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Since 1949, the Cavagna Group of Brescia, Italy, one of the largest LP-gas equipment manufacturers in the world with 1999 sales of $150 million, has been methodically expanding the scope of its international operations, and as a result now exports to clients in 100-plus countries.
Its recent entry into the North American market, in fact, is a top example of an ongoing effort to extend its global reach.
Headed by Richard J. Darche, a 25-year propane industry veteran, Cavagna North America, based in Branchburg, N.J., has carved a nice niche for itself in both the North American propane valve and regulator markets since its 1996 formation. If anything, officials reveal, acceptance of Cavagna's product line and sales to American and Canadian distributors, cylinder and tank manufacturers, and LPG retailers have exceeded their greatest expectations.
Cavagna Group, a respected world leader in the forging and machining of brass and stainless steel, was originally founded in 1931 under another name. Today, it produces an enormous variety of gas products at six large plants located in the Lumezzane district of northern Italy, in Calcinato and Ponte S. Marco. The quality line includes LP-gas valves, ASME, fork lift and motor fuel tank valves, medium- and high-pressure cylinder valves, refrigeration cylinder valves, equipment for medical gases, and a range of high- and low-pressure LP-gas regulators.
Cavagna Group's Omeca division, Darche points out, produces millions of valves a year, the lot including 1,000-plus types of compressed and LP-gas valves designed for use in 72 different countries. In 1964, Omeca introduced an LP-gas valve with two locking pins, a feature so attractive that a majority of the world manufacturers adopted the design.
The Reca division, one the company's six divisions, manufactures low and high pressure regulators annually, including 400 different types. Each valve and regulator is robotic tested.
Some 39 different national and international standards agencies, including such Canadian and U. S. organizations as the AGA, ASME,CGA, IAS and UL, have approved …