Happy 25th Anniversary Envantage

Jay Grills (l) and Dave Balazs (r)

In 1993 two guys sporting Tom Selleck mustaches decided to form a company together. The employees of Envantage want to commemorate that occasion by wishing a Happy 25th Anniversary to our fearless leaders – Jay Grills and Dave Balazs!

Jay and Dave met while working in Analytical Sciences at Sohio Research. While there they developed their signature style of applying the latest technologies to solving tough analytical problems. If a commercial product did not exist then a custom analyzer would be built. This can-do approach to designing efficient, cost-effective analytical solutions continues to this day.

The ’80s and ’90s were a time of continuous transition for the oil industry. Sohio was acquired by BP. When BP consolidated and outsourced their in-house services, our creative chemists were presented with a unique opportunity to form their own company. With BP as their first client, Dave and Jay began offering their considerable expertise to other refinery and petrochemical laboratories in the Midwest and Gulf Coast.

Their first product was the Envantage SimDist Simulated Distillation Analyzer, bundled with Envantage’s own SimDist 2000 software. This flexible analyzer is still available today. It can be built with new or legacy equipment and bundled with either the original SimDist 2000 software or the updated Dragon SimDist software.

Hot on the heels of the Envantage SimDist Analyzer came the Envantage “Super GC”. Dave and Jay worked with Wayne Kriel (formerly of ARCO) on this technologically advanced GC designed to replace a technique that used a wall of distillation glass. Common in reservoir fluid labs, this wall (or “Pod”) was used to take selective cuts from high pressure cylinders. The sample cuts were then individually analyzed, and the data was consolidated to get a concise fluid characterization report. The “Super GC” allowed direct injection of high pressure samples and complete chemical analysis, avoiding the labor and time intensive “Pod” procedure. This analyzer has been updated over the years and continues as a product offering.

Over the past 25 years Envantage has grown. In 2000 Envantage established an office in Houston to better serve the Gulf Coast. In 2012 the Houston office expanded with a move to Highlands, TX, just east of Houston. In 2015 the home office in Cleveland moved to a more updated facility. Fifteen employees work building custom and standard analyzers as well as developing and supporting Envantage analytical software (Dragon DHA, Dragon SimDist, and others). Envantage also provides gas, oil and petroleum products testing in a state-of art-laboratory, and adds analytical services regularly.

Dave and Jay have built a fine company and are recognized globally as experts in hydrocarbon and petroleum product testing. They have worked in laboratories located in bustling Singapore, remote St. John’s, Newfoundland, and even on a rig in the middle of the South China Sea. Recently Envantage employees were called upon to assist in restoring refinery operations in Puerto Rico and several other locations along the Gulf Coast after the devastation caused by Hurricanes Maria and Harvey.

Envantage is an exciting, dynamic place to work and the staff could not be more proud of the company and the people for whom they work. Well done guys! Happy Anniversary! We think every Mustache Movember you should bring back those mustaches for old times sake!