Over the past three decades, we at Cyl-Tec have striven to reflect that positive perspective and grown into that type of company.
Our family-owned business was founded in early 1991 by Jim Bennett with help from his father, George. Jim’s brother, John, came on board later that year and Tom (another brother) joined the company in 1997. Jim and George have both since retired; however, Tom and John still operate and lead the company today.
Over the years, we have been fortunate to build a top notch team who keep the focus on the customers and support the fast paced growth of the business.
How it all began
In the early 1950s, the Bennett family began work in the industrial gas industry on the gas and welding supply side when Clarence Bennett started a company called Benster Welding Supply in Chicago.
Eventually, his sons, Dick and George, took over that operation and added another gas and welding supply company called Fox River Welding Supply, plus a metal fabrication company named Welding Company of America.
In 1980, Dick and George split up the businesses – with Dick taking over the fabrication side (which he re-named Weldcoa) and George taking over the gas and welding supply side (calling it Bennett Welding Supply).
Then, in 1991, after George sold the gas and welding supply business, he, Jim, and John started Cyl-Tec as a cylinder re-test and cryogenic cylinder repair company. Tom joined the company in 1997 and began offering gas distributors new products starting with gas cylinders.
Vacuum-jacketed cryogenic cylinders and bulk tanks were eventually added, along with telemetry systems, valves, and related parts and supplies.
In hindsight, experiencing all the daily elements of running a multi-location and multi-diverse operation from the gas distributor-side greatly contributed to the company’s DNA. This fundamental insight of what the gas distributors want and need helped develop a much stronger perspective and culture at Cyl-Tec that built a foundation rooted on what mattered most – providing customers with top quality products and personalized customer service.
Today, our production plant and warehouse/corporate office – located in Aurora Illinois – spans 170,000 SF over 8 acres and employs 60 people. We also have additional warehouse locations in other U.S. cities and Canada to help support customers internationally.
“We have a great team of very talented people here at Cyl-Tec who understand that we exist to serve this unique industry,” said Tom Bennett, President of Cyl-Tec.
“The industry is always evolving, and a key difference from when the family founded Cyl-Tec to today is the number of independent gas distributors. Back then, there were thousands of smaller independents. Today, there has been significant consolidation which has resulted in fewer independent gas distributors, but they are stronger and more diversified than ever before. As a company, we have worked hard to continuously add new product lines and services to meet the needs of the gas distributors in this ever evolving and unique industry.”
Growth and diversity over the years
Cyl-Tec began primarily as a cylinder re-testing facility and cryogenic repair service in the early 1990s, but quickly grew in scale and scope over the decades by adding several industry-dependent product lines and services.
- Cyl-Tec opens as a cylinder re-testing facility in Franklin Park, Illinois
- Offers cryogenic cylinder repair services
- Moves to for new building in Aurora, Illinois in 1995
- George Bennett retires
- Offers new US DOT steel & aluminum cylinders
- Expands Aurora production facility
- Develops asbestos-free acetylene cylinders
- Develops DOT 4L cryogenic liquid cylinders
- Develops ASME beverage carbonation bulk tanks
- Develops new products: Level-Eye® & Oxy-Tru®
- Adds CylConnect® remote monitoring telemetry services
- Completes 2nd expansion of the Aurora production facility
- Develops ASME Titan® small bulk tanks
- Develops Easy-Adjust® Pressure Building / Economizer regulator
- Adds a new 100,000 SF HQ building with warehouse and main offices
- Jim Bennett retires
- Develops ASME Spartan™ small bulk tanks
- Develops ASME Titan® large bulk tanks – up to 75-ton & 13,000-gallon capacities
- Builds new training center
- Offers fully assembled and tested cradles, banks, and gas manifolds
Thirty years has gone by quickly, and as the saying goes, “Time flies when you’re having fun.”
“Back when Jim, Dad, and John started Cyl-Tec,” reminisced Tom, “they brought with them a wealth of industry knowledge and a good understanding of what gas distributors wanted from a cylinder and bulk tank supplier. That understanding of how a gas distributor thinks and what they want definitely helped shape our culture.”
“Over the years, we’ve built wonderful relationships with many really great industry people – some of which are now among our closest friends. The industrial gas industry has certainly been very good to our family and our team of great employees.”
Cyl-Tec’s primary goal and mission as a company has been and continues to be providing the best overall value for their line of products and services while offering unparalleled support for their customers.
And, that’s the lifelong legacy we want to leave over the next thirty years.