In recent years, diesel-powered vehicles have become more attractive to motorists as diesel cars evolved from smoke-belching slowcoaches to sporty, fuel-efficient and clean automobiles. This transformation has largely been due to Bosch’s invention of modern high-pressure injection systems and common rail diesel engine designs. In a committed effort to ensure that diesel cars in the Philippines are more road-worthy and less pollutant, Malabon Diesel, the pioneers of the first Bosch Diesel Center in the Philippines, has earned the distinction of operating the first Bosch diesel cleanroom in the country.
Through the years, what started as a modest father-and-son team business has evolved into a full-fledged meaningful family affair. Roberto Bernardo was only a teenager when Malabon Diesel started its operations as a calibration shop for Bosch pumps on April 17, 1967. His father, Mario, had assigned him to be the technician and test-bench operator. The first few years of the business may have been slow, but armed with strong work ethic and good business sense, the Bernardos were able to push on and eventually build a loyal customer base nationwide.
“We only started as a humble shop in the backyard of our house, inside a subdivision. Diesel centers were very few then, and there were only a few of us working at the shop. All of us involved in the workshop treated each other as brothers and sisters. The family culture was instilled since day one,” shared Bernardo. “It was my father’s vision to excel in the diesel industry, but in doing so, the family culture, which is extended to our staff, clients, and partners, should be maintained in carrying out our operations. My father believed that diesel engines are truly beneficial not only to vehicle owners, but also the environment. This has always been an important part of the vision that we share with our company today.”
Diesel engines had become essential to the Philippine transport scene. Operators of public utility jeepneys, mini buses and fishing boats, among others, joined Malabon Diesel’s ever-growing customer base. “As diesel engine systems became more widely available in the country due to its economical advantages, lower fuel consumption and improved emission control, we strove to elevate the standards of our care and services in order to keep up with the demands of our customers,” stated Bernardo. “As the systems become more advanced, maintaining them also requires more advanced technology and skill. The Bosch Diesel Cleanroom concept is one of the advancements that we have invested in. As Malabon Diesel evolves toward a dynamic industry, we always strive to work together as a family unit and stay true to the legacy of my father.”
Malabon Diesel has been in operation for 47 years and expanded its business by opening a branch in Pampanga, as well as upgraded its Bosch facilities over the years. The family has also opened Diesel King, a service center that helps lower the pump repair cost for new models equipped with Bosch electronic and common rail systems, and to distribute Bosch test equipment.
Bernardo, now the president and general manager of the company, continues to troubleshoot vehicles and test pumps in the workshop. This year, Malabon Diesel- Bosch Diesel Center celebrates its 10th anniversary as one of the forerunners in the Philippine diesel industry.
“The family culture is very important to this business – it is the driving force that keeps it together. Our workers, our partners, and our clients, are also part of the family,” shares Obet. “We treat each client as a partner and we value our personal relationships with them. This is what I have learned from my father and what I have instilled in my children and staff. This is what we are proud of.”
The Pioneer Cleanroom
Diesel technology is constantly improving; and new laws mandating low-emissions for diesel-based passenger vehicles, trucks, buses, and heavy equipment has resulted not only in the popularity of low-sulfur diesel fuels but also specialized catalytic converters, advanced filters, and other devices to cut down on toxic emissions. These trends, along with a passion for excellence and desire for differentiation, were the driving forces behind Bernando family’s decision to establish the country’s first ever Bosch Diesel Cleanroom.
Modern high-pressure diesel injection systems, Common Rail System (CRS), replaced the old systems, and handling CRS injectors require the utmost care and sanitation of the workshop and the workers. Sensitive to dust, dirt, and water, these injectors are prone to failure if not handled properly. Perfect cleaning should be guaranteed in mounting and dismounting of assemblies, and during tests and repairs. Because of the delicate nature of common rail injectors, the need for the cleanroom – a laboratory with a specially designed environment that is isolated from the other dependencies of the workshop.
“A few years ago, Bosch invited us to see the cleanroom concept. It is a very complicated system with highly technical specifications. It was quite difficult to find a contractor to build one for us,” shared Bernardo. “Deciding to build a cleanroom in our workshop is truly a big investment in time, money, equipment and electricity, but all of it is worth it because it ensures the best service is given to our clients. Establishing the first Bosch Cleanroom in the country shows how far we have come along as a company. We are very proud to bring this Bosch technology to the Philippines as we move toward the age of clean and green engine technology.”
Malabon Diesel had to adapt new basic procedures for the removal, installation, repair and breakdown investigations of diesel injection systems. In the cleanroom, all processes of assembly, adjustment, measurement, electronic testing and documenting of failures, especially microscopic damage is done by skilled personnel expertly trained to work with injectors. The cleanroom filters all irritants, assuring customers of the excellent service and conditioning of their common rail injectors. Malabon Diesel’s cleanroom is equipped with top of the line equipment which ensures the proper diagnosis and repair of injectors. “By investing in the cleanroom, we are making sure that our clients are provided with the best technology to meet their demands and needs,” stated Bernardo. “As I prepare my son Mario Enrico for the takeover, I feel that the Cleanroom is one of the legacies that I am leaving behind. I hope that my son, as well as the future generations of Bernardos, will continue the work that we have started towards a greener future,” Bernardo added.