Family Business Celebrates 100th Anniversary

Hans Jensen Lubricants
Left to right: COO Christian Hans Jensen, Vice President Hans Peter Jensen & CEO Rasmus Hans Jensen

By The Maritime Executive 2017-10-06 10:09:35

The Danish maritime company, Hans Jensen Lubricators Ltd., celebrated its 100th birthday on Friday September 29, 2017. The company has been family-owned throughout the years and is today managed by the brothers of the fourth generation, CEO Rasmus Hans Jensen and COO Christian Hans Jensen.

In 1917, Hans Jensens Maskinfabrik was founded with the purpose of maintaining and repairing irrigation systems for gardening and agriculture. However, the small company, which was located near the present day Copenhagen Airport, went through some big changes as early as in 1923. Back then, an order placed by the machine and shipbuilding company Burmeister & Wain (B&W) went on to make Hans Peter Jensen, the founder of Hans Jensens Maskinfabrik, among the first in the world to develop a mechanical cylinder lubrication unit. This constituted the beginning of the industrial adventure that today characterises the market leading company from Denmark.

Since then, Hans Jensens Maskinfabrik has undergone various significant developments, which led to the company changing its name in 1993 to the current one, namely Hans Jensen Lubricators, emphasising the company’s contemporary international outlook. The cylinder lubrication technology has been refined and improved through generations, and as a result of innovative and timely product developments combined with the ability to constantly adjust to the market, the company celebrated its 100th birthday on the 16th of September in better shape than ever. A milestone that only a few companies in the world will achieve.

A Danish Family Business

Hans Jensen Lubricators has been a family-owned and family-run business throughout its 100-year history with a total of four generations having managed the company. Today, CEO Rasmus Hans Jensen and his brother, COO Christian Hans Jensen, are at the helm, while their father Hans Peter Jensen remains part of the company as Vice President. They are all delighted to be part of the unique history of the company, which has not only managed to subsist and grow during the last 100 years, but also remained part of the family:

- It is a great milestone for the entire family that the company can celebrate its 100th anniversary. Continuing a business through 100 years is a privilege that only few will experience, and we are very proud that the company my great-grandfather founded in the early part of the twentieth century is still going strong, Rasmus Hans Jensen said

- Needless to say, this has not happened by coincidence. During the company’s 100-year lifetime, different generations of managers and employees have reinvented the business and its products on a continuous basis in order to maintain our market leading position, but with respect for the trade and our roots. So far, we have been successful in doing so, and that is a big acknowledgement to all the many generations of family members and employees, who have invested their energy and creative urge in our company through the years, Rasmus Hans Jensen continued.

Supplying the Maritime Industry

Today, both the company’s production facilities and top management are located in the city of Hadsund in Denmark, where Hans Jensen Lubricators has been headquartered since the early seventies. Over the years, subsidiaries in China and Singapore have been established, which have strengthened the maritime company’s position as one of the world’s leading suppliers within the field of developing, producing and servicing cylinder lubrication systems for two-stroke marine diesel engines and stationary engines. The office in China was established in 2006, while the office in Singapore, where COO Christian Hans Jensen is currently based, opened in 2014. As a result of the regional presence, Hans Jensen Lubricators has managed to establish closer relationships with both its customers and business partners in the Asia-Pacific region.

The maritime industry and the global power plant sector constitute the main customer categories of Hans Jensen Lubricators. During recent years, the activity level within the shipbuilding industry has been low due to an excess capacity. However, this development has not deterred Hans Jensen Lubricators from providing its advanced cylinder lubrication systems to older vessels in particular:

- Our modern cylinder lubrication systems is of such high quality compared to previous generations that the investment will pay for itself within a period of six months to two years. The cost savings usually reach around 30,000 to 150,000 USD a year due to savings on oil combined with a reduction in service and maintenance costs. Put differently, it is a very sensible investment for the shipping companies, Rasmus Hans Jensen explained.

The large cost savings on oil and maintenance are rendered possible by the intelligent lubrication technology that form part of the modern cylinder lubrication systems, ensuring both an optimum distribution and dosage of the cylinder lubricating oil. Additionally, the intelligent lubrication technology also reduces wear and tear while concurrently increasing the reliability of the mechanical parts, as the corrosive sulfuric acid that is produced with combustion is neutralised before discharge. Hence, it is not only the bottom line of the shipping companies that will benefit from a modern and oil-efficient cylinder lubrication system, but also the environment.

A Growing Need for Innovation

During the first decades of the company’s lifetime, Hans Jensen Lubricators was largely carried by the breakthrough of Rasmus Hans Jensen and Christian Hans Jensen’s ancestor in cylinder lubrication systems, which proved to be a huge success. However, over the years – particularly within the last 20 years – the need for innovation has risen significantly at the same rate as the technological developments within the industry. When asking the brothers about the reason behind the growth and success of Hans Jensen Lubricators, they are in no doubt that it all comes down to the company’s constant focus on innovation and renewal:

- We are constantly faced with the necessity of developing new and innovative products and initiatives in order to live up to the needs and demands of the customers. Similar to other industries, new competitors continue to enter the market, which emphasises that we should not underestimate the risk of disruption. For this reason, innovation has played a key role for us – particularly in recent decades, where the maritime market has experienced a rapid development, Rasmus Hans Jensen said.

No Idea Too Great

The company regularly arranges development days where the research and development department dedicates a working day to generating new ideas based on the notion that no idea is too great or too incomprehensible. Still, the company primarily looks to the industry and its existing customers when seeking to gather new insights and experiences to be used in future product developments:

- Service and after-sales often constitute the framework of our customers’ feedback, which is an essential part of our work with innovation and product development. Developing the best product in theory is completely futile if the customers do not have the necessary competencies and knowhow to make full use of it in practice. For this reason, we always put the customers first by creating intelligent and simple solutions, while concurrently focusing on providing an impeccable service and a high degree of user-friendliness, Rasmus Hans Jensen explained.

Moreover, Hans Jensen Lubricators has formed strong partnerships with both oil companies and universities in Denmark and abroad, where collaborations with business Ph.D. students are among the initiatives that the company engages in with the aim of generating new knowledge that can contribute to the company’s ongoing development:

- We always strive to obtain new insight that can contribute to the company upholding its strong position. We place great emphasis on establishing good partnerships that can provide expertise and new input for future solutions. If you want to be among the leading companies in the market, it is essential to be innovative as well as proactive in order to set the pace in the industry rather than just seeking to keep up with the latest developments, Rasmus Hans Jensen emphasised.

From Mechanical to Digital

One of the areas in which Hans Jensen Lubricators currently seeks to develop further concerns its transition from being a mechanically oriented company to being a digitally oriented company.

- Throughout the first 90 years of its lifetime, the company was solely mechanically oriented. However, about ten years ago, we developed the first electronic lubrication system. And even though it has brought about radical changes to our way of thinking in the organisation, we are in no doubt that we are heading in the right direction, Rasmus Hans Jensen said.

Over the years, and especially within the last decade, various new products have been added to the company’s product range. This includes products such as HJ SIP, HJ Lubtronic, HJ Mechtronic and HJ Synchro Drive – and in the current anniversary year, the company will launch yet another new product for the international market of cylinder lubrication systems.

- We are all looking forward to unveiling our brand new product. A lot of thoughts and considerations have gone into the development of this product, and it will hopefully contribute to ensuring that we too can pass on a strong and thriving business to the next generation of our family, Rasmus Hans Jensen concludes.

The anniversary was celebrated Friday September 29 with an open reception in Hadsund, Denmark. In connection to Hans Jensen Lubricators 100th anniversary, the local community has renamed a road in Hadsund after the head of the second generation of the company, Kjeld Hans Jensen, who originally moved the company from Zealand to Hadsund in North Jutland, Denmark.

The products and services herein described in this press release are not endorsed by The Maritime Executive.