2020 has already proven to be a challenging year for many, but amongst traumas such as the coronavirus pandemic, industrial gas companies are continuing to keep business flowing.

Hoffer Flow, based in North Carolina, is just one of those many companies which has been deemed essential during this time and is focused on business continuity whilst continually monitoring the situation.

Established in 1969, Hoffer Flow is focused on designing and manufacturing precision flow measurement instrumentation and controls for a wide variety of industrial, military and government markets and clients.

Amidst the coronavirus pandemic, gasworld took the opportunity to talk to Janna Critcher, Marketing Manager at Hoffer Flow, to find out how the company is dealing with the pandemic and its other business plans for 2020.

“2020 looks to be an intense year for all,” Critcher tells gasworld. 

“While thus far 2020 has been a challenging year in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic and the impacts it has had on businesses and the world. Hopefully we will come out of this with renewed purpose, finding greater strength and resilience from each other.”

“Historically, Hoffer has been the type of company that ‘when times get tough, the tough get going’ and there is no doubt that this will be the case as we manoeuvre through this period.”

Market focuses

Although certain projects may be on hold due to current circumstances, speaking to gasworld, Critcher explains that so far in 2020 Hoffer has seen significant growth of cryogenic flow measurement applications for the aerospace industry.

The company takes pride in a long-standing relationship with NASA for the provision of liquid oxygen and hydrogen flow meters for use in rocket engine testing. The success and track record of Hoffers collaboration with NASA means the company now stands as a natural choice for the US space program.

“This will be a focus for Hoffer this year as we see potential for on-orbit and deep space mission applications for the measurement of a wide range of fuels including cryogenic propellants,” Critcher continued.

“As well in 2020, we will be delivering spaceflight qualified Hoffer fuel flow meters for NASA’s Restore-L mission which will demonstrate on-orbit autonomous refuelling technologies for satellites.”

“We see this project as a gateway to other on-orbit and deep space mission applications for the measurement of a wide range of fuels including cryogenic propellants.” 

Moving away from the aerospace sector, Critcher also shared some additional product offers which Hoffer customers can expect to see in the near future.

“Hoffer is currently in the process of developing a new Cryogenic Prover for field calibrations of bulk transfer systems. Presently, the new cryogenic prover is scheduled for release in 2021.”

“The new product will utilise the Hoffer integrated cryogenic electronics (ICE) which features a more user-friendly design including a touch screen and will include a new smaller enclosure.”

“The smaller footprint is one third of the current enclosure size. A new thermal printer will also feature a much smaller footprint with improved printing capabilities.”

“And within the aerospace sector, we continue to design and build a wide array of turbine flow meter sizes and designs for multiple private space companies in support of this growing market.” 

“Meter sizes range from a quarter of an inch to twelve inches and supports a wide array of fuel products including liquid oxygen, liquid hydrogen, hydrazine, kerosene and liquid methane.”

“Flow meter housing designs support both low pressure and very high-pressure designs using Grayloc end connections/flanges on the meter housing. Specialised liquid oxygen cleaning requirements are often required for these applications.”

Coronavirus 

Whilst talking to Critcher, gasworld took the opportunity to discuss how the company is coping with the pandemic and how the virus has affected business. 

“We are monitoring the rapidly changing situation involving the coronavirus with the priority focusing on the safety and well-being of our employees, customers, distributors, representatives, and their families.”

“Protocols have been implemented to meet our goals for everyone’s safety as well as to continue to provide products for the essential infrastructure we serve.”

Hoffer’s production facility currently continues to operate although all company travel has been cancelled.

The company has said that is will continue to monitor the situation and will implement recommendations made by responsible authorities.