Posted on October 26, 2015
Selas CEO discusses how Maxsys contributes as an integral investment in a global combustion firm.
In a recent interview with Vanessa Landreau, David Bovenizer, CEO of Selas Heat Technology LLC, discusses his leadership team’s decision to acquire Maxsys Fuel Systems. Following is a transcription.
VL: Why were you attracted to Maxsys in the first place?
DB: We should first step back a bit and describe the history and evolution of Selas. Since the early 1900s and well into the latter part of the century, Selas was a powerhouse manufacturer of all types of very large furnaces for heat treating, annealing and many other applications. These furnaces were commissioned all over the world, and they required lifetime extension programs and replacement parts, so the company devoted a great deal of its energy on the combustion components, including engineering better and more efficient products to support them.
In 2004, the Lionheart Industrial Group team purchased the assets and began to rebrand it.
So, we reinvented Selas to become the central company in a new combustion group platform. We dropped the furnace line from our new product offering, but committed some serious resources to supporting the installed base with replacement parts, engineering and customer service. That model was very successful, but it was only the beginning of the transformation. Our goal was to become a single source supplier of combustion technologies for a very broad range of applications, not just for Selas equipment, and that meant either developing new products or acquiring them.
VL: What transpired after the purchase of Selas and the acquisition of Maxsys in October 2011?
DB: After repositioning the Selas brand, the first thing we decided to do was find complementary combustion component manufacturers that were ready to sell. Pyronics was the first company added to the platform in 2009, followed by Ray Burner in 2011. These two provided a great deal of additional product line flexibility and also gave us entry to non-Selas markets.
Along the same time frame, there was an increasing concern and discussion in the industry about combustion efficiency, about ways to reduce energy costs and level out some of the volatility. We started to look at how Selas could capitalize on these concerns by profiting from solutions we could contribute to the market. And that’s when we noticed Maxsys.
VL: What specifically did you think Maxsys could contribute?
DB: Maxsys had already demonstrated fuel savings on customer installed boilers and other large equipment of at least 5%, and in some instances, up to 8-9%, so the numbers were very compelling. Add to that fact that their team had conducted third party testing by internationally respected companies to verify the savings by agreement with the customer, and that made it even more interesting.
Even today, we continuously monitor performance to improve the efficiency of the Systems at our product development and laboratory test facilities. For example, we are currently conducting a series of tests looking at how the new model T2, installed onto our kiln with Selas burners, performs under various conditions, such as temperature, moisture, use of manifolds, etc.
VL: Have you found that the investment has paid off?
DB: Definitely, in multiple ways. First, Selas has been able to extend its reach to some very large multi-national companies previously unavailable to us because of product limitations. Second, our existing Selas sales team can now combine fuel savings technologies to our combustion component customers. And third, the Maxsys acquisition has become the cornerstone of a very important positioning context in which we can enhance our core product line with additional energy-saving products. In fact, since Maxsys joined the combustion group, Selas has introduced several new burner technologies that are far more efficient than any other competing products in the market, as well as new monitoring and control systems that get the most out of every BTU in the energy stream.
VL: Aside from being an inspiration, if you will, for new product development, how has Maxsys contributed to the combustion group?
DB: Over the last 3 years, Maxsys has seen an impressive sales boom worldwide. With our offices located in the USA, Japan and Germany, as well as distributors on board, the Maxsys technology is now installed in factories in a range of markets as far east as Singapore, China and Australia and as far west as USA, Mexico and Chile.
There are a couple of solid reasons for the company’s success. I guess we can take credit for recognizing these factors and acquiring the technology to capitalize on them.
First, with the rising of gas and oil prices, along with tightening government legislation to cut CO2 emissions worldwide, reducing energy consumption is not a measure that can be postponed. Manufacturing companies are actively looking for technology to improve energy efficiency. This is particularly critical in Europe and Asia where fuel prices are rising constantly.
Second, while investing in state-of-the-art boilers or furnaces is the most obvious way to reduce a factory’s energy consumption, the huge capital investment involved means that it is simply not a viable option for most companies. The alternative available to most companies is to take a hard look at retrofitting existing equipment using technologies that can be installed cheaply and easily to reduce fuel consumption, such as the Maxsys Fuel Systems.
VL: How would you characterize the vision and future strategy for Maxsys within the Selas organization?
DB: The future looks very bright for the Maxsys technology. Tackling climate change by reducing industry CO2 emissions will continue to be at the top of government legislation agenda. Companies will continue to look at ways to reduce costs and improve energy efficiency while remaining competitive.
And despite the fact that we have case studies and independent third-party validation which are practical demonstrations that it works, we are continuing to improve the performance of the Systems. Our goal is to optimize the effect of the Systems on fuel in order to improve the minimum guaranteed savings.
As for integration with the core Selas platform, we are currently offering the Maxsys System technology with some of our Selas burners as a single product line to extend the fuel savings opportunity to new buyers in addition to the installed base.
Finally, we intend to continue to increase awareness of the incredible cost saving benefits of the Maxsys Fuel Systems via consistent marketing, and to reach more potential customers by growing the number of distributors and agents worldwide.
Selas Heat Technology LLC - www.selas.com