IEN: You're a manufacturer of level, pressure, flow and proximity switches, as well as solenoid valves and liquid level control units. What are your primary target industries, and what do you offer your customers apart from the mere hardware?
Powers: Gems primary target markets are medical sciences, alternative energies, off-highway vehicles / transportation, semiconductor manufacturing, marine & shipboard service, boiler control, water / wastewater processing. On top of that, our products are used for numerous general industrial applications as well.
Decades of application engineering experience has given Gems the knowledge required to deliver tailored products that measure up to today's most sophisticated and critical applications. Our global sales and engineering resources enables us to work with our customers to solve the most challenging application problems. Whether it's modifying a standard component, working with a customer design or creating a completely new sensor, or control system, our goal is to produce a quality product that is cost effective, minimizes complexity, and improves the overall value and performance of our customers' equipment.
IEN: Which industries are the most promising ones at the moment?
Powers: The most promising industries at the moment are clearly alternative energy, off- highway vehicles and transportation.
IEN: How do you distribute your products and services in Europe?
Powers: Gems maintains a network of direct, experienced field sales engineers. We have an international network of distribution partners to provide local customer support in regions where we do not have direct sales personnel and also supply globally recognized Catalogue houses.
IEN: One of your company's strengths is what you call 'Application Engineering', where you pre-test every fluidic component for a specific application. Does this service require a certain minimum purchase order quantity, or do you do this for virtually all applications and customers?
Powers: Experience has taught us which technologies and product characteristics provide effective solutions to customers' problems. Each newly designed fluidic component / sensor is designed and qualified against an extensive test and validation plan. This specification can either be customer specific on larger projects or generated across a market segment through extensive VOC. (Voice of the customer - a process by which we gather and define product performance needs and features.)
IEN: What have been the most important product developments recently?
Powers: First of all I would mention the 3300 series CVD low pressure sensor family to complement our 31/3200 series high pressure sensors. We developed them for OEMs who need consistent high levels of performance, reliability and stability. The pressure sensor offers a small package size with all stainless wetted parts. A wide choice of electrical outputs as well as both electrical and pressure connections means the unit is suitable for most applications without modification. The compact construction of the 3300 series makes it apt for installation where space is at a premium. Further recent developments are two new lines of high precision potentiometric and magnetostrictive continuous level sensors. A third product I would like to mention are the SureSite visual level indicators, which are specifically configured for European customer needs. Certified for demanding applications, these SureSite indicators feature ANSI flanges and fittings and construction to rigorous ASME standards.
IEN: Where do you see the primary challenges for the development of competitive fluidic components and solutions today?
Powers: Customer's expectations on reducing time to market for new products and systems forces us to continually re access our development processes. Supporting our customers with the best product solution whilst ensuring all aspects of a new design are fully validated in a short period of time is extremely demanding.
Facts & Figures:
Headquarters: Plainville, Connecticut, USA
Manufacturing facilities in North America, Europe, and Asia
Number of Employees: 350
Main Products: Level, Flow, Pressure and Proximity Switches, Solenoid Valves, Liquid Level Control Units