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- EQUIPMENT & TOPICS
“Any economic slowdown in 2008 will not appreciably affect this industry,” predicted American Boiler Manufacturers Association (ABMA) president Randy Rawson in his Annual Report to his members during ABMA’s Annual Meeting, January 11-14, 2008, in Indian Wells, CA.
Rawson went on to say, “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 reported that ABMA members in almost every boiler and burner sector “are seeing sales and inquiry volumes not seen in years,” and predicted 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 reported, is the chronic professional and skilled labor crisis. Rawson went on to challenge the boiler industry’s customer base by noting that “legislative and regulatory uncertainty is no longer a defensible excuse against capital investment in the power house. There are just too many good business reasons to make systems replacement and optimization a high priority right now.”
Rawson outlined to his members 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 – using recyclable heavy metals that evolve into equipment and systems that last for decades when operated and maintained properly, boilers and boiler-generated steam and hot water are in the vanguard of the “greening” of America.”
“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. The American Boiler Manufacturers Association (ABMA) is the national nonprofit trade association of commercial, institutional, industrial, heat recovery, and electricity-generating boiler and combustion equipment manufacturers headquartered in Vienna, VA. ES