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50 Leading Companies of The Year 2020

Jonathan Gur, ION Enterprises Inc. President and CEO: ‘Our Innovative Technology has Become the Choice of Major Firms and Municipalities around the World for Corrosion and Scale Removal in Pipeworks and Equipment’

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“The galvanic effect of the ION ScaleBuster provides a reducing effect on corrosion sites. By precipitating hardness, the treated water becomes less saturated and, therefore, is able to dissolve old deposits over a period of time.”

The formation of scale and corrosion on equipment surfaces restricts water flow, clogs equipment and reduces system efficiency. The results can be costly — increased energy consumption, greater downtime, additional maintenance, and reduced equipment life.

In light of the foregoing, we’re thrilled to present ION Enterprises.

ION Enterprises manufactures a range of environmental physical water treatment devices under the trademarks of ScaleBuster® and ISB®. Over the years this technology has been installed by many well-known global companies with excellent results. ION Enterprises’ products have been applied to more than 300,000 applications to date. Based on ScaleBuster, the company markets an engineering solution for cooling systems water treatment branded as EnviroTower™.

Chemical treatment (when done properly) solves up to 90% of problems while EnviroTower can solve up to 99% of same issues, minimizing the risk and end-of-season maintenance, as well as the high cost of shorter life span of the equipment (mainly, chillers). As this falls under CapEx rather than OpEx, many ignore it (which is a very costly mistake, in the long run).

As Ion’s approach is to eliminate the hardness (which seems to be the most challenging aspect in water systems), they don’t waste chemicals, add corrosion protection (cathodic protection, by the zinc anodes in the ScaleBuster water conditioners) and keep the cooling circuit cleaner vs. traditional treatment (i.e., less maintenance is required).

The poorer the cooling system was managed – the larger the savings (and shorter ROI) EnviroTower presents. Water savings are always by cycling up (so by going from 4 to 6 cycles saving is 20% in water usage; from 2 to 6 the saving is 40%).

Energy wasted as to scale build up in chillers could be saved, so good managed system (with frequent cleaning or “chiller punching”) will yield a lower savings in energy, however high in life expectancy of these chillers! On the other hand, when operators allow for scale to build up and do a thorough clean up every year or two (or even 3) the savings after installing the EnviroTower will be visible fast enough (as 3mm of scale will waste some 25% extra energy!).

Life expectancy of the equipment falls under CapEx, not OpEx, so many potential customers tend to ignore it (but this CapEx saving might be higher than the OpEx of many years) so it should not be forgotten when looking at cooling systems water financial analysis.

ION Enterprises is headquartered in Burlington, Ontario, Canada.

Jonathan Gur: Interview Excerpt

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

ION Enterprises was set in the UK back in 1990 to manufacture and market ScaleBuster, physical water conditioning technology. In 2004, a Canadian company was registered as EnviroTower Inc., which had developed a unique environmentally-friendly cooling tower water treatment solution based on ScaleBuster conditioning which precipitates the hardness in the water allowing it to be removed by simple filtration, leaving behind better water allowing the operator to cycle-up the cooling system, save energy, water, chemicals, maintenance, and labor. In 2005, the Canadians had acquired the UK-based ION Enterprises Ltd. (to have better control over the “heart” of the EnviroTower technology). After a number of acquisitions during the years, the UK-based ION Enterprises Ltd. is now fully owned by the Canadian ION Enterprises Inc. Today, Ion Enterprises is a global company offering the EnviroTower technology (as well as ScaleBuster conditioners) in Europe, North, Central, and South America, Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

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

The main concern many customers express is the initial expenditure. To install an EnviroTower system, they sometimes invest $100-250k which seems a lot, however, when doing the real math, looking at return of investment (ROI) and potential savings, it becomes easier to make a decision and place an order. The EnviroTower solution is easy to operate, way more forgiving vs. traditional chemical treatment, environmentally-friendly and most importantly – saves on both operational and capital expenditures (OpEx and CapEx) of the HVAC systems. When a building owner (or operator) invests in an EnviroTower cooling water treatment, they usually save 10-15 percent on the operations costs of the HVAC system, with ROI of 2-3 years, meaning, from the third year or so they actually pocket the 10-15 percent of their HVAC operational costs, as well as extending the life expectancy of the HVAC costly equipment by 10-17 percent on average.

“Earning trust and respect of consumers all around the world is through consistent focus on delivering high quality in all of our actions.” How do you interpret this statement?

This is exactly how we see things – we always stand behind our products (components or systems), deliver the best technology possible for the HVAC and cooling tower market, maintain good local partners who act as our distributors and, of course, develop long-term relationships with many strategic customers globally. A returning customer (and we have had some 70 percent returning customers over the years), means, we do it right.

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

EnviroTower is the best non-traditional (which is chemical-based) water treatment for cooling systems (as HVAC for many high-rise buildings, campuses, hospitals, hotels, etc.) – it is simple to operate and maintain, more forgiving to the cooling process (vs. chemical treatment which requires bi-weekly adjustments and/or chemical change to maintain level of performance), and allows for operational savings (10-15 percent on average) with very good ROI on OpEx and saves on customer’s chillers’ CapEx. Each EnviroTower solution is always custom-designed-and-fabricated per a specific customer’s cooling system, allowing for the best results.

What factors make your company lead the current market?

We offer the best performance and savings compared to all other possibilities out there, as well as, an environmentally-friendly solution (vs. the common traditional, chemical treatment).

Do you have any new products ready to be launched?

We offer the newest version of EnviroTower (as well as the newest ScaleBuster water conditioning technology) globally. As mentioned, it’s environmentally-friendly and saves 10-15 percent on the operational side (OpEx), and also extend the life expectancy of the equipment (CapEx), all this with less maintenance and labor compared to the traditional water treatment for cooling towers.

Where do you see your company a couple of years from now?

We have started developing new territories and new markets – Southeast Asia (including China, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, India and more), the Middle East, and Europe. We plan to have these markets fully developed for our technologies within the next 3-5 years, operating in partnership with current and new local distributors.

Jonathan Gur: A Charismatic Entrepreneur

Jonathan Gur serves as the Chief Executive Officer of ION Enterprises Group (managing both the Canadian and the UK companies) and has been a part of the group executive team since 2011; first as COO and later as CEO of ION Enterprises Ltd. (UK). In 2015, Mr. Gur became the Group president and CEO.

Mr. Gur has been involved in the water sector for over 30 years and held management and executive positions with some global companies (both in the municipal Waste Water Treatment/Potable Water Supply and technology supplier side) including Degremont Technologies, Blue- Green Environmental Technologies, Newterra, and more.

Mr. Gur earned a Master’s degree in Engineering from Brunel University London.

“ION ScaleBuster is a proven water conditioning technology for general pipework, heating and plumbing equipment, appliances, and processing equipment.”