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Tognum Group acquires Katolight, a manufacturer of gensets in Mankato, Minnesota, USA

Mankato, Minnesota (USA) /Friedrichshafen. Tognum GmbH, headquartered in Friedrichshafen, Germany, today announced the acquisition of Katolight Corp., a U.S. manufacturer of generator sets. Katolight is based in Mankato, Minnesota, USA, and produces diesel and gas-powered engine generator sets for industrial and agricultural applications as well as for emergency power supply, covering a power range of 15 to 3,250 kilowatts. With around 340 employees, Katolight posted sales revenues of approximately $135 million (approx. €100 million) in 2006/07 (fiscal year ending March 31, 2007).

The parties to the transaction have agreed not to disclose any details of the price paid. “With the acquisition of Katolight, we have passed another milestone on our track to become a globally leading provider of decentralized power generators,” stated Volker Heuer, CEO of Tognum. “Katolight is a perfect element in our growth strategy, because it is a well-positioned brand and an excellent supplement to our product range in the important and further growing North American market. Another crucial factor is that Katolight gives us direct access to end-customers.”   Business relations have already existed between Tognum and Katolight for many years. For example, some of Katolight’s generator sets are based on diesel engines from the core Tognum company, MTU Friedrichshafen GmbH. Its subsidiary, MTU Detroit Diesel Inc. (in Detroit, Michigan, USA), supplied more than 170 of its Series 60, Series 2000 and Series 4000 engines to Katolight last year.  “We know the company very well and know that we have acquired a platform with great potential for the distribution of power generators, primarily based on our own engines,” explained Heuer. MTU Detroit Diesel, while now supplying Katolight with engines, will maintain its role as engine supplier to other customers in North America. Katolight, a family owned business founded in 1952, was most recently owned by Kay R. Jacobson and managed for the past 21 years by her husband, Lyle G. Jacobson. “The main reason for the sale to Tognum was the fact that Katolight will be in the hands of a long-standing and reliable business associate”, said Lyle G. Jacobson. “It is also important to us that Tognum is taking over all of our workforce and will continue to operate under the Katolight name inMankato, Minnesota.” The new company in the Tognum Group will play a key role in the Systems and Components division offering standardized power generators. Katolight will be operated as a brand for generator sets based on diesel engines. It complements the well-known Tognum brands MDE and CFC Solutions, which specialize in gas-engine generators and fuel-cell generators, respectively.   “We are excellently positioned in the marketplace with this trio of proven and future-oriented products for the constantly growing demand for local power generation,” stated Tognum Executive Vice President Christof von Branconi, who is responsible for the Systems and Components division. “It is becoming increasingly important to have electrical energy available quickly and reliably wherever it is needed,” pointed out Branconi. “This is particularly apparent in the
United States, where hurricanes or heavy snowfalls often disrupt the regular power supply.” 
With immediate effect, Katolight will be managed by Armin Groeber as CEO, who until now has been responsible for the entire assembly of engines and main components at the core Tognum company MTU Friedrichshafen. Groeber already has over two years’ of business experience in theUnited States: he was Head of Operations for the North American region from 2002 until 2004. “I’m looking forward to returning to the United States,” said Groeber. “Taking full entrepreneurial responsibility for Katolight with its highly motivated team is a great opportunity to further develop the company and strengthen its market position.”


April 24, 2007 Posted by | Gen Sets | Leave a comment

MTU Detroit Diesel “Drilling for Solutions” with Series 60

In the hard driving, fast paced drilling industry time is a luxury seldom encountered. When Pollister Drilling Corp. of Elk Rapids, Mich. was looking to assemble a new project near Midland, Mich. they powered their drilling rig with MTU-Detroit Diesel units.

The Saginaw, Mich. branch of W.W. Williams, an MTU-DD distributor, supplied two Power Choice 14L Series 60 500 hp engines and two 350 KW Series 1 Power Gensets for the oil and gas drilling operation. “It was a combination of price and availability,” Ed Pollister, President of Pollister Drilling, said. “The competition was about a year out on delivery and nearly double on price.” W.W. Williams was able to provide the equipment in about three months.

“Ninety days compared to 11-months seems like an eternity,” Ron Taylor of W.W. Williams said.” We were able to provide the units in a timely manner where our competition couldn’t. And we did so at a good price.” “In addition to the price and availability Pollister wanted to try our DDEC electronic controls. The DDEC IV was used with these units. Our controls set the standards for the industry. We set the bar out there.”

A benefit to the combination of the engines and gensets selected is the common use of parts. “We wanted to put a package together with the engine and Genset’s where there was interchangeability among the units,” Taylor said. “There is continuity between the parts and they only have to stock one type of replacement and maintenance parts.”


The two Series 60 engines were factory remanufactured by the MTU-DD owned Specialty Tool Corp. of Cambridge, Ohio carrying the same one-year parts and services warranty as a new version. Although the engines are rebuilt, a good portion of the units have new parts. As much as 85-percent of the engine components are new.

“I have been real happy with the MTU’s,” Pollister said. “As far as the remanufactured engines go the availability was important, the warranty is the same and there is no difference in the work.”

April 6, 2007 Posted by | Oi & Gas | Leave a comment

MTU Detroit Diesel Series 906 and TigerCat’s New H850C Harvester Ready for the Woods

After a year in the development process the new TigerCat Harvester has fired up its MTU Detroit Diesel 906 series engine. The six cylinder engine that develops 275 horsepower at 2,200 rpm will begin rigorous testing in March.  

“The smaller displacement, fuel efficiency and our previous experience with the 906 in the TigerCat line of forwarders made this the perfect engine for this application” said TigerCat’s Product Manager Track Machines, Andy Hoshel.

The H850C is designed specifically to replace converted excavators. All TigerCat harvesters offer a number of advantages over excavator conversions including a high capacity cooling system, the highest quality steel construction throughout, a spacious, well finished operator’s station and the TigerCat-built, forest-duty under carriage that can boast a more robust construction and a heavy frame plate that easily handles demanding forest conditions. “Dust, debris and pine needles and the like are always a clogging issue that need to be addressed” says Hoshel. “Making routine maintenance easy is essential.” The design of the H850C allows excellent access to pumps, valves and coolers that is far superior to converted excavators.

When considering a major equipment purchase, costs are always a consideration and while the upfront investment in a harvester may seem significantly more than in a converted excavator there are several things to be considered. If you want to take the excavator into the woods there are all sorts of improvements needed: Additional cab safety for the operator, greater cooling capacity and increased armor to stand up to rigorous challenges of forest operations. By the time all this is accomplished the costs aren’t so different and basically you still have an excavator that was designed with a hydraulic package to dig dirt.  

Hoshel quipped “if you put big tires on a pickup, made a few adjustments and found the right attachments you could probably plow a field. But if you invested in a tractor designed for the job you’d plow better, quicker and more safely which all add up to improved profit.” 


April 5, 2007 Posted by | Forestry | Leave a comment