Danish instrumentation company Emco Controls has carved a solid niche for itself in supplying the shipbuilding industry with float level switches and anticipates a 10-fold increase in sales of the product over the next 3 years. It is already selling 10 times as many as it did just four years ago and is satisfied with the current level, though declines to specify number of switches sold.
According to Mads Lisberg, CEO of the company based near Copenhagen, the surge in sales is due to a good design. He says: “We believe Denmark is known for good design and when you do a good design we’re following that same tradition that Denmark is known for.”
He adds that the company had enjoyed modest sales of float level switches for about 30 years to shipbuilders and the process industry. Float level switches are used to monitor liquid levels in containers and sound an alarm when a certain level is reached, either high or low. They can also sound when a pump is starting or stopping.
Emco says its sales received a boost four years ago when it was approached by Norwegian company Odim, which expressed an interest in selling the switches to the shipping industry. This led to a new design and construction. Today, it has buoyant sales and is hungry for new markets. Emco was founded in 1966 by Enevoldsen og Mogensen and is owned by Lisberg, who bought the firm in 1984.
Lisberg says the company listed five demands it wanted met for the new design. The switch had to be lightweight, modern, highly anti-corrosive, production costs had to be low, and finally the construction had to be flexible enough to accommodate customer wishes.
The switches are still made at EMCO’s factory in Hillerød near Copenhagen in line with ISO 9001 standards. While shipping is a major segment, with clients such as shipyards and product agents, other sectors for the company include power stations, water treatment plants, as well as the pharmaceutical and chemical industries.
Emco has supplied switches for AP Moller-Maersk’s eight container vessels built at the Odense Steel Shipyard in Denmark. “We think there’s a big market for us and for a product that is well designed and does something specific…We’re going after yards, shipowners and firms that supply marine equipment. It is particularly seeking to tie up with Far Eastern yards that are building Maersk vessels.
It also makes and sells flow, level and temperature instrumentation devices.