Tuesday, 21 June 2016
Knorr-Bremse strikes again – in the UK
Family-owned Knorr-Bremse has made another acquisition, this time in the UK with GT Group, a business aimed at reducing heavy-duty vehicle pollution.GT Group, in Peterlee, Durham, has been taken over by Knorr-Bremse which says it will create a global emissions centre of excellence, which will employ over 250 North-East people and open up new international markets.
The deal will also see GT Group founder, Geoff Turnbull, retire from his role as chairman.
GT Group makes emission reduction control valves for diesel engines, including construction vehicles and diggers, and Munich-based Knorr-Bremse says such work will complement its focus on braking systems for the rail and commercial vehicle sectors.
Outgoing Turnbull said: “Knorr-Bremse is at the pinnacle of engineering around the world and the perfect custodian for GT Group and the expertise and technologies we have developed.”
“The support it will provide to GT Group’s established and experienced management team will maintain our growth and maximise new opportunities across international markets,” Turnbull added.
The acquisition is another example of a private company selling up to another private company. On 7 June 2016 we teported Knorr-Bremse’s acquisition of German tedrive Steering Systems.
Alongside its emissions work, GT Group runs a number of divisions that design and make products, such as safety systems for transporting oil, gas and hazardous liquids, and special vehicle bodies for the mining industry.
GT Project Engineering, which has bases in Consett, County Durham, and Pallion, in Sunderland, is known for marine work, such as loading systems for subsea cable laying.
Its Alpha Process Controls arm focuses on emergency release couplings, which are used to move liquid nitrogen gas on ships, while its Aldona Seals operation looks after hydraulic seals and rubber mouldings.
Dr Peter Laier, Knorr-Bremse’s executive board member responsible for commercial vehicle systems, said the deal will put the German operator at the forefront of emission demands.
Once again, this is another deal completed for an undisclosed sum.
Dr. Laier confirmed Knorr-Bremse will support GT Group’s other units, which export goods to more than 60 countries.
He added: “GT’s exhaust valves complement our existing products in Asia and we are planning close collaboration between GT’s Emissions Systems division and our subsidiaries in Japan and China.
“However, we can grow with GT Group in new regions too; we will be able to join forces and strengthen our market position in Europe and North America.”
Turnbull is retiring to pursue other interests, including a racehorse breeding enterprise. Turnbull said Knorr-Bremse will continue the good work he started more than 30 years ago.
He added: “I’m exceptionally proud of what we have achieved. We have proved advanced manufacturing can thrive in the North-East, creating sustainable employment and technology that is exported around the world.”
“With the expertise of our workforce and the support of its new owners, I’m confident I am leaving the business in very safe hands,” he concluded.
Presumably Knorr-Bremse is unconcerned as to whether the UK remains or leaves the EU.
GT Group claims it is at the leading edge of waste heat recovery (WHR) systems design and has a number of customers benefiting from these developments.
Its range of valves include:
• WHR turbine and/or expander bypass valves that can control both liquid and vapour phase at high temperature and pressure. Operating pressure ranges are up to 60 bar.
• WHR exhaust bypass valves divert the exhaust stream controlling the collection of thermal energy. These generate back pressure and multi-port options available
• WHR proportional diverter valves divert flow proportionally and can control refrigerants and ethanols etc.
• WHR pressure relief check valves restrict pressure and flow throughout the system.
• WHR emergency relief valves protect the system from over-pressure. Pressures can be arranged to suit individual applications.