Kohler Power

Kohler Co.’s Power Group Acquires Curtis Instruments and Heila Technologies

Jan. 15, 2022
Kohler Co.’s Power Group has made two acquisitions in the new year to grow its clean energy capabilities.

Kohler Co.’s Power Group has made two acquisitions in the new year to grow its clean energy capabilities. Last week it signed an agreement to acquire multinational Curtis Instruments, an electrification partner to OEMs across a broad range of markets including material handling, golf and recreational vehicles, mobile elevated work platforms, construction, agriculture, turf care, marine and select on-road segments.

      Founded in 1960, the company, based in Mt. Kisco, N.Y., employs approximately 1,100 individuals and operates in 16 countries, including manufacturing locations in Puerto Rico, Bulgaria, China and India.

     Curtis’ product portfolio spans motor speed controllers, human-machine interfaces and instrumentation, power conversion, CAN modules and other accessories. With a deep roster of talent across five engineering centers, Curtis also develops advanced software solutions for its customers. The acquisition expands and diversifies Kohler’s power portfolio by leveraging Curtis’ electrification expertise with Kohler’s well-established gasoline and diesel engine business to best serve off-highway OEM customers.

     Curtis Instruments will operate as a standalone entity within the Kohler Power Group with Stuart Marwell, president, reporting to Brian Melka, group president – Power. Kohler Power and Curtis now have more than 160 years of combined technical experience in energy management solutions. Terms of the agreement are not disclosed.

     The transaction is announced just days after Kohler’s acquisition of Heila Technologies – a microgrid software controls company – and the creation of a separate Home Energy Management Systems business unit focused on residential energy storage. These moves represent Kohler’s continued commitment to lead in diversified distributed energy solutions.

     “We’re excited to welcome Curtis Instruments to our Kohler Power organization,” said Melka. “This business, under the leadership of Stuart and Nick Marwell, is highly regarded for its market-leading position and expertise in electric and hybrid off-highway applications. For more than 100 years, Kohler has been a preferred source of power for homes, businesses, and equipment, and integrating the Kohler and Curtis product portfolios and existing OEM relationships will create substantial growth opportunities for both brands. With this acquisition, we are leveraging our history of trusted expertise in power resiliency, as clean energy continues to play a crucial role in the continued expansion of Kohler Power.”

      “Our entire Curtis Instruments organization is excited to join the Kohler Co. of global businesses and be part of a forward-thinking privately held company,” said Marwell. “We were drawn to Kohler because of its nearly 150-year history of strong family leadership and innovation, as well as its commitment to embracing the growing shift to electrification and hybridization. We are excited to help lead this next chapter for Kohler. Kohler and Curtis brands both stand for quality, innovation and commitment to long-term customer success.”

Heila Technologies Brings DERs

Heila Technologies will also become part of Kohler’s Power Group. Heila was founded in 2015 as an MIT-born company in Somerville, Mass., and is dedicated to simplifying the integration and operation of Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) and microgrids. In its short history, Heila has successfully combined theoretical knowledge with practical industry experience to transform the energy industry from the ground up using DERs such as batteries, fuel cells, and solar arrays as the pillars of a new resilient, sustainable, and reliable grid for communities and businesses.

The company’s core offering, the Heila Edge, is a modular energy platform designed to advance a more modern, cleaner energy supply by simplifying the integration, operation, optimization and scale-up of DERs. Its decentralized system provides unparalleled automation and modularity, dramatically reducing system complexity and cost while increasing resiliency and reliability. As a developer of power source hardware and software, Heila is able to integrate and optimize distributed renewable energy resources and storage solutions to create a modular microgrid, providing reliable power when the grid cannot.

Heila Technologies will operate as a standalone entity within the Kohler Power Group with Francisco Morocz, general manager, reporting directly to Melka. Terms of the agreement are not disclosed.

“Heila Technologies is an ideal fit for Kohler as its hardware and software solutions can be integrated with our residential and industrial generators, energy storage systems, and Clarke Energy’s renewable energy services as we continue to expand and diversify our portfolio,” said Melka. “With this acquisition, we are leveraging our history of trusted expertise in power resiliency with newer clean energy technologies. Resilient energy control through DERs is a crucial part of the development of the energy sector’s infrastructure needs of the future.”

“We are very excited to join Kohler Co., a highly regarded, strong multinational organization that has achieved decades of unparalleled innovation and growth,” said Morocz. “As a young company, Heila Technologies couldn’t be more pleased to now be part of the company’s well-established Power Group and contribute to a shared strategy of power resiliency and sustainability and to accelerate the growth of clean and distributed energy resources globally.”