David Persson & Dan Holt of Kraft Powercon talk about power backup systems for industrial equipment.
Please excuse any typos in this hasty transcript.
Matt Register: And welcome back to Texas Business Radio, I’m your host Matt Register, Jay Curry’s normally sitting over there in the co-host chair, he’s had to split, we’re going to join him here in a little bit but in the meantime, we’re down here at the George R. Brown Convention Center at the 47th Turbo Machinery and 34th Pump Symposium, The Turbo Show. We’re talking about rotating equipment, we’re talking about things that go round and round and we have some exciting new technologies, we have some really cool stuff to talk to you about. I think it’s cool, maybe all of you guys don’t but I certainly do think it’s cool.
We’re going to talk a little bit about power backup systems. Now this isn’t your normal power backup system you have attached to your laptop at home or attached to your computer at home but it’s the identical concept for big turbines and things that power power plants and things like that. KraftPowercon is the company, we have David Persson, we have Dan Holt here in the booth to talk a little bit about KraftPowercon and what you do. Welcome to the show, guys.
Dan Holt: Thank you very much, I’m Dan Holt, David Persson from our manufacturing facility in växjö, Sweden. KraftPowercon is a manufacturer of niche electronics, a number of unusual items that are not necessarily manufactured by the larger players in the field but we fill a lot of voids in the industrial market. Specifically here, what are guys that are moving electronics, moving electrons around doing at the Turbo Machinery Show? We have a number of customers here actually that utilize a product we call The Uninterruptible Motor Drive. It is a device designed to supply power to a three phase motor when utility power is lost and I have personal experience with this, I worked in a paper mill one time where we lost our primary pump and depended on our secondary pump to kick in and do its thing under DC and it failed and so we provide an alternative for many of the OEMs here so that they can run that primary pump and keep oil flowing, keep air moving, whatever it is that’s critical. Whatever a critical application might be after utility power is lost.
Matt Register: So very simply, what we’re talking about, we talked during the break about this but you have very large, very expensive equipment that doesn’t stop on a dime, right? If the power were lost, it takes a while to wind itself down and oil still has to be supplied and what … other things still need to be supplied to it to prevent damage to the equipment. That’s where your batteries come in. So instead of relying on a secondary systems to provide that oil, you just continue to power the main system at least for a period of time. Correct?
David Persson: That’s correct.
Dan Holt: Absolutely.
Matt Register: So what kind of batteries are we talking about here? Because I’m assuming these aren’t just a couple of car batteries hooked up, these are industrial strength commercial grade battery banks that are customized? Or are they things that you’d have on the shelf?
David Persson: It’s not actually our products, but we use whatever is standard products from the VRLR lead acid batteries or NiCad batteries. Standard products that are available for everyone.
Matt Register: How much of your business is custom engineering solutions? How much of it is just product lines that you have a couple of sizes of these things? How much of it is you having to come in and solve a particular problem for somebody?
Dan Holt: There’s an element of engineering in every one of these applications. Now that’s not to say that we’re redesigning the wheel but there’s a number of quantities. You may have a person who has a single horse motor that supplies lubrication oil to this equipment. He may want his to run 30 minutes, another guy may want his to run two hours, another person may need to actually start his motor and everyone knows that starting an AC motor is much more difficult than continuing to run an AC motor so there’s an element of engineering in each one of these applications but that’s not to say the product’s … We have some brochures and we can select the product but we will definitely contact each customer that has a need to make sure that this is properly sized, properly defined.
Matt Register: How often do these guys come to you after they have broken a big piece of equipment and how many guys are forward thinking enough to go ahead and get this in place prior to something happening?
David Persson: That’s a good question isn’t it?
Dan Holt: Yeah. We’re always happy to see people, particularly happy to see people who have a need and anyone recognizing a need is having the foresight to recognize that need-
Matt Register: Well sometimes the need becomes apparent when you mess something up right? How do we keep this from ever happening again, right?
David Persson: Yep.
Dan Holt: Absolutely, absolutely and yeah, we have a number of customers here who have recognized here, we … turbine manufacturers if you will have recognized that need but not only the need, also the ability to decrease the size of the application, to run the primary pump don’t install a secondary DC system. We can provide that secondary ability if you will, without necessarily … with this pump the primary benefit is to decrease the size and complexity of the system and still provide secondary, tertiary, and even sometimes quaternary capabilities.
Matt Register: And quite often, this is an insurance play almost, right? This is to keep from having to repair, or have scrapped, a very expensive piece of machinery. In relation to the piece of equipment that’s being run, the cost of this is relatively low, correct?
Dan Holt: You’ll need this system. There is some cost to not only the batteries, but the electronics that go into making this conversion happen. AC doesn’t turn to DC easily necessarily, there’s some cost in that. So yes, I would say from an economic standpoint, there needs to be a … David, how do you say it? You say it well, there needs to be a critical need, right?
David Persson: Of course, but what we’re really selling is reliability and that is what we’re selling. So when you have this critical drive, we make sure it’s running. So that is what the customer’s paying for.
Matt Register: And you’re not having to rely on a secondary system that may not have been run in the last year and things like that, right?
Dan Holt: That’s funny, that actually happened to me when I had to depend on a secondary system to run. You go home, it ran, it ran faithfully and I had completely screwed up the application so that the fault was mine, the secondary electronics kicked in, did their thing. Having that ability to run the primary system that runs every day all day and is … it helps guys like the person that I was when that happened to me, it helps you sleep at night because you know that primary system’s running and you’re not depending on the starting and actually completing of an activity on a secondary or tertiary backup system that you run every six months or every year.
Matt Register: No that’s right, you hope and you never-
Dan Holt: Of course.
Matt Register: … want to make that … you never want to roll the dice on that one, right? When you’re dealing with big dollars and big pieces of critical equipment, right? Dan Holt, David Persson, sales engineers with Kraft Powercon, I want to thank you both for joining us.
Dan Holt: Thank you.
David Persson: Thank you very much.
Matt Register: What is the easiest way for somebody to learn more about this, should they want to learn more?
David Persson: They should visit us at the show, or visit our website, of course.
Matt Register: What’s the website?
David Persson: The website is kraftpowercon.com.
Matt Register: Kraftpowercon.com. We’re going to have a link right there from texasbusinessradio.com if you’re driving and can’t take notes, kraftpowercon.com. Thanks for joining us guys, we are down here at the George R. Brown Convention Center at the 47th Turbo Machinery and 34th Pump Symposium, we are bringing you the best of The Turbo Show. We got to take a quick break, we got to pay some of our own bills, we’ll back right on the other side of the break with a whole lot more. Texas Business Radio, don’t go anywhere.
Sponsored in part by:
In addition to hosting "Texas Business Radio," Matt is an investment banker and serial entrepreneur from Montgomery, Texas. He is the owner of RREA Media and Register Real Estate Advisors and a Managing Director and Principal at Corporate Finance Associates. He has a BS from the United States Military Academy at West Point and an MBA from Rice University in Houston. You can read more about Matt HERE.