In early 2001, a group of individuals believed that a more innovative and supportive approach could be used to provide the Cathodic Protection (CP) industry with high quality transformer rectifiers and related products. The group had a significant amount of experience in the various facets of the business including sales & marketing, engineering design, materials handling and manufacturing; and thus, IRT Integrated Rectifier Technologies Inc. was founded.
During the startup of IRT, we had a fresh opportunity to develop superior products and technologies. Based on our years of experience in the CP and manufacturing industries, we thoroughly evaluated the positive & negative features of the various products being provided to the industry at the time. We also polled clients regarding the existing products they were purchasing and asked for suggestions and/or improvements that they would like to see. As a result of this knowledge accumulation, we then determined what was practical and economical for us to develop. Initially, we started with basic manual adjustment type rectifiers (Advantage series, Benchmark series, Utility series, etc.) and other products that would meet the requirements of the majority of our potential clients.
As our rectifiers and junction panels are only pieces of an overall impressed current CP system, we focused on working with CP engineering & construction service companies and/or end-users (oil & gas producers, pipeline companies, utility companies, cities, etc.) that had an internal CP group that could design and install CP systems. Though we were a new company in the industry, the design and manufacturing expertise of our staff was well known to many and quickly gained us recognition and respect in the CP industry. During our first year of business alone, we partnered with and were recognized as an approved supplier and/or manufacturer for a number of major companies in the industry. In our early years, we quickly developed a stable and dependable client base due to the superior support and quality products we provided.
As time & resources allowed, we began developing additional product types that would further enhance our ability to service our existing clients and also further diversify our client base. Again, based on input from our clients, we began the development of our automatic adjustment type rectifiers (C.P. Sentinel series). The initial phase was the development of our proprietary “Sentry” controller circuit board (voltage, current and potential control), which is the brain of our C.P. Sentinel series. A key area in the development of this controller was to overcome a well-known issue in the industry related to the output spiking that occurred when an automatic control type rectifier was interrupted for evaluation survey purposes. To allow for proper operation during this interruption process, we incorporated proprietary “anti-spiking” circuitry into the controller. The initial controller design was field tested with a number of clients in various applications and required adjustments were made to ensure that the controller was effective for the majority of requirements. A three-phase (Tri-Sentry) and voltage-current only (VI Sentry) version of the Sentry controller was later developed as well.
As our business has continued to grow, we have found or been advised of opportunities for specific products or features required in the CP industry. An example of this is our C.P. Sentinel Aqua-line series rectifier. We developed it to meet a need in the water/wastewater market and designed it specifically to meet the requirements of the American Water Works Association Standard D104-97.
Further, in response to a growing interest for the enhancement of rectifier safety, we joined a committee that included CP service companies, manufacturers, corrosion specialists and electrical specialists from end-user companies. As a result of this committee’s effort, the Impressed Current Cathodic Protection Rectifier Design-for-Safety Guideline was developed and endorsed by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) in October of 2009. The guideline is intended to assist CP manufacturing, operating, engineering, consulting and service companies with the designing, fabricating, marketing and procuring of rectifiers for impressed current CP systems with embedded safety-by-design features.
Since the launch of the company in 2001, IRT has recognized that rectifier product certification is of the utmost importance in the CP industry to maintain a high quality of product standards for each rectifier manufactured. Early on, we started the process to certify our rectifier products and currently all of the transformer rectifiers manufactured by IRT are supplied with electrical product approval based on Canadian & North American standards from either CSA or ETL (both nationally recognized testing laboratories (NRTL)) to a C/US certification program or, due to the custom nature of many of our products, a special electrical approval program. This is recognized as not only a benefit but a requirement by an increasing number of clients.
We have had continuing success in growing our company and obtaining more market share internationally by providing quality products at a reasonable price and working with clients to provide innovative solutions for their specific requirements. So much so, that in 2012, to meet the growing requirements of our clients, we expanded our previous 8850 square foot facility with the addition of an adjacent 6000 square feet of manufacturing & office space.