevated stage creates, another piece of set rises to reveal the hidey-hole where the Lost Boys live and eleven boys dancing on the set.”

The two separate controllers were linked together to a central control panel.  With one actor strapped to one element of the moving set and more rising with the second moving element of the set, it was vital that the hydraulic systems were in perfect working order and fully safety tested.

Royal Shakespeare Company Hydraulics Online Control Systems

“Sometimes I operated that show,” says Gill, “and from where I sat I could see the front row of kids.  When the stage began to lift up they would jump out of their seats, wondering what was going on.  Then I could see the expressions of wonder on their faces; they were really excited.  It was an absolutely brilliant moment.”

The equipment was reused in 2016 at London’s Barbican theatre in the production of King Lear starring Antony Sher – following which it was returned to Stratford upon Avon for reconditioning.  Gill needed to replace the Dual Driver Multi-Function Proportional Valve and a quick online search showed that Hydraulics Online could help.

Great Service

“The team at Hydraulics Online were really efficient and friendly,” says Gill.  “Sometimes we are not the easiest people to deal with because we can generate a lot of paperwork; taking on a new supplier can be a lengthy process for us, but Hydraulics Online worked very quickly and made it really easy for us.”

Hydraulics Online are very efficient and pleasant to deal with. (Gill Leefe, Control Systems Engineer, RSC.)

The pain of setting up a new supplier did prompt Gill to check with existing suppliers as to whether they could supply a suitable part.  Gill explains: “I did call around looking for alternative quotes, but nobody could match Hydraulics Online on price.”

The part arrived in good time, ahead of the stated lead time, and Gill says she was very impressed with the service: “Hydraulics Online were very efficient and pleasant to deal with throughout and their price is the best.  I will definitely be using Hydraulics Online again and would recommend them,” she comments.

The equipment is now ready to be used in the theatre to help to bring some future RSC magic to audiences.

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Testimonial: Rexroth Hydraulics

Thanks for your help. Much appreciated, fantastic service and a quick turn around for the machine… We don’t really have a hydraulic supplier to speak of and we would appreciate you coming aboard.

Words from a new customer, a prepared foods supplier for UK & global food retailers and outlets, needing to keep their production lines up and running shortly before Christmas. One call to the team here was all it took… So you may have us to “thank” for some of those extra snacks and treats you enjoyed over the festive season!

Rexroth Hydraulics

Bosch-Rexroth-Hydraulics1In this instance the customer was looking for replacement Bosch Rexroth equipment for one of their food processors and mixers. You can find out more about Bosch Rexroth here or you click through on the following links if you’d like to find out more about us and our customers, the markets and other hydraulic manufacturers that we deal with and the hydraulic products and services that we can provide.

Remember, if it’s hydraulic we can design it, supply it, solve it or repair it!

Commercial Triple Gear Pump

Here at Hydraulics Online, our sales and technical team are regularly tasked with finding the proverbial needle in the haystack; sourcing obsolete or discontinued hydraulic components, or swapping original hydraulic equipment into modern, off-the-shelf standard products, with minimal, if any, re-engineering.

And we regularly have customers who cannot confirm what they actually need us to supply… identification plates and serial numbers on old hydraulic equipment are often worn away or buried in years of dirt, making it seemingly impossible to identify what is underneath and inside!

However, thanks to the wonders of technology, and in particular smart phones, we haven’t been beaten yet. All our technical team need is a photo or two to work with…

A long-standing overseas customer contacted the team with a series of pictures of a triple gear pump that had originally been fitted to a Coles 1986 crane. They knew nothing more.

Triple Gear Pump

The team were able to identify the unit, a Commercial Hydraulics triple gear pump, straight away and as well as quoting on a replacement unit, they also quoted on a quality, direct equivalent that was available ex-stock. Needless to say the customer ordered the direct equivalent unit: a British-assembled cast iron gear triple pump, pictured here.

You can find more information on Commercial Hydraulics cast iron gear pumps and motors (PGP / PGM 030 / 050 / 075 / 300 / 315 / 330 / 350 / 365 series) here, or you can hop over to our catalogue to view some of the hydraulic pumps and cast iron gear pumps that we regularly supply.

Radial Piston Hydraulic Motor

At Hydraulics Online, we’re passionate about all things hydraulic, and simply love the diversity of our customer base and the vast range of applications that we’re involved with every day. Nothing ever fazes the technical team, who relish the challenges thrown at them… In fact, they’re regularly told that their hydraulic expertise is second to none!

We work with an extensive range of leading and lesser-known manufacturers from around the world on a daily basis too, one of these being Italgroup who have been producing radial piston hydraulic motors since 1985. Made entirely in Europe, Italgroup pride themselves on their innovative, customisable product range, offering quality and versatility; their radial piston hydraulic motors are also directly interchangeable with many competitors’ products.

As an example, a leisure & fairground attraction provider was due to attend a prestigious national event when their attraction’s main hydraulic drive failed. The replacement, competitor product was on a four week lead time, meaning that the ride would be out of operation for the whole event and all revenue lost. Our team were consulted and a suitable direct replacement was sourced from Italgroup and flown into the UK within 48 hours, with no re-engineering required. The customer was able to meet their commitment for the major weekend event and, critically, protected their revenue. Happy days!

Soon afterwards, following a search on the internet, Hydraulics Online were contacted by a shredding and data disposal company to design and supply an efficient hydraulic system to run a mobile compactor and crusher. Our technical team proposed a hydraulic system using Italgroup radial piston motors. The vehicle was delivered to Hydraulics Online’s premises and our hydraulic engineer installed the PTO driven power source and hydraulic control valves. A second vehicle has since been fitted out to the same specification.

We could go on, but as a final example, Hydraulics Online were contacted by a national household power generation company, following the failure of the main hydraulic starter (radial piston) motor on a LM6000 GT package. The original unit was a Bosch-Rexroth hydraulic motor and was on a long lead time. A hydraulic engineer visited the site within an hour of contact, identified the hydraulic motor and specified a suitable equivalent replacement hydraulic motor from Italgroup which was available from Hydraulics Online stock. This was delivered to site the same day, minimising downtime again and Hydraulics Online are now a preferred supplier for hydraulic equipment and components.

Hydraulics CatalogueVisit our catalogue to see some of the hydraulic components we have within our range. If you can’t find what you’re looking for then call us or go to our Contact page to enquire online.


Marine Winch Motor

Even the most well-established and reputable of hydraulic companies turn to the Hydraulics Online technical team when it comes to sourcing hydraulic equipment…

A UK company specialising in the service and repair of hydraulic equipment contacted us on behalf of a customer overseas who was looking for a radial piston motor to replace an existing unit used on a marine winch system.  Not only was the original motor now obsolete, but it also had a non-standard shaft.

Working from photos taken of the original unit, our technical team identified that an Italgroup (IAMD series) radial piston motor with a bespoke shaft would fit the bill nicely.

Italgroup’s European-made radial piston motors are available in displacements ranging from 20cc to 8000cc, with fixed and dual speed versions and can also be combined with planetary gearboxes, brakes and valves of various kinds. The range of Italgroup radial piston motors can also be directly interchanged with: Dinamic Oil hydraulic motors, Duesterloh (Dusterloh) motors, Staffa hydraulic motors (Kawasaki Precision Machinery), Calzoni radial piston motors, and Sai hydraulic motors.

Marine Winch

Some of the features of the IAMD series motor include:

  • fixed displacement;
  • displacement range between 200 cc/rev – 8000 cc/rev;
  • heavy duty motor;
  • higher mechanical efficiency, speed and power than standard IAM series;
  • interchangeable mounting face;
  • bespoke shafts for standard radial piston motors upon request.



Remanufactured Denison Hydraulics 800 Series Motor

Trying to find the right hydraulic equipment at the right price and lead time can be a challenge at the best of times, but when what you are looking for is no longer even manufactured it can seem impossible. However, it’s not usually a problem for the team here at Hydraulics Online, where our sourcing hydraulic equipment expertise is second to none!

A new customer, an overseas procurement company specialising in mechanical and structural engineering supplies, approached our technical team with a picture (above) of an old Denison Hydraulics 800 series (MF08) motor – the unit no longer functioned properly and they desperately needed a replacement for their customer. The bad news was that the motor was obsolete, with no modern-day, direct-equivalent available.

The good news is that we are always up for a challenge here at Hydraulics Online, and are frequently tasked with finding the proverbial needle in the haystack; sourcing seemingly obsolete or discontinued hydraulic components, or swapping original hydraulic equipment into modern, off-the-shelf standard products, with minimal, if any, re-engineering.

In this case we were able to offer for the motor to be re-manufactured – a product recovery process so that the Dension MF08 motor was made to function “as good as new”. The customer was happy with this development and gave the go-ahead… and the remanufactured Denison Hydraulics 800 series (MF08) motor has now been shipped to the client in India.

Click through to read more case studies and testimonials where our ability to source hydraulic equipment has been put to the test.



Testimonial: Waste Management and Recycling

We were technically “closed” for the Christmas and New Year holiday period, but that didn’t stop the team from helping a new customer who was in a catastrophic breakdown situation… In fact, praise needs to go to our Managing Director who “pulled a few strings”, personally collected goods from the airport and managed their onward delivery to the customer – a national, leading integrated waste management and recycling company.

Mark, I just want to thank you for all your assistance over the holiday period, it is greatly appreciated and wish you a happy and prosperous New Year . We were back operational just in time to meet our deadline for production.

Testimonial: Large, UK PLC

Many thanks for the team’s efforts in getting the hydraulic parts sourced and delivered to site; they arrived today. It is very much appreciated.

Click through on the following links if you’d like to find out more about us and our customers, the markets and hydraulic manufacturers that we deal with and the hydraulic products and services that we can provide.

Remember, if it’s hydraulic we can design it, supply it, solve it or repair it!

Case Study: Leading Global Energy Company

Hydraulics Online were contacted late on 17th June with a requirement for a number of Denison proportional amplifier cards; they were needed for one of our customer’s exploration rigs in Angola and, as is often the case, it was urgent… there was no time to spare.

The customer was quoted the following morning, the lead time being 8-10 weeks. The customer placed their order on 20th June, acknowledging that their target date for delivery (4th July) had been somewhat ambitious and would not be achieved. Or so it had it seemed.

Keen to improve on delivery if at all possible, the sales team approached a potential alternative supplier and successfully negotiated expedited delivery of the goods within the same week. Cue one happy customer who took delivery of their Denison proportional amplifier cards on 30th June… 4 days ahead of their original schedule!

Search for Missing Flight MH370

Hydraulics Online were approached by a new customer, a Malaysian-based marine maintenance  company, on 19th March 2014. The customer had been having difficulty in identifying and sourcing the hydraulic parts needed to complete the work required on a Malaysian Royal Navy vessel.

Despite the difficulties that the customer had faced elsewhere, Hydraulics Online were able to quote the customer on the same day, advising that the goods would be on a 3 week lead time from receipt of order. The customer ordered on the last day of March and accepted the delivery timeframe of 19th – 26th April.

On 4th April, the customer phoned Hydraulics Online and advised that the vessel had just been called up to help in the search for missing flight MH370… was there anything that Hydraulics Online could do to expedite delivery?

Within half an hour the simple answer was “yes”… and the hydraulic equipment was despatched from Hydraulics Online less than a week later. Cue one more happy new customer who, in turn, could deliver excellent service to their own customer – the Malaysian Royal Navy:

We received the goods safely this afternoon and hope to prolong our good relationship and do further business with you in the future.

Click through on the following links if you’d like to find out more about us and our customers, the markets and hydraulic manufacturers that we deal with and the hydraulic products and services that we can provide.

Remember, if it’s hydraulic we can design it, supply it, solve it or repair it!

“Can you let the boys know that they are providing us with great service, parts and information in all our locations. Your service is prompt and reliable; you’re our “go to” guys when it comes to hydraulics.”

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