Fluid Engineering Continues to Evolve to Thrive
Fluid engineering is a small Erie company, with a worldwide reach.
"We market in 84 different countries. Most of them are in Southeast Asia, the middle east or South America. Plus the United States, Canada and Mexico," said Carl Steiner, CEO of Fluid Engineering.
Steiner has been with the company from its creation, in 1976. Back then, it was all about making gas compressor parts in a small garage. But now, it's different.
"Right now our customer base is tied up into oil, water, and gas. I'm using those very general," said Steiner.
The 35 employees make all kinds of parts, some big, some small, but it all comes down to one main component that defines their products.
"Everything we make is some sort of a filter," said Steiner.
Filters for water pipelines, oil, gas, even corn ethanol. You name it and they can probably make it.
"One nice asset about the job is it's always different. You're always coming in with different specifications with customers and what is required and you're always having to design around what the requirement is so it's not something that's straight out of a book," said Rick Jackson, the senior vice president of operations.
It's been a bit of a roller coaster ride since 2008 at Fluid Engineering with the downturn in economy. They lost a few workers and scaled back production a bit, but they're confident in the future and they say they've always found a way to evolve.
"Whatever pops up. We change. We're always looking for that challenge to do something different," said Mike Rendon, the manager of engineering.
"We've been up and down with the past economy. We've seen a downturn, but we've done different things. Since we are also selling overseas, it seems like when the us market is down, we are able to see an up shoot in the international market," said Jackson.
And as they continue to evolve, they're getting excited about something new.
"Right now we're looking at some new markets. We're looking at shale gas and we're also looking at shale oil. We think there's a big market that's going to come out of this," said Steiner.
And one thing they're certainly proud of is being worldwide, but located in Erie, Pennsylvania, in the United States of America.
"It's not a big giant company where you've got certain people doing certain things, we're all involved with what we do so it's definitely an American made product and I'm proud to be a part of it," said Rendon.