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Published: 21 June 2024

Harvesting Success in Filtration

Part of the German pavilion at the Agritechnica Asia, held in Bangkok, was Hengst. Seeing the equipment on display by other participants, making the connection to the brands exhibiting machinery requiring filtration solutions, Asian Trucker queried representatives of Hengst Asia Pacific working the stand. Evengila Quek · Senior Sales Manager at Hengst Asia Pacific Pte Ltd addressed our questions.

AT: Why are you participating in the Agritechnica Asia?
EQ: This is our first time participating in this show, presenting Hengst. Previously, Hengst has been participating in the Agritechnica in Europe and we see opportunities here. With our new products and extended hydraulic filtration solutions, we hope to be tapping into this local market as well. We are also here to support our OEM customers in the agriculture market, such as Claas, John Deere and Deutz, who are also present at this show.

In addition, we want to let the market know that we are here. With a local presence in Singapore to support our existing sales channels. For the Thai market, we are also looking for distribution partners. Thailand is one of the biggest markets for agriculture in the region and this is why it is important to be here.

AT: How is the product range different from the trucks and buses we normally talk about?
EQ: In essence, we offer filtration solutions for these vehicles. These include filters for air, lubricants and other fluids used on these agricultural vehicles. However, the environment for agrotechnical, construction or mining machines are generally much harsher. Machinery operates in way dustier and usually in hard to get to places. That means filters need to be very well performing. If a filter clogs up prematurely, the vehicles get stuck in a possibly difficult place to rescue and repair. Such an emergency service would then be expensive and if the filter lets through too much harmful particles, the engine can be damaged. Even drivers are at risk: they could be harmed due, for example, inhaling of aggressive fertilizer dust. Peak performance of filters is a must. In some cases, for example, cabin custom-made filters are fitted to ensure the safety of the driver is guaranteed.

AT: You also have the Blue.maxx on display here.
EQ: Yes, as this is a very important product for this market segment as well. The Blue.maxx is a very important tool in regions like Southeast Asia, where the humidity is high, and we need to address the issue of water being present in the fuels. Many countries in Southeast Asia are using Biodiesel, which is more hygroscopic than Diesel. Additional filtration or filtration with better performance is required or simply preferred. Bluemaxx can act as an “insurance” that the fuel system remains clean. We have to remember that fine dust gets into the smallest places, especially during the refuelling process.

AT: What are the challenges for filtration in agriculture?
EQ: In Asia we are not that known yet, despite being a Tier 1 supplier to many large agrotechnical machine brands, such as Claas, John Deere, Fendt and many more.

Our main task now is to spread the message that Hengst Filtration is OE on such applications and to ensure customers will trust our brand. Currently, users are not aware of the entire range we offer and oftentimes, the queries we receive are about specific part numbers where they want to know if we carry these parts.

The German Pavilion is always a great launching platform for not yet well-presented brands or products. Sailing under the “Made in Germany” flag still draws a lot of attention and interest and may make it easier to get into certain markets.

We must remember that we are a German origin brand, however, we have production facilities in several countries. It is important that market players trust any of the Hengst products, regardless of where they have been produced as they are all manufactured to the same high standard. We will never compromise on quality.

AT: Are fake products or cheap brands a problem for you in this segment?
EQ: We note that fake products start to come in when a brand is well established. However, the more complex and the more expensive machines become, the less fakes/cheap brands are an issue because people tend to stick to well-known OE brands as well as importers and/or distributors.

What we find is that people in Thailand are aware of the benefits of using quality products. They understand that a lower price does not always equate to cost savings in the long run as a quality product would offer benefits beyond a low purchase price.

AT: You seem to participate in a lot of exhibitions this year. Why is that?
EQ: We find that Exhibitions are great ways to boost our presence and to get exposure. That’s why we invested a lot of money into our exposure throughout Asia: MCVE Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Agritechnica Asia Bangkok, Thailand, Automechanika Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, Automechanika Shanghai, China. Depending on each market, our intentions are different. In well established markets we present to support our existing importers and workshops who already use Hengst or who want to learn more about filtration. It is also a good way to understand more about the local market as you will have all kinds of visitors: importers, mechanics, end-users or even students and school classes. In emerging markets, we are there for all the above but also actively looking for new opportunities and business partners.