Advanced Pressure Technology, best known as AP Tech, got its humble start in San Rafael, California in June 1987. Rene Zakhour (refer to Founder History for background) launched the company with a very simple plan – build rugged, reliable products for gas delivery supported by the absolute best of customer service. Needless to say, as a global leader in gas handling components today, the plan worked.
A small array of pressure regulators and valves were released for sale in 1988. Sales rapidly grew as did the product offering such that the company quickly outgrew their facility’s capacity. The company moved to a 36,000 square foot factory in Napa, California in September 1992 which had a 2,000 square foot class 100 cleanroom. Sales continued to skyrocket leading to doubling the cleanroom size the following year. Sales continued to grow and the company soon outgrew their new facility.
A completely new facility was built and occupied in Nov. 1997. It is our present facility with 80,000 square feet total with 10,000 square feet of class 100 cleanroom. This facility has served the company well as sales have continued to grow over the years.
The product focus initially was entirely ultra high purity (UHP) for semiconductor manufacturing and other clean industries such as solar panel, LCD, LED, flat panel display, etc. In 2000, the company decided to create a line of products for high purity (HP) specialty gas applications and the AK product line was launched in 2000. The KT models expand upon the AK offering to provide products for much higher inlet and outlet pressures.
The company was acquired by SMC, a publically traded Japanese company, in May of 2007. It was a strategic acquisition for both companies. Please refer to ‘Corporate Parent’ section for description of SMC.
Over ten years since the acquisition, most would agree that the purchase of AP Tech should be considered a model for other companies. It is very unique in the world of corporate acquisitions. AP Tech continues to operate independently but in concert with help from SMC. The corporate parent provides manufacturing expertise in addition to new sales channels, which have combined to increase sales without changing the flavor of AP Tech. We are a stronger and better company today as a result of the acquisition but it is hard to discern any difference in how we continue to do business.
AP Tech grew because of the founder’s vision which continues to guide the company today. Build a good, reliable product backed by outstanding service and support. It may seem like a simple goal, but it is not easy to achieve. It is the foundation and key to AP Tech’s continued success.