The company formed by the 2009 merger of FW Murphy, Tulsa, OK, U.S.A., and EControls, San Antonio, TX, U.S.A., recently took another step in its development by changing its name to Enovation Controls to reflect the now fully integrated company.
Enovation Controls is positioning itself as a global provider of engine and engine-driven equipment management and control products and services. The company serves markets that include natural gas compression and liquids, natural gas commercial vehicles, off-highway, material-handling, recreational and commercial marine, power generation and agriculture. The privately held company employs 1,000 people worldwide and was on track to exceed $250 million in revenue in 2013. Board member Patrick W. Cavanagh was recently named President and CEO.
“Enovation Controls combines Murphy’s line of controls and instrumentation with EControls’ engine control expertise to go beyond components to a fully integrated engine control and instrumentation provider,” says Frank Murphy III, Enovation Controls Executive Chairman of the Board. Murphy adds that Enovation Controls would continue to promote and utilize the Murphy and EControls brands while strengthening the company’s positioning in the marketplace.
“Although we officially merged four years ago, we wanted to be very careful and deliberate with our integration process in order to make sure we truly preserved the strengths both companies brought to the table,” Murphy says. “The Enovation Controls name now represents our fully integrated company as a single focused team. By capitalizing on our synergies, Enovation Controls delivers the same products and services our customers have always known, along with the more fully integrated solutions our markets demand.”
In order to facilitate the company’s approach to engine control, protection and monitoring, Enovation Controls is realigning its technical resources into Solution Groups to work more closely with the company’s Natural Gas Production Controls, Displays and Power Controls, and Engine Controls and Fuel Systems business segments.
“The goal in creating integrated teams of the company’s product design and development engineers is for Enovation Controls to develop and deliver solutions to customers faster than its competitors,” says Kennon Guglielmo, Chief Technology Officer. “The Solution Groups are focused on the development of more integrated and tailored solutions for customers, to deliver improvements in engine management, fuel efficiency, reliability, drivability and emissions.”
A recent example of Enovation Controls’ approach to engine control is its Engine Integrated Control System (EICS), to meet the need for emissions compliance and performance optimization for natural gas compressors. EICS is a full-authority engine control system that incorporates ignition, air/fuel ratio, and speed control along with diagnostics, sensors, and catalyst into one package designed for specific engine models.
The system includes the company’s engine control modules, PowerView displays and related proprietary software that displays critical engine information. It is pre-calibrated to meet emission and performance requirements for the application and typically requires no field calibration or adjustment, the company says.
With the introduction of EICS-equipped engines, customers have experienced short installation times with improved engine performance and fuel economy in the presence of load swings and changes in natural gas well flow, says Terry Baldwin, Vice President of the Natural Gas Production Systems segment. He says EICS’ ability to monitor all integrated system components can simplify troubleshooting and reduce engine downtime while enabling customers to meet emissions regulations.
“Our customers are reporting a 20 to 30% savings in fuel and operating costs by utilizing the EICS system,” Baldwin says, adding that over 1,500 natural gas compressors have been retrofitted with the EICS technology.
In addition to EICS, the merger has resulted in other synergies. EControls’ electronics manufacturing capabilities, which include in-house surface mount assembly lines, electronic quality inspection equipment and direct relationships with electronic parts suppliers, are now used to improve the quality, cost and lead time of Murphy-branded products.
Enovation Controls has used this combination of capabilities to launch a new generation of PowerView color and monochrome displays with new capabilities and new price points.
Another benefit of the merger, Murphy says, is that Enovation Controls has taken engine control module designs from EControls and transformed them into general-purpose controllers and I/O modules for off-highway and marine applications. These new modules have been combined with the next generation PowerView displays to form a package that is designed to work as a single system. These components can also be programmed as a single integrated system by the customer, using the company’s proprietary PowerVision Configuration Studio development software.
The combination of intellectual property from the two companies is also yielding value for Enovation Controls customers, Guglielmo says. “The integration of the engine control, vehicle systems and dashboard displays can yield performance advantages that a collection of components from a variety of vendors cannot match,” he says. “The ability to cross over the boundary between vehicle systems and engine control is a unique Enovation Controls capability — a capability made possible by the merger.”
In addition, Guglielmo says some of Enovation Controls' most promising growth opportunities may be in the natural gas vehicle sector through providing engine control and fuel system solutions for natural gas-powered vehicles. Of the more than 1 million engine control systems Enovation Controls has shipped to date, more than 170,000 are found on heavy-duty natural gas buses and trucks. Guglielmo says Enovation Controls expects the number of natural gas vehicles to grow significantly in the U.S., China and around the world.
Toward that end, Enovation Controls has recently invested in relocation and significant upgrades of its engine development facilities in San Antonio. The company is also investing another US$4 million (in addition to the more than US$15 million already invested in China) in a new engine development center in Hangzhou, China, that is scheduled to open mid-2014.
With these investments, Enovation Controls says it would be positioned to support the expected growth in the natural gas vehicle sector. The company has sales and manufacturing facilities in North America, China, Europe and India, and says it will continue to expand and invest its international operations.
“At Enovation Controls, we’re leveraging our synergies in order to expand our offering so that more customers can experience the benefits of a total engine control and instrumentation solution,” Cavanagh says. “However, we remain committed to providing our customers with the quality and service that earned us the business in the first place.”