Necessity is the Mother of Invention
Innovations are the Descendants.
One hundred years is a long time and Senior Flexonics has had many firsts during the past century. Flexonics was founded in the time when streets were lit with gas lamps. With the advent of the automobile, new drivers and their inevitable accidents not only gave rise to the auto insurance industry, but also the need for safer infrastructure. Streetlamps, needed for safe nighttime travel, had the unintended consequence of a catastrophic explosion when struck by a new driver. Necessity is the Mother of Invention. To solve this hazard Senior Flexonics created a flexible, stainless steel hose that would run through the gas light posts and shut off the gas line if the post was hit by a car. Explosions ceased. This innovation saved lives and property.
Fast forward a few decades, the space race was on. Wernher von Braun, the famous rocket scientist, needed durable metal bellows for the Saturn V rocket which was used for the Apollo space program. These giant expansion joints in the rocket booster, eight, ten or twelve feet in diameter, helped bring us to the moon and were designed, prototyped, validated and produced in the Senior Flexonics Bartlett facility. This commitment to developing solutions continues today as new challenges present themselves.
We all need clean air.
The COVID-19 lockdowns experienced worldwide in early 2020 revealed dramatic reductions in air pollution in several major cities across the globe.
PRE COVID / DURING COVID SHUTDOWNS
Necessity for a Cleaner Environment – Gas & Diesel Vehicles getting Cleaner and More Efficient
Senior Flexonics developed a unique metal bellow to create leak-tight exhaust flex systems instead of the ball joint system, the standard practice at the time. This innovation took up the different motions/movements between the engine and the exhaust system while at the same time helping our customers keep a leak tight exhaust to meet emissions legislation.
SOLUTIONS FOR ALL TYPES OF COMBUSTION ENGINES
Whether it is a Diesel, Gasoline or Natural Gas Engine, our extensive range of products can be customized to your exact specifications.
- Exhaust Gas Circulation (E.G.R.) and waste heat recovery for all types of combustion engines (Diesel, Natural Gas and Gasoline).
- Flexible metal bellow solutions to manage temperature and movement in all types of vehicles ranging from personal transport to on and off highway commercial vehicles.
- Diesel and gas fuel delivery systems including common rail and liquid conveyance for all types of cooling requirements.
- Turbo Oil Feed and Drain Tubes.
Commercial vehicles presented a different clean air challenge. While accounting for only 4% of the vehicles on the road, they were responsible for 25% of the emissions. Capturing the heat from wasted emissions and reintroducing this into the engine flow is one method to reduce that impact. Although well intended, earlier EGR Cooler designs were prone to various problems as metals were exposed to extreme temperature ranges and the inherent expansion and contraction. To address this, Senior Flexonics engineers listened to our customers’ needs, and applied their thermal management and heat exchanger experience to develop a durable, million-mile Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) cooler that would not only reduce emissions, but drastically reduced our customer’s warranty claim burden.
From these applied lessons in thermal management and heat recovery, we are now ready to address driver concerns about the reliability, efficiency and range of electric vehicles – How far can I drive before I must charge, and will there be a place to do so?
Necessity for Electric Vehicle Improvements – Further and Faster
Thermal management in electric vehicles is critical in terms of performance, longevity, and safety. Electric vehicle batteries are susceptible to fluctuating temperatures caused by both internal and external factors and can become damaged or degraded if exposed to temperatures outside their optimal range. This is especially relevant when operating in extreme temperatures or during rapid charging. Senior Flexonics battery thermal management systems are designed to maintain temperatures, ensuring that safety, performance, and battery life are optimized.
HYBRID VEHICLE ADVANCEMENTS
Our extensive thermal management experience with both I.C.E and electric products uniquely positions SeniorFlexonics to serve these types of vehicles.
- Battery cooling plates for electric and hybrid vehicles to maintain critical temperature thresholds.
- Highly efficient inverter cooling technologies to protect IGBTs.
- Waste heat recovery solutions to extend vehicle ranges.
- Flexible metal bellow solutions to manage temperature and movement in all types of vehicles ranging from personal transport to on and off highway heavy duty vehicles.
- Tubes / pipes for all types of engine systems ranging from the transfer of gases to liquid conveyance for all types of cooling requirements.
- Electric motor and buffering cooling tubes.
Senior Flexonics is always researching the best ways to keep electronics cool. The power inverter is one of the critical components in an electric vehicle. The inverter converts DC to AC when power is required to drive the electric motors and converts in the opposite direction during regenerative braking. The main component inside the inverter is the IGBT (insulated gate bipolar transistor), and it generates heat. An effective method of cooling the IGBT is through a liquid cooled heat sink. Our heat sink features our proprietary “Omega” fin design. It is available in both aluminum and copper depending upon our client’s specifications. These new EV chill plates enhance thermal performance without plugging because the unique shape creates more surface area than a typical straight fin, while still allowing the same sized particles to pass without plugging.
ELECTRIC VEHICLE ADVANCEMENTS
Thermal management products for Electric Vehicles.
- Battery cooling plates to maintain critical temperature thresholds.
- Highly efficient heat sinks for the cooling of inverters to protect IGBTs.
- Waste heat recovery solutions to extend vehicle ranges.
- Tubes / pipes for all types of cooling requirements.
Necessity to Deliver Energy – Innovations to help deliver that power
Operations utilizing turbines, fuel cells, solar and vacuum/semiconductors require complex assemblies. Our Engineering resources have knowledge of specialized high-temperature alloys and manufacturing processes that require forming, welding, brazing, soldering, bending and machining of these materials. For our power generation customers, we manufacture custom heat exchangers, flexible metal tubing and hose, fuel nozzle bellows and recuperators.
Our stationary Fuel Cells (SOFC and PEM) and Battery Farm component advancements have found applications for cloud-based data centers. As they are usually located in remote areas many rely on generating their own electricity through fuel cell technologies or battery farms. Fuel cells and battery farms all require consistent temperatures to prevent thermal loading. The utilization of heat exchangers to maintain the proper temperature range.
We support many different energy technologies that require components customized to exact specifications.
- Fuel Cell – Stainless Steel sub-assemblies and heat exchangers.
- Utilities – Vacuum Interrupters, Vacuum Breakers for fault detection.
Necessity to Stay Ahead – Innovations to meet industry challenges
Oil and Gas I Chemical Processing I Petrochemical and Refining I Heat Exchangers I Power Generation I Medical/Pharmaceutical I Electronics
Industrial markets all have requirements to meet the challenges set before them. For decades, we have continually invented new products to meet each of their specific and unique constraints. To support the development of these innovations we offer extensive analytical testing capabilities as well as rapid prototyping. These innovations are then validated against physical testing and computer modelling to predict the product’s lifecycle. Once accepted and green lighted for production, our high and low volume manufacturing abilities kick in to produce a wide range of products such as complex bellow assemblies that require forming and high precision machining (hyperlink to UPECA, LPE and GA Machining). Our thermal management experience with Heat Exchangers is yet another example of our capabilities that span across a variety of industrial markets as detailed below.
COMPLEX BELLOWS SUB-ASSEMBLIES
DEFENSE / MILITARY, FOOD & BEVERAGE, FUEL CELLS, HVAC / R, INDUSTRIAL, MEDICAL, OIL & GAS, UTILITIES
Our metal bellows, thin walled expansion joints and tubing products can be customized to your market specifications. We deliver precision assemblies for life saving medical systems, durable parts to enable our military to fulfill their mission, extremely heat resistant components to research resources deep in the earth, and reliable products to mitigate infrastructure down-time.
- Defense / Military – Nuclear valve secondary containment. Gate, Globe and Pressure relief valve applications. Military vehicle bellows.
- Food & Beverage – Process heat exchangers, expansion joints and sub-assemblies.
- HVAC / R – Sub-assemblies, heat exchangers, flexible tubing, gas feedlines, and compressor connections.
- Industrial – Compressor and pump flexible connections, Expansion Joints, Aneroid assemblies.
- Medical – Blood heat exchangers, adult/infant oxygenator bellows, coronary perfusion and whole-body perfusion heat exchangers, Cryosurgical ablation probes.
- Oil & Gas – ESP Compensators and Artificial Gas Lift valve bellows.
Oil and Gas
Senior Flexonics supports both upstream and downstream activities in the oil and gas industry from deep sea drilling to processing. To support upstream industries, we manufacture precision components for valves, cages and Gas Lift Bellows. Downstream activities supporting refinement / processing include specialized expansion joints and on-site services to maintain production in emergency situations such as Clam Shell repairs of bellows elements. These can often be done online, helping a facility avoid a costly shut down.
As a world leader in the design of Catofin expansion joints, Senior Flexonics continues to develop processes while working closely with licensors and customers to identify needs. These expansion joints must work under the stress of incredible heat, movement and velocity, and have the capability for advance warnings for security.
Leak detection is paramount in plant piping and sometimes measurement gauges are not accessible or readily visible. Senior Flexonics “Red Tops” detect leaks in sections of piping without having the control panel in sight. This keeps the plant “online” and secure with numerous check points available.
Petrochemical and Refining
Equipment can be maintained by the Senior Flexonics team through on-site services such as surveys or emergency repair. By partnering with these companies and sharing records and reports, an outside eye can be invaluable in finding gaps and introducing efficiencies to implement. Whether in expansion joint inspection, petrochemical installation, or existing equipment repair.
Medical/Pharmaceutical/Food and Beverage
Medical devices demand strict manufacturing protocols for cleanliness. These complex assemblies vary greatly and may require specialized processes in their manufacture such as the union of dissimilar materials (Inconel to ceramic). Senior Flexonics has a long-established reputation for excellence producing these advanced components for life saving equipment that includes: blood heat exchangers, adult/infant oxygenator bellows, coronary / whole-body perfusion heat exchangers, and cryosurgical ablation probes. In the pharmaceutical industry we provide process heat exchangers, expansion joints and sub-assemblies to many well-known companies that produce various caplets, tablets, and liquid formulations.
Innovations in electronics such as vacuum capacitors are used in high voltage applications. This variable capacitor is used for many purposes that require tuning, such as matching a network in the fabrication of semiconductor chips and flat panel displays. This unique design uses a high vacuum as its dielectric instead of air or non-conductive materials. Some of the most common applications are antenna couplings, semiconductor wafer fabrication, RF matching circuits, Pulse shaping circuits, Power amplifier tank circuits, and Non-magnetic circuits for MRI. Benefits of their use include long life and high reliability contained within a smaller package size and lower weight.
Necessity to change – Seeing opportunities, innovating and creating inventions for our customers.
No one knows what the future holds. However, necessity will continue to be the Mother of invention. To prepare for what comes next, Senior Flexonics is gathering purpose-driven talent, leveraging advanced proactive engineering, and collaborating with our customers to create value for all stakeholders. For well over 100 years, Senior Flexonics has developed innovative metal bellows sub-assemblies, tubing and thermal management solutions to meet and/or exceed our customers’ needs and requirements. By applying these competencies to our customers’ challenges, Senior Flexonics has evolved into a multi-industry corporation spanning the globe. We invite you to learn more about our company’s innovations and the unique markets we serve.
The World of Senior Flexonics.
Senior Flexonics Locations
Senior Flexonics Japan
Building.9F 1-10 Omori-Kita 1-chrome, Ota-ku, Tokyo 143-0016
T: +81 3 5767 7338
M: +81 90 2421 5314
Senior Flexonics France
T: +33 670 07 39 66
Senior Flexonics Mannheim
T: +49 151 5325 9983
UPECA Senior Flexonics Malaysia
UPECA Flowtech Sdn Bhd, 962177-V
Lot 2827, Jalan Sri Gambut Seksyen 32,
40460 Shah Alam
T: +603 5161 7363
F: +603 5162 7626
UPECA Senior Flexonics Tianjan
UPECA Engineering (Tianjin) Co., Ltd.
T: +86 22 59611718 Ext. 207
F: +86 22 59611719