GreenMan Technologies Inc. has spent $1.5 million on its recently acquired Des Moines facility to upgrade the equipment there.
The company replaced the tire shredders at Des Moines with more efficient, higher-volume equipment similar to what it already has at its Minnesota, Georgia and Oklahoma plants, GreenMan said. It also has installed there its third waste wire processing equipment line-the first two were in Georgia and Wisconsin-to cut waste wire disposal costs while providing capacity at Des Moines to produce more than 20 million pounds of crumb rubber feedstock annually, it said.
With the new shredding equipment, the shredding capacity at Des Moines has doubled to more than 5 million tires per year, GreenMan said. Altogether the company does a volume of more than 33 million tires annually, according to Chuck Coppa, GreenMan CFO.
About 5-7 percent of that goes to make crumb rubber for athletic surfacing, Mr. Coppa said. About 25 percent is sent whole to cement kilns, and the remainder is chipped for tire-derived fuel and civil engineering applications.
``By integrating the collective resources and expertise at our Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa locations over the past five months, we have realized a six-fold increase in crumb rubber production,'' said Bob Davis, GreenMan president and CEO, in a press release.
GreenMan acquired the Des Moines plant from Utah Recyclers Inc. last April. The Lynnhaven, Mass.-based tire recycler has acquired several facilities in the last couple of years, and Mr. Coppa said the firm will continue to expand aggressively through both acquisitions of new plants and enlargement of existing facilities.
``Our business development plate is full, though we're not at a point where we can make any announcements,'' he said. ``But we're looking at several opportunities as we speak.''
Founded in 1992, GreenMan didn't have its first profitable quarter until 1999. While the company won't announce its year-end and fourth-quarter sales and earnings until mid-December, Mr. Davis said in the release that fourth-quarter results-and the following first-quarter earnings as well-will be about $150,000 in the red. ``Inevitable one-time operational disruptions'' and the cost of temporarily diverting Iowa tires to the Minnesota plant during the equipment installation were to blame, he said.