Kobelco Opens North American Headquarters
Kobelco Construction Machinery USA has announced the opening of its new North American headquarters in Houston. Following the termination of a 10 year agreement with CNH in late December 2012, Kobelco excavators will once again be directly marketed by the company in the United States and Canada, offering the products that the company says drove its early success in the North American market.
Since the start of 2013, Kobelco executives have been working to re-establish a presence in North America, starting with the acquisition of the new location in Houston. The company says the facility is centrally located at 4690 World Houston Parkway. It will serve as a temporary home base for the company while a custom headquarters and manufacturing facility are built nearby. A comprehensive parts inventory will be on hand at this location, with equipment being stored near the Port of Galveston, Texas, as well as at several other port locations around the country.
Kobelco has long offered its line of excavators in the 3,000 pound to 180,000 pound classes. While some companies manufacture multiple lines of equipment, Kobelco says it dedicates its research and development dollars to improving and enhancing its singular product line, ensuring what the company says is the delivery of excavators that can withstand the day-to-day rigors of demanding job sites.
Bringing back the Kobelco tradition to North America goes beyond simply bringing the products back to market, says the company. In a news release, it says it also wanted to “reaffirm a leadership team driven by the same passion that Kobelco’s management team prior to the CNH agreement was notorious for.” Leading the new Kobelco team is Katsuhiko Morita as president and CEO and past Kobelco employees Ron Hargrave as vice president of sales and marketing, George Lumpkins as product marketing manager and Eric Hoffman as national parts manager. Additional employees have been selected based on their industry experience to ensure that all personnel will be able to deliver on Kobelco’s promise of customer satisfaction, according to the company.
The company says establishing a solid dealer network has not proven to be challenging. “Once dealers learned that Kobelco would be directly marketed again in North America, the phone started ringing,” says Hargrave. “The level of enthusiasm from past, current and prospective dealers has been unprecedented. One of the biggest challenges for many manufacturers today is building and maintaining a dealer network. The quality of Kobelco’s products and services has stood the test of time, which helped us to quickly secure stocking orders to have inventory in dealer yards in time for the spring 2013 selling season.”
ZB Group to Sell Portable Shredder in the US
ZB Group has announced it will begin selling its portable track-mounted, hammermill-style metal shredder in North America. The Spanish company says the shredder will be the first of its kind sold in North America. Lakeland, Fla.-based Peninsula Equipment will be the master distributor of the ZB shredder in the United States and Canada.
ZB Group has been building portable and stationary hammermills for more than 20 years. Its portable shredder has been designed to complement Peninsula’s product offerings in the United States and Canada, the company says. ZB Group and Peninsula Equipment say their venture represents a new frontier for both companies in exploring new service territories.
The hammermill metal shredder has rotor lengths sizes ranging from 39 inches to 82 inches. The companies will offer five hammermill shredder models, ranging from 440 to 2,000 horsepower. The first ZB machine to be marketed in the United States will be the Thor 1519K, which features a 60-inch hammermill powered by a Cat C-18 765 horsepower engine.
“This machine is aimed at the small to medium scrap yard that wants to take control and bring processing in house,” says Bill Padula, vice president of Peninsula Equipment. “This true hammermill design affords the owner the opportunity to reduce size and densify. Through this partnership, ZB Group brings to Peninsula a time-tested product line specifically aimed at the needs of a changing scrap market.”
The machine also can be used to process aggregate and recycled concrete, as well as construction and demolition debris. The scrap ramp and compression roller in those applications can be replaced with a “grizzly” bar and a fines conveyor.
Peninsula Equipment will offer service and parts will be stocked in Buford, Ga., Lakeland, Fla., and Lexington, S.C.
Peninsula serves the C&D, wood waste, mulch, MSW, rock, concrete, demolition and scrap industries. The company’s line of products includes crushing, grinding and screening equipment. In addition to ZB Group, Peninsula Equipment represents Metso, McCloskey, Thor, Peterson and Doppstadt.
Bobcat Expanding Proving Grounds
Bobcat Co., West Fargo, N.D., has broken ground on a $20 million renovation and expansion project to create its Acceleration Center in Bismarck, N.D. The company says when complete, the Acceleration Center will be “a modern complex for advancing innovation where professionals utilize technology and modern design to ensure the position of Bobcat as the leader in the compact equipment industry.”
The project includes the expansion of an existing building, as well as the development of a test track and indoor testing facility. The expansion of the existing building will include a two-story office building and provide a total of 160,000 square feet of workspace. Additionally, a 35,000-square-foot indoor testing arena will be constructed next to a 22-acre outdoor testing and track area. Construction is expected to be complete by summer 2014.
The Acceleration Center will initially house 135 employees involved in product design, testing, prototype engineering and the computer simulation of ideas and concepts.
Company President Rich Goldsbury was master of ceremonies for a mid-May 2013 groundbreaking event attended by North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple, U.S. Senators John Hoeven and Heidi Heitkamp, U.S. Representative Kevin Cramer and Bismarck Mayor John Warford.
“This is an exciting day as we invest in the future of Bobcat and the future of North Dakota,” said Goldsbury. “We created the compact equipment industry, and the Acceleration Center will ensure the Bobcat tradition of innovation and market leadership continues.”
The Acceleration Center also will serve as a training institute for employees. Bobcat dealers and customers will be brought to the complex for training and hands-on experience operating the newest products from Bobcat.
“The newest designs, the latest technologies and the best ways to apply product features important to our customers will be part of the daily life inside the Acceleration Center,” Goldsbury added. “We take great pride in our North Dakota roots. Today we have set the foundation for the future in North Dakota.”
Bobcat equipment includes skid steers, track loaders, compact excavators, telescopic tool carriers and utility vehicles.
Kirby-Smith Machinery Improves its Rankings Kirby-Smith Machinery Inc., Oklahoma City, Okla., has ranked as the 27th largest rental company in the United States by Rental Equipment Register magazine for 2012. This is an increase from its 32nd ranking in 2011. Kirby-Smith’s crane division, which offers Komatsu, Grove and Manitowoc equipment, also was ranked the 43rd largest crane distributor in the nation by American Cranes and Transport magazine.
Kirby-Smith Machinery is celebrating its 30-Year Anniversary and says it is proud to have one of the largest rental fleets in the region with more than 2,000 units in stock. Kirby-Smith has multiple locations to choose from, including a new facility in Abilene, Texas, that will be open in July 2013.
“Kirby-Smith Machinery’s philosophy is to do whatever it takes to make our customers successful,” says George Denny, director of marketing and sales. “We know we separate ourselves from other companies by sincerely caring for end users and by maintaining one of the broadest product offerings in the region.”
Krause to Relocate Manufacturing Operations
Krause Manufacturing, Bellingham, Wash., a division of the CP Group, will move its equipment manufacturing operations to the CP Group’s headquarters in San Diego. Krause will keep offices in Bellingham for sales, engineering, parts and service.
CP says it has made significant investments in its San Diego manufacturing plant throughout 2012, increasing space from 50,000 square feet to 120,000 square feet on 12 acres of land. CP also made what it calls substantial improvements to its production process by investing in modernized fabricating equipment to streamline its manufacturing process.
“The Krause line of equipment will maintain the same high standards of design, production and engineering expertise, now capable of leveraging the manufacturing capabilities and efficiencies we have invested in our new CP facility in San Diego,” says Terry Schneider, CP Group president and COO.
The move was expected to take place July 1. Krause’s Bellingham office address is 316 East McLeod Rd., Ste. #1, Bellingham, WA 98226. CP Group’s San Diego headquarters is located at 795 Calle de Linea, San Diego, CA 92154.
Krause manufactures heavy-duty recycling equipment and systems for construction and demolition, municipal solid waste and front-end system solutions for waste conversion technologies, as well as single-stream recycling and electronic scrap systems.
Krause, which was established in 1963, began as a manufacturer of custom agricultural equipment, later entering the recycling equipment market.