McNeilus breaks ground on new customer-focused facility

McNeilus Truck and Manufacturing Inc., an Oshkosh Corp. company based in Dodge Center, Minnesota, has announced that it recently broke ground on a nearly 30,000-square-foot facility that will provide customers with a “unique, collaborative pre-delivery experience for their refuse collection fleets,” the company says.

McNeilus’ new Joint Pre-Delivery Inspection facility, which will officially open in early spring 2021, features truck inspection bays, a parts warehouse, a drive-through wash bay and a customer center, along with compressed natural gas (CNG) protection measures throughout the building. One of the most unique aspects of this facility, according to the company, is that it brings together and aligns the truck inspection processes of the body manufacturer, chassis manufacturer and the customer for a streamlined experience.

“By focusing McNeilus headquarters on refuse collection products and services, we’re positioning ourselves for breakout growth. Coupling this new customer-focused quality facility with strong industry collaboration is just one of the ways we’re leading the industry forward,” Jeff Koga, vice president and general manager of refuse at McNeilus Truck and Manufacturing, says.

According to the company, advantages of McNeilus’ Joint Pre-Delivery Inspection facility will be seen in delivered quality and reduced delivery time, along with an inspection process that aligns with specific customer needs. Data from the comprehensive joint inspection process also will augment and improve manufacturing processes.

The company said it also celebrated the importance it places on quality, reflecting on improved processes, productivity and safety during World Quality Month in November.

“Recognizing World Quality Month provides a platform for acknowledging our team members and their achievements and valuable quality contributions,” Vasu Chakravarthy, director of quality for McNeilus Truck and Manufacturing, says. “And, it also provides a lens for developing solutions to broader industry issues impacting many haulers.”

Amp Robotics partners with Waste Connections

Amp Robotics Corp. (Amp), a Denver-based creator of artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics used to recover recyclables reclaimed as raw materials, has signed a long-term agreement with Waste Connections Inc. to deploy 24 AI-guided robotics systems.

“We’re excited to partner with Amp to expand the deployment of state-of-the-art technology in our materials recovery facilities, furthering our sustainability initiatives and increasing returns,” says Worthing F. Jackman, president and CEO of Toronto-based Waste Connections. “Waste Connections is committed to expanding resource recovery capacity, and we believe Amp’s robotics systems align with our goals to enhance safety, increase productivity, and improve recovered resource quality.”

Amp’s technology recovers plastics, cardboard, paper, cans, cartons and many other containers and packaging types reclaimed for raw material processing. For example, its AI platform identifies different types of plastics, including polyethylene terephthalate (PET), high-density polyethylene (HDPE), low-density polyethylene (LDPE), polypropylene (PP) and polystyrene (PS), and sorts them further by color, clarity and opacity.

Amp’s technology can adapt to container packaging introduced into the recycling stream with recognition capabilities to the brand level—increasingly critical as demand for sufficient quantities of high-quality recycled material grows to meet consumer packaged goods companies’ commitment to use postconsumer recycled content.

“We’re thrilled to be supporting Waste Connections’ commitment to expanding resource recovery as we extend our efforts to modernize recycling operations and advance a more circular economy,” says Matanya Horowitz, founder and CEO of Amp Robotics. “To see such a robust expansion of our pipeline and mark this milestone in a year upended by COVID-19 is a testament to our industry-leading technology—and working with a visionary company like Waste Connections helps enable and strengthen an essential public service.”

Eberhard Group partners with ZenRobotics to build AI-driven recycling plant

The Eberhard Group, Steinackerstrasse, Switzerland, has announced a major investment in a new recycling plant that can process 200 tons per hour, converting mixed construction debris into secondary raw materials. The plant is set to be complete in fall 2021.

Advanced artificial intelligence (AI) and smart robotic sorting technologies supplied by ZenRobotics will be used at the plant to capture high-purity fractions from C&D debris. The recycled materials will then be converted into new building materials for the construction industry. Eberhard’s plant is an example of circular economy innovation, turning waste into value and significantly reducing CO2 emissions and environmental pressures from resource extraction, the company says.

The new plant, called EbiMIK (short term for Eberhard – Materials in Circulation) will be in Oberglatt, Switzerland. It will feature an advanced robotic sorting system by ZenRobotics that includes two parallel lines with multiple high-capacity, heavy-duty robots on each line. The job of the robots is to capture high-value and high-purity materials from mixed construction and demolition debris.

Construction and demolition debris is a considerable source of secondary materials worldwide. In the European Union, it makes up approximately one-third of the total waste generated. The EU’s target is to recover, recycle or reuse at least 70 percent of this material by the end of 2020. At present, many of the material streams for C&D debris are not suitable for reuse or high-grade recycling, the company says. Instead, mixed construction debris is still widely used today as low-grade material or is even dumped. In Switzerland, 10 percent or less of the total 7.5 million tons of C&D debris generated per year is sustainably recycled today.

Eberhard’s investment in the new high-capacity recycling center enables the company to recover the highest quality secondary raw materials for its customers and help lift recycling rates in the C&D industry. In addition to the state-of-the-art C&D recycling plant, a raw material storage and a component production facility also are being built for the new EbiMIK recycling center.

“The ZenRobotics robots with AI are a very important part of our revolutionary recycling plant, EbiMIK,” Patrick van der Haegen, division head development at Eberhard, says. “EbiMIK converts mixed demolition waste into fully circular secondary raw materials. Mixed demolition waste no longer needs to be downcycled into low-grade materials or even landfilled.”

Juha Mieskonen, head of sales at ZenRobotics, adds: “The Eberhard Group is an early pioneer in heavy-duty C&D sorting robots. The family business made its first investment into ZenRobotics’ smart autonomous waste sorting robots back in 2015. We are delighted that Eberhard is now multiplying its robot count by reinvesting into our advanced robot waste sorting system as part of this groundbreaking new plant investment.”

Hyundai Construction Equipment names J.Y. Kim as president

Hyundai Construction Equipment Americas (HCEA), Norcross, Georgia, announced Nov. 9 that the company has named J.Y. Kim as president.

A 28-year Hyundai veteran, Kim began his career as part of an overseas sales team to support North American operations, and later, worked at HCEA’s Chicago office from 2004 to 2008.

He was instrumental in establishing a foundation for a Brazilian factory and sales company before managing operations for Indian manufacturing, sales and marketing. During his tenure in India, he brought Hyundai’s market share to 19 percent. After his two major overseas stays, he worked with emerging countries that included Russia, Australia, New Zealand, Latin America and many in Southeast Asia.

“We are excited to have J.Y. bring his passion, market knowledge, and support, as well as his understanding of worldwide trade operations to ... North America, especially when understanding import/export policies has become a critical part of successful management,” said Stan Park, HCEA vice president of distribution and marketing.

Avis names new president and CEO

The board of directors of Avis Industrial Corp., headquartered in Upland, Indiana, has announced that Greg King has been named the company’s new president and CEO, effective immediately.

King has spent the last four and a half years as president and general manager of Harris, a wholly owned subsidiary of Avis that is based in Cordele, Georgia, with additional operations in Baxley, Georgia, and sales and engineering offices in Wiltshire, U.K. The search for a new leader at Harris is in process, but in the interim, King will continue to manage Harris in his role as president and CEO of Avis, the company notes in a news release about his promotion.

Prior to joining Harris and Avis, King worked at WestRock, formerly Rock-Tenn Co., Atlanta, from 1989 through 2015 in various senior executive roles.

“I feel Greg is a very good fit for Avis and the unique group of companies Leland has built over the years,” says Ron McDaniel, chairman of the Avis board. “I promised Leland I would step in on an interim basis if needed, and I feel good about honoring that commitment. It is now time for Avis to move forward with a full-time, engaged leader and continue developing and growing what Leland was so passionate about.”

McDaniel is referring to Leland Boren, the former chairman, president and CEO of Avis who died in November 2018.

Eriez announces executive retirement

Charlie Ingram, executive vice president and chief marketing officer, will retire from Erie, Pennsylvania-based Eriez at the end of 2020, the company’s President and CEO Lukas Guenthardt has announced via a news release. “After 26 years of significant contributions to Eriez, our industry and the Erie community, Charlie has decided to retire and bring to an end his very successful career,” Guenthardt says.

Ingram joined Eriez in 1994 as national sales manager, rising to vice president of sales and marketing in 2004. Guenthardt says Ingram was one of the architects of Eriez’s three-fold growth while he directed the sales organization in the Americas. “Ingram’s approaches to field sales, market-focused strategies, aftermarket initiatives, training and customer education significantly helped position Eriez as the world authority in separation technologies,” he adds. “Charlie has been a valued mentor and leader during his tenure.”

Eriez says Ingram fostered the professional growth of Eriez’s sales and marketing teams, enhancing customer satisfaction through improved sales structures and processes.

As executive vice president and chief marketing officer, Ingram oversees Eriez’s global marketing operations and the introduction of new Eriez products to target countries, managing product line realignment and standardization based on market intelligence, the company says.

Ingram has written many articles and is well-known for numerous speeches delivered on behalf of Eriez, according to the company. As the only manufacturer member elected to serve on the board of directors for the Manufacturers’ Agents National Association (MANA), Ingram has served as a presenter and panelist for MANA at events and has written numerous articles for MANA’s Agency Sales magazine.

While with Eriez, Ingram has served in numerous community and professional volunteer roles. He was president of several community and industry boards, including the Erie Philharmonic, Sight Center of Northwest PA, Process Equipment Manufacturers’ Association (PEMA) and the Kahkwa Club. He was previously a member of the advisory board of Mercyhurst University’s Walker College of Business and the Edinboro University President’s Advisory Council, a board member of Denison University and Presque Isle Partnership, and the global sales and marketing chair for The Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT).

Company Wrench named new dealer for Kobelco in Central Florida

Company Wrench Ltd., Carroll, Ohio, has announced it is the new dealer for Kobelco Construction Machinery USA Inc. in Central Florida. Company Wrench also represents Kobelco in five other states, including North Carolina, South Carolina, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Tennessee.

Company Wrench President Cam Gabbard believes the territory expansion is the result of a mutual admiration between the parties.

“Company Wrench has successfully represented the Kobelco product in a number of key markets over the years,” he says. “Adding the Central Florida territory is probably the most substantial development in our relationship with Kobelco since we first signed as a dealer in 2013. We are excited to show this booming market what the Kobelco product has to offer.”

Gabbard believes the high standards of both parties make Company Wrench and Kobelco a perfect fit.