Essex LOX Converters Used in Space Jump

On October 14, 2012, Felix Baumgartner jumped to Earth from a balloon 24 Miles above New Mexico and made history.  The 43 year-old Austrian became the first skydiver to break the sound barrier, reaching a maximum velocity of 834 mph (Mach 1.24) and setting records for highest balloon ascent, highest parachute jump and fastest speed by a human through the atmosphere.

As he rose to record heights in the stratosphere for his jump, Baumgartner was protected in a specially-built pressurized capsule.  At his jump altitude, the air pressure is less than 2% of what it is at sea level, making it impossible to breathe without an oxygen supply.

Two Essex 10 liter LOX converters were installed on the capsule which provided Baumgartner with oxygen to breathe at the elevated altitude.  Additionally, an Essex 25 liter nitrogen converter and three heat exchangers were used for this record-breaking event.

Eight million YouTube viewers have watched Baumgartner’s achievement and National Geographic has released a documentary in conjunction with the BBC called “Space Dive”. Check it out to see if you can spot the Essex equipment.

Essex Industries Receives Silver Boeing Performance Excellence Award

Essex is proud to announce that it has received two 2012 Boeing Performance Excellence Awards.  The Boeing Company issues the award annually to recognize suppliers who have achieved superior performance.  Essex maintained a Silver composite performance rating each month of the 12-month performance period, from October 1, 2011 to September 30, 2012.

This year, Boeing recognized 594 suppliers who achieved either a Gold or Silver level Boeing Performance Excellence Award.  Essex is one of only 441 suppliers to receive the Silver level of recognition.

Two facilities of Essex received a Silver Award: the Carr Lane Court facility supplies Protective Breathing Equipment (PBE) to Boeing for all of their commercial aircraft and the Chivvis Drive facility provides four different kinds of Heat Exchangers for the C-17 Globemaster III program as well as a variety of spare parts.

Essex Named One of the Top 50 Companies in Greater St. Louis Area

Essex was recently honored as a recipient of the 17th Annual Greater St. Louis Top 50 Award.  Presented by the St. Louis Regional Chamber and Growth Association (RCGA) in conjunction with Rubin Brown certified public accountants, this award recognizes fifty local companies that make significant contributions to the region and positively affect the future growth, acquisitions, green/sustainable efforts and expansion/development of facilities.

Essex Receives Major CDC Contract Award

Essex Industries recently was awarded the contract from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the Development of Components for Breathing Escape Apparatus.

This opportunity came as a result of an identified need by the Office of Mine Safety and Health Research for improvements to the current SCSRs (Self-Contained Self-Rescuers) used in the mining industry.

The product development will focus on two major components: (1) docking and switch-over valves and (2) hoods/masks with a passive communications element.

The docking and switch-over valve must allow seamless changeover from one escape device to another.  While still breathing from the first unit, a user should be able to connect and start a new SCSR or switch to an SCBA (Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus).

The new hood/mask design has to provide face and head protection as well as allow communication between users in an emergency situation.

This opportunity will allow Essex to build experience with products such as the PBE (Protective Breathing Equipment) and VRU+ (Victim Rescue Unit) to reach new customers and expand into additional segments of the Safety market.

APICS Names Essex Industries Company of the Year

The St. Louis Chapter of APICS, the Association for Operations Management, presented Essex Industries with its 2011-2012 Company of the Year Award in appreciation of the company’s outstanding contributions to the chapter.