Busch Vacuum Solutions USA, one of the largest manufacturers of vacuum pumps, blowers, compressors, and systems, has acquired Jennings Associates Inc., a distributor for new equipment, maintenance, and repair for vacuum pumps, blowers, and heat exchangers. Thermal Processing recently sat down with Busch President Turgay Ozan to discuss what the acquisition will mean to its customers and how the company services them going forward.
What types of products does Busch Vacuum Solutions offer?
Busch Vacuum Solutions offers vacuum and pressure solutions to end-user customers, engineering companies, and OEMs in industrial and medium-high vacuum applications and industries. In addition to vacuum technology products, we also have an extensive service network that includes expert field service specialists and service centers across the country.
You recently acquired Jennings Associates. How does that expand and enhance what Busch can do for the heat-treat industry?
With this acquisition, the Jennings team, who have now become Busch employees, can fully concentrate on Busch products and solutions in the heat-treat industry. They bring their manpower, salespeople, service technicians, and market knowledge. With that, together we are better able to focus on the heat-treat industry because Busch has extensive product and system solutions for the various applications in this market. With our more than 50 years of experience in the vacuum industry combined with their 45 years of experience working with us, together, we can apply even more expertise to this industry’s demands for higher levels of performance and durability in this changing market. Since vacuum is a key part in many of the heat-treat processes to create atmospheres and necessary component properties, Busch can offer a large range of vacuum generators and customized solutions.
When did you acquire Jennings? And what were the reasons behind the acquisition?
The acquisition was finalized at the end of February 2021 and became effective March 1. The main reason for the acquisition was to extend the boundaries of our core vacuum business in this market by combining dedicated resources and expertise to develop and execute a strategically aligned approach to best support the vacuum customers in the eastern central region. We knew that Jennings was doing a great job, but they also had other products from other companies to represent, so their focus on Busch products and Busch customers was, of course, limited to the resources that they had. The timing was right for both companies to move forward with the acquisition. This year, it became possible for the Jennings team to give their full attention, full focus, and commitment to Busch. It is a mutually beneficial agreement, and their team is quite excited to come on board.
With both Busch and Jennings being family-owned businesses, how did that affect the dynamic of the acquisition?
Because both companies are family-owned, we carry similar values in our approach to joining businesses. Busch Vacuum Solutions in Germany was founded in 1963 by Dr.-Ing. Karl and his wife Ayhan Busch and further expanded together with the second generation, Ayla, Sami, and Kaya Busch. The management of the company is entirely in the hands of the Busch family. They continue to bring their family values to everyday life at Busch. Jennings Alberts was started by William and Kathleen Jennings in 1973 and later turned over operations of their business to the next generation, Pam Altier and her husband Bill Altier and Lisa (Jennings) Dugery. The dynamic of the acquisition was with a sense of appreciation as well as a long-standing partnership and history of successes.
What’s been the market response to the acquisition of the distributor?
It has been very positive. The customers are excited about growing their businesses with direct manufacturer resources. Our direct customers, as well as customers that were served by Jennings, know that they will get even better service and quicker response times. In the past, they may have had direct dealings with only a handful of team members from Jennings, now they have access to the entire Busch organization.
Anything else about the acquisition or something else that Busch is involved with that you’d like to mention that our readers might be interested in?
I just want to reemphasize that we are putting a greater focus on our customer service and customer satisfaction now more than ever. We are a significant player in the vacuum industry and one of only a few vacuum solution companies that manufacture in the U.S. We have quite an impressive manufacturing set up in Virginia Beach, where our pumps and systems are designed, manufactured, and serviced for the U.S. market. Furnace manufacturers and plant designers in the U.S. and throughout the world rely on Busch for vacuum technology. And we are excited about the innovations we’re able to bring our customers in the heat-treat market, such as leak-detection equipment, new vacuum gauges, Industry 4.0 smart technology, and, of course, the broadest range of dry screw technology and customized solutions.
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