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Copes-Vulcan History

Copes-Vulcan has built its reputation on globe style control valves and steam conditioning equipment for severe-service applications. Being recognized worldwide for quality and performance, Copes-Vulcan set the standard for the power generation industry with technologically innovative products that strive to maximize system performance and reliability. Copes began by developing the first generation feed water regulator which uses an expansion tube linked to a rising stem valve.

Recognizing early on that business success depends on understanding a customer's process from the inside out, we continue to establish focused solutions specific to an application. From the introduction of the first generation regulator in 1898, to the newest Copes-Vulcan innovations, our philosophy has provided effective solutions for a wide variety of industries and the markets they serve, keeping us at the forefront of valve technology. Our ability to provide both standardized and custom-engineered solutions allows us to meet the critical needs of customers for each application. Our core values continue to remain a vital part of our business philosophy.

1898James W. Copes, an immigrant from the U.K. and licensed engineer, installs his first feed water regulator in the Witherspoon Building in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

1899J.W. Copes applies for a patent for his feed water regulator valve and pump governor in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

1903The celebrated founding of the Copes brand.

1903The Vulcan Soot Cleaner Company begins selling soot blowers for boiler cleaning. The company is located in Windber, Pennsylvania.

1904William Eichelberger files patents for the boiler soot cleaner. The company moves its headquarters to DuBois, PA.

1905The Vulcan Soot Cleaner Company is incorporated under the laws of New Jersey. Delos E. Hibner Sr. is both treasurer and manager.

1906The American Boiler Economy Company is organized in Philadelphia by the Firm of Wilfong & Wiltbank to manufacture and sell the Copes feed water regulator valve and pump governor.

1909The American Boiler Economy company was consolidated under a new company called the Northern Equipment Company of Chicago, Illinois.

1911The Northern Equipment Company is reincorporated under the laws of the State of Delaware.

1912Edwin William Nick, an Erie, Pennsylvania native, becomes manager for the Northern Equipment Company and elected vice president in the same year.

1913E.W. Nick is appointed president of the Northern Equipment Company. Nick and his associate V.V. Veenschoten immediately moves the company to Erie, Pennsylvania.

1914To facilitate the need for a larger manufacturing plant, the Northern Equipment Company acquires the Erie Pump & Engine Works. The resulting company is named the Erie Pump & Equipment Company. The Copes product line is relocated to the Erie Pump & Engine Works facility.

1917The Erie Pump & Equipment Company splits with the Copes product line remaining in Erie. The Northern Equipment Company’s name is restored.

1918The famous globe emblem appears in advertisements. The feed water regulator is emphasized in advertising.

1927The UK subsidiary is opened, known as Copes Regulators LTD. Copes Regulators LTD would be located in London.

1933The Vulcan Soot Cleaner Company is reorganized as the Vulcan Soot Blower Company.

1937Fred Brown is named president of the Vulcan Soot Blower Company. Chief Engineer Delos “Dee” Hibner Jr. becomes a vice-president.

1939Northern Equipment Company enters into a licensing partnership with Gadelius of Japan. Gadelius would manufacture and sell Copes valves. This partnership would last over 50 years.

1945Copes feedwater regulators and other Copes product contribute to the war effort and are installed in many ship designs. Some designs include The Victory Ship, Iowa Class Battleships such as the U.S.S. Missouri, destroyers, cruisers, and escorts vessels.

1948Continental Foundry and Machine Company acquires the Northern Equipment Company and the Vulcan Soot Blower Corporation. Each Company remains a division of Continental Foundry.

1952Continental Foundry relocates the Copes product line and the Vulcan product line to a new location in Erie, Pennsylvania. The combined companies became known as the Copes-Vulcan division.

1955Continental Foundry and Machine is purchased by the Blaw-Knox Company.

1962Ground is broken for a new manufacturing plant and office building in nearby Lake City, Pennsylvania.

1964The UK subsidiary for Copes-Vulcan valves moves from London to a new facility in Winsford, Cheshire.

1967Copes-Vulcan completes the move into the Lake City facility. The new building boasts 160,000 square feet of manufacturing space and 48,000 square feet of office space.

1968White Consolidated Industries acquires the Blaw Knox Company. Copes-Vulcan was incorporated as a wholly owned subsidiary.
Copes-Vulcan acquires the Republic brand of valves and desuperheaters. (Republic had acquired Swartwout’s power plant line in 1956)

1976Copes-Vulcan expands the Lake City facility by 40,000 square feet to accommodate machining, welding, and assembly areas.

1980Copes-Vulcan opens a 185,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Charlotte, NC to manufacture a new line of industrial control valves.

1985Copes-Vulcan opens a $2,000,000 Technical Center for product development and testing in the Lake City facility. The state-of-the art center includes 4 closed test loops of varying diameter, which can produce a maximum of 3,300 gpm @ 3,000 psig.

1986Swedish firm AB Electrolux Group acquires White Consolidated Industries. Copes-Vulcan is formally incorporated.

1989The Charlotte facility commences manufacturing of boiler cleaning equipment. All valve manufacturing is returned to Lake City.

1992The Charlotte facility closes. All boiler cleaning operations are returned to Lake City.

1994AB Electrolux sells Copes-Vulcan to Citicorp Venture Capital Ltd.

1997Copes-Vulcan sells its longtime soot blower operation (Vulcan).

2000Copes-Vulcan is acquired by DeZURIK, a subsidiary of SPX. The company name is changed to DeZURIK/Copes-Vulcan.

2002SPX Corporation closes the Lake City location and announces that there will be a service center in nearby McKean, Pennsylvania. This location would handle Sales, Service, and Engineering support for the Copes-Vulcan product line as well as nuclear valve assembly.

SPX moves commercial manufacturing of the Copes-Vulcan product to the M&J Valve site in Houston, Texas.

 Copes-Vulcan brand identity is restored.

2004The European manufacturing operations for Copes-Vulcan equipment is based in Newbury, Berkshire. Sales, service, and engineering support remains in Winsford, Cheshire.

2012After 94 years of use, the globe emblem is retired in favor of the SPX brand Chevron emblem.

2015SPX Corporation, spins off its fluid and filtration system product lines into a new company named SPX FLOW. Copes-Vulcan continues as a brand under SPX FLOW.