The lineage of Boulden Company dates to 1948, when the business was initially formed as a manufacturer’s representative for C. Lee Cook (now Cook Compression), an operating company of Dover Corporation. The company specialized in compressor components and industrial gasketing used primarily in refineries, petrochemical facilities, steel mills and midstream oil & gas applications.
In 1991, the company transitioned ownership within the Boulden family when the assets of the business were acquired by Brian J. Boulden. Early focus for the business during this timeframe included enhancing customer value by working as a distributor of engineered products, incorporating shop and field service, and expanding the portfolio – largely concentrating in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions of the United States. As the overall climate for refineries in the Northeast became more challenging, many of the leading facilities either reduced scale of operations or closed, leading to a fairly significant decline in the install base for reciprocating compression. It was clear to Boulden that expanding the business beyond its specialization in reciprocating compression was a priority.
With a value proposition aligned to petrochemical and refining end markets, the company was servicing ‘dozens’ of reciprocating compressors while passing by ‘hundreds’ of motor-driven API pumps. It was this realization that led to a dramatic shift in the Boulden business in 2001.
In 2001, Boulden expanded its portfolio of products by entering into a distribution agreement with DuPont™ for Vespel® CR-6100 material. It was the early days of applying composite materials in pump systems to upgrade metallic wear rings and other components – leading to increased pump efficiency, improved reliability, safety and lower vibration. Brian Boulden had confidence that the business could scale the benefits of Vespel CR-6100 in these systems by leveraging the application and market knowledge that had become imbedded in the Boulden organization – particularly the specialization in rotating and reciprocating equipment. Creating demand for a relatively new concept proved challenging at first, but the material became widely accepted in a relatively short period of time, and in 2007, Boulden became the DuPont Vespel CR-6100 Global Master Distributor for industrial applications.
As the Vespel CR-6100 business continued to grow, Boulden focused on establishing itself as a leader in solving some of the most challenging operational challenges in high-value pump systems. This activity led to the development of the patented PERF-Seal® technology. This technology utilizes an engineered pattern of holes that creates a beneficial turbulence designed to augment the performance and reliability of upgraded composite components. The company also looked to expand the application range for engineered composite materials by developing proprietary materials known as Boulden B-Series composites. B-Series composites are designed for situations where the application parameters dictate a material solution other than Vespel CR-6100. Also during this time, Boulden expanded internationally in order to more effectively serve a growing population of end-user and OEM customers, establishing Boulden International with facilities in Luxembourg and Singapore.
Today, Boulden continues to focus in areas that help its customers transform the reliability, efficiency and safety of high-value machinery. The portfolio of material solutions and component upgrades continues to expand – the Boulden B-Series composites is growing, metallized carbon graphite has been added through a partnership with METCAR®, diamond bearing technology has been added through a partnership with US Synthetic™, and most recently, Boulden acquired Gulf Coast Bearing & Seal (“GCBS”) in 2021. The addition of GCBS brings significant expertise in bearings and seals used in high-speed turbomachinery, and is complementary to Boulden’s market, customer and application focus. In addition, Boulden also launched a Union-based millwright services business headquartered in the Northeast – BG Industrial Services, LLC. From regular maintenance of balance-of-plant equipment to turnkey services for turnarounds, BG Industrial Services brings a well-trained and experienced team to the job – every time.
Priorities for the business remain clear:
- Providing the highest levels of application knowledge, advanced materials expertise and customer support in the industry.
- Building on the company’s proven track record of solving complex rotating and reciprocating equipment challenges.
- Leveraging flexibility in design and customization of wear components.
- Maintaining an intense focus on the customer with responsive service and quick delivery.
- Reinforcing a culture and mindset of innovation focused on improving the operation and extending the life of high-value machinery.