Custom Electric Manufacturing (CEM), which was acquired by Sweden-based Kanthal in 2018, will go to market under the Kanthal brand effective Jan. 1, 2021. Headquartered in Wixom, Mich., CEM has been supplying original equipment and replacement heating elements for both electric and gas furnaces for more than 35 years. The background to the acquisition is that Kanthal plans to strengthen its footprint in the North American market.

According to Jon Hartmayer, sales area manager NAFTA at Kanthal, going to market under the same brand will come with benefits for their customers. “CEM customers will get access to the complete portfolio of Kanthal products and services, which means that they will get more done with one supplier,” Hartmayer said. “For Kanthal customers it means added resources and a better geographical spread of our service organization.”

Victor Strauss, vice president and director of operations at CEM, says that the companies have co-existed for decades, both as competitors and partners. “The business model of CEM has been more about providing services and customized solutions rather than product development,” Strauss said. “In fact, we’ve often used Kanthal products in our solutions, so there was already an overlap.”

Kanthal and CEM will exhibit at the Furnaces North America 2020 Virtual Trade Show, where both Hartmayer and Strauss will be available to answer questions.