Custom Electric Manufacturing, which was acquired by Sweden-based Kanthal in 2018, will go to market under the Kanthal brand effective Jan. 1, 2021. Headquartered in Wixom, Mich., CEM has been supplying original equipment and replacement heating elements for both electric and gas furnaces for more than 35 years. Kanthal acquired CEM to strengthen its footprint in the North American market, according to the companies.
Going to market under the same brand will come with benefits for their customers, says Jon Hartmayer, sales area manager NAFTA at Kanthal. “CEM customers will get access to the complete portfolio of Kanthal products and services, which means that they will get more done with one supplier,” Hartmayer says. “For Kanthal customers, it means added resources and a better geographical spread of our service organization.”
Victor Strauss, vice president and director of operations at CEM, says that the companies have coexisted for decades, both as competitors and partners. “The business model of CEM has been more about providing services and customized solutions rather than product development,” Strauss says. “In fact, we’ve often used Kanthal products in our solutions, so there was already an overlap.”