Power Test acquires Iowa manufacturer

SuperFlow Technologies/Hicklin Engineering add is first expansion outside Wisconsin

Power Test has developed a portable test cell that is intended for military applications and other customers seeking flexibility.

Last updated on March 31st, 2020 at 04:48 pm

Sussex-based Power Test Inc. has acquired Des Moines, Iowa-based SuperFlow Technologies/Hicklin Engineering. The transaction closed today for an undisclosed price.

Power Test, founded in 1976, has about 70 employees at one location in Sussex. It manufactures heavy-duty engine and chassis dynamometers, mainly for the diesel-powered equipment industry.

With the acquisition, Power Test will complete its first expansion outside Wisconsin and will broaden its reach into new industry sectors, said Alan Petelinsek, chief executive officer of Power Test.

“Their product line is very complementary to ours in that they specifically sell to the automotive industry and the performance automotive industry, whereas we’ve specialized in the heavy-duty diesel markets,” Petelinsek said.

Power Test also will be able to integrate its controls platform with some SuperFlow products.

Superflow has about 35 employees at two locations, in Des Moines and Colorado Springs, Colo. Power Test plans to keep both locations and all the employees on board in the integration, and also will hire at least four new field service technicians, Petelinsek said.

“The biggest thing will be investing in employees,” he said. “One of the strengths of Power Test has been our ability to service our customers, and that’s in our global market.”

Petelinsek declined to disclose the revenue of either company, but said this acquisition represents a 50 percent increase in annual revenue for Power Test.

The product groups being added to Power Test’s portfolio are Hicklin Inc., a heavy-duty transmission test stand innovator; SuperFlow Dynamometers, a flow bench and engine and chassis dynamometer maker; Axiline Precision Products, an automotive transmission test stand maker; and TCRS-Torque Converter Rebuild Systems, an automotive torque converter rebuilding and testing business.

“This is an exciting time for the industry as we boomers figure out how to transition our businesses and families through the next generations, and continue to provide these vital products to the market,” said Petelinsek, whose father John Petelinsek founded Power Test. “We have been very blessed with dedicated and enthusiastic employees to make this transition possible.”

Scott Giles, the former owner of SuperFlow/Hicklin, will now serve as general manager at SuperFlow. Dave Arsenault will serve as division manager in Colorado Springs.

“Now with our combined strength, we can ensure continued job creation and exciting advancement opportunities for our people,” said Pat Koppa, president of Power Test. “Our great employees are vital to fuel our growth and support our ever-increasing worldwide customer base.”

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Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.

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