FLORENCE — Adventech CEO Ron Ballman has bold predictions for the newest industry in Florence-Lauderdale Industrial Park.
"The most disruptive technology in the last 65 years is sitting here, and it's going to come from Florence, Alabama," Ballman said during Thursday's grand opening of the business on Parkway Drive.
The event included a demonstration of the company’s MaxEff electric motor, which he said operates with half of the needed amperage draw of other motors.
In addition, it generates power for other components, he said.
Invented by Gerald Goché, Adventech's head of Research and Development, the motor's generator already is being met with a great deal of demand.
Ballman said based on orders they have received, they may have to expand locally in the next 18 months.
He said that demand includes overseas shipments to India for use in helping run water pumps for municipalities.
The 55,000-square-foot facility will begin operations with 30 employees, but officials said they have plans to expand that to 200 within two years.
Company officials said the motor's technology reduces power consumption by up to 40 percent. There are more than 2,000 motors in use today.
A company release lists Coca Cola, PepsiCo, Miller/Coors, InBev, Moffitt Cancer Center, Rio Tinto and the Jamaican Water Authority among companies using the motors.
"Our objective to become recognized as the most disruptive technology to hit the electric motor market in the last 65 years is coming to fruition," Ballman said. "Adventech is committed to continuing to develop energy-saving motor generators for other market segments, as well as evolving into the next generation of the MaxEff motor."
Adventech's investment in the project is more than $2.5 million, Florence Mayor Steve Holt said.
"I especially appreciate their commitment to hiring military veterans when possible," Holt said. "On behalf of the city, we congratulate Adventech on their current success and look forward to supporting them as they grow and move forward."
Kevin Jackson, president of the Shoals Economic Development Authority, said the industry's technology is revolutionary.
"This is exactly the type of company we want in the Shoals," Jackson said. "Ron Ballman and his group are masters of their craft. His other companies have won and been finalists for the (Alabama Automotive Manufacturers Association) Supplier of the Year — Small Manufacturer in consecutive years, a first in their category. We know this company will join this successful lineage and we look forward to seeing the great things they will bring to the Shoals."