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SAMSON Controls expansion to double ops

September 15, 2023

A groundbreaking ceremony was held at SAMSON Controls Sept. 14 for an expansion to double their production capacity. It was both a celebration of achievements and a forecast ahead to the future of their business around the globe.

Many in their 124-person full-time staff surrounded SAMSON Controls COO James Evans, CEO Ryan Holmelin and SAMSON Group CFO Dr. Dominic Deller, in from Frankfurt, Germany for the celebration. 

“We are going to double our floor space in Baytown. When it is all said and done, we will probably double the amount of equipment too. It’s the biggest investment in the US we have ever done,” said Evans.

“We broke ground on our last building almost 10 years ago to the day,” said Evans.

SAMSON started in Germany in 1906. 

“They expanded into the US in the 1990’s and we started production in the early 2000’s. We call this expansion project Lone Star,” said Evans.

“This expansion opens up room for more technology. We have operations in Chicago, Louisiana and in Tennessee. We open offices close to our biggest customers,” said Evans.

“We have been looking forward to this. It’s fantastic. We have been here for a long time.

We have plenty of space left. We see the business developing and growing. We see also a lot of opportunity with SAMSON as a group. We are bringing over more products, more technology. This will not just be an expansion in size, but an expansion in scope,” said Deller.

“Our philosophy is ‘Local for Local. Our motto is ‘quicker, faster, better.’ This is what our customers expect. Investing here locally is a good thing using local tradesmen, local talent. 

“Our biggest asset at SAMSON is our employees. We have the “Samson experience.” When we have happy employees, we have happy customers,” said Holmelin. “We will probably double our staff.”

“This is a big next step in the SAMSON story. We have doubled the business in the last five years. “Our goal is to double it again in the next three to four years.

Evans continue speaking about their mission to guests and staff.

“Success comes from the bottom up, but you have to have the vision from the top down.

We have that here. I have been through ups and down in my 20 years here. The past four to five years have been a whole lot of ups.“We intend to take that and push it to the next level with Project Lone Star, which we break ground on today,” said Evans.

“We have greatly expanded our headcount. Of our employees here today, about 25% of the people were here 10 years ago, about 180 feet that way, when we broke ground.

Considering how many new people we have; I would say that is quite an accomplishment. SAMSON Controls prides itself on long tenure and taking care of its people. We appreciate a business-friendly environment. Baytown is a good place to do business,” said Evans.

“This is where we want to be.”

Evans thanked his executive board for this vision and insight. He thanked partners, subcontractors and Amegy Bank.

“All business is personal. All business is about relationships. Hardworking, honest, dependable people are SAMSON-ers. You are all SAMSON-ers.”

He thanked his employees for their hard work and for “giving the customers the best they can get.”

“A little over five years ago, the executive board said to me, ‘You need to go home and produce local for local.’ That was the vision.”

Evans challenged the team in Baytown at that time with what he calls a difficult task. “All options are on the table. You must find a way to move production back here. … Be creative. Question always why and why not. 

“And, they did,” Evans told them.

“There is a narrative that you cannot produce profitably in a country like the United States. 

“By 2019, our production teams were insourcing over 100 components per quarter. …

They did it more profitably in total ‘cradle-to-grave’ sense than what we had been producing in other countries. We were making product here that could compete anywhere in the world.We found ways to get better. The sales teams hit their numbers. They filled the backlog with orders and operations looked better and better. We are far better today than we were five years ago. Now we just want to accelerate. 

“Today we break ground on the future, to celebrate growth in America, where we are going to provide state-of-the-art manufacturing and we are going to make state-of-the-art products right here in Texas, right here for America,” said Evans.

Deller elaborated on the Lone Star Project and the SAMSON US headquarters in Baytown.

“This is a significant milestone in the history of the company. It’s great to be here. 

The speed of change that has happened is increasing,” said Deller.

“Here we produce assemblies, valves of different types and accessories.

“We are more like an insurance contract. We make sure things are working (for our customers) as they should. This is what we have been doing for 116 years in the world. It is good to be here for such a long time in the US,” said Deller.

With the additional space at Samson, they will be able to separate machining, assembly and logistics. Currently, supplies coming in and product shipments going out are in the same warehouse. More space will increase efficiencies.

“It’s far more than just a building we are building. We are building the foundation for future growth and prosperity of the company. As the company grows, the talent here will have more opportunities,” said Deller.

“We are investing in the future, in a time where I can tell you, not everyone is.

“We are investing in seven other locations around the world, in China, India, Europe, Germany, Italy, France, Spain and in the US,” said Deller.They are rebuilding the headquarters in Frankfurt, a $300 million Euro project for new infrastructure.

“Our shareholders left a lot of money in the company, over 116 years, and we can now use that money along with some bank money to invest to prepare Samson for the next 100 years,” said Deller.

Baytown Chamber of Commerce President Tracey Wheeler and Baytown Mayor Capetillo were invited to say a few words.

“For 31 years, SAMSON has been our partner. We appreciate what you are doing out here. Successfully businesses like SAMSON make successful communities, and successful communities make business successful. We are so proud to congratulate you on this event,” said Wheeler.

“When we see businesses like this that have the philosophy of local jobs, local families … we want to the city to be that business-friendly community. For all of you, that 25 percent that were here 10 years ago, and for all the others who are new to the company, I wish you the best on behalf of myself and council,” said Mayor Capetillo.

“Baytown is blessed with the Port of Houston, our access to logistics, whether that is rail, interstate or the Port itself, we have the ability to make it and move it in the Houston Port region,” said Capetillo.

SAMSON Controls expects the Lone Star Project will take approximately 12 months to complete.

By Carol Skewes, Baytown Sun