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August 30, 2018

A History of Excellence, a Future of Innovation: Celebrating 50 Years of AES

2018 marks the official kick-off of Applied Energy Systems’ 50th anniversary. As we commemorate this milestone achievement, we’d like to begin by taking a look back at how the company, which was initially incorporated in 1968, has grown from its start in a small Malvern, PA garage to the leading manufacturer of gas delivery systems it is today.

History in the Making

aes foundingDavid J. Buerkel originally formed AES as a provider of pipe welding equipment, and by the time his son, Steven Buerkel, took the reins as President in 1986, the company had also begun providing orbital and glovebox welding services. In 1988, using its orbital welding expertise, AES manufactured its very first gas cabinet, and its focus in the gas delivery space was solidified. The following year, the team engineered their first custom gas delivery system – what would later become known as AES’ earliest Applied Solution – and business took off from there. By the mid-1990s, the company had expanded from 2 to 20 employees and was serving the gas delivery equipment needs of a broad range of markets, including semiconductor, industrial manufacturing, and laboratory research. In parallel, the company continued to invest in its core welding competencies, expanding its service portfolio to include laser welding in 1992 and later adding an array of complementary welding and metallography services to officially establish AES’ Apex Precision division.

Another major milestone occurred in 2009, when AES acquired SEMI-GAS® Systems from Matheson Tri-Gas, Inc., creating a division to specifically support the rigorous gas delivery requirements of its top tier semiconductor customers. SEMI-GAS® was, at the time, considered the world’s leading manufacturer of gas containment systems used in the manufacturing of semiconductors, and under the AES umbrella has continued to grow and thrives today. In fact, to support SEMI-GAS®’ success, AES built a Semiconductor Equipment and Manufacturing Technology (SEMAT) Center in 2011. The center, which is located within AES’ Malvern, PA campus, boasts an extra 16,000 sq. ft. of space for future ultra high purity equipment assembly, certification, and technology advancement.

More recently, in 2016, the company rolled out official branding for its line of high purity gas delivery equipment, VERSA-GAS™ – a versatile counterpart to its existing SEMI-GAS® production-ready products – as well as a formal name for its field services division, Applied Services. And earlier this year, AES introduced vSpec™, the VERSA-GAS™ line of specialty gas equipment for inert and non-reactive gas applications, filling yet another customer need that it had identified in the markets it serves.

A Future of Promise

aes todayAES’ commitment to evolve with customer demands continues today in a rapidly advancing technology landscape. We’ve seen an increase in requests for our Applied Solutions as gas delivery requirements become more and more unique. We’re also investing in new control technology to ensure our equipment is SCADA-ready and offers seamless integration with Industry 4.0 processes.

As we look ahead, it is also important to look at where we came from – and Steve Buerkel, who still helms AES today, has firsthand perspectives of both. “Fifty years ago, AES was founded on the same principles and values we uphold today,” he said when we asked him about AES’ legacy and future. “I believe that is what has propelled our success, through market ups and downs and through market transformations. If we continue to always do what’s best for the customer, we’ll be able to listen to their needs, anticipate market changes as we have in the past, and position ourselves to best serve their evolving requirements. A lot can change in a half century, but this has been the key to AES’ continued progress. I’m excited to see all the ways in which we will continue to grow alongside our customers.”

We’d like to thank all of the colleagues, customers, and partners that have aided in AES’ success, and invite you to stay tuned for more stories and exciting announcements as we kick-off our 50th anniversary year.

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