Hot Hot Topics, July 2005

Racine Federated acquires J-Tecís industrial vortex flowmeters

Racine Federated has acquired J-Tec Associates' industrial vortex flowmeter product line. The change of ownership was announced on April 21, 2005. The acquisition of J-Tec's industrial vortex flowmeters by Racine Federated follows a period of consolidation for Racine. Racine Federated has a combination of different product lines, each under a different company name. The flow divisions are as follows:

Hedland: Variable area flowmeters

Dynasonics: Ultrasonic flowmeters and insertion magnetic flowmeters

Blancett: Turbine flowmeters

Preso: Primary element flowmeters

Racine formerly had a division called FloCat, which sold flowmeters and other products through a catalog and e-commerce site. In June 2004, Racine sold its FloCat division to Total Temperature Instrumentation (TTI) of Williston, Vermont. TTI is also a distributor for Fuji Electric.

In September 2004, Racine announced that it is consolidating its operations in Racine County, Wisconsin. This includes its operations in Texas and New York. The consolidation will take place in a building formerly occupied by Danfoss in Mt. Pleasant, Wisconsin.

J-Tec Associates was founded in 1968. J-Tecís first products involved a measuring technique for ocean currents and an anenometer for the National Data Buoy Program. These products formed the basis for J-Tecís flow measurement products. In 1968, J-Tec developed a vortex flowmeter that measures vortices through ultrasonic sensing. While J-Tec has sold its industrial vortex flowmeters, the company continues to sell its vortex flowmeters to the automotive engine testing and military markets. 

What it means

While J-Tec has met with successes over the years, the company has never gained the kind of traction in vortex flowmeters required for substantial growth in todayís market. Also, the company never diversified significantly beyond its basic technology. Besides its vortex flowmeters, J-Tec purchased a differential pressure technology a few years ago which it has offered as its Flo-Tube product. The Flo-Tube product was also sold to Racine Federated. In addition, J-Tec has had a private label agreement with a manufacturer of ultrasonic Doppler meters. However, J-Tec no longer sells these Doppler flowmeters.

It is becoming more difficult for smaller companies with a limited number of technologies to compete in todayís expanding and geographically diverse marketplace. Perhaps with the greater resources of Racine Federated behind it, J-Tecís technology will be able to expand and grow at a faster pace.

Now that Racine has gone through a period of consolidation and contraction, it is ready to increase its presence in the flowmeter marketplace. Just as is the case with Aalborg, Racine is entering the vortex flowmeter market in a growth period. The acquisition of J-Tecís industrial vortex flowmeter product line strengthens Racineís presence in new-technology flowmeters, and opens up new markets and applications.

Here's how Tom Nelson, Vice President, Marketing, of Racine Federated sees it:

ďRacine Federated has added another key flow measurement technology to our product offerings. Weíre very excited about the possibilities this offers our company including greater market coverage and the ability to offer the best technological solution to a flow measurement challenge.Ē

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