“For Graco, the oil and gas market is all about spraying protective coatings, whether it is a one component coating, or a plural component coating, on all kinds of metallic structures such as pipelines, oil rigs, tankers, and oil tanks.
For this specific product application, we are proud to be one of the leaders in innovation,” sums up Fabien Ledebt, channel marketing specialist of Graco.
In fact for almost 90 years, Graco has developed solutions for spray finishing paints or protective coating, paint circulation, and to lubricate and dispense sealants and adhesives, in association with a broad scope of power application equipment for the contractor industry. The business covers a wide range of different markets where its products help customers to solve various manufacturing problems whilst increasing productivity, and reducing labour costs and environmental emissions.
Over the past 18 months, Graco registered continued growth in product sales, especially driven by the on-going high level of investment in emerging marketing, but also thanks to a positive trend in the demand of historically strong industrial countries, such as Germany, France and Scandinavia. At present the oil and gas market is making up the biggest portion of demand in Graco’s industrial division due to increasing investments from Russia and Scandinavia.
Commenting on why this is, Fabien highlights how by investing internally the business is able to offer benefits to its customers: “We continue to invest money, time and resources to find the new breakthrough technology that will make the life of our customer easier. At Graco, we always keep the quality standard very high. Indeed, whilst some of our products may appear expensive, we will never trade the reliability of our sprayers nor the quality of our components to the benefit of a cheaper product. We always keep in mind the satisfaction of our users and this choice in strategy enables us to remain one of the leaders in the market. Furthermore we have developed a worldwide network of professional distributors that advise, supply, service, and in some cases, adapt our products that we work with very closely to drive home our high standards.”
One of the most recent outputs from this strategy has been the new mechanical bi-component sprayer, the XP70, which offers the capability for faster drying coating applications. “For the coating to dry faster contractors usually use a plural component coating which can be manually mixed. This brings with it a number of risks such as wrong mixing ratios, waste material, and difficulty in mixing some high viscosity coatings. At Graco, we have developed the XP70, which will only deliver the right amount of product at the accurate mixing ratio. This new mechanical sprayer employs breakthrough technology that makes it easy to use, clean and maintain on a level similar to a single component sprayer, and is affordable. This allows every contractor to save money and to manage their waste of chemical products properly as these types of plural component sprayers are usually reserved for more complex applications,” describes Fabien.
“Furthermore, with the idea of supporting the market in the use of more efficient protective coatings we have also released the variable ratio electronic plural component sprayer XM. This advanced unit is designed to spray the toughest plural component materials with the assurance that you’re spraying accurately and on-ratio every time. Every Graco XM is also fully configurable and electronically controlled throughout,” he continues.
In addition to the strict legislation surrounding the oil and gas industry itself, Graco also has to recognise the environmental concerns associated with spraying chemicals. Fabien notes how the company works within these requirements to ensure that not only do its clients receive the best service, but that this is not at the expense of the environment: “Graco is committed to being a good corporate citizen in all communities worldwide where it has business activities. As part of this commitment, Graco strives to manage its business in a way that conserves natural resources and protects the environment. Our environmental policy states that we will comply with environmental regulations and always work to improve our environmental performance.
“We have developed recycling processes and procedures to comply with requirements, prevent pollution in our facilities and reduce our impact on the environment. To comply with international regulations, such as VOC emission reduction, we develop our new sprayers to be more efficient in saving chemicals. We also support initiatives in developing sustainable forestry practices.
“The major challenge lies in how fast the world changes,” reveals Fabien with regards to future of the business. “Graco needs to remain ahead of the competition and keep innovating in order never to be left behind. Thankfully, innovation is a priority and part of Graco’s culture and our worldwide distribution network provides us with a regular market feedback. In terms of maximising our visibility within the market we will increase our presence in emerging market places, with the aim of bringing Graco technology to all end users, even in the most remote areas. We will also look to heavily increase our presence in what are considered as niche markets, such as renewable energies.”
Products: Fluid handling systems