ORLANDO, Fla.—Eaton Corp. P.L.C.'s restructuring of its hydraulics business earlier this year split its hose operations into two units, and company officials say the new structure so far is working as expected.
Under the changes, Eaton's former Fluid Conveyance business was realigned into the Hydraulic Hose & Fittings group, with Greg Gumbs as general manager, and the Industrial & Specialty Conveyance Products unit, with Ryan Williams as business unit manager.
One main factor leading to the split was Eaton's acquisition of Polimer Kaucuk Sanayi ve Pazariama A.S., which brought some hydraulic hose and accessories with it but greatly increased Eaton's presence in industrial hose, adding more than 180 product series to Eaton's industrial offerings, Williams said.
"With the size of the business getting that big, we felt that in order to get the focus we needed in those two segments of the business, we needed to get a new structure that would drive that focus," Gumbs said. "It gives us a little bit tighter alignment with end markets going after industrial, hydraulics and specialty hose, and the metals to go along with that."
Gumbs and Williams talked about the businesses during Eaton's recent distributor meeting in Orlando.
From an end market basis, the new structure allows the hose units to focus on the areas where Eaton expects growth, Williams said. Those targets include such industries as energy, oil and gas, mining, construction and others. He said some areas of these businesses currently may be down, but the firm doesn't see macroeconomic trends stopping, giving the Cleveland-based conglomerate room for growth.
"We're definitely tracking the market growth in the verticals," said Williams, an 18-year company veteran that came to Eaton when it purchased Aeroquip Corp. "The segment directors are leading their charge as far as which platforms and applications we want to target."
Even when particular end markets are down, Eaton still will try to take market share.
"When things are accelerating, people don't have a lot of time to look at switching business," he said. "Our efforts are more around picking the spots where we're trying take share, and that's what we're focused on right now."