For 90 years, Baldor Electric has viewed itself as a strictly U.S. company. Located in Fort Smith, Arkansas, its markets have been largely in North America, and it has resisted the temptation to outsource production to lower-cost labor countries. Now, as a member of the ABB Group, it’s taking a more global view of its role as a major U. S.-based supplier of industrial electric motors, drives and mechanical power transmission products.
John Malinowski, a 33-year Baldor veteran, has just been appointed senior industry affairs manager, a role that is part of that shift in vision. During his time at Baldor, he has also been very active in U.S. associations, including NEMA and other standards-making bodies. Now he will expand those efforts to include promoting Baldor’s positions on industrial electric motor policies, regulations and standards with the entire network of government bodies, standards organizations, the press and the Baldor customer base globally.
“I have been splitting my time between my product manager role and industry affairs, but the industry affairs part has grown over the last few years, so it makes sense to take it on full-time,” Malinowski said.
He will still be focusing on U.S. organizations and markets. “Baldor has always been in the U.S., and that meshes well with ABB’s ‘in country, for country’ philosophy,” he says, but now he’ll also be liaising with ABB’s governmental relations people and through his work with NEMA, with such international organizations as IEC and IEEE.
His new portfolio is a broad one. Along with such responsibilities as networking, connecting with the press, the government, standards-making bodies and customers, Malinowski has to help Baldor rationalize its own portfolio of products, which now stands at 300,000+ SKUs, to meet the new changes to motor efficiency standards mandated by the Department of Energy (DoE). The next batch of these changes will take place in 2016, when 1- to 500-hp motors will be moved to the premium classification. These changes will have to be communicated, not only internally at Baldor, but to customers as well.
Keeping up with changes in the DoE’s thinking about motor efficiency is another job on Malinowski’s list. “Motors are about as efficient as they can be made, given the tools we have today,” he says. “So the DoE is moving toward looking at the whole-system efficiencies of pumps, fans and compressors. There will be a ruling on pumps by the end of this year.”