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50 Best Companies to Watch 2019

An Interview with Eric Euvrard, RHM International Founder and President: ‘We are Really Offering Seamless Support for the Challenges Facing Utilities Today’

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“We believe in superior products, satisfied customers, strong strategic partners, highly trained employees and strong management.”

The power and utilities sector was traditionally where many parents or grandparents parked their savings as they got older, attracted by low volatility and stable returns. While solid and dependable, the sector wasn’t generally considered cutting-edge, innovative, or exciting by any stretch of the word. Its main goal was to keep the lights on without breaking the bank. Fast forward to today and, while still laser-focused on reliability and affordability, the power and utilities sector appears to be morphing into an increasingly attractive, high-tech magnet for a multitude of new players.

RHM International is the global innovator of high and very high voltage, dry-insulated technologies for the power utilities; it was the first to design and bring to the transmission grid top performance equipment featuring no oil nor gas nor paper in their electrical insulation.

RHM’s proprietary instrument transformers, bushings and cable terminals are built to last with the highest levels of safety, quality and reliability. Impervious to moisture, the company’s oil-free, gas-free power solutions stand up to harsh environments, are maintenance-free, explosion-free and offer tremendous life cycle value.

Dedicated to providing excellent, responsive service, RHM offers custom design and manufacturing, rigorous QA and testing, and consistent top of class lead times in the industry. The company is a true pioneer that continuously keeps innovating.

RHM International was incorporated in 2004 and is headquartered in Brookline, Massachusetts with operations in New Hampshire and China.

Eric Euvrard, RHM International Founder/President, spoke exclusively to The Silicon Review. Below is an excerpt.

Why was the company set up? And how did you expand your company and its offerings over the years?

The company originated from the invention of several dry type insulation technologies that eliminated the use of oil or SF6 gas which have been the standard insulation technologies for high and very high voltage electrical equipment in the power grid. The failures associated with oil or gas insulated equipment can be dramatic, putting crews at risk and leading to significant pollution and expensive maintenance. Our technologies, where applicable, eliminate safety risks, maintenance and pollution while featuring life expectancies exceeding the incumbent technologies. The value it represents for users is significant.

We developed the company by providing replacement units for older failing products, with the double benefit of offering a like-for-like functional replacement while upgrading the performance and characteristics of the function served. From the beginning we wanted to introduce the safest existing product in the categories we are serving: Power Transformer Bushings, Instrument Transformers and Power Cable Accessories. This means equipment up to 600,000 volts as of today.

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What are your company’s core values and how are they helping you to succeed?

Our core values are built around providing our customers with timely technical solutions and consistently delivering the safest product for the specified application, all backed up by a superior customer support system. I believe that this combination of innovative technical solutions and alert communication enabled us to build the reputation of a quality company.

Any company, big or small, must have the sense of authenticity and originality to succeed, is your company a leader or a follower?

As the inventors of the first technologies of this kind in the 1990’s, we have clearly been the world leader in high-performance dry type insulation technologies and products. The benefits of our dry type insulation technologies are becoming more and more recognized in today’s market as we are seeing a growing trend to eliminate oil and SF6 gas in power grid equipment for environmental and safety reasons.

What kind of responses have you received from your customers over the years? How have they motivated you to shape your offerings/grow the company?

Every company serving this industry knows that the power industry is a slow changing industry. This is understandable considering the potential damaging consequences of non-performing products failing in power stations. Consequently, utilities have grown very cautious in adopting new practices. For young innovative companies this slow pace of adoption is a challenge. However, we understand the reluctance for fast change in this industry and we have been able to factor this into our development. We have been ahead of the market since our inception by getting closer to key customers, understanding their needs, and being responsive with custom designs. This has enabled us to pace our growth as trust in our products and track record has increased. We also invest in a timely manner when we can validate key steps in market growth.

How do you stay relevant to the customer interests and needs in this highly volatile market?

Actually, adaptability is engraved in our technologies: the flexibility of our processes allows for customized designs at moderate cost and shorter lead times. Very few can offer such value. In addition, our agile organization remains very responsive, supporting the customer from design to operation.

How does your company contribute to the competitive global Smart Grid challenge at large?

That is the other part of our innovative approach. Our technologies are also platforms; that is, we are developing from the same core insulations the products of the future for what has been broadly labelled “Smart Grid”. We are digitalizing our products for their insertion in the next generation of grid designs built on data and communication. In that sense, we are really offering seamless support for the challenges facing utilities today; that is keeping the existing grid running by upgrading the old equipment and planning for the future with products totally compatible with new digital standards with the same trouble-free experience.

Do you have any new products ready to be launched?

As a smaller company with large competitors, innovation is key to our longevity. We do have several products in development, extending the elimination of oil or SF6 gas for additional functions in the grid. Leveraging our dry type technologies, we also intend to introduce integrated products combining different functions of the grid into one product for mobile applications and to reduce the station’s footprint.

Eric Euvrard: An Aspiring Entrepreneur

Trained in Europe and in the USA in engineering, Eric Euvrard has worked internationally in different industries and positions before creating RHM International with family members, highly experienced power engineers inventors of our technologies.

“We have been ahead of the market since our inception by getting closer to key customers, understanding their needs, and being responsive with custom designs.”