DRYPOINT® X desiccant dryers ready for shipment at the BEKO Technologies plant in Atlanta, Georgia.
When a company serving the compressed air industry bundles a value-based approach with a commitment to developing technologies used to improve safety, save costs and protect the environment it can only mean one thing: Success.
Such is the case with BEKO Technologies GmbH, headquartered in Neuss, Germany. Started decades ago in a backyard garage in Düsseldorf, Germany, the independent, family-owned business has since grown to become a global leader in innovative technologies and complete systems for the treatment and management of compressed air and compressed gas.
Strong growth is also projected for the future, said Yannick Koch, Co-Managing Director, BEKO Technologies, especially given the company’s strategic focus and its history of being ahead of the curve.
“Quality, efficiency and safety are what really counts in the end for users of compressed air. Those are their main goals” said Koch. “Our vision is to help them achieve those goals and do it in way that allows all of us to treat the environment more gently.”
Continuity in Leadership
Berthold Koch founded BEKO Technologies (https://www.beko-technologies.com/en/en/) in 1982 and led the company until he unexpectedly passed in 2007. Yet the company’s long tradition of a well-run family business continues. Yannick Koch, Berthold’s eldest son, was named Co-Managing Director of the company earlier this year. The change in leadership also included the naming of Norbert Strack as Co-Manager. Former Managing Director Manfred Lehner retired at the end of 2020 after 30 years with the company.
Koch assumes responsibility for BEKO Technologies Sales, Service, Product Management, Marketing and Human Resources. Since 2015, he has served as the company’s Head of Global Corporate Development. Before joining BEKO Technologies, Koch was involved in various digitalization projects with an international industrial company. He is also an active shareholder in BEKO Holding where he helps shape socially relevant issues.
Strack, who joined BEKO Technologies in 2016 after serving in a variety of leadership roles at various industrial companies, assumes Finance and IT responsibilities, which is in addition to his responsibilities of Research and Development, Production, Supply Chain and Quality.
Norbert Strack and Yannick Koch, Co-Managing Directors, BEKO Technologies (left to right).
The newly named leaders plan to continue to foster BEKO Technologies’ culture of making long-term investments in compressed air technologies built around customers’ needs and industry trends.
“The market continues to gradually shift from being focused only on compressed air as a utility and volume to where it’s more about quality and efficiency, as well as sustainability. This is crucial to our value-based approach, as is the need to put the customer first,” Koch said. “It will continue to be important to our long-term success.”
Ingenuity Runs Deep
BEKO Technologies’ business strategy is rooted in ingenuity, dating to the very beginning when it pioneered the use of zero air loss condensate drains with the introduction of the BEKOMAT® condensate drain. The company, which was far ahead of the curve at the time when it created the BEKOMAT, developed the technology to help users save energy at a time when energy wasn’t a priority for most.
Sticking to its belief in sustainability, BEKO Technologies pushed forward with the concept of zero loss drains, which are now prevalent in compressed air systems today. The drains open on demand to remove condensate and other liquids without allowing any compressed air to escape from the system. The result is often substantial energy cost savings.
Another prime example of being ahead of the sustainability curve is the company’s introduction of oil-water separators. The technology – also widely used today – removes oil from condensate so the treated condensate (or effluent) can be safely discharged into the municipal wastewater system.
Strack said the level of innovation required for the development and introduction of technologies unlike anything that came before doesn’t happen by chance. In the case of BEKO Technologies, it’s rooted in the company culture.
“Part of our culture means allowing for engineering creativity,” he said. “You have to have a certain openness for thinking about what’s around the corner and developing new ideas. That’s definitely something that happens here. That’s our environment.”
A wide range of technologies and systems from BEKO Technologies help users efficiently and effectively treat and manage compressed air and compressed gas.
Proving Compressed Air Quality
While BEKO Technologies has established a rich history of innovation in condensate technology, it hasn’t rested on its laurels since it’s ahead of the curve in compressed air measurement and management.
“It’s very important for compressed air users to have systems in place that provide high quality air, and it’s equally important to have systems in place that provide proof of clean air,” said Strack, regarding the company’s pioneering work in instrumentation.
To that end, BEKO Technologies has invested heavily in the development of flow, pressure, pressure dew point and particulate measurement instruments. Additionally, it continues to push the envelope in technologies used to monitor and measure liquid oil and oil vapor in compressed air systems. The METPOINT® OCV compact, for example, lets users continuously and precisely check for residual oil vapor content in compressed air.
Not surprisingly, information is everything at BEKO Technologies when it comes to managing the quality of compressed air. It’s why the company has focused in recent years on monitoring systems and sensor technologies that make it easier for users to visualize, understand, analyze and act on various air quality metrics.
Koch said the company’s dedication to monitoring and measurement also means BEKO Technologies will continue to expand its offerings of cloud-based solutions in keeping with the customer demands and the industry’s progress toward Industry 4.0.
“It’s necessary to know what’s going on in a system in order to improve it,” Koch said. “We’re now laying the foundation for having our products and solutions networked in a way that brings everything together and provides that information through the cloud. That’s the next level.”
Diverse Air Purification Solutions
A commitment to take things to the next level also describes how BEKO Technologies has evolved into a major, global manufacturer of diverse air purification solutions.
Today, it offers refrigerant, desiccant, and membrane compressed air dryers engineered to satisfy a wide range of drying temperatures and air quality classes, as well as pressure dew points from 59°F (15°C) to -94°F (-70 °C). Additionally, its compressed air filters and water separators are engineered to help users efficiently achieve various levels of compressed air purity.
To keep pace with demand for its air purification technologies, the company produces highly engineered, high-capacity dryers, such as its Heat of Compression (HOC) and blower purge air dryers, in Germany. It also manufactures high-volume, heatless and blower operated desiccant dryers in the United States, the latter featuring patented, self-adjusting software that adapts to ambient conditions, in addition to its line of unique membrane dryers.
In all, BEKO Technologies operates a total of six manufacturing facilities in Germany, the United States, India and China. Among them is its 30,000-square-foot headquarters operation in Neuss where it manufactures a large portion of its products and systems. The company also operates subsidiaries in Germany, the United States, England, France, Benelux, China, Japan, Scandinavia, India, and Spain. Currently, BEKO Technologies employs more than 500 people and has 14 sales offices located throughout the world.
Many BEKO Technologies’ products are manufactured in Neuss, Germany, such as flanges for its line of CLEARPOINT® compressed air filters.
The value of having manufacturing operations and sales and service representation in strategic regions cannot be understated, said Strack.
“It allows us to best address the needs of the local marketplace, as well as the standards and regulations for each area – and it gives us different opportunities,” said Strack. “We also prefer to source materials locally, which is in addition to providing quality service at the local level.”
BEKO USA Shines Bright
An area of the world where BEKO Technologies’ business strategy and passion for innovation has led to significant growth in particular is the United States. Since it set down roots in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1990, BEKO USA has become the largest and fastest growing subsidiary of the company.
Today, the American headquarters is located in Atlanta, Georgia. The facility there also serves as the manufacturing plant for the company’s DRYPOINT® M membrane dryers, as well desiccant dryers, oil-water separators, and filtration components. The operation currently employs 87 people working in Engineering, Manufacturing, and Assembly.
BEKO Technologies, Corp. President Tilo Fruth said the formation of BEKO USA more than 30 years ago, positions the company to best meet the needs of customers throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, and South America. He said the decision also continues to pay dividends in terms of growth, noting BEKO USA’s newly opened Mexico subsidiary.
Success in the Americas, said Fruth, has been especially rewarding since it’s a unique challenge for any company to put down stakes and grow in a market outside its home base.
“It’s difficult in the beginning to step foot in a new country especially when you consider the importance of understanding the market,“ Fruth said. “But we’ve been successful and that’s because the customer-focused approach is very strong here and we combined that with long-standing innovations that originated at our headquarters in Germany.”
Carving a Path
As with any thriving company, BEKO Technologies continues to adapt to the needs of the marketplace and customers, no matter the region or industry served. Additionally, it continues to pursue technologies and opportunities aligned with its strategic focus.
In short, BEKO Technologies is a company that will go where others aren’t willing or able to go in order to best serve the industry.
“It’s about providing the right solution, whether it’s focusing on the lifecycle cost of the system versus the low initial cost, or saving energy and improving potential sustainability, or ensuring air quality. It’s something we’re founded on and we’re going to stick to it as the market continues to catch up,” said Koch.
For more information about BEKO Technologies visit www.beko-technologies.us.
To read similar Air Purification Technology or Measurement articles, visit www.airbestpractices.com/technology/air-treatment or www.airbestpractices.com/technology/instrumentation.