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Driving Forces Transforming Industry

A.W. Chesterton

Driving Forces Transforming Industry

Author: Brian O’Donnell, President & CEO, A.W Chesterton Company

While every business is in business to make money, some companies are motivated by deeper philosophies. Our philosophy, which is rooted in helping process industries improve the reliability and efficiency of their rotating, stationary, and fluid power equipment, has driven Chesterton to  continue to invest in Massachusetts by expanding the capabilities found at our Groveland facility. This new facility is not just our North American Headquarters, New England service center, and training facility – it’s a physical representation of our commitment to helping our customers BE BETTER.

Chesterton's New Facility in Groveland, MA

Chesterton’s New Facility in Groveland, MA

In an industry where many product manufacturers have spent the last 30 years mainly focused on making their products better, we have worked on helping  process industry companies and manufacturers address their most pressing issues. Many of our industrial process customers are seeing changes and facing challenges that are different than they were in the past.

For example, 25 years ago, the pain felt by North American automakers from overseas competition motivated the American automakers to embrace continuous improvement and lean manufacturing; but the process industries didn’t have that kind of competition back then to drive reliability improvements. So now that the world has gotten smaller and process plants are currently competing in a global market, there is a greater push to implement reliability improvements at the plant level.

Chesterton Process plantReliability improvements  enable process plants to improve uptime, produce more, reduce their costs, improve their margin, and remain competitive in today’s marketplace. But in order to make these  improvements,  companies need support – more than just product knowledge. So for Chesterton, our role has expanded from understanding product needs and developing the right products to helping our customers apply the best available technology and implementing solutions that have a positive impact on  their operations.

The sad truth is that many industries have lost talent – not only to retirement, but to outsourcing as well. Many multi-national companies have been so focused on the short-term financial benefits of outsourcing core capabilities that the knowledge just isn’t at the plant anymore. This is driving plant managers to seek out suppliers that do more than just deliver a product. They are looking for more comprehensive support for their complex systems.

Chesterton and CustomerThe talent shortage is a significant issue  for industry, and we see this each day in calls from our global customers regarding the problems they are facing. They no longer have  the expertise in the plant to support their systems. So for a company like Chesterton, we have had the luxury of having over 1200 people in the field each day, working at industrial process plants all around the world, trying to understand how to help them operate better, how to improve reliability, and learning the best practices to apply .

The associates we have in the field have developed relationships with the people at those plants, and that’s part of our success – developing a deep understanding of the issues industrial process plants face and working to help them; making sure we apply not only the products, but the knowledge to solve their problem – because a lot of times, it’s not just product issues we face, but how to pick the best technology, how to utilize it correctly, and how to train the people more effectively. So for us, the driving force behind our expansion is to enhance our capability to help industrial process customers be more competitive, be more successful, and address the challenges they face – which today are cost reductions, reliability improvements, compliance to regulatory requirements, and reducing waste and energy consumption.  

In order to develop programs to help our customers implement practical solutions, we made a concerted effort to focus on the higher level issues these industrial process plants face. In doing so, we became heavily involved with industry groups, such as the Fluid Sealing Association, Hydraulic Institute, and Valve Manufacturers Association. We worked with regulatory agencies and participated in specification committees, taking leadership roles and providing subject matter expertise; and over time, we have become thought leaders in the industry.

Chesterton Bolts pipes We work in so many different industrial process plants (power plants, pulp paper, oil and gas, refineries, petrochemical), that we have gained a very deep understanding of the best practices; which we share as thought leaders. We understand the cost drivers currently at play in these plants – the fact that raw materials prices are rising and that plants need to find ways to minimize use of raw materials and reduce their waste streams.

We understand that energy is a big pain point for many industries and that the new energy regulations can be confusing and difficult to interpret. Chesterton has the expertise to help companies understand the implications of these regulations and what they really mean to each individual company. This is where our knowledge and experience really helps customers, by giving them confidence moving forward.

Combining thought leadership with the ability to effectively implement solutions is what makes Chesterton so unique. We not only have the knowledge to provide consultation and support, but we provide practical implementation that drives results. The difference Chesterton is driving towards is the technical and knowledge backed industry leadership enabling us to help our customers by anticipating their needs, imparting expert knowledge, and providing industry-best solutions which enable them to perform better, compete harder, and make the world a cleaner place.

So on May 5th, our 132-year history and continued determination to be a driving force in the industry will fuel the celebration of our Grand Opening. 

Please visit our website to find out more about how Chesterton has provided practical, knowledge-backed solutions for equipment sealing and efficiency, industrial process reliability, and environmental compliance to companies operating in some of the toughest industries around the world.

Additional Training Resources:

For Reliability and Maintenance Training, please contact the Chesterton Global Training Team.

To learn more about regulations & standards register for the Fugitive Emissions Summit.

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