Koch Engineered Solutions Plant Workers


Dave Dotson, president of KES

by Dave Dotson, president of KES

What have you done for me lately?

Although this vision sounds lofty and may seem like an abstract theory, I can assure you we already have many exciting things underway.

Even before we changed our vision, we were changing how we thought of our group and where our business model can be applied. When we purchased Genesis Robotics and Motion Technologies in 2018, we knew it had special technology that could disrupt the robotics industry. We took that a step further, applying our engineered-to-order business model to help Genesis enable industrial robotics manufacturers to design custom-built actuators to use in specific robotics applications. This process of working with the customer to understand their needs and the application, then designing and providing a specific solution, is the same model we use to supply mass transfer solutions via Koch-Glitsch or emissions control solutions from John Zink Hamworthy Combustion.

Both of these companies are partnering with Flint Hills Resources to help monitor and improve the performance of FHR’s plants. Koch-Glitsch is working with Pine Bend Refinery to monitor two distillation towers in real time as an experiment to determine if we can add value by applying our expertise in mass transfer.

Similarly, John Zink Hamworthy Combustion is monitoring the burner performance of nine heaters at current and former FHR locations. By monitoring the real-time process and atmospheric conditions of the burners and comparing those data to our physics-based model, we have been able to help operators make adjustments that bring the furnace much closer to optimal operating conditions. This helps increase fuel efficiency, reduces emissions and improves the safety and reliability of both the burners and the heaters.

John Zink Hamworthy Combustion XP Flare Tip

The XP Flare Tip is John Zink Hamworthy Combustion’s most recent innovation in flaring. It combines the benefits of improved smokeless capacity with lower steam consumption and noise levels.

In order to increase the speed of the experiment, we partnered with EFT (Koch’s advanced data analytics company), reducing development time by many hours. The experiment was so successful, EFT became a part of KES on November 1. This will further improve our integration and help KES better develop its connected products platform.

Koch-Glitsch recently completed its acquisition of Germany’s Julius-Montz GmbH — a leading chemical and pharmaceutical process equipment and technology supplier. This expands Koch-Glitsch’s product portfolio and provides access to the German refining and petrochemical markets. At the same time, Montz can now use Koch-Glitsch’s global sales capabilities to market its technologies more broadly. This is mutual benefit in action.

There are many other examples of transformation as well.

We now have a partnership with INVISTA Performance Technologies to develop innovative solutions for improving its process technology offerings, giving it an extra advantage in the marketplace. For the last several years, Optimized Process Designs has been expanding its scope to include larger and more complex petrochemical facilities. Koch Separation Solutions, which was emphasizing municipal water systems, has refocused its vision on a number of niche applications. KSS has had tremendous success designing separation solutions for unique food and beverage applications. (So unique that they can’t be made public!)

Koch Separation Solutions SUPER-COR Membrane filtration system

This SUPER-COR® Membrane filtration system for juice clarification was designed and built by Koch Separation Solutions.

All our companies are working to improve their manufacturing and services through optimization and automation efforts. We’ve even started a new business called Koch Project Solutions. It offers full project management and general contracting capabilities for customers who have large capital projects but might not have the “owner” resources to effectively manage a large engineering and construction effort. Our transformation will make it possible for us to provide a full, turnkey solution for the first time — even for an entire plant.

More to do

These examples are just snapshots of the many things we have already launched. The next step in our journey is to make sure we are organized and have the culture and talent necessary to fully advance this vision. As I have heard INVISTA’s CEO, Jeff Gentry, say many times, “we will be limited only by our culture and our capability.” That is true of KES as well.

The opportunities before us are incredible and exciting. Our ability to create value for others and ourselves as we pursue them will be determined by our ability to attract, retain and motivate creative, self-actualizing entrepreneurs and organize around our biggest opportunities.

My goal is to unleash this team to go capture!

Dave Dotson is the president of Koch Engineered Solutions.