Not that long ago OTTO paid a visit to the production facilities of Hengst in the famous university town of Munster in the north of Germany. This was to be a fairly ordinary chance to meet our contacts, or so we thought. It in fact transpired to be one of the most fascinating factory tours your scribe has ever enjoyed.
Filters are filters or so we thought with pretty much uniform materials we had assumed and they are produced to a specification that comes from the car manufacturer, surely? Nothing could be further from reality in fact and once we got a glimpse of the amazing world of filters at the Hengst plant we were stunned into silence!
Fact: Hengst boast one of the most impressive pressure die-casting plants in Europe.
What in the world has pressure die-casting got to do with filtration was the first question that went through our minds too but we listened attentively. For Hengst, the filter is almost the last piece of the puzzle. They are at the very leading edge of filtration technology and a global authority on the subject. The materials that they produce and use and how they prepare and process these materials, the technologies they employ to ensure you have only the very best quality product. These are all reasons why Hengst produce vast quantities of filters under their own name and which you will also see boxed and branded by other leading names in automotive filtration.
Back to the die-casting… Hengst are commissioned by the automotive manufacturers to provide a filtration solution and it is their policy to add value to this process for the manufacturer. The fluids that have to be cleaned by the Hengst filter whether they be fuel or air entering the engine, oil lubricating the power plant or transmission fluid will not only carry contaminants but likely too much or too little heat. The clever engineers based in Munster will pitch solutions to the manufacturer which will solve a multitude of technical problems beyond fluid filtration. Total control of fluid flow and temperature with active heat exchange while executing filtration as a bolt down module on an engine, now that is a winning solution. Not only have Hengst built a massive die-casting plant to manufacture these fluid handling modules but they have won innovation awards for the modules themselves.
Once again they have been showcasing their innovation and what better acknowledgement can one receive in this business than to be adopted as the standard?
Daimler AGT the producers of the well known “Citaro” now boast over 45.000 vehicles in daily operation. The latest addition to the stable is their pioneering engine offering natural gas as a fuel. The natural gas engine is much more environmentally friendly than the diesel engine, also boasts considerably lower levels of particulate emission and as a welcome bonus in a city bus application, is much quieter too. With this technology however comes very heavy demands on the filtration systems of the engine, this previously proving to be just one barrier to the technology. Hengst custom designed a fluid contrlo and filtration solution which is now fully adopted in the M 936 g, Daimler’s in-house name for the engine project. Fitted exclusively with Hengst’s stallion-Mdeg module the engine will not only find its way into city bus production but also in waste disposal and municipal vehicles across Europe. The first major customer to adopt the technology are Stadtwerke Augsburg the forward thinking energy, utility and transport operator who are currently adding no less than 68 of the innovative buses to their fleet.
This short video is worth a watch especially as Hengst have just won the Aluminium industry casting award for the fourth time in 2016 and has been on the podium for the last four consecutive years!