FIBA provides variety of gas storage equipment, services
Feb 1, 2009 12:00 PM, By Mary Davis
Over 50 years ago, in 1958, Mass Oxygen Equipment Co was formed by Frank Finn and Al Bamford in Westboro, Massachusetts, to distribute industrial and medical gases.
Now located in Millbury, Massachusetts, the company is known as FIBA Technologies Inc and has changed direction to emphasize manufacturing, rebuilding, repairing, and testing of equipment designed for the industrial and specialty gases, petrochemical, cryogenic, electronics, and chemical industries.
However, the way to the 21st century began with the owners focusing on becoming a major regional cryogenic gases distributor, supplying customers in the Northeast. As the market began to change in the intervening years, the owners made the decision to sell the gases distributorship and concentrate on supplying equipment. As part of the transformation, Finn and Bamford traded their gas business for a fleet of small tube trailers that they soon made available for lease. The leasing aspect was a precursor of things to come as FIBA eventually would manufacture tube trailers for both lease and purchase.
In 1981 the Finn and Bamford families divided the assets of the company. Today, FIBA is led by second-generation Jack Finn, its president and chief executive officer.
In addition to the worldwide flagship facility in Massachusetts, with production in excess of 3,000 items per year, FIBA operates service facilities in Louisville, Kentucky, East Greenville, Pennsylvania, and Lafayette, Louisiana. The Louisiana facility handles repair and testing.
In Massachusetts, the plant provides full-service finishing and testing services for tubes, skids, trailers, and ASME receivers. In 2004, the company expanded its manufacturing capabilities to include tube manufacturing and dedicated its new 40,000-square-foot assembly plant and a 35,000-square-foot pressure vessel manufacturing facility and engineering offices.
In Louisville, FIBA's operation is a reflection of the company's history, having been born in a consolidation of FIBA Cryogenics and Five K Compressed Gases. Established in 1979, the Kentucky facility functions as a manufacturing, testing, and repair facility serving the cryogenic and high-pressure gas markets. It doubled in size in the mid-1990s to handle the business as industrial gas companies began to develop industrial bases that boosted the market for gases. This facility is currently gearing up to expand its cryogenic ISO container portable tank business for markets overseas, as well as truck-mountable cryogenic tanks for use domestically. Vaporizers also are manufactured in Louisville.
The Pennsylvania center assembles liquid carbon dioxide tank trailers and three models of cryogenic transports. The facility also performs manufacturing and retesting of high-pressure tube trailers, receivers, and skids, and repairs cryogenic and carbon dioxide transport trailers and tank containers.
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