Bergan Quality - Since 1975

Our Company

Ian Conrad Bergan with his invention

Est. 1975

Ian-Conrad Bergan, A/S was established in Norway in 1975 by founder Ian-Conrad Bergan
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Ian-Conrad Bergan

With previous experience as a radio officer after WWII and as a sales engineer for the Marconi Company and Norsk Hydro, Ian-Conrad Bergan was 51 when he launched his dream.

Approached by a Polish shipyard, he was asked to supply a high level/overfill alarm system for a series of new chemical tankers being built for Norwegian owners. Researching into the existing market he found that there were few, if any, makers that provided this kind of equipment. The few products that existed had simply adapted a land based device for marine use and were, in Mr. Bergan’s opinion, not suitable for its intended application

Ian saw an opportunity to design a system from scratch and make this the foundation of his newly founded company, Ian-Conrad Bergan A/S. He registered the name Guard Level® and the first two systems were sold to Boelwerft in Belgium for Petrobra’s new-buildings M/T Quitauna and M/T Quixada

Shortly, thereafter Gotaas-Larsen Ltd., London and Stolt-Nielsen Inc, USA adopted the Guard Level® system for their vessels and wheels were turning.

07324 MK1

The first level alarm sensor was named Guard Level® 07324 MK1 in which the nomenclature 07324 was his date of birth March 7, 1924
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The family basement in Norway served as the company headquarters until 1979. Design, assembly and shipping were all done in-house, while machining and welding were subcontracted. Ian-Conrad Bergan recruited his two sons Christian (20) and Knut (15) who assembled products and assisted as needed.

Quickly the product’s reputation gave growth and by the end of 1979, more than 30 vessels had the Guard Level® system fitted to protect against accidental overfilling.

USA

In 1980 the major decision was made
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In 1980, the major decision was made to move not only the company, but the entire family to the United States of America. Ian-Conrad Bergan, Inc. was established and integrated in Gulf Breeze, Florida.

Bergan Gulf Breeze Office

New Headquarters

As in Norway, the family home served as company headquarters
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In 1984 the company moved into a brand new 10,000 sqft building that would be its home until 2002.

Military Sealift

Military Sealift Command became a new customer in the early 80s
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New fleet oiler (T-AO)

Military Sealift Command became a new customer in the early eighties when the Guard Level® system was chosen to protect a series of new fleet oiler (T-AO) being built at Avondale shipyard.

The mid-eighties saw our first development and sale of mass based tank gauging. M/T Stainless Spray built at HHI in Korea was the first vessel to be fitted.

Overfill Protection

In 1988 Mr. Bergan was asked to participate in the technical working group, established by USCG, to help promote sensible rules
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Bergan equipment to stop environmental disasters

In 1988 Mr. Bergan was asked to participate in the technical working group, established by the USCG, to help promote sensible rules for tank barges and tank ships regarding overfill protection.

The Bergan Company developed the intrinsically safe interface standard for the tank barge industry, which became the API recommended practice 1125. This standard was adopted without reservation in 46 CFR 39.20-9 (b) as a result of the grounding of M/T Exxon Valdez and the enactment of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA ’90)

Industry Standard

The Bergan Company developed the intrinsically safe interface standard for the tank barge industry
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The Bergan Company developed the intrinsically safe interface standard for the tank barge industry, which became the API recommended practice 1125. This standard was adopted without reservation in 46 CFR 39.20-9 (b) as a result of the grounding of M/T Exxon Valdez and the enactment of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA ’90)

Cargo Radar

The 90s saw continued product development both for the blue water and brown water marine industry
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In 1993 the company introduced its first Cargo Radar® (model 1220 & 1420) tank gauging system utilizing TN technology radar sensor, a product that was fitted to 37 vessels up until 1999, at which time it was decided to incorporate Vega Puls radar technology for future Cargo Radar® systems.

An exclusive US OEM agreement was signed with Ohmart-Vega Corporation. Complete packages were created and designed specifically for each market’s unique needs.

New Customers

Solving our customers’ problems became our philosophy, making Bergan the industry leader
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A decision to focus more on the U.S. domestic blue and brown water markets was made in order to gain market share and dominance. These strategies proved correct as major operators such as Kirby Corporation standardized on Bergan systems for tank gauging and overfill prevention.

The affiliation with Military Sealift Command grew as the company was chosen to supply complete tank level indicating systems (TLI) for a series of 15 ro-ro vessels (T-AKR series) being built at Avondale and NASSCO shipyards.

As 1999 came to a close, Mr. Bergan came to the realization that the time had come to hand over the tiller to the next generation.

Next Generation

Knut Bergan quickly implemented a restructuring plan that would poise the company for further profitability and expansion in the new century
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With a new century came a new President, Knut Bergan. He quickly implemented a restructuring plan that would poise the company for further profitability and expansion in the years to come.

The company faced the challenge of operating while Mr. Bergan’s eldest son decided to pursue other interests and returned to Norway.

On June 11th, 2000, Ian-Conrad Bergan passed away.

Preferred Vendor

With the groundwork laid over 25 years, as well as the vision and vigor of the new leadership, coupled with loyal employees, the company continued to expand
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MSC once more chose the Guard Level® and Cargo Radar® systems for a series of 14 new ammunition vessels (T-AKE series) being built by NASSCO.

The emerging ATB (Articulated Tug-Barge) market was dominated with Bergan products being the preferred vendor for these types of vessels.

At the end of 2001 we introduced our very first solar powered high and overfill level alarm system for Coastal Tug and Barge’s new building at Trinity Industries.

Expansion

In 2003 Ian-Conrad Bergan, Inc. relocated to a larger Pensacola location….
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In 2003 Ian-Conrad Bergan, Inc. relocated to a larger Pensacola location, allowing previously subcontracted work to be brought “in-house.” The company continued to see development and meet customers’ demands.

Expansion in the small tanker market was realized with the significant contract for the Guard Level® and Cargo Radar® system for 3 BP coastal tankers built in Romania and 10 coastal tankers for EU trade being built in Miura shipyard, Japan.

DFG Development

In 2004, it was decided to develop a proprietary float level gauge
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In 2004, it was decided to develop a proprietary float level gauge which became the Guard Level® DFG (Digital Float Gauge) sensor.

E2 shop and inventory control was also implemented.

1st DFG Systems

Kirby Corporation became the first customer to adopt our DFG system on a phenol barge
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Kirby Corporation

Kirby became the first customer to adopt our DFG system on a phenol barge, which was quickly followed by 3 vessels being built at Nakatani Shipyard, Japan for Helix Shipping Co. LTD. 2 additional Cargo Radar® and Guard Level® systems were selected by James Fisher (UK) for Damen Romania new buildings.

In 2005, we secured our first ATB contract with Maritrans and delivered complete systems for Crowley 650-1 and 650-2 series of ATB.

West Coast

The establishment of a west coast service representative office
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The establishment of a west coast service representative office and a fleet of mobile service vehicles were obtained.

Bergan Blue

The firm continued to maintain an expanding reputation for innovative products, manufacturing excellence, and outstanding service
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Bergan Blue

New products such as Guard Power™ UPS was designed as well as an electro-pneumatic ballast gauging system.

The first DFG tank gauging solution was supplied for a Kirby LPG bottle barge and a decision was made to start branding all Bergan products with a Bergan-Blue, akin to John Deer’s green engines.

As of 2007, nearly 60% of the inland tank barge fleet had the Bergan Guard Level® system, and more than 73% of all U.S. blue-water new constructions were being ordered and specified to have the complete Bergan Guard Level® system. More than 25,000 tanks had been fitted in the past 32 years.

CMS+ Introduced

A significant program development that would facilitate further expansion
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CMS+

2008 saw us field our first Cargo Monitoring Software (CMS+), a significant program development that would facilitate further expansion.

That year required us to obtain an additional building location across the Davis street location.

FMS

The company introduced its first Fuel Management System (FMS) specifically designed for tug/push boats
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FMS

The company introduced its first Fuel Management System (FMS) specifically designed for tug/push boats, using again the Guard Level® DFG sensor technology.

Despite the economic state, we grew in the U.S. domestic business with more than 34 new-building commissions taking place.

2010-12

Years 2010 through 2012 resulted in an expansion of the product portfolio
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Expansion

Years 2010 through 2012 resulted in an expansion of the product portfolio which included visual gauge trees and valve control units for inland tank barges.

U.S. Military Sealift Command once more selected Bergan for its new MLP project built at General Dynamics NASSCO yard in summer of 2010.

At the beginning of 2011 the company had supplied more than 100 solar powered systems and over 500 DFG tank gauges.

Further innovation of the Fuel Management System was the decision to develop a cloud based Fleet Reporting System as well as a new visual tank gauge based upon DFG technology, to be branded Guard Level® DLI (Digital Level Indicator).

At the close of 2011, 48 new building commissions had taken place.

Ownership was consolidated with Knut Bergan as sole owner.

2012 allowed for a local Houston based service employee.

Investment

2013 started with our 4th move into new facilities, comprising of 4 acres, and more than 45,000sqft of modern production, office, and engineering space
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Due to rapid growth it was decided to seek new manufacturing location. On March 12th, 2012, the 1001 E. Belmont location was acquired. This building would be ready for a January 2013 move-in. Additional CNC machining capacity was put in place as well as a robotic weld cell.

A new building was acquired near Houston which would become our Houston facility; a strategy for future growth in sales and service in this important market.

Sales continued to grow with 23 new construction vessels getting our Cargo Radar® and Guard Level® DFG gauging systems, 5 more FMS, and 103 solar powered barge systems.

A new market in Central America opened up with a significant order from Colombia for barge equipment. More than 27 Cargo Monitoring Systems with Cargo Radar® and Guard Level® DFG, 73 solar powered barge systems, and 10 Fuel Management Systems were sold.

Industrial Market

2014 saw the company develop a new product
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2014 saw the company develop a new product: a tank metering system and associated software. This was created in order to offer ultra-precise (better than 0.5%), accurate tank tables to be used in conjunction with our FMS system for tug/push boats. The first system was fielded on a new tug built at NewSouth Marine in Greenville, Mississippi.

Another strategic decision was made to enter the industrial tank storage market with our Guard Level® high and overfill alarm sensor and our Guard Level® DFG tank gauge sensor products.

Our facilities

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High-tech Environment

Our Pensacola facility is a modern manufacturing environment that is geared for high quality production.

The main building (46,163 ft²/4,288 m²) houses our offices and a climate controlled production area. The plate and pipe cutting operation is located in our second building (3,250 ft²/302 m²)

We are excited to have recently opened our new Houston, Texas facility. It is a fully stocked service center, conveniently located right off I-10, near Channelview, Texas.

Manufacturing Expertise

Bergan utilizes a pull system of manufacturing, from raw material to finished goods; the process is organized in a classic U-shaped efficient production line, yielding high quality and timely deliveries to our customers.

Bergan's manufacturing process can insert “lead-time” customer requests into production schedule without disrupting workflow. This process is critical to the unscheduled vessel repair/retrofit requirements.

We are experts at providing tailored custom manufacturing to challenging problems customers face. Our R&D focuses on solving those challenges.

Our Manufacturing

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Precision

From simple to complex we utilize appropriate measurement and alarm technology depending on vessel type and customer needs.

A rigorous technical training program allows the production of our equipment to be produced and tested by highly trained and certified technicians.

Our Tech

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