QED Environmental announces in-house machining capabilities

Dexter, Michigan-based QED Environmental Systems, Inc., a manufacturer of environmental pumping systems, landfill products, landfill gas products and air strippers, announces that the company now has new in-house machining capabilities.

QED will machine parts for approximately 90 percent of its finished goods. By machining in-house, the company is able to monitor every step of the manufacturing process from incoming material to the final product, leading to more efficient manufacturing and better quality products, QED says.

QED will use a Cincom L32 Swiss CNC lathe from Tokyo-based Citizen, an automatic band saw from Behringer, Morgantown, Pennsylvania, and a Multiplex 6300YR turning center from Florence, Kentucky-based Mazak to machine parts and components, and the company is now also manufacturing all applicable parts out of 316 stainless steel. Products impacted by this change range from AutoPumps and wellheads to groundwater and soil sampling solutions.

J&J Truck Equipment announces retirement of sales manager

J&J Truck Equipment, a division of Somerset Welding & Steel based in Somerset, Pennsylvania, has announced that Jim Weir will retire Feb. 2.

Weir joined the company 34 years ago and held a variety of positions within the organization prior to serving as its sales manager. Before joining J&J, he worked at Solar Fuel and taught welding classes in the evening. He also served in the U.S. Army.

“I have enjoyed the work, the people and the challenges during my tenure at J&J, but I am excited about beginning the next chapter in my life,” Weir says. “I wish the company and its employees continued success.”

Weir also was an active member of several distributor councils, where he shared his experience and expertise in the truck equipment industry.

Since announcing his retirement, Weir has guided the sales team to ensure a smooth transition upon his departure, J&J says.

“Jim’s accomplishments and commitment to our company helped to increase our profitability, expand our product lines and allowed us to develop strong relationships with our customers and vendors. He will be missed,” Bill Riggs, president of Somerset Welding, says.

J&J Truck Equipment supplies field-service crane bodies, air and hydraulic-operated lubrication service units, hydraulic systems, mechanic bodies, flatbeds and snow removal equipment.

In addition, its service and repair department provides custom welding and fabrication, dump and trailer body repair and painting and a wide variety of other services.

Action Environmental adds 3rd Eye to entire fleet

The Action Environmental Group, Teaneck, New Jersey, announced it has equipped its fleet of more than 300 trucks with 3rd Eye technology.

Katy, Texas-based 3rd Eye’s Enhance Vehicle Behavioral Analytics (VBA) is designed to provide vehicle-based data collection and reporting. The technology was completely implemented by the end of the 2017.

Action began a pilot program in 2016 using 3rd Eye technology in one of its divisions. Since that program launch, Action says the system has proven to reduce risky behavior and improve safety so much so that the company equipped its entire fleet with 3rd Eye technology.

The company provides nonhazardous waste management and recycling services for New York City; northern New Jersey; Rockland and Orange County, New York.

Ken Levine, director of safety for Action Environmental Group, says in the first three months of technology deployment, he saw a 30 to 50 percent reduction in risky behavior among workers operating a vehicle.

“We have been using 3rd Eye cameras for the past year, and the cameras serve two main purposes: to provide day-to-day training and analysis and to learn from individual instances,” Levine says.

3rd Eye camera systems record the driver and the road, providing constant awareness of what’s happening inside and outside the vehicle. In addition to the hardware, a team from 3rd Eye analyzes the video that has been recorded and identifies any problems or issues, giving Action an edge in training and coaching operators about safe driving, says 3rd Eye.

“The 3rd Eye camera systems do more than help improve safety,” says 3rd Eye. “The systems help Action management with route optimization, service verification, risky behavior reduction and postcrash fault analysis, which helps eliminate false or fraudulent claims of damage. All of this adds up to a positive return on investment, making the decision to add 3rd Eye systems to Action’s entire fleet an easy one.”

Levine says, “In the first three months of deployment, I have personally seen a 30 to 50 percent reduction in risky behavior. And in some cases, we have even seen the system play a serious role in workers’ compensation claim investigations.”

Since implementing these smart safety tools, Action says it has seen a decrease in the severity of incidents and the amount of employee injuries.

“We enjoy our professional relationship with 3rd Eye,” Levine says. “They’re a national company, and they treat us with the same level of respect and attention to our business as they do large, nationwide companies.”

Autocar, Hendrickson partner on axle and suspension system

Autocar, headquartered in Hagerstown, Indiana, and Hendrickson, headquartered in Itasca, Illinois, say they have partnered to offer a new severe-duty axle and suspension system engineered by Hendrickson for Autocar’s ACX refuse truck line.

Autocar’s ACX truck features the Hendrickson Steertek NXT front-steer axle and integrated suspension, which are designed to deliver maximum performance as a complete system solution, Hendrickson says. “The fabricated Steertek NXT design integrates lightweight axle durability with advanced spring suspension technology, saving 60 pounds compared to traditional I-beam axle and multileaf spring systems,” the company says.

“Autocar has a very different strategy from other OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) in the refuse business,” Adam Burck, Autocar vice president of brand management, says. He says that many OEMs use their own engines, transmissions, axles and suspensions. While he says this approach can offer efficiencies, it may not be able to address customers’ specific needs.

“We work with components suppliers to help us create the best possible tool for what the customer is doing,” Burck says of Autocar’s approach.

Autocar’s partnership with Hendrickson is not new; Autocar and Hendrickson have been working together for more than 50 years.

“We like to work closely with the customer and work with their specific requirements to bring added benefits,” Stephen Hampson, director of marketing and business development at Hendrickson, says.

He says that refuse vehicles traditionally use an I-beam axle that can be “quite heavy.” Hendrickson’s Steertek NXT solution features box-welded construction that is hollow inside, designed to make it lighter than a forged I-beam.

The company also is supplying Autocar with a suspension system. “We have developed a specific spring design that provides a softer ride but still has carrying capacity,” Hampson says.

The combination of the axle and suspension system allows Autocar to provide its users with a better ride and better handling, the partners say.

Burck says the Hendrickson axle and suspension system improve the ride quality of Autocar trucks when they are empty as well as when they are full.

These claims have been proven with field evaluation units that Hendrickson has placed with several key customers in real-life applications, Hampson says, and with “arduous” lab testing.

Ecube Labs files patent infringement suit against Bigbelly

Seoul, South Korea-based Ecube Labs Co. Ltd., a smart solar-powered waste and recycling station provider specializing in data-driven smart waste management and recycling solutions, has announced that it has filed a suit against Bigbelly Inc. for patent infringement in connection with an ongoing lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

Ecube alleges in the suit that Bigbelly infringes Ecube’s U.S. patent No. 9,821,955, which covers Ecube’s system of smart waste management. Ecube’s patented technology enables its licensed partners to operate a smart waste and recycling management system using smart solar-powered compactors.

In August 2017, Needham, Massachusetts-based Bigbelly Inc., a manufacturer of waste and recycling systems that feature compacting stations with sensors designed to offer real-time reporting, filed patent infringement complaints against Ecube and EconX.

The company had filed a complaint with the U.S. Central District Court in California and the German court alleging Ecube Labs Co. Ltd. (South Korea), Ecube Labs Co. (U.S.) and EconX Waste Solutions B.V. (Netherlands) infringe on two Bigbelly patents covering energy management technologies for solar-powered compactors.

The company said at the time that it requested that the U.S. and German courts issue rulings confirming that certain Ecube and EconX products infringe Bigbelly’s U.S. and European patents.

“Ecube Labs is proud of the technology we have developed. We have leveraged deployments in smart city initiatives around the globe to develop the world’s leading smart waste management system,” Sean Gwon, CEO of Ecube Labs, said in a news release announcing the suit. “The patent we are asserting in this case represents the important technologies in our IP portfolio, which are vital to the autonomous and intelligent functions of a smart solar-powered compactor. We filed this suit to stop Bigbelly’s unauthorized use of our patented technologies.”

Ecube’s November 2017 statement mirrors that of Bigbelly’s in August 2017 when Brian Phillips, CEO of Bigbelly, said, “Bigbelly is proud of the technology we have developed. We have leveraged critical customer installations in regions around the globe to enable us to develop the world’s leading smart waste and recycling system. The patents we are asserting represent important technologies in our IP portfolio and are vital to the basic function of a solar powered compactor. They enable Bigbelly to operate with or without direct sunlight and in any location. These lawsuits seek to stop infringement of our patented technologies.”

Steinert modifies its name

Cologne, Germany-based Steinert has announced it has changed its name from Steinert Elektromagnetbau GmbH to Steinert GmbH to better reflect its product offerings.

With “magnet” historically part of its name, the company says its growing presence in sensor-sorting machines shows that its name should not focus on one technology.

“Changing the name is a logical step,” Uwe Habich, technical managing director at Steinert GmbH, says. “Sensor-sorting machines account for an increasing share of our business year by year. Moreover, they offer valuable solutions for the waste and metal recycling markets as well as for the mining industry. We are especially delighted about one project, in which we placed 20 sensor-sorting systems into a single facility for sorting lightweight packaging. This clearly shows that our name should no longer focus exclusively on magnet technology.”

At the same time as it is changing its name, the company has launched a redesigned logo and mentions both technologies in its tagline: “magnetic and sensor sorting solutions.”

Heil expands dealer territory

Chattanooga, Tennessee-based Heil has added New Hampshire and Vermont to the Heil dealership territory of Sutton, Massachusetts-based Environmental Equipment Sales & Service LLC (EESS).

EESS added the two New England states to its territory Jan. 1.

“We’re very excited to see Dan Cowher and his team step up to the plate and expand their sphere of influence in the Northeast,” Pat Carroll, president of Heil, says. “Dan’s long history in the refuse industry allows him to understand the demands of the equipment, and the services needed, in a way that resonates with refuse haulers. We’re excited to have him representing our products.”

EESS is owned and operated by Cowher, a Navy veteran with previous experience in management roles with several national haulers. EESS is a dealer for all Heil product families, including original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts and service, and has two service bays. In addition, EESS is equipped to make emergency roadside calls with a service vehicle that includes a crane, compressor, welder and the ability to make hydraulic hoses on-site.

“We’re very proud to be able to extend our reach to Vermont and New Hampshire,” Cowher says. “I’ve understood the importance of maintenance and uptime since I was a 13-year-old kid, so when it comes to garbage trucks, if they aren’t packing, they aren’t making money. At EESS, my job is to ensure that we keep our customers’ trucks up and running.”

EESS is one of 39 Heil dealers with 59 separate locations in the United States and Canada.

Heil, which was established in 1901, offers automated waste collection technology and a broad product line, including front loaders, rear loaders, side loaders, multicompartment vehicles and roll-off hoists, to the waste and recycling industries.