by Terri Earley Terri Earley

TRIBUTE TO BACHMANN INDUSTRIES’ FOUNDING FATHER, LOTHAR BACHMANN [6/10/1942 – 10/8/2007]

Although Lothar’s days as the patriarchal leader of Bachmann Industries came to an end in 2003, where he was destined to spend the final 4 years of his life fighting MDS and Leukemia until his eventual death in 2007, his tenacious and dedicated spirit and the fervent cultural legacy he created continues to emanate the same halls some 15 years later.

Lothar was born, raised, and schooled in Germany before immigrating to Canada in 1960.  He worked as a mechanical engineer where he proved his technical expertise early on with his work on a custom designed & engineered manned diving bell, which demonstrated true innovation in the field at the time.  This lead to advances in his career which ultimately took him to Maine in the early 1970s where he started Bachmann Industries, and over the next three decades, he created a distinguished and worldwide presence in high performance flow control equipment.

In addition to being named to the ‘Who’s Who of American Inventors’ in 1991, Lothar also received the SBA’s Maine Businessman of the Year Award in 1996.  Throughout his entrepreneurial and ingenious life, Lothar was granted 22 patents, with most of them directly related to his 30 years at Bachmann.  Some of these patents include: “Double louver damper,” “Fabric expansion joints for exhaust systems of gas turbines,” “Expansion joint with thermal transition connector,” “Guillotine dampers with blade sealing means accommodative of thermal expansion forces,” and “Composite blade for dampers for ducts of large cross sectional areas.”  But arguably the most financially successful of Lothar’s patents was the “Dual damper diverter,” which was the result of a novel 4-port diverter system for use on SCR systems (Selective catalytic reduction) during the EPA mandated DeNOX Clean Air program of the late 1990s and early 2000s.  Lothar had the vision to realize the market potential for a truly differentiated approach and through his tenacity and relentlessness, he launched Bachmann Industries to the front and center during that critical time period in the Utility market.

Barely a day passes where Lothar’s name is not mentioned during the course of the work day.  He set high standards for the company and the people who represent the Bachmann name.   He certainly built a legacy to be proud of.  As Mike Sellinger, the current President / CEO of Bachmann and former Lothar disciple, shared while speaking at his funeral: Lothar made his business more than a place to work.  He made it a way of life.  He claimed it was about enjoying what you do, being confident in what you do, and believing that success is the only possibility.  Lothar frequently expressed gratification and pride with his company.  While out on the road, he would often say:  “From out here, we do have quite the impressive company.”

As Lothar’s spirit lives on, his core values of ‘Can Do’ attitude, Openness & Honesty, Pride, Passion for our business, and Family remain essential for the Company’s every day mission and focus.

by Terri Earley Terri Earley

Meet Two of our Industry Experts

Bachmann Industries is a proud organization with a deep passion for our business.  Our team, with an average tenure of 12 years, has not only a strong, cohesive family culture based on openness and honesty, but also a great depth of experience and knowledge to pair with our ‘can do’ attitude to the benefit of our customers all around the world.  This has cemented Bachmann as a true leader in the industry.

Take Mark Martel (Left) for example.  His history at Bachmann dates back to the early days when drafting was still ink on Mylar.  He claims his left-handedness prevented him from excelling at drafting on boards, and for this reason, he was an early adopter in the corporate transition to AutoCAD.  In fact, Mark played a critical role in the establishment of the drawing standards and templates for Bachmann.  Mark, having built up a deep, near 30 year, resume in damper proficiency, has earned the reputation as the Bachmann in-house expert for all damper matters.

Mark’s roots run deep in the Lewiston-Auburn area of Maine, home to Bachmann.   Not only can his family be traced back several generations, but his paternal grandfather was the seventh son of a seventh son, so the Martel family name holds a significant place in the history of the local community.  He is married with five children and four grandchildren, enjoys craft beers, and has recently found a love for RVing, a passion he shares with his wife.

When asked of his proudest moment as a Bachmann employee, he replies it was his multi-million dollar sale of a 4-port diverter bypass system to a US Utility company for a major DeNox project during the regulatory time period of SCR (Selective catalytic reduction).  Whether it’s Louver, Guillotine or Diverter dampers needed to modulate, isolate or divert air or gas flow, Mark is definitely your man.  He can develop a solution to fit most needs across many industries.

 

Andrew Frohlich (Right), on the other hand, is the Bachmann resident expansion joint expert.  After graduating cum laude with a BS in Mechanical Engineering from University of New Hampshire, Andy spent several years working for a competitor designing and selling metallic and fabric expansion joints.  By the time Andy joined the Bachmann team in 2000, he was already well adept with expansion joint technology, so it is no wonder he is now considered one of the best.

Andy was born in California but moved to Maine at a young age.  Although he grew up in a small family he is proud to say he remains very close to his parents and sister who still live near-by.  Andy is married with two adult daughters and among his passions is both playing and watching hockey, as well as his unique interest in racing vintage snowmobiles, which is a pastime he shares with his youngest daughter.

When asked about his history at Bachmann, Andy responded with recollection of the ‘early days’ when it wasn’t uncommon for an employee to be responsible for all aspects of a project from selling and engineering to managing through delivery.  He credits that full encompassing role for providing him with a well-rounded understanding that gives him competitive advantage now.  Just this year, Andy sold two of his largest, single item, metallic expansion joints to two different US based refineries.   He is certainly competent and eager to provide expansion joint solutions to any challenge in any industry.

by Terri Earley Terri Earley

Introducing the Newest Members of our Execution Team.

 

Both Frank Benedict (left) and Jake Sylvain (right) joined Bachmann Industries this past spring as part of our dynamic and growing Project Management/Engineering group.  Settling in quickly, they have both added tremendous value to our Company and we are pleased to offer these introductions:

Frank grew up in Maine as one of five siblings.  After graduating from Maine Maritime Academy with a Marine Engineering Technology degree, he went on to work as an applications engineer and eventually operations manager for a local control valve and instrumentation company before joining Bachmann in April.  Frank reports he is enjoying the diverse problem solving and is most impressed by the close knit and supportive culture within the Company.  During his spare time, Frank considers himself quite the outdoorsman and enjoys fishing, boating, hiking and tinkering around with boats and cars.

 

Jake also grew up in Maine but ventured outside the state, attending Penn State University where he graduated with a BS in Petroleum & Natural Gas Engineering.  From there, his early career took him into Russia where he served as a project engineer on a newly built oil rig and then further around the globe into Europe and Asia performing API inspections and mechanical integrity assessments of fuel pipelines and tanks.  After deciding to settle back home in Maine, Jake joined Bachmann in May,  where he has enjoyed the dynamic team and the opportunity to delve right into the project management aspect of the job.  Like Frank, he enjoys the outdoors; camping, skiing, and hiking whenever possible.

by Terri Earley Terri Earley

Happy Birthday Bachmann Industries !!

For the past 46 years, Bachmann Industries Inc has delivered high quality custom process and gas control solutions for the power and industrial sectors around the globe. However, while operating under former ownership from 2009 – 2017, the company was renamed and the Bachmann trademark itself was essentially disregarded. That all changed in August, 2017 with the sale of their ‘air gas handling’ division to a group of private investors who recognized the history, market value, and reputation of the Bachmann name. Keeping its entire work force and supply chain intact, on August 7th 2017, Bachmann Industries Inc was rebranded to all its former glory. This past year has been phenomenally successful for many reasons and our talented, energetic team and world-wide supply chain has been exceptionally responsive to the increasing market demands for Bachmann branded products. As always, Bachmann Industries continues to service and offer custom designed solutions for utility and industrial dampers, metallic and fabric expansion joints, as well as for exhaust and bypass systems. Happy Birthday Bachmann !!

by Terri Earley Terri Earley

Bachmann’s customized application approach wins again

At a U.S. Power Plant, a customer was experiencing frequent bearing deterioration in their non-Bachmann louver dampers.  The bearings required replacement twice in only a few years. The frustrated customer invited Bachmann to investigate and recommend a long term solution. Taking the customer’s unique application into consideration, it was determined the original OEM design was not especially suited for the intended usage causing the need for frequent repair and replacement of the supplied bearings.  While heat was one of the suspected causes of premature failure, the Bachmann field service and support team, after extensive research,  discovered that the repeated failures were most likely due to the inability of their graphite composition to hold up to the constant vibration and oscillation of the dampers.  The conclusion was a custom designed ceramic coated bearing upgrade with split style for easy field installation.  The retrofit upgrade was completed with much success at the end of 2017 and has proven to resolve the problems and frustrations for the customer.  Bachmann’s customized approach wins again.

by Terri Earley Terri Earley

New Order for Largest HRSG Stack Dampers in Bachmann History

Bachmann Industries, Inc. was recently awarded two contracts from its South Korean customer for the Track 4A and Melaka projects located in Malaysia. The order is for the design and supply of five (5) HRSG Stack Dampers.   This is a significant order for Bachmann Industries.  With all five units requiring a gas path diameter of Ø9 meters, these will be the largest HRSG Stack Dampers Bachmann has supplied in its history.

by Terri Earley Terri Earley

Improving Plant Safety with Isolation Dampers

 

A “penny wise, pound foolish” approach is costly in the long run

Coal-fired power plant duct systems are designed so that emissions control systems, such as precipitators, desulphurization systems, fans, and selective catalytic reduction systems can be inspected and maintained while the main process remains online.   Essential to achieving this is the installation of effective, safe, reliable and easy-to-operate isolation equipment at the auxiliaries’ inlets and outlets.

The long-term effectiveness of isolation equipment – dampers — is a prime consideration for the end-user.  The damper leakage rate is a critical focal point, both in terms of operating efficiency and personnel safety.

The degree of isolation required depends upon the damper’s primary function in a system. If the function does not require 100% isolation, then various types of dampers could be used to provide sealing efficiencies ranging from 99.00% to 99.99%.

Isolation of flue gas can be accomplished utilizing a guillotine, louver, or diverter/flap damper, and the different damper types provide different leak-proof capabilities.

Choosing the wrong type of damper for isolation can be problematic or even catastrophic. Even a small amount of leakage can have serious implications.

If the damper must isolate a portion of the system for occasional maintenance, the damper must provide 100% isolation in order to be considered “man-safe.”

Consider this: Although 99% sealing efficiency may seem like a very high value, a 1% leakage area in a typical duct could represent a hole large enough to get a person’s head and shoulders through.   Just a 1% leakage area would actually allow leakage of 3-10% of the full load flow — the flow through the full-open damper at the Full Load rating of the device being isolated or controlled. (Under typical plant conditions, a damper is considered to have “low” leakage if leakage is less than 2% of its wide-open flow.)

Sealing performance is the key criterion in a specification for isolating equipment. A critical side effect of the concept of sealing efficiency is the assessment of the method by which a vendor achieves, and guarantees, 100% isolation.  All dampers leak to some extent, and anyone who states otherwise is not being truthful.

For a damper to be considered a “zero-leak” device it requires an air-purge system. A clean air barrier is introduced between the tandem sealing elements at a pressure greater than the greatest differential on either side of the blade, preventing cross-blade leakage of untreated gas and simultaneously ventilating the isolated area.

All too often, a vendor will use a large volume of seal air to hide the shortcomings of the basic sealing system. Large seal air fans are sometimes fitted in duplicate. This, however, does not factor that the most probable reason for fan failure is a loss of power, whereupon, neither fan will run. Thus, the seals must be capable of providing, over an extended period, a high sealing efficiency without external assistance so that maintenance personnel can be sure of leaving an isolated section safely in the event of an emergency.

A heinous error when purchasing isolation equipment is to set aside the superior design of an experienced supplier on the grounds of capital cost alone.

Decades worth of evidence make it abundantly clear that well-functioning isolation equipment cannot be bought for “bargain basement” prices, and the long-term implications of buying inferior equipment is always far more expensive and riskier than buying the right equipment from the start.

Before any price comparisons are made, the evaluating engineer must be satisfied that the equipment meets the end user’s needs and can actually achieve the guarantees claimed. He should assess the claims made on the basis of the information provided and his, and other users’, experience.

To determine true operational value and safety, equipment evaluation must be on the basis of sound engineering principles, not just on initial cost.

Contact:

Mark Martel

Business Manager

by admin admin

Bachmann Industries Acquired by Private Investors

New Ownership Paves Way for Growth

Returning to its roots as a value-oriented supplier of custom-engineered industrial process equipment, Clyde Bergemann Bachmann, Inc. has been acquired by private investors and will once again be known as Bachmann Industries, Inc.

Prior to the acquisition, the company comprised the air-gas handling division of the multinational Clyde Bergemann Power Group (CBPG). CBPG acquired Bachmann Industries, Inc. in 2009 and renamed it Clyde Bergemann Bachmann. The group recently decided to sell the non-core asset as part of a restructuring.

“The transition to new ownership will be seamless,” said Mike Sellinger, who has been with the company for over 20 years and will continue as its president. “Aside from a switch back to the Bachmann Industries name, customers won’t notice a change. We are principally an engineering firm and will continue to provide our quality solutions that define the well-known Bachmann legacy,” he said.

Bachmann’s history dates back to the 1970s when the original Bachmann company was founded by industrial pioneer Lothar Bachmann. Bachmann Industries evolved into a leading worldwide supplier of gas flow control equipment and services. “Our innovative designs for dampers; combustion exhaust and bypass systems; and large expansion joints really changed the way plants looked at processes,” said Sellinger. “Quality makes a big difference in the cost-effectiveness of operations.”

Sellinger said Bachmann’s new ownership will allow the company to be more agile and responsive in providing solutions that are tailored to customer requirements and specifications. This, he said, will be a springboard to help the business grow in key markets. As it has for decades, Bachmann will serve customers in the power and industrial sectors around the globe. The company’s equipment can be found in power, petrochemical, pulp and paper, and thermal process facilities on six continents. Bachmann offers both new and aftermarket products and services.

About Bachmann Industries, Inc.

Headquartered in Auburn, Maine, Bachmann Industries is a global supplier of dampers, expansion joints and exhaust systems for:

  • Gas Turbine Exhaust Systems
  • Air Pollution Control Systems
  • Petrochemical and Industrial Process Systems

The company serves a wide range of industries, including:

  • Power Utility
  • Industrial Power
  • Petrochemical
  • Pulp & Paper
  • Waste-to-Energy
  • Marine
  • Thermal Processing
  • Minerals

Specializing in customized solutions, Bachmann Industries designs and engineers work in-house and outsources manufacturing through a strategic global network of qualified fabrication partners.