SECO/WARWICK, a Polish company with American roots, was awarded a prize at the “USA-Central Eastern Europe Investment Summit & Awards,” one of the key events summing up the economic partnership between the U.S. and the CEE region.
The award for the Most Successful Expansion was accepted by Sławomir Woźniak, the President of SECO/WARWICK Group.
This was the fourth annual USA-Central Eastern Europe Investment Summit. Sixty-seven top companies were competing as finalists in several categories. Besides SECO/WARWICK, the winner list included, Pratt-Whitney, Santander Bank, Kimberly-Clark, and more.
SECO/WARWICK is a global manufacturer of heat treatment equipment, primarily industrial furnaces. So far, the companies forming the Group have delivered over 4,000 solutions for key and strategic branches (automotive, aviation, defense, energy) from 70 countries. Over 80% of SECO/WARWICK solutions are delivered to foreign markets, of which approximately 30% are installed in North America.
SECO/WARWICK’s American Heritage
SECO/WARWICK started as the Stewart Furnace Division of Chicago Flexible Shaft, an American company founded over 100 years ago. Later the company’s scope evolved and was renamed Sunbeam Equipment Corporation (SECO) and in 1983 consolidated ownership with the Warwick Furnace Company, creating a new entity, SECO/WARWICK. In 1991, a Polish-American joint venture was formed, marking the beginning of a new chapter in the history of SECO/WARWICK.
Today, SECO/WARWICK is among the top 5 global manufacturers of heat treatment equipment. The expansion in the U.S. market, rolled out from 2005 to 2017, started with the acquisition of 100% of shares in the parent company and was followed by the acquisition of RETECH and incorporation of SVT (SECO/VACUUM Technologies LLC), which after four years of operation in the USA has become one of the North American leaders in vacuum solutions.
“The award for the Most Successful Expansion at the ‘USA-Central Eastern Europe Investment Summit & Awards’ makes us very happy. It shows that we have chosen the right path to grow,” says Sławomir Woźniak, President of the SECO/WARWICK Group. The U.S. market is a key sales area, hence the presence of two subsidiaries, SVT and Retech. We have set our sights on this region in particular, and our furnaces operate in major U.S. companies in strategic branches such as defense, aviation, and automotive. Our current order book indicates that the share in the North American market will grow significantly this year and will reach over 30% in subsequent periods,” adds Woźniak.
The American Team
The company’s success stems from the efforts of over 700 people around the world, including nearly 100 employees working in Buffalo, New York, where the newly established Retech headquarters, with an area of over 4,500 m2 (approximately 50,000 sq feet), is located. It is the location for 80 employees in the new R&D department, built in the vicinity of engineering and technical colleges, which means more opportunities.
Retech, the American representative of the SECO/WARWICK Group, has moved its headquarters twice in its 58 years of operation. It started as a small business, employing only a few people. Today, there are 60 members of the Retech crew.
‘The last year has brought us very dynamic growth. The opening of a new headquarters has given a serious push to continue working actively and seeking new opportunities. The R&D department plays a major part in it and is fully focused on exploring new vacuum melting solutions that will satisfy the needs of our customers. It is great to be a part of major aviation, automotive, or energy projects in the U.S. The popularity of VIM furnaces and the rise of vacuum metallurgy is a consequence of the ever-changing manufacturing needs in aviation. State-of-the-art jet engines use advanced blades cast in our monocrystalline furnaces. The future looks very promising for Retech and SECO/WARWICK,” says Earl Good, Managing Director of Retech, a SECO/WARWICK Group member.
Recognized by experts and business leaders
This year’s thirteen winners included such brands as Santander, Pratt & Whitney, Kimberly-Clark, and Novavax, an innovative biotech company. Winners in each category were selected by a jury of 36 representatives of international business associations, including the. Baltic American Chamber of Commerce, Polish Canadian Chamber of Commerce, ACEBA, and US-Poland Business Council.
“To be among such esteemed brands is an honor for us. The award for the ‘Most Successful Expansion in the U.S. Market’ is most gratifying as it is a highly developed, saturated, and very mature market, and, on the other hand, one that values courage and innovation. SECO/VACUUM has these very qualities and is reaching for a bigger piece of that American pie every year. We do not intend to stop, hence the introduction of breakthrough innovations such as 4DQuench and SuperIQ. We conquer the market since we can quickly and professionally meet individual needs while providing the most reliable technologies available on the market,” sums up Piotr Zawistowski, Managing Director of SECO/VACUUM.
Said Tom Barnhardt, Editorial Director CEE Business Media “We are pleased that SECO/WARWICK won the top prize in “Most Successful Expansion to North. America” at the USA-CEE Investment Awards. The Jury noted the “opportunistic reverse-takeover” of the US parent, and won in the Popular Vote.”
The award for the Most Successful Expansion in the U.S. market attests to the unprecedented success and quite a rare situation in Poland, where a local Polish company achieves such dynamic international growth. It seems that the next few years will be equally successful for the companies of the SECO/WARWICK Group in America.