After 25 years in the aviation world, Omar Hammound, president and CEO of APG-Neuros (APG) realized a route to take his expertise into a new market, one that was in need of great change. In 2005, while on a power generation assignment in South Korea, Omar joined his colleagues with similar backgrounds in aviation and aerospace technology in a collaborative effort to develop a high efficiency turbo blower.
An Eye for Innovation
With this more compact, productive and sustainable invention, waste water treatment plants and other industries alike could finally integrate modern conveniences and reduce their power consumption.“We saw an opportunity for modernization,” shares Omar. “Before, 90 percent of plants were using very outdated, cumbersome, noisy equipment –some dating back to 1854. Our product is like an upgrade from the rotary phone to the iPhone. When people see it, not only do they need it, but they want it.”
Omar launched Montreal-based APG and the turbo blower in 2006 and the market began to rapidly develop. “Initially, we had to get the word out, hire employees and establish sales, but by the end of 2012 we hit $32 million,” he recalls. “We delivered about 700 units from 2006 to 2012 and we now have 70 employees and clients worldwide.”
When Omar says APG is now worldwide he isn’t kidding, from Toronto to Vancouver, Phoenix to Salt Lake City, Cincinnati to Washington, D.C., Tampa to Orlando, London to Mexico City, the company is making global moves. “We’re getting ready to enter New York City and Italy as well,” notes Omar.
Realizing the Benefits
APG is making moves and fast, because clients around the world have realized the benefit of the company’s revolutionary technology. APG’s turbo blower combines the best science of the aviation and aerospace worlds in one with an impellor that’s used in jet engines and an air bearing developed by NASA in the late 1990s. “It’s a complete package,” says Omar.
“Our high efficiency turbo blower replaces bulky, loud equipment that’s about four to five times its size,” explains Omar. “Not only is the equipment easier for operators to repair and use, it reduces power consumption anywhere from 35 to 40 percent.”
“With the flexibility of this product we’ve seen some clients achieve nearly 75 percent reduction in energy consumption,” continues Omar. “And, the payback period is quick. Plants usually start to see reduced costs of operation in one to three years.”
The turbo blower also allows plants to reduce their environmental footprint by 50 percent. “Everyone sees the benefit as we’re making more of a conscious effort to shift from coal and fossil fuel power,” explains Omar. “Our clients see this as an opportunity to answer their priorities and meet energy mandates and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations.”
Although water treatment plants tend to make up APG’s main market, the turbo blower is effective across a broad range of industries from factories to oil, gas and mining operations. “Waste water treatment plants are one of the heaviest users due to the nature of the process,” shares Omar. “When a toilet is flushed the water travels to separation and sanitation tanks where micro organisms are broken down. Waste water treatment requires the flow of oxygen 24/7 to pump in enough to accelerate the metabolism of the organisms which allows them to die naturally.”
Omar adds that flexibility is also on APG’s side. “The equipment plants previously owned had no capability for flexibility in operation, which is essential because loads change day and night, it’s never the same,” he says. “The best way for us to demonstrate our products flexibility, efficiency and advantage is by implementing it. We often send out trial units for up to 60 days so customers can see how they are really going to benefit from our product.”
Full Steam Ahead
APG’s growth and eye for innovation has earned the company a spot at number 66 on Profit Magazine’s Top 500 Fastest-Growing Canadian Companies in 2013. The company made the list with an astounding five year revenue growth of 1,082 percent. “We’re much honored to be recognized by the PROFIT 500,” shares Omar in a press release. “It’s been a long road to success; through market education our product has increasingly gained acceptance by consulting engineers and end users alike. It’s nice to see that our hard work and innovation have paid off.”
Omar has no plans of slowing down. The company is currently building an additional manufacturing facility in Quebec and gearing up to enter markets in France, Italy, London and Mexico City. Setting his sights on an-out-of-the-box approach and applying outside technology to age-old industry has paid off for Omar and APG-Neuros.