ACD CRYO, originally named CRYOPUMP, was formed in the Basel area in 1987, by a group of marketing and technical individuals, all of whom had gained experience in cryogenic pumps and the connected business.
In a bid to move into Europe, Cryogenic Industries took over Cryopump in 1990, an acquisition which saw the name changed in 1998 to ACD CRYO, “for the purposes of better identification with the group leading pump company ACD,” Ravinel says.
Today ACD CRYO operates with two European offices, notably ACD CRYO AG in Switzerland, which is responsible for the sale of new pumps throughout Europe and Africa; and ACD CRYO GmbH in Germany, which is responsible for manufacturing, service and spare parts sales within the same region.
ACD CRYO manufactures a wide range of cryogenic pumps from their German facility to meet bulk and high pressure pumping requirements. They supply the major air gas companies and also have a large portfolio of smaller companies.
Business, ethics and growth
According to Ravinel, ACD CRYO is focusing on its customers and nurturing these valuable relationships as a fundamental aspect of the company’s approach.
He commented, “Our business model is heavily weighted towards relationships rather than transactions. We view our customers as partners and we focus on building trust with them.”
“The most important thing is to gain the customers’ confidence.”
This customer care initiative appears to be heavily influencing the areas in which ACD CRYO plans to grow, as Ravinel adds, “We are really client-driven, where they go, we will follow them – it is important to be conscious of our customers.”
Demand for increased customer service is moving the company forward and dictating its growth pattern in a big way.
Ravinel sees that growth in the near future will be achieved through the implementation of service centres; providing assistance to customers who have purchased products.
He explained, “We are developing service centres because we want to be able to offer the customer a continuing service.”
Rather than focusing solely on the development of new equipment and materials, the company also concentrates on the service it provides, ensuring that as well as investment in the development of new products, it can also boast a first-class customer service record.
Ravinel believes ACD CRYO and its parent company’s turnover and business performance has grown ‘rapidly’ in recent years and this he says, is due to the companies’ entry into key growth markets such as China and South Asia – rather than simply operating in the US and Europe.
Furthermore, the group plans to build on its global footprint in the future, and he added, “Cryogenic Industries has recently implemented sales and service centres in South America and India.”
Eastern Europe is another region ACD CRYO is clearly interested in, and it’s easy to see why. The ever-expanding Eastern Europe gases market continues to demonstrate its growth and potential, as this hub of development boasted a gases business valued at over $2bn in 2006 and sustained its double-digit growth rate during both 2007 and 2008.
Even though the global economic downturn may have forced companies to review their plans and forecasts for the year ahead, attentive eyes are still focused on expansion into the East Europe gases business.
Companies are clamouring to invest in projects in the region and exploit its array of opportunities, as reflected by overall growth in the market of 18% in 2007.
Central Eastern Europe (CEE) countries are still the predominant growth drivers in the region, led by Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary, though the region as a whole could be said to be in a state of flux.
Renovation or revamping of many plants, processes and facilities is needed and in some cases is already underway. This offers an array of business opportunities for the gas companies and associated equipment manufacturers.
Ravinel supports this notion as he claims Eastern Europe is ‘definitely’ one of the regions ACD CRYO and the wider group sees as being a key market in the present and the future.
“It doesn’t represent a large portion of the company’s revenues at present, but we look forward to it doing so,” he told gasworld.
“We are present in Eastern Europe with the major industrial gas companies, and we are looking to further develop business with smaller companies also.”
“There are a lot of development possibilities in Eastern Europe, because the industries want to modernise. They need to bring some industries up to the standards of Western Europe, and this is why we think there are a lot of opportunities.”
Ravinel elaborated further and said he was referring to countries like Poland and the Czech Republic in terms of immediate future growth.
“Presently we have not established an office in Eastern Europe but we are evaluating different possibilities to support our existing customer base.”
His approach to Russia specifically was different. He implied that entry into Russia’s industry – as with many other developments made by the company – would be steady, considered, and very well planned out.
“Russia we still need to explore,” he said. “It’s such a big country; we also see some opportunities in the oil field business.”
Slow though the entry may be, ACD CRYO and its parent company are wasting no time in identifying strategies that will establish themselves in the country and enable them to build a base of contacts that will allow them to penetrate the Russian Industries.
The aftercare service is something that ACD CRYO is implementing in countries where it already has an established business base.
The focus will be on the company’s product range, as Ravinel explains, “First we want a new equipment phase in selected regions, and then we will develop the aftercare service.”
As we near the end of our interview, Ravinel appears certain of the areas that need developing in the region. “We see one expanding business and that would be the LNG business, this is definitely where we can see growth. There will be growth in hydrogen as well, but that’s a slower process”, he said.
Growth in Eastern Europe, and entry into Russia, are evidently areas of focus for ACD CRYO, as the company seeks to provide industries in need of modernisation with a unique range of equipment and materials to aid their revamp.
Patrick Ravinel Bio
General Manager of ACD CRYO and now 52 years of age, Ravinel holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering and has a extensive knowledge of the equipment business, having previously worked for a compressor manufacturing firm before joining ACD CRYO in 1990.
A family man and father to two sons aged 17 and 21, Ravinel enjoys an active life out-of-the-office and considers skiing, trekking, and swimming as ideal leisurely pursuits.