– Lars van der Haegen and Ken Sinclair
Lars van der Haegen,
President Americas and member of the Group Executive Committee of the
Belimo Group http://www.belimo.us
Mr. van der Haegen
has been employed by Belimo in various positions for
more than 13 years. From 2000 to 2002 he was head of Product Management
Air Volume Control in Switzerland, from 2003 to 2006 he served as
Manager of Product Management and Marketing at BELIMO Aircontrols (USA)
Inc. in Danbury, and from 2007 to 2010 he has been managing director of
BELIMO Italy. Since 2011, Mr. van der Haegen is back in Danbury in his
current role. His educational background is in mechanical engineering
with specialization on HVAC-design, he also attended Columbia Business
School in New York and London Business School, earning his MBA. Mr. van
der Haegen also serves on the Board of Directors of the Greater Danbury
Chamber of Commerce and is a Member of the American Society of Heating,
Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).
is all about organizational health
...offer work flexibility, team building outings,
in-house and online training, tuition and fitness reimbursements,
health fairs, mentoring programs and growth paths for individuals.
What is the history of Belimo in the Americas?
van der Haegen: Founded
in Switzerland in 1975, the Belimo Group today employs more than 1,300
people worldwide and reported generating sales of 445 million Swiss
francs in 2012—approximately 487 million U.S. dollars. Belimo Americas
was established in 1989 under the guidance of Werner Buck and is
located in Danbury, CT. Werner started the operations in a single
family home and quickly Belimo needed more space and had to move twice.
Last year, we have broken ground on a new larger building. The $50
million dollar Belimo-owned Danbury facility is now under construction
and will be completed in the summer of 2014. The 195,000-square foot
building will be targeted for LEED Gold-certification. The facility
will contain corporate offices, warehousing, production, customization,
Belimo University training center, and its future-forward valve
development laboratory—one of the largest HVAC control valve labs in
the world, with 15,000 square feet dedicated to control valve
How is the American organization
van der Haegen: Serving
customers throughout the United States, Canada, Latin America and the
Caribbean, Belimo Americas has 400 employees in the Americas, 300 which
are located in the Danbury facility. Additional logistics and
customization facilities located in Sparks, Nevada, as well as
subsidiaries in Toronto, Canada and Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Sinclair: You have received the Controls Trend
Awards 2012 for the best technical support in the industry. How do you
motivate your employees for such an outstanding performance?
van der Haegen: It
is all about organizational health.
Having a strong and motivated technical support team has always been
one of our goals at Belimo. We motivate employees in many ways; one of
which is our Above and Beyond Program where team members can submit
another employee that has provided leadership, teamwork or assistance
above and beyond their job responsibility that offered continued
business success. Formal recognition for this outstanding performance
is made public. We also offer work flexibility, team building outings,
in-house and online training, tuition and fitness reimbursements,
health fairs, mentoring programs and growth paths for individuals. Our
independent survey results showed employee satisfaction totals is 9
points on a 10-point scale and we continue to strive to be the best.
Belimo’s corporate culture also promotes community outreach, charitable
endeavors, diversity and a global outlook. For over a decade the
company began an exceptionally successful collaboration with Ability
Beyond Disability, a local non-profit organization that helps disabled
individuals gain greater independence through training and job
placement. Belimo currently employs over forty Ability Beyond
Disability participants in its Danbury location, and is considered a
pioneer in integrating these men and women into the company, providing
a richer, fuller sense of being true Belimo employees.
Overall there are many elements that contribute to the company culture
and lead to an excellent team of customer service reps, technical
supporters, and sales managers that really deserved the CTA 2012 Award.
Belimo is known for innovations in
actuator and valve solutions. What products are you introducing this
van der Haegen: For
2013, we have released the following products that provide solutions
that will increase building energy efficiency, reduce installation time
The Belimo Energy Valve™ is a two-way
pressure independent control valve that optimizes, documents and proves
water coil performance. Energy Valve uses Belimo Delta T Manager™
algorithm to directly control AHU coil performance. It monitors coil
performance characteristic curve and resulting energy/power output.
With standard analog signal and feedback wiring communicates data to
the DDC system via BACnet MS/TP, BACnet IP and TCP/IP for Building
Automation System integration. The actuator calculates and stores all
the coil performance data such as Delta T and energy usage. Coil
performance data, stored trends and control functions can be sent to
and from the BAS via the data network to optimize coil and system
performance saving building energy consumption.
The ZIP Economizer™ offers the Fast Route to Reliable Energy Savings.
For over 30 years, Belimo has provided innovations in comfort, energy
efficiency and safety solutions. The new ZIP Economizer continues this
tradition, by solving the issue afflicting the current economizer
market. The ZIP offers reliable energy saving airside economizing with
fault messages, alarms, and superior troubleshooting capability. Zip
- ZIP Code Patented Set-up: Enter a zip code and it automatically
recognizes the climate zone and sets the high limit change over
temperature providing compliance.
- Plug and Play, Modular Design: Self-configuration with
flexibility to add remote communication and energy savings strategies
while maximizing space.
Unlike other economizers in the market,
the ZIP Economizer provides onboard help and technical support team
backed by a 5 year warranty.
With energy prices high, and likely to
remain high in the future, our customers’ investments in energy
efficiency is economical as well as environmental. Belimo supplies many
of today’s new green buildings with products that support LEED
Certification. LEED-certified buildings have lower operating costs and
increased asset values; they reduce waste and harmful emissions,
conserve energy and water and provide healthier and safer indoor
environments for occupants. Belimo products are integral to achieving
How important are retrofit
solutions for existing buildings?
van der Haegen: Valves
and actuators are responsible for ensuring reliable functioning of HVAC
systems all over the world. Damaged actuators or valves in a HVAC
system used to create a large field issue. Replacing the valve along
with the actuator is not always a sensible solution. Taking a system
off-line to replace numerous valves is not only laborious, it’s
expensive. Facilities can lose thousands of dollars a day during
maintenance shut-down. With retrofit solutions, this problem simply
goes away. Valves and actuators can be quickly and conveniently up
fitted and most of time without any interruption in service.
At AHR Expo in Dallas we released a new innovation globe valve actuator
with a universal linkage that fits on most existing globe valves
regardless of make. Belimo has a complete in-house machine shop with
the ability to fabricate custom linkages for valve automation.
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