IEA LLC has significantly expanded its Kenosha-based manufacturing capabilities with the purchase and installation of an aluminum brazing furnace. This major, controlled atmosphere brazing furnace furthers the company’s vertical integration initiatives for the production of aluminum heat exchangers in all sizes. At the same time, this strategic action re-shores production operations that were previously sourced from international suppliers.
IEA integrates aluminum or copper/brass heat exchangers in every mobile, industrial, and power generation cooling system it offers and, by the installation of the new furnace, has vertically integrated production of a critical component of its products.
James Kettinger, IEA President & CEO, addresses the significance of this installation. “Most of the applications for our products are truly 'mission critical.' We take that responsibility very seriously. As a result, we are more vertically integrated than ever before because 'Made in America' means more than ever. We control the design, supply, manufacturing, quality, testing and performance of everything we produce.”
These expanded capabilities optimize the supply chain for IEA customers in many facets. Collaboration with IEA for new aluminum-core product designs will be faster than ever, allowing for rapid prototyping and short lead times for new and replacement parts. Additionally, domestic, vertical integration protects IEA’s customers from tariffs and economic disruptions abroad.
Kevin Rafferty, IEA Vice President Business Development, speaks to these benefits that extend to IEA’s customers. “IEA is always looking for new and innovative ways to deliver value to our customers. I am thrilled that IEA will be able to do just that with the commissioning of our aluminum furnace in our Kenosha facility. We further fulfill our customer’s needs by having a domestic furnace that offers more options. IEA will now be able to provide shorter lead times, manufacturing flexibility, local engineering, and a reduced reliance on overseas aluminum supply. While at the same time, offering world class pricing from our overseas supply chain for applicable orders.”
Power generation engines and industrial and mobile equipment technologies are everchanging. As such, IEA is continually improving cooling system designs and manufacturing techniques to best support their critical needs in the varying applications they are used in.
Alan Meissner, IEA Chief Technology Officer, explains the significance of those applications and the required cooling solutions. “Generator sets provide power to the health care, IT, petroleum, construction and countless other mission critical markets. Whether they are used for prime, back-up or emergency power generation, they represent a sizeable investment to the end user. As a cooling systems provider to OEM gen-sets and mobile and industrial equipment, IEA recognizes that our contribution to the overall deliverable must be as cost efficient as possible.
“Our latest advancements in large-scale aluminum heat exchanger manufacturing will allow us the liberty to enhance the operational efficiencies of our cooling systems. Rather than filling our cooling systems with bracketry and weldments, we dedicate our space to the heat transfer area for which it is intended. IEA’s automated assembly and braze process, for instance, will permit the fabrication of a single, consolidated cooling system for gen-sets as large as 1,800 kW.
“As our world becomes increasingly connected, mission critical applications require increasingly efficient and larger power generators. Building larger and more efficient cooling systems is our continuum at IEA - The Next Generation of Cool.”
This major equipment addition completes IEA’s Made In USA cooling solution with a complete, domestic offering of aluminum heat exchangers complimented by the indexed, tube-fin and plate-fin copper-brass models already available from IEA in Kenosha.