Valentin Ilie: Pentair Thermal Management Romania to coordinate the company’s sales activity in the Balkans

The Pentair Thermal Management sales team in Romania has recently received the responsibility to coordinate the sales in the Balkans region, as recognition of its contribution within the company. Valentin Ilie, Regional Sales Manager Balkans Area, Pentair Thermal Management, shared with us the principles of the development strategy and the most important values the company is sharing, as well as the way of getting prepared to face the challenges on the market from tough competition.

Petroleum Industry Review: About two years ago Tyco Flow Controls – the upper division of Tyco Thermal Controls business, merged with the global supplier of water treatment systems - Pentair. As a result of this merger, Tyco Thermal Controls changed its name to Pentair Thermal Management. What are the new opportunities arising from the merger of the two companies?

Valentin Ilie: The merger of the two companies has produced a number of positive effects for the new company Pentair as a whole and separately for its business divisions.

I would like to notice first the resulting global market opportunities created by bringing together the two companies Pentair and Tyco Flow Controls markets. Thus, before the merger there were regions in which Pentair was not directly represented while Tyco Flow Controls was having its own entity (the case of Romania), as such there were countries where the situation was exactly the opposite.

Secondly I should mention the internal opportunities created as a result of collaboration between the eight business units of the new company Pentair through mutual promotion and use of products and services to other divisions.

Petroleum Industry Review: Would you please mention the milestones of the development of your business so far.

Valentin Ilie: Pentair Thermal Management activity in Romania has begun in the early ‘90s, when the first meters of Raychem self-regulating heating cable were sold. Despite unfriendly market conditions our activity has increased with small but positive steps. With a proper approach to each stage of development, we were able to anchor the company in local reality, to gain and maintain a significant market share in the industrial electrical heat tracing and – most importantly - to gain our customers’ trust and loyalty.

In order to achieve this level of development we have based our strategy on local and global resources of the company such as innovation, discipline, team spirit and experience. Creativity has been and still is the essence of our company. We are proud to mention that this year we are celebrating 40 years since our company has obtained the patent for self-regulating heating cable Raychem, a cable that has revolutionized the heat tracing world.

Discipline is a key factor in achieving our company’s targets. We have always focused on defining procedures both for the main and support processes. Discipline is also a fundamental feature that allowed us to record a period of nine years without work accidents on the local market.

Teamwork is one of the conditions for selecting new employees. Pentair Thermal Management Romania team has an average age of 32 years and is defined by ambition and enthusiasm of young people and - in equal measure – by the experience and strive for excellence of our senior colleagues.

Petroleum Industry Review: What range of specialized solutions do you have for energy in general and particularly in the oil and gas sector?

Valentin Ilie: The energy sector is a major area of interest for Pentair Thermal Management not only in Romania but around the world. Business opportunities this sector is creating for our company are very different both in terms of customer demand and especially in terms of complexity of the technical solutions required. Thus, we offer anti-frost maintenance solutions for various industrial equipment and also systems for maintaining different technological temperatures (up to 600 degrees Celsius) for specific industrial processes.

Based on heating cables able to compensate for the natural heat loss of any thermodynamic system, the solutions offered by our company include all needed temperature control systems using equipment for this purpose the complex diversity covers all mechanical thermostats, electronics, electronic controllers, integrated advanced systems to control and monitor the temperature.

Using our own portfolio of technical solutions with a proven success in numerous completed projects, we ensure fulfilling the needs of our customers in all areas of activity of the oil and gas sector, areas such as exploration, production, storage, refining and distribution.

A relevant representation of how our solutions can serve various fields of oil and gas sector is best illustrated by the adjacent picture.

Heat management solutions for our clients consist of both products and services such as design and engineering and technical assistance or project management for installation work and commissioning carried out in the site. The Engineering & Design team of Pentair Thermal Management Romania serves the needs of al around EMEA region offices.

Petroleum Industry Review: You are the company’s representative for Romania. How does the national market appear compared to the European one?

Valentin Ilie: There are obviously issues that resemble and aspects that differentiate the Romanian market profile from the European market.

In the plane of political, economic and legislative developments, the Romania’ accession to the European Union in 2007 has removed customs barriers with the EU and led to changes in the commercial legal framework resulting in a positive change in both the dynamics and behaviour of the companies on the Romanian market.

Among the aspects that differentiate the national market within the context of the European common market with effects on our company’s business in Romania, we could include the relatively slow investment growth or the de-industrialization process during the past 25 years. Clearly, any comparison done risks being relative as the result depends on which European country we refer to.

Petroleum Industry Review: This autumn you will launch an updated version of the software package TraceCalc Pro. What are the key features/benefits of this new tool?

Valentin Ilie: TraceCalc Pro is our company’s software used to determine heat loss from piping systems be they technological, measuring instruments, pumps, tanks and vessels. Clearly, on the accuracy of this step depends the correct and optimal choice of the heat tracing technology and by consequence our customers’ satisfaction. That’s why, like any other tool, TraceCalc Pro should be maintained in optimal operating conditions.

The cyclical life of the maintenance activities for this software is dictated by internal factors, such as the need to integrate new products or to improve some aspects of its functionality, as well as by external factors, such as the need for permanent compliance with technical standards in the field.

Indeed, this autumn we will launch the updated version of TraceCalc Pro. The need for this updating was dictated this time by all the above mentioned factors. Thus, besides improving some functional aspects of the instrument, several new products, whose development and validation have been already completed, will be introduced.

Petroleum Industry Review: Innovation, the foremost concept of the modern world, is a defining element in your industry. What is the level of investments in research and development for this year?

Valentin Ilie: As mentioned before, innovation is one of the fundamentals of our company, our whole business being centred on our own products developed as a result of our research and development activities. Being faithful to the conviction that the leader needs to define standards and create a set of best practices, our company invests millions of dollars annually in research and development activities both for new products and for improving the existing ones.

Pentair Thermal Management course to provide the customers not only with products but also with complete solutions, has generated during the time the need to develop and optimize the technological capabilities and the professional capability to ensure we reach this goal. In this regard I would like to add that the design work carried out by our teams is performed by using – besides TraceCalc Pro software - a series of programs developed exclusively for and together with Pentair Thermal Management together with Intergraph - the world leader in 3D piping design software producer.

Petroleum Industry Review: What can you tell us about the portfolio of orders and contracts for 2014?

Valentin Ilie: In the first half of 2014 the downward trend of sales continued, a trend registered from the beginning of the second half of 2012. There are multiple reasons for that and they are mainly related to the global context of the economic crisis, but also to specific aspects of local, regional, social and political factors that can influence one way or another the investment pace in the economic sectors of interest for our company.

Petroleum Industry Review: What novelties do you have to promote Pentair Thermal Management in 2015 and what are the company’s projects for the future?

Valentin Ilie: This autumn we are going to launch a new line of sensing electronic thermostat which in addition to the products already within our portfolio, will provide the customer relevant local information about the operating status (on/off) of the attended heat tracing circuit. The Safe mode feature (always on/always off status of the heating cable in case of the thermostat failure) can be chosen by the operator and thus will offer a higher safety level for the equipment where the heat tracing cable is installed.

Also this autumn, we will bring on the market the new Raychem cables, part of the XTV and KTV family, whose resistance to thermal exposure was increased from 215 degrees Celsius to 250 degrees Celsius, along with the certification of all these cables in order to be used unconditionally in T3 class (200 degrees Celsius).

In parallel, we will continue to promote the 10 years extended warranty program applicable to our standard products such as Raychem self-regulating heating cables.

Last but not least I would like to mention that since this summer, the sales team of Pentair Thermal Management Romania received – as acknowledgement of its contribution within the company – the responsibility to manage the company’ sales activity in the Balkans region.

Petroleum Industry Review: How do you plan to meet the customers’ demands while the competition will intensify?

Valentin Ilie: Competition is tight on the Romanian market for many years but it has become even tougher in the recent years when investment rates in our sectors of interest went into a downward trend. The competition itself is a factor of progress, when it has ethical and professional basis. Our determination not to abdicate the ethical conduct in carrying businesses, regardless of the risks and consequences, remains unchanged despite a business environment often dominated by interests other than professional ones.

Pentair Thermal Management will continue to focus its efforts on both the development of the products that differentiate us from our competitors and on the continuous improvement processes as well as human resources with which to come to meet our customers’ needs.

Petroleum Industry Review: What are the most important values in the business philosophy of the company?

Valentin Ilie: We want to achieve success in our business through excellence in performance through accountability, the respect and the team spirit, all of which are core values of the company Pentair.

But, as a Pentair employee, success alone is not enough. Success is to be achieved in terms of absolute integrity, which is the most important value in our business philosophy being relieved by the slogan “Win Right”, two words that define completely ethical manner that each employee Pentair has to meet his professional goals.

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September 2014

June 2017