Industry News

Sometimes there’s just too much going on.

If ‘Mergers & Acquisitions’ were a weekly edition, all of us would die of boredom. However, when important companies make decisions, money moves around, and new ideas come on the market, it can’t be left alone. That’s why the ‘Industry News’ block saves the day every month or so. The “Beginning of Spring” edition features head-nodding names like IES, Freeman, ASTM, Sulzer, and ABB. Enjoy.

Agreement enclosed. IES Infrastructure Solutions announced March 16 that it has acquired all of the membership interests of Freeman Enclosure Systems (better known simply as “Freeman”). Based outside of Cincinnati, Freeman manufactures custom generator enclosures primarily used by data centers and large commercial and industrial facilities. This acquisition also includes the purchase of Freeman’s 143,000-square foot manufacturing facility through an affiliated entity. Freeman will operate as a subsidiary in IES’s Infrastructure Solutions segment and will continue to operate under the Freeman name.

IES, based in Houston, owns a number of recognizable brands and businesses: Magnetech (Massillon, Ohio), Southern Rewind (Columbus, Georgia), Calumet Armature Electric (outside Chicago), and Technibus (Canton, Ohio). Add Freeman to the list.

Swiss Allies in the UK. Sulzer has been chosen to provide the UK market with maintenance and repair services for ABB medium and high voltage motors and generators. The agreement provides ABB customers with direct access to the specialist skills and extensive facilities of Sulzer’s service centers in Birmingham and Falkirk, according to a press release announced earlier today. Sulzer will provide inspection, remedial work, modifications, repairs and rewinds of ABB’s large machines rated at 6.6 kV and above. All repairs will be completed to ABB approved standards using original spare parts.

Sulzer’s service center in Birmingham has invested in additional equipment in its coil shop, as well as 3D design software to enhance the capability of bespoke coil and bar designs, which are then precision manufactured in-house for a wide range of motors and generators. It also has machining capabilities and overhead crane capacity for larger components as well as “the largest independent over-speed balancing in the country,” per the press release. Meanwhile, the Falkirk service center, which will cover the northern areas of the UK, will apply its experience with offshore applications and expertise in repairing equipment designed for operations in potentially explosive atmospheres. The service center will double its high voltage testing capacity in the first half of 2017 to enable 2 MW load testing across a full range of voltages up to 13.8 kV.

Aluminating Finds. A new ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) international standard provides a method for analyzing the composition of aluminum and aluminum alloys. The test helps manufacturers, consumers, and laboratories verify that an alloy’s composition is within the needed limits through an analysis method called “inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry” (ICP-AES), the standards organization based in Conshohocken, Pa., said in a press release March 22.

“The composition of an aluminum alloy is one factor that determines the final properties of the metal, such as strength, hardness, and durability,” says ASTM member Jeneé Jacobs, a senior scientist at Arconic. “ICP-AES is currently being used in many laboratories as a replacement for wet chemistry techniques and other outdated analytical methods.”

The new standard (soon to be published as E3061, Test Method for Analysis of Aluminum and Aluminum Alloys by Inductively Coupled Plasma Atomic Emission Spectrometry (Performance Based Method)) was developed by ASTM’s committee on analytical chemistry for metals, ores and related materials (E01).


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