Hexagon acquires testing technology

Source: press release, 26 October 2018

Hexagon Composites will fully integrate Digital Wave capabilities for testing and requalification of high-pressure cylinders
Hexagon Composites will fully integrate Digital Wave capabilities for testing and requalification of high-pressure cylinders (photo: Digital Wave)

Hexagon Composites ASA has acquired Digital Wave Corporation, a testing technology company. With this acquisition, Hexagon Composites will fully integrate capabilities for testing and requalification of high-pressure cylinders.

“Hexagon has worked successfully with Digital Wave for 3 years to apply Modal Acoustic Emissions (MAE) technology to test Type 4 cylinders. With this acquisition we take control of the unique testing process, which effectively reduces the operators’ down time, while ensuring an approved, safe and reliable requalification method. We are further enhancing our leadership position by obtaining the most advanced capabilities and technology currently available,” says Jack Schimenti, Executive Vice President of Hexagon Composites Group. “We believe that this technology has the potential of fulfilling the holy grail of real-time health monitoring of composite cylinders.”

Digital Wave, located in Denver, Colorado, is a provider of modal acoustic emission (MAE) requalification and ultrasonic examination (UE) testing of pressure vessels. MAE is a relatively new and unique process that uses sound waves to measure structural integrity in composite structures. It greatly improves both routine re-qualifications and post-accident inspections. Operators of gas transportation modules in North America are required to requalify their cylinders every five years. MAE testing collects data from cylinders under pressure and provides a comprehensive evaluation of the composite structure of each cylinder. UE is an efficient alternative to the traditional hydro-testing of all-metal cylinders.

“Hexagon Composites is a leader in the composite pressure cylinder market and a great strategic fit for Digital Wave’s array of products and patents,” adds Mike Gorman, CEO of Digital Wave Corporation. “It provides a strong platform for the Company’s employees, who have developed testing technology for all types of pressure vessels, to use their talents to expand both the range of applications and global reach for Digital Wave’s intellectual property. We are convinced that both organisations complement each other in terms of products and services and this will lead to a stronger position in the cylinder market.”

“During the years we have worked together, we have been very pleased with the partnership, and with the high level of knowledge and professionalism the team possesses,” says Jack Schimenti. “The Digital Wave technology is now reaching maturity, and we expect strong profitable revenue growth in the years to come.”

Digital Wave reported revenues of USD 3.8 million (NOK 31.4 million) in 2017, with an adjusted EBITDA of USD 0.4 million (NOK 3.0 million).

The agreed transaction value of Digital Wave is USD 7.5 million (approximately NOK 61.8 million). The signing of a definitive agreement has taken place on 26 October with expected closing in the fourth quarter of 2018. The business will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Hexagon’s US affiliate and will continue to research and develop new products and services in this field.