What Happened to Bayliss Technologies?
While delightfully refreshing to get out from under the catastrophe that unfolded during the final months of the company known as Bayliss Technologies, Inc. it was personally depressing for me. Talk about mixed emotions!
How It All Began
It was 1989 and I developed a successful working relationship with Trema Verfahrenstechnik GmbH located in Germany. It was a contract position to manage their very first installation of an air pollution control system in the US. Their customer required a US-based project manager to be a liaison between themselves and the engineering staff in Germany.
We delivered a complete air pollution control system complementing a large Spray Dryer system my dad designed. It produced a special “cracking catalyst,” the secret ingredient needed in a fluid catalytic cracking conversion process, one of the most important processes used in the petroleum industry.
A US Based Engineering Office
The project was so successful TREMA decided to keep the office open and solicit more business in the US. Most importantly, at least to me, the Germans liked my work ethic and my 12 mo. contract was now a full-time position!
We needed a chemical engineer to proceed and the management team in Germany liked my dad’s know-how. The owner actually called me to ask me if I thought my dad was a good engineer before he offered dad the position.
The Road Not Taken
Choices, Choices. I said yes and recommended my dad for the position of Director of Engineering. However, in a power grab behind closed doors, my dad negotiated the position of President with ownership shares in the new company.
On the surface, this seemed like a match made in heaven. My father could design spray dryers while our parent company in Germany would design the needed environmental equipment.
Even though perturbed at what transpired, I was purchasing agent extraordinaire, managing the cost of goods, shipping, and delivery of often oversized industrial equipment. It was fast-track, state-of-the-art and it was cool as shit.
The Honeymoon’s Over
After only two years my Dad was at odds with our parent company. For me, it was history repeating itself. My dad stubbornly refused business advice from anyone, especially me but when he refused the overseas leadership (our parent company) they cut their losses and decided to shut the business.
It was a great couple of years though and we tackled several big projects. An especially memorable project was a spray dryer design and control system for SINOPEC and The China Petrol Chemical Company.
This was a great experience meeting and working with the engineers from China. Also, their visit inspired me to write a story you can read here.
A New Reality
Closing the business was unacceptable to my dad for many reasons and he bought them out.
Bayliss Technologies, Inc.
Bayliss Technologies, Inc. was on the map! As a matter of note, this is the time when I registered the Internet domain bayliss.com.
Very much like Bayliss Industries in the 1980s, the good times rolled. Michelle and I were growing our family and we bought a house in Catonsville, MD.
My dad and I kept this venture alive for eight more years and I proved myself to be a damn good purchasing agent. I also took care of the financial housekeeping including dealing with international banks like the Bank of China and Bank O-Chile.
The Last Hurrah
It all culminated in the award for our biggest job of all time. A huge spray dryer and all the needed environmental equipment as part of a 100 million dollar contaminated waste disposal facility in Texas. I believe the technology was based on the patent my dad had obtained years ago for Westinghouse.
The profits from this one job alone would be able to get us out of debt and carry the company for several years, and It was going well. So well, in fact, that after years of prodding from my dad, my brother Jeff finally decided to join us.
Unfortunately for me, my dad and I continued to disagree on nearly every decision affecting the business. With my brother now at his side, it became an unhappy workplace for me.
I had no choice but to agree, however hiring my brother was the single worst thing my dad ever did. It would be years later before he would find out why but that’s another story.
EPA Superfund Debacle
It was 1997 and funding for this incredible project was provided by the Superfund, a US federal government program to fund the cleanup of toxic waste. The superfund was managed by then Vice President Al Gore who “got into hot water” over alleged misuse of the Superfund money.
The government stopped funding many projects including the project in Texas which was only half-finished. Everything stopped. Many small to medium-sized firms lost their business because of this and it would also mark the sad end of Bayliss Technologies, Inc. when a disgruntled vendor used the court system to force us into involuntary bankruptcy.
By the 1990s the Superfund had received billions of dollars, and work had begun on many sites. In response to widespread charges of waste, mismanagement, and inefficiency, the Superfund streamlined its procedures…https://www.britannica.com/topic/Superfund
No Looking Back
We had to file for bankruptcy and I’ll be damned if I didn’t have to handle every aspect of it including giving notice to most of the employees. It was torturous after everything I had accomplished. I should have walked away!
My dad was allowed to re-organize under a new business name. Shockingly but to no surprise, he gave the new company to my brother and retired. The new business came with these niceties:
- No debt!!
- Newly renovated office.
- New furniture.
- State-of-the-Art CAD workstations.
- A lucrative spare-parts business that I actually started.
With my brother now in charge I was naturally kicked to the curb. “There is no room for me in the new company,” he said.
This is where Spray Dryer Systems, Inc. came from.
Although my dad “retired” he continued to provide needed engineering and design services for my brother for several more years.
A New Beginning
Me you ask? I became a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer and changed careers. It worked out well and I am now retired!