A group of private investors led by two plastics auxiliary equipment executives has purchased Baltimore-based Novatec Inc. and aims to double the size of the company in three years by releasing new products such as resin dryers, among other initiatives. Terms of the buyout were not disclosed.

Conrad M. Bessemer, president and CEO of the new Novatec as well as managing partner of the investment group, was head of Conair North America and Conair-Americas until he resigned in February 2006. He had served Conair in executive roles for 19 years. Another member of the management buyout team is Lawrence F. DeBaugh, who was president of Novatec and now is chairman of the new Novatec. Longtime executive vice president John W. (Jack) Doub will remain in that position.

The strategic plan of the new management group builds on Novatec's strengths as a supplier of resin dryers and in the engineering of total resin-handling systems, according to Bessemer.

Much of the efforts of the company will focus on energy efficiency, according to Bessemer. “Roughly 20,000 of the dryers now in operation are 10 years old or older and use up to 50 percent more energy than they have to,” he noted. “Now that energy costs have soared, there is an enormous demand for energy-efficient dryers that Novatec will meet with current and new technology. We intend to back up our energy-usage claims with data on actual energy consumption.”

Plastics processors can choose among a range of dryers based on moisture-removal technologies such as hot air, compressed air, desiccants and infrared radiation. “As a supplier of dryers based on the range of technologies, Novatec is positioned help processors identify the best drying methods for their particular applications,” Bessemer said.

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