With a history dating back to 1950, Italian company OMFB has evolved from a small mechanical business into a modern mass-producer of high-quality hydraulic system components.
The company was founded by brothers Umberto, Nicola and Alessandro Bianchi who coined the trademark OMFB, which stands for Officina Meccanica Fratelli Bianchi (in English, Bianchi Brothers’ Mechanical Workshop).
In 1951 the company started manufacturing spare parts for Italian, American, English and German trucks used in the massive post-war rebuilding effort. The same year production of power take-offs (PTOs) for various types of trucks commenced.
By 1954 the original shoe-box sized workshop had been well and truly outgrown, necessitating construction of the first real headquarters measuring 500 square metres.
Production was subsequently expanded to include a small range of hydraulic components designed to power tip-trucks, cranes, hook loaders and garbage trucks. Also at this time the first hand-pumps were created.
Fast forward to 1967 and a new 2,000-square-metre production facility was inaugurated, complete with dedicated assembly lines. A series of AC & DC hydraulic powerpacks expanded the range of products.
In 1968 OMFB was present at the pre-eminent European industrial trade shows. It was here that initial relations began with the most important foreign markets, giving the company a spring-board leap towards a global presence.
Another decade passed before OMFB began seriously pursuing the noble objective of ultimate product quality, introducing its first numerical control (NC) machines. This meant that human error causing variations in manufacturing tolerances was eliminated.
By 1980 new challenges had directed a major turning point in the company’s systems. Guidelines were devised which encompassed the entire manufacturing system. This resulted in the headquarters commissioned in 1967 being solely dedicated to the assembly processes, while manufacturing was relocated to a new separate space of 200 square metres.
In 1991 an all-new plant with a massive manufacturing and assembly area of 12,000m2 in addition to a sizeable 3,000 square metres of office space was established. Following this was the gradual, planned replacement of all the machinery, with the aim of supplanting 90 per cent of the existing equipment with the vastly more accurate NC systems. At this stage the manufacturing, administration, management control, quality control and sales system were totally reorganised.
The following year these efforts were rewarded when OMFB became the first Italian company in the industry to obtain ISO 9001 certification.
During 1999 the company’s product range was enhanced by a new family of bent-axis piston pumps. Today these are available with SAE as well as ISO flanges.
Some two years later OMFB introduced a successful line of electronic control systems. The remote controls for tippers and other applications continue to reliably serve Australian industry today.
In 2007 OMFB commissioned a new automated underground warehouse with 5,000 square metres of space. This area included a new production facility with more efficient machinery to meet the continuously growing demand for its products.
This paved the way for the company to reach the next major milestone in 2012: Certification according to the new UNI EN ISO 9001:2008 and ISO/TS 16949:2009.
Three years later OMFB acquired a majority share of Dal Barco, a long-time producer of oil and fuel tanks. This new synergy added considerable strength to the already wide range of products and solutions offered to customers including PTOs, pumps, valves and controls.
Which brings us to the focal point of this story – the extensive range of OMFB hydraulic oil tanks, built in a multitude of shapes and sizes, suitable for every conceivable application in the Australian trucking sector.
Available in capacities ranging from 10 to 250 litres, the tanks have a variety of mounting options including in-board chassis-mount, side-mount, rear-of-cab (also known as sleeper box), and specialised variants.
There are also tipper-specific tanks for light- and medium-duty trucks which accommodate direct valve-mounting with either mechanical, electric or pneumatic control.
Importantly, all tanks are fabricated using either steel which is subsequently powder-coated or aluminium, with the option of stainless-steel in some cases. The tanks come standard with quality filler/ breather caps with serviceable filter elements and there are several oil filtration options including external or immersed return filters.
Other filter-related accessories include clogging indicators of either electronic or mechanical gauge styles. A level gauge is also standard with most tank variants.