April 2013


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Lars van der HaegenEMAIL INTERVIEW Lars van der Haegen and Ken Sinclair

Lars van der Haegen, President Americas and member of the Group Executive Committee of the Belimo Group  http://www.belimo.us

Mr. van der Haegen has been employed by Belimo in various positions for more than 13 years. From 2000 to 2002 he was head of Product Management Air Volume Control in Switzerland, from 2003 to 2006 he served as Manager of Product Management and Marketing at BELIMO Aircontrols (USA) Inc. in Danbury, and from 2007 to 2010 he has been managing director of BELIMO Italy. Since 2011, Mr. van der Haegen is back in Danbury in his current role. His educational background is in mechanical engineering with specialization on HVAC-design, he also attended Columbia Business School in New York and London Business School, earning his MBA. Mr. van der Haegen also serves on the Board of Directors of the Greater Danbury Chamber of Commerce and is a Member of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).

It is all about organizational health

...offer work flexibility, team building outings, in-house and online training, tuition and fitness reimbursements, health fairs, mentoring programs and growth paths for individuals.

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SinclairWhat is the history of Belimo in the Americas?

van der Haegen:  Founded in Switzerland in 1975, the Belimo Group today employs more than 1,300 people worldwide and reported generating sales of 445 million Swiss francs in 2012—approximately 487 million U.S. dollars. Belimo Americas was established in 1989 under the guidance of Werner Buck and is located in Danbury, CT. Werner started the operations in a single family home and quickly Belimo needed more space and had to move twice. Last year, we have broken ground on a new larger building. The $50 million dollar Belimo-owned Danbury facility is now under construction and will be completed in the summer of 2014. The 195,000-square foot building will be targeted for LEED Gold-certification. The facility will contain corporate offices, warehousing, production, customization, Belimo University training center, and its future-forward valve development laboratory—one of the largest HVAC control valve labs in the world, with 15,000 square feet dedicated to control valve development.

SinclairHow is the American organization structured?

van der Haegen:  Serving customers throughout the United States, Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean, Belimo Americas has 400 employees in the Americas, 300 which are located in the Danbury facility. Additional logistics and customization facilities located in Sparks, Nevada, as well as subsidiaries in Toronto, Canada and Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Sinclair You have received the Controls Trend Awards 2012 for the best technical support in the industry. How do you motivate your employees for such an outstanding performance?

van der Haegen:  It is all about organizational health.

Having a strong and motivated technical support team has always been one of our goals at Belimo. We motivate employees in many ways; one of which is our Above and Beyond Program where team members can submit another employee that has provided leadership, teamwork or assistance above and beyond their job responsibility that offered continued business success. Formal recognition for this outstanding performance is made public. We also offer work flexibility, team building outings, in-house and online training, tuition and fitness reimbursements, health fairs, mentoring programs and growth paths for individuals. Our independent survey results showed employee satisfaction totals is 9 points on a 10-point scale and we continue to strive to be the best.

Belimo’s corporate culture also promotes community outreach, charitable endeavors, diversity and a global outlook. For over a decade the company began an exceptionally successful collaboration with Ability Beyond Disability, a local non-profit organization that helps disabled individuals gain greater independence through training and job placement. Belimo currently employs over forty Ability Beyond Disability participants in its Danbury location, and is considered a pioneer in integrating these men and women into the company, providing a richer, fuller sense of being true Belimo employees.

Overall there are many elements that contribute to the company culture and lead to an excellent team of customer service reps, technical supporters, and sales managers that really deserved the CTA 2012 Award.

contemporary SinclairBelimo is known for innovations in actuator and valve solutions. What products are you introducing this year?

van der Haegen:  For 2013, we have released the following products that provide solutions that will increase building energy efficiency, reduce installation time and cost.

The Belimo Energy Valve™ is a two-way pressure independent control valve that optimizes, documents and proves water coil performance. Energy Valve uses Belimo Delta T Manager™ algorithm to directly control AHU coil performance. It monitors coil performance characteristic curve and resulting energy/power output. With standard analog signal and feedback wiring communicates data to the DDC system via BACnet MS/TP, BACnet IP and TCP/IP for Building Automation System integration. The actuator calculates and stores all the coil performance data such as Delta T and energy usage. Coil performance data, stored trends and control functions can be sent to and from the BAS via the data network to optimize coil and system performance saving building energy consumption.

The ZIP Economizer™ offers the Fast Route to Reliable Energy Savings. For over 30 years, Belimo has provided innovations in comfort, energy efficiency and safety solutions. The new ZIP Economizer continues this tradition, by solving the issue afflicting the current economizer market. The ZIP offers reliable energy saving airside economizing with fault messages, alarms, and superior troubleshooting capability. Zip Economizer offers:

Unlike other economizers in the market, the ZIP Economizer provides onboard help and technical support team backed by a 5 year warranty.

With energy prices high, and likely to remain high in the future, our customers’ investments in energy efficiency is economical as well as environmental. Belimo supplies many of today’s new green buildings with products that support LEED Certification. LEED-certified buildings have lower operating costs and increased asset values; they reduce waste and harmful emissions, conserve energy and water and provide healthier and safer indoor environments for occupants. Belimo products are integral to achieving these goals.

SinclairHow important are retrofit solutions for existing buildings?

van der Haegen:  Valves and actuators are responsible for ensuring reliable functioning of HVAC systems all over the world. Damaged actuators or valves in a HVAC system used to create a large field issue. Replacing the valve along with the actuator is not always a sensible solution. Taking a system off-line to replace numerous valves is not only laborious, it’s expensive. Facilities can lose thousands of dollars a day during maintenance shut-down. With retrofit solutions, this problem simply goes away. Valves and actuators can be quickly and conveniently up fitted and most of time without any interruption in service.

At AHR Expo in Dallas we released a new innovation globe valve actuator with a universal linkage that fits on most existing globe valves regardless of make. Belimo has a complete in-house machine shop with the ability to fabricate custom linkages for valve automation.


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