29 January 2008 — Any economic slowdown in 2008 “will not appreciably affect” the boiler industry, said American Boiler Manufacturers Association (ABMA) president Randy Rawson in his Annual Report to members during ABMA’s Annual Meeting. Rawson said general economic growth will slow in 2008, but the boiler market will continue to benefit from “customers’ burgeoning need for new boiler systems to assure reliability, greater efficiency, on-going productivity and low emissions in the boiler room.”
Rawson said that ABMA members in almost every boiler and burner sector are seeing sales and inquiry volumes “not seen in years.” He said that “a leaner, more competitive” industry arising out of the last recession “is better positioned than ever to meet market challenges ahead.”
One downside that continues to contribute to longer-than-liked equipment design and fabrication lead times, Rawson said, is the chronic professional and skilled labor crisis.
Rawson also said that legislative and regulatory uncertainty is no longer a “defensible excuse against capital investment in the power house.” He said too many good business reasons exist to make systems replacement and optimization a high priority right now. Rawson outlined several key drivers (from volatile and expensive fuel prices to an evolving alternative fuels industry that requires boiler-generated steam and hot water) contributing to business and industry’s renewed interest in the power house.
“The fact that boiler-generated steam is still the most efficient method of heat transfer for most applications, and because the design and fabrication of boilers is one of the most sustainable practices going today, boilers and boiler-generated steam and hot water are in the vanguard of the ‘greening’ of America,” he said.
“Slow growth is still growth. Add to that an economic stimulus package this year that provides appropriate incentives for capital spending and you have a healthy boiler industry in 2008,” Rawson said.
Also during the Annual Meeting, Welch Goggins, president, Cleaver-Brooks, Inc. was re-elected as its Chairman. Other officers re-elected for a one-year term were G. Scott Lewis, president, Chanute Manufacturing (a unit of Optimus Corp.) as ABMA Vice Chairman of the Board; and Vernon Eriksen, president, Nooter/Eriksen Inc., as ABMA Secretary/Treasurer.