Innovation and consistency have been hallmarks of the Aecometric Corporation since it was founded in 1972. It wasn’t long before the company developed its high-intensity burner, which uses less fuel, produces lower emissions, and still out performs its competition after 30 years. Aecometric, which was started by Larry Anderson and is now under the guidance of his wife, current president Jill Anderson, has always been exceptional for its strong commitment to research and development, its problem solving and adaptive approach to serving its clients with custom equipment, and an continuously forward-looking attitude and priority on fuel efficiency and low emissions.
The Aecometric Corporation began as primarily a manufacturer of industrial burners under the original name of Conamara. It then started operating under the name Aecometric in 1983, as it became more of an engineering company. The development of the high-intensity burner, which has become the company’s claim to fame, began by obtaining a patent from Gulf Oil in 1972 and exercising patience. “There are not many burner companies that are true high intensity,” says Jill. “We worked on [the burner] for many years.”
With the help of the director of the Ontario Research Foundation, who later came to work at the company full time, Aecometric spent two years of research and development ironing out various issues with the burner, such as vibration, when other manufacturers were quick to rush theirs out to the market.
Besides having a superior piece of equipment at its core, diversity has also played a role in Aecometric’s success. The company focused on the peripheral and secondary equipment to facilitate bringing the business into a variety of industries that now include sulfur refining and recovery, air heaters for gypsum wall board, mineral processing, and agricultural applications.
The burner itself, however, is how Aecometric truly differentiates itself. The key to the burner is its compact but intense flame. “Because it’s so intense, we burn off a lot of the exotics in some of the fuels,” Jill says. “We can also burn fuels with low calorific value—fuels that are not going to get very hot. Other burners can’t keep it going; we can.” While most burners operate at 50 million British thermal units (BTUs), the unique flame enables Aecometric’s burner to operate successfully at BTUs as low as one million and as high as 500 million. This offers customers flexibility with fuels.
One priority that has long existed within Aecometric and is just getting recognized by those outside the company in the past few years is a commitment to working on lowering its levels of NOx emissions, the mono-nitrogen oxides produced during combustion. “My husband chose the design, and we’ve been working on NOx emissions since the beginning, always working to make sure they are as low as possible,” Jill says. “Now NOx is such a large issue, and everyone is concerned about the atmosphere, so it’s put us ahead of the game.”
Throughout the years, the company took on the personality of its owner. “Larry could take over a room with his enthusiasm,” says Jill. “He was so excited about what he was doing, and he was a starter—an idea person.” After Larry suffered a stroke in 1996, Jill decided to take over the company as opposed to selling it.
In the past decade, Aecometric has been focusing its energy on the research and development of new and alternative biofuels, and the initial tests have the new fuels—whether they be municipal waste, wood dust, or even chicken excrement—working wonderfully with the Aecometric burner.
“What needs to be developed is the peripheral equipment—getting the new types of fuel from point A to point B—so that’s what we are currently putting our R&D into,” Jill says. Wherever the future of the industry will be, Aecometric has a wealth of experience being a front-runner and will likely be there to set the pace.