Hitachi Construction Machinery Loaders America Inc. opens US corporate headquarters

Hitachi Construction Machinery Loaders America Inc. (HCMA) celebrated the grand opening of its new U.S. corporate headquarters in Newnan, Georgia, with employees, local dignitaries, business partners and members of the media June 1. The new facility represents a $4 million investment in the company.

The celebration featured a ribbon-cutting ceremony, traditional Japanese Sakura Ceremony, Kagami-biraki Ceremony, presentations from visiting guests from Hitachi Construction Machinery (HCM), factory and headquarters tours and a traditional southern BBQ lunch.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony, which was conducted by Kotaro Hirano, president, HCM Japan; Masaaki Hirose, president, HCMA; and Al Smith, Coweta County Commission Chairman, also included two of HCMA’s longest-serving employees, Claude Smith (Newnan facility) and Ray Guerra (Kennesaw, Georgia, headquarters).

The initial phase consists of the new headquarters facility (12,291 square feet), a new training facility (3,600 square feet), training facility offices and administration building (5,084 square feet) and a future storage building (21,421 square feet). This investment represents the foundation to support the anticipated market expansion of Hitachi wheel loaders in the North American market and represents the confidence HCM has in the HCMA organization and its distribution network. HCMA says it anticipates tripling its market share in the next five years.

The Sakura Ceremony, in which a cherry tree representing a living legacy and testament to the new business is planted in anticipation of growth and strength, is particularly appropriate as it was on Jan. 1 when HCMA started business following a three-year transition from KCMA Corp., the company says. Hirano; John Michalewicz, senior manager of manufacturing, HCMA; and Smith conducted the Sakura ceremony.

The Kagami-biraki Ceremony involved breaking open a sake barrel. Two of the longest-serving HCMA employees, Jami Wall (Newnan facility) and Sue Smith (Kennesaw headquarters) served the sake, with Hirano toasting the attendees.

Following lunch, Hirose made closing remarks reiterating HCMA’s appreciation of the support from HCM and the bright future ahead of Hitachi wheel loaders in North America.

“A new beginning of a long tradition of value, service and dedication; the introduction of the Hitachi-branded loaders; and the new HCMA headquarters exhibit the Hitachi commitment to the foundation of our business, our customers, our dealers and our employees,” David Agan, vice president of corporate at HCMA, says.

To provide support for Hitachi wheel loaders, HCMA offers parts availability, a factory component exchange program, customer and dealer training programs and a range of other services and programs.

Liebherr breaks ground on US headquarters

Representatives from German equipment manufacturer Liebherr, company executive management and Newport News, Virginia, city officials gathered July 20 for a groundbreaking ceremony on-site in Copeland Industrial Park to celebrate the construction of the new Liebherr USA headquarters.

The company has been manufacturing and operating in Newport News for more than 48 years and broke ground at the site adjacent to its current facility. The $45 million expansion will serve as the new headquarters for Liebherr USA and will include the construction of three new buildings: a four-story administrative building, a warehouse and parts distribution center and a modernized production and workshop facility intended to support the company’s cranes, construction and concrete divisions. Once completed, the new buildings will add more than 251,000 square feet to the existing 560,000-square-foot Liebherr campus.

“The U.S. is a strategic market for Liebherr, and with this investment, we send a clear message of commitment to our customers, employees and the local community here in Newport News,” Torben Reher, managing director of Liebherr USA, says.

“We are grateful for Liebherr’s corporate citizenship, the investments and the jobs the company has provided for our citizens and others around the region,” McKinley Price, mayor of Newport News, says.

Construction is expected to be completed in 2020 and will house Liebherr USA employees working in administration, finance, marketing, human resources, sales and service, product support, production and distribution.

Michelin buys OTR tiremaker Camso

Greenville, South Carolina-based Michelin has announced reaching an agreement with Magog, Quebec-based Camso to acquire the firm’s off-the-road (OTR) tire and tread operations to form a new, combined division to be managed from offices in Quebec.

“Led by a set of common values and a strong tradition of innovation and R&D (research and development) at both Michelin and Camso, and backed by high-quality teams, the strategic partnership makes the newly created entity the world leader in OTR mobility,” Michelin stated in a mid-July news release.

Reporting net sales of $1 billion (in U.S. dollars), Camso has been designing, manufacturing and marketing OTR tires and treads since 1982. Michelin describes Camso as a market leader in rubber tracks for farm equipment and snowmobiles, and in solid and bias tires for material handling equipment. Camso also ranks among the top three players in the construction market, providing track and tire products for small heavy equipment, according to Michelin.

“Leveraging its technological leadership in tracks and related systems, its competitive manufacturing footprint (particularly in Sri Lanka) and strong customer awareness of its Camso and Solideal brands, Camso has demonstrated its ability to grow rapidly, expanding at an average pace of 7 percent per year since 2012,” stated Michelin.

“Michelin and Camso have many values in common,” Jean-Dominique Senard, CEO of Michelin, says. “This acquisition is a wonderful mutual opportunity. Michelin will benefit from all of Camso’s skills in the off-the-road mobility markets and Camso from the full range of Michelin’s expertise in the specialty markets.”

“Joining up with Michelin’s off-the-road teams is a fantastic opportunity for Camso because of the similarity of our cultures as well as our growth potential,” Pierre Marcouiller, executive chairman of Camso, says. “Camso will achieve its ambition to become the global off-the-road market leader and will contribute its dynamic teams, its technical and manufacturing assets and its customer-focused mindset. The transaction has received the backing of all Camso’s shareholders.”

After obtaining shareholder and governmental approvals, Michelin indicates it will acquire Camso for $1.45 billion, corresponding to an enterprise value of $1.7 billion.

Lakeshore Recycling Systems installs SamurAI from Machinex

Lakeshore Recycling Systems (LRS), Morton Grove, Illinois, has announced the installation of the new Machinex SamurAI in June at its single-stream Heartland Recycling Center in Forest View, Illinois. The company is the first to install the technology in the U.S.

Featuring a robot with four articulations, the SamurAI employs artificial intelligence (AI) technology to identify materials for an accurate, positive product recovery or a precise quality control function, Machinex says. The AI operates according to a predetermined task hierarchy and continues to improve and learn from operating experience to assure maximum recognition efficiency, the equipment supplier adds.

The SamurAI technology is intended to reduce LRS’ reliance on manual labor and decrease operating costs.

“We developed this technology further to always answer the evolution of the market needs,” Pierre Pare, CEO of Machinex Group, Plessisville, Quebec, says. “Machinex has nearly 35 years of knowledge and experience in the waste and recycling industry, developing and integrating technologies in material recovery facilities, thus ensuring that our clients always remain ahead of the market. We are excited to expand our partnership with LRS and happy to provide them with new technology to further their mission.”

“LRS continues to look for innovative solutions to help us improve our sustainability efforts,” Alan T. Handley, LRS CEO, says.

Case CE expands dealer territories in North America

Case Construction Equipment (Case CE), Racine, Wisconsin, has announced several dealer territory expansions in North America. Existing dealers have made developments in their presence in Connecticut, Indiana, Florida, Michigan and Mississippi, while a new Case dealer has been activated in Northern Michigan.

Lee Tractor Co. Inc., Biloxi, Mississippi, has expanded its Mississippi coverage with a new location in Pearl, Mississippi, to serve the Jackson market. McCann Industries, Addison, Illinois, has expanded to cover Northwest Indiana and Grand Rapids, Michigan, markets with two new locations in Mishawaka, Indiana and Dorr, Michigan.

Monroe Tractor, Henrietta, New York, has expanded its New England coverage with a new branch location in South Windsor, Connecticut. Trekker Tractor, Miami, has continued its expansion in Florida with a new branch in Jacksonville.

Ina Store Inc., Tustin, Michigan, is a new Case dealer that will cover Northern Michigan from Saginaw to Traverse City with a central location in Tustin, Michigan.

“The continued evolution of our dealer footprint in North America is focused entirely on providing improved and expanded services in markets that are important to our construction equipment business,” Michel Marchand, vice president in North America for Case CE, says. “These developments represent our commitment to customers as we further strengthen our dealer network to meet the needs of the industries that we serve.”

For more information on Case CE, visit www.CaseCE.com.

Intermountain Bobcat joins Bandit dealer network

Utah-based Intermountain Bobcat, with locations in Salt Lake City, Ogden and Orem, has joined Remus, Michigan-based Bandit’s network of authorized dealers.

The three locations will offer sales, service and parts on all Bandit hand-fed chippers, stump grinders and skid steer attachments.

“Our customers in Utah already know about Intermountain Bobcat’s solid reputation and commitment to service,” Jason Morey, Bandit sales manager, says. “Their joining Bandit’s dealer network is a great opportunity for Bandit, Intermountain Bobcat and our shared customers in Utah.”

Intermountain Bobcat is a division of the Scott Intermountain Cos. Salt Lake City, which has been involved in the construction equipment business since 1968. In 1995, the company acquired Intermountain Bobcat.

Learn more about Intermountain Bobcat by visiting www.imbobcat.com or by calling 801-262-0208.

To learn more about Bandit’s full lineup of hand-fed wood chippers and stump grinders, visit www.banditchippers.com.