15 July, 2019

Webtec is the pick of the crop for Kubota

27 March, 2018

Kubota is a diversified Japanese Group with several divisions and international sales subsidiaries worldwide. It is a leading Japanese tractor and farm equipment manufacturer, as well as a major iron ductile pipe, PVC pipe and industrial castings producer. Kubota also makes vending machines and builds environmental control plants and pumps. The German branch, Kubota (Deutschland) GmbH, is part of the agricultural division, and first contacted Webtec in October 2012 when it was looking to source diagnostic test equipment.

Initially, the need was to measure tractor hydraulics. Kubota already has pan-diagnostic tools for the engine parameters, but it wanted a separate diagnostic tool for hydraulics, particularly for in-house aftersales servicing.

Webtec designed two data logging solutions; one a smaller data logging kit with a HPM540 and pressure and flow sensors, and the second a larger HPM6000 with more pressure, speed and flow sensors. These were supplied together with in depth, on-site training in how to use the software and data logger.

Positive feedback

Kubota continued to use those kits and purchased several additional sensors over the next few years, coming back with questions whenever it had issues using the software. Feedback was positive: “It’s great – I email you and half an hour later I get a response, or at least something to say I’m looking at it and I’ll get back to you,” said a service technician.

Customer service and after sales support are both very important to both parties and in May 2015 when Kubota made a company-wide decision to provide better aftersales support to its dealer network across Germany, UK, France and Spain, it looked to Webtec for support once again. Kubota wanted one solution for all branches so it could cooperate better, exchanging data and passing information back and forth, using common service tools for all.

Because of the support and positive service Kubota Germany had experienced previously, it asked Webtec to supply the service tools for its dealers, and after lengthy consultation two solutions were again devised. One was a kit with three pressure transducers and no flow meter, and the other kit had three pressure transducers plus one flow meter, which had a load valve so Kubota could load the pumps. Webtec also designed the kit to be upgradeable, so at a later stage a customer might easily add flow to it if Kubota’s needs changed.

This was not simply a custom kit in terms of the number of components going together, it was also branded – externally with the distinctive orange Kubota logo, and internally with Webtec branding. A sample was produced and passed to the client in August 2015, only three months after the initial discussions.

100 kits were ordered in September 2015, split roughly 80% with flow meters and 20% without. Kubota requested delivery in two batches, in November 2015 and then January 2016, using Germany as its central warehouse. The kits are now being sold on to Kubota’s dealers.

Kubota Group as a whole is highly focused on after-sales service. Its aim is to sell as many tractors as possible. To enable its dealers to do so, Kubota is giving them the tools they need to keep customers satisfied. Keeping the dealers happy also strengthens brand loyalty, and a unified approach to servicing helps dealers to exchange experiences where beneficial.

Performance tracking

As a wider benefit, the kits will enable Kubota to track performance in significant depth. Kubota will be able to data log and save the readings, should it wish, providing the ability to compare data coming in from several dealerships in the same format and possibly for the same model of machine. This can produce an overview of any emerging pattern across dealers, and data can be communicated back to the Japanese factory to highlight any potential manufacturing or design improvements or suggestions.

Kubota has between 500 and 700 dealers in Europe, so roughly one in six, or 15% of the dealers has a test kit, and for dealers who have purchased the smaller kit without flow, Webtec’s future-proofed kit design allows upgrade to add in flow measurement.


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