Partnership Leads To Growth

    Burckhardt Compression/KB Delta Partnership Results In New Market Expansions, Increased Sales, And Advancements Of Technology

    Manufacturing Hall Winterthur (Image Courtesy Of Burckhardt)

    Burckhardt Compression and KB Delta signed an agreement in 2022 in which Burckhardt Compression became a worldwide distributor for KB Delta. The partnership gave KB Delta access to new markets thanks to Burckhardt Compression’s global sales network. Burckhardt Compression increased its footprint throughout the United States and Canada thanks to KB Delta’s expansive North American reach. Two years later, each company has experienced levels of growth that would have been difficult to achieve without the partnership agreement.

    “The business for Burckhardt Compression increased in the United States by double digit figures, and also in Canada,” said Rainer Duebi, president of the services division at Burckhardt Compression. “The cooperation was well received by our customers. This fruitful partnership helps us to provide a one-stop solution to our customers. KB Delta and Burckhardt Compression already had an intense and very active exchange before signing the new agreement. Burckhardt Compression is one of the few original equipment manufacturers [OEMs] in the reciprocating compressor market that has been producing its own compressor valves with great success for more than 100 years. Nevertheless, valve technologies have so many aspects for improvement and production concepts and partnering with market leaders on that technology is of essence. That was enforced during our further cooperation.”

    During the first half of fiscal year 2023, Burckhardt Compression delivered a sales growth of 21%. The Swiss OEM increased operating income by 26% and net income by 32%, compared to 2022. For the first half of 2023, Burckhardt Compression’s reported sales were US$470.2 million, compared to US$387.3 million in 2022. Net income was US$37.3 million, compared to US$28.2 million the year prior. On the service side, in the first half of fiscal year 2023, Burckhardt Compression’s order intake grew by 4.1%. While its partnership with KB Delta doesn’t account for all of this growth, it certainly helped. Burckhardt Compression’s access to KB Delta’s vast inventory of reciprocating compressor parts reduced the time required for Burckhardt Compression’s overhaul and repair work, creating faster turnaround in increased opportunity. Burckhardt Compression’s full-year 2023 financials will be released in June 2024. Continued growth is expected.

    For KB Delta, the partnership brought a dramatic uptick to its European sales. “We enjoy a market-leading presence throughout North America,” said George Giourof, chief operating officer at KB Delta. “In Europe, prior to this agreement, we were not as well known. Through this partnership with Burckhardt Compression, we have expanded our reputation for quality products and quick deliverability throughout Europe. In the two years since this partnership was formally introduced, we have seen European sales increase by 50%.”

    Headquartered in Torrance, California, KB Delta designs and manufactures interchangeable OEM and aftermarket products such as metallic compressor valve plates and rings ranging from 1 to 15 in. (25.4 to 381 mm), high-performance thermoplastic compressor valve parts in PEEK (polyetheretherketone), carbon PEEK, mid temperature, and nylon, including X-Type materials. In addition to thermoplastic and metallic plates, KB Delta stocks essential compressor valve peripherals such as locknuts, center bolts/studs, guide pins, lift washers, springs, spring plates, guide rings, O-rings, gaskets, seats, guards, and complete valve assemblies.

    “One thing that’s been beneficial for both of us has been the fact that we know the OEM manufacturers in North America, and Burckhardt Compression knows the OEM manufacturers in Europe,” said Giourof. “This partnership gives both companies a greater opportunity to secure more of the aftermarket side of the compression industry. Where Burckhardt Compression is an aftermarket leader throughout Europe, we are an aftermarket leader throughout the United States and Canada. This partnership has created unprecedent synergies between each company, the resulting in phenomenal growth across the board.”

    “Through this partnership, our customers have access to high-quality products with short delivery times,” added Duebi. “KB Delta’s extensive inventory and state-of-the-art production allow for a one-stop-shop solution for all compressor valve needs of our customers.”

    Prior to the partnership, each company enjoyed a strong reputation within the gas compression industry for quality and deliverability. Access to each other’s expertise has only raised the bar. Through the agreement, Burckhardt Compression gained access to KB Delta’s component design and manufacturing expertise. KB Delta gained access to Burkhardt’s expertise in reciprocating compressor technologies and services.

    “For us, this partnership has pushed us to become an even better company,” said Giourof. “It’s pushed us to increase our quality standards even higher than they were before. We’ve always prided ourselves on quality and craftsmanship and on our manufacturing expertise. Through partnering with Burckhardt Compression, we’ve been able to improve our internal processes and procedures even more.”

    KB Delta’s component designs have expanded Burckhardt Compression’s solutions offerings, especially for non-Burckhardt Compression valves. “For us, most importantly, was the exchange on detailed compressor valve technology to improve the energy consumption and extend the mean time between overhaul for valves. All that was integrated in our offering for energy transition services and proposals to our customers with greenhouse gas reduction potential,” said Duebi. “In addition, the fast and efficient supply of quality valve parts from KB Delta also boosts the circular economy, which is important for reaching today’s sustainability goals. Burckhardt Compression’s global valve repair and reconditioning activities need support from partners like KB Delta.

    “We’ve strengthened our position in the market and this partnership enables us to act globally as service provider for all kinds of valve requests thanks to having a high-performing supply platform with KB Delta,” continued Duebi. “We’ve benefited from a clear agreement on how to interact on the global execution for supplies and gained the provision of cost-efficient solutions for non-Burckhardt Compression valves and other parts. KB Delta’s fast and reliable supply line has improved the delivery time for our local service centers.”

    “At its core, this partnership has been a success because each company shares the same customer-first mindset. Not only in providing best-in-quality products and services, but in customer-driving technology and research and development,” said Giourof. “Hydrogen is an example of each company’s shared knowledge being used to advance technology. Burckhardt Compression is investing in making the world a better place through clean energy and zero emissions. And through them, we are more involved in the hydrogen economy and applying our experience and expertise to markets we didn’t have as much access to prior to this partnership.”

    Looking Ahead

    This agreement has been an asset to both companies by providing more efficient product delivery, service, and technical support. Looking ahead, each company sees continued growth and opportunity.

    “We will expand our global partnership environment and will increase, together with KB Delta, the effort to improve the compressor valve performance to offer even faster supply around the globe,” said Duebi.

    “I believe that this partnership gives Burckhardt Compression and KB Delta a competitive edge in the marketplace,” said Giourof. “With the collaborative efforts between KB Delta and Burckhardt Compression, this partnership is a game changer for the industry. We have a lot of exciting things in store, with much more to come from each company in 2024.”