Easy Engineering: How was this year in terms of turnover?
ACME ENGINEERING: We actually had a record year, related to our relationships overseas with our Chinese partner for our high voltage electrode boilers. The trend towards zero-emissions technologies was not weakened by the COVID pandemic, and our export of key components for the fabrication of high-capacity hot water boilers to China allowed us to make up for weakness in our traditional North American markets.
E.E: What new products / services have been launched this year?
ACME ENGINEERING: We introduced a new line of gas detection products based on our MGMS (MultiGas Monitoring System) technology handling up to 256 detection points for gases and particulates. It has Cloud connectivity, and any configuration changes can be done via a touch screen, rather than hardware changes. This platform can support any sensor with some adaptation, so we expect to explore new vertical markets in the future using the MGMS as the core processes.
E.E: What feedback did these product / service launches have?
ACME ENGINEERING: Technicians were thrilled with the flexibility of the architecture and the ease of installation. It allowed them to make changes to the operating parameters of their systems quickly with no physical modifications required.
E.E: What products / solutions have customers been looking for this year?
ACME ENGINEERING: Customers are looking for solutions that can automate previously manual processes, like replacing a basket strainer with an automatic, self-cleaning strainer. Clients are looking to use their personnel for high value-added activities instead of repetitive, manual operations.
E.E: How has the customer profile changed lately?
ACME ENGINEERING: We are seeing a great deal of interest in our electric wet heating products, notably the high voltage electrode boilers. There is a movement to replace older gas-fired boilers with non-emitting units. There is interest from Europe to comply with the Green initiative for which there is government funding and incentives. We used to be a North American focused company with 20% of our business outside of Canada and the US, while now more than half of our revenues originate outside of North America. Our presence on the Internet, coupled with environmental awareness has increased our exposure in world markets.
E.E: Given the current context, was there a need to diversify the portfolio of services / products?
ACME ENGINEERING: We have always been diversified across several product lines, and now we have multiple companies operating in India, the UK, with a technology transfer agreement and partner in China. This diversification has served us well as at certain moments in our history one product line fell out of favour in the marketplace, we relied on the others to support our company and its employees.
E.E: What was the most important project this year?
ACME ENGINEERING: Certainly, our success in China. We have installed a series of eight 40MW HV electrode boilers, fed at 10KV, together with our local partner. With the speed of boiler conversions in that market we expect to be have the largest installed base of HV boilers in the world within 2-3 years.
E.E: A short year-end message for collaborators.
ACME ENGINEERING: We are always looking for new partners, either to cooperate within their own markets or who want to expand to new markets where we have relationships to bring global reach to their technology. We work in many languages and cultures and are adept at creating win-win relationships for the people and companies who work with us.
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