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Archive for September, 2011

HCPED Industrial Appreciation Banquet October 27

Don’t forget to mark your calendars for the Industrial Appreciation Banquet on Thursday, October 27th. The event will be held at the Western North Carolina Agricultural Center. A pre-dinner networking reception will be held at the Davis Event Center at 5:30 with dinner and the program following in the Virginia Boone Building at 6:30. Representative David Guice (District 113), Representative Chuck McGrady (District 117), and Senator Tom Apodaca (District 48) will address questions about North Carolina policies and regulations that impact the local business climate. Ben Kinney, Publisher of Business NC Magazine, will moderate the panel and questions.  Attendees can submit questions to brittany@hcped.org.

The Industrial Appreciation Banquet began in 2003 as a way to recognize the contributions of the manufacturing sector in Henderson County as well as thank those that support the efforts of the Partnership. Through the years, the event has developed as a time to not only show appreciation, but also reflect on the activities and successes of the year. Generous sponsorships allow manufacturers, members and elected officials to attend at no cost. 2011 Presenting Sponsors are Duke Energy, Forest Commercial Bank and PSNC Energy. Supporting Sponsors are First Citizens Bank, Friday Staffing Services, GE Lighting Solutions, IMOCO, Van Winkle Law Firm and Pepsi.

Invitations will be mailed this week. Each manufacturer receives one ticket to the event. Presidential members receive four tickets, executive members receive two tickets, and general members receive one ticket. If you have questions regarding the event or tickets for your organization, contact brittany@hcped.org or call 828-692-6373.

Industry Profile: BeTech Inc.

Located in Fletcher, North Carolina, BeTech Inc., is one of the nation’s premier spiral duct machine manufacturers. The company was founded by Ron Brevard in 1991. As a professional engineer Mr. Brevard has spent his career in the pursuit of technologies which have tangible and practical application in the construction and building sciences industry.

In an attempt to reduce heating and cooling costs and maximize efficiency, Mr. Brevard and his staff have designed and engineered a line of machines that manufacture spiral ducts. Once installed these duct systems have the ability to fully leverage a facility’s heating and cooling system. When compared to traditional rectangular HVAC duct work, spiral ducts improve air flow, minimize air leakage, are less expensive to install, and can achieve a cleaner more visually pleasing architectural effect.


The operation’s most popular machine is the spiral pipe machine. The machine utilizes an automated system for producing rigid spiral metal pipe from 4 inches (100 mm) in diameter up to 100 inches (2,500 mm) in diameter. This versatile machine enables customers to manufacture pipe from a variety of materials including aluminum and galvanized steel up to 14 gauge (2.0 mm) and stainless steel up to 18 gauge (1.2 mm). Computerized pipe dimensions and adjustment data ensure uniform pipe size every time.

The company markets to contractors who specialize in large construction projects such as hospitals, sports arenas, pharmaceutical operations, and manufacturing facilities. Over the years the project has been engaged in a number of high profile jobs. BeTech, Inc. machines were used to manufacture the spiral ducts utilized in the recently completed Dallas Cowboys Stadium located in Arlington, Texas.

The business has been successful over the years due to the company’s responsiveness to customer demands. According to Mr. Brevard, “In 2009 when the construction industry began to show signs of slowing BeTech moved quickly to re-examine our product line in order to ensure our machines could compete with our closest competition. As a result of this reevaluation our design staff created an entirely new line of machines which retained BeTech’s commitment to quality while being more affordable for smaller, niche construction firms.” The new machines, while smaller, have afforded the operation a great deal of flexibility from a pricing standpoint and have proven successful with new and existing customers over the past 24 months.

In addition to BeTech’s existing product line, Brevard and his staff have also been engaged in projects which require custom design work for automated machines utilized in the manufacturing sector. BeTech has built machines to handle virtually any task that requires automation.  Read more about BeTech here.

Van Wingerden Intl Utilizes Grant for Energy Efficiency

Van Wingerden International Inc. has been in the plant nursery business for over 35 years. As a result of the company’s long term vision the facility has grown to include over 37 acres of greenhouses which are utilized for the production of bedding plants, poinsettias, young plants and flowering promotional crops which are ultimately sold through home improvement stores, grocery and mass-market outlets in the southeast. Like many commercial/manufacturing businesses, energy is a substantial part of the production cost. As a result the company strives to invest in different areas of the business with the ultimate goal of reducing the facility’s total energy use. Over the years these investments have come in the way of energy curtains, smart climate control computers and electric boilers which have all helped the company achieve strategic reductions in total energy use while simultaneously improving the quality and variety of the plants produced by the company.

In 2010, the Henderson County Partnership for Economic Development worked with President and General Manager, Bert Lemkes to identify and obtain a $310,000 grant offered through the State Energy Office, a division of the North Carolina Department of Commerce. This competitive grant opportunity was developed to assist private commercial and industrial business to pursue technologies which could help each businesses become more competitive while also reducing individual energy consumption. The awarded grant has allowed the company to purchase and install a hot water storage tank which has enabled Van Wingerden International the ability to achieve a 15-20% reduction in energy use. According to Lemkes “the project will ultimately reduce the running of boilers at high fire, thereby improving efficiency in fuel use, in addition to reducing boiler cycling and purging cycles.”

To fully leverage this investment the operation of this storage tank and system is being fully integrated with existing computer systems designed to maximize energy usage as well as an internal education process  for existing employees with the goal of uncovering further energy reduction strategies.  Once operational the company expects  to achieve a savings of 6.7 billion BTUs with the new system.