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General Kinematics celebrates its 60th anniversary by shaking up the status quo.

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February 28, 2020

General Kinematics is celebrating 60 years in business! We feel fortunate that our customers have not only supported us, but also helped fuel our passion for innovation. For years, we have developed entire recycling systems centered around GK’s proven equipment. Now, we are taking on that challenge full-time as a system integrator.

System Focus

GK customers have always relied on us to provide a high return on investment. Our system focus is no different. GK’s proven methodology to deliver a return continues to be the focal point of everything we do. System integrators or stand-alone engineering firms often rely on various OEMs to provide the necessary equipment knowledge. GK will utilize years of industry experience and expertise to become your one-stop shop. At our core, GK is an engineering-based company; we understand the principles that make a great system. Bundling our core equipment knowledge with our engineering expertise into one service offering creates a winning combination.

Changing Landscape

We see a massive void in the major markets we serve. At GK, we are taking this as an opportunity to provide our expertise and support. We are incredibly proud of the equipment we have in operation today. The ongoing support of this equipment is something we take seriously. It’s because of this commitment to service that being a full-time system integrator makes sense. We can design, build and deliver any C&D project using cutting-edge technology. Our controls packages are the lifeblood of the entire system—linking every piece of the system together and making it crucial to know how the whole system interacts. This is critical, because more and more, the integrators are asking OEMs for support on how to best handle a given process.

From our perspective, the question becomes, “How can an equipment provider with decades of experience building out processes not take the logical step into pursuing systems full-time?” Controlling the high standards and, ultimately, the ROI our customers deserve is always our focus. For decades, we have worked with many talented partners. Over time, we’ve seen that the most valuable of those relationships thrive when the combined efforts of the integrator and OEM provide the best solution for the customer. However, our determination to provide our customers with the best solution may demand that GK takes the lead.

On-Site Support

With GK’s integrated approach to the marketplace, we believe it is our on-site support structure that will allow us to shine. We take great pride in the quality of our equipment and will continue working with the customer to keep our machines running at peak efficiency for the life of the system. A full staff of dedicated GK service technicians, who can reach every part of the U.S. and Canada quickly, is always ready to go where needed. Once on-site, our technical team is second to none, making sure our customers are getting the output their process requires. By utilizing advanced automation and controls, we can go a step further by remotely monitoring our equipment. Our controls group back at headquarters can then work with the on-site team to make rapid and effective change. There is no waiting for third party support because all the expertise needed is already on hand. Having spent years creating designs that last, we also know firsthand that following proper PM schedules significantly increases equipment longevity. In 2018, GK launched its BARRIER program to provide equipment health inspections. Using our Vertex vibration monitoring, GK can have minute-by-minute analysis on our equipment to ensure it is always running as designed. This added level of support ties directly into our system expertise. General Kinematics is known for world-class support, and our dedicated project management team will ensure projects remain on time and on budget. This is yet another reason we believe this model works for the C&D industry.

Tuffman® Equipment

Approximately two years ago, GK acquired Tuffman Equipment Company. With this acquisition, GK rounded out its portfolio of recycling equipment. Our new Tuffman product line, which includes pick stations, trommels and conveyor belts, completes our in-house range of solutions. Originally based in Missouri, we elected to move the manufacturing of Tuffman Equipment into GK’s world-class manufacturing plant in Illinois. At that same time, we upgraded the quality of the equipment by applying our advanced manufacturing processes. Specifically, we strengthened connection points and drove waste out of the assembly process. Tuffman Equipment remains a brand name, selling as a division within GK. However, our system engineers are fully incorporating Tuffman products into process layouts. For the end user, our integrated solutions are seamless.

Most importantly, our customers say they like the ease of doing business with GK. The Tuffman Equipment acquisition was a critical pivot point in our decision to pursue full-time system work. With this final piece in place, GK is now bidding on system projects. Since all work is done in-house, there is no unnecessary markup, which reflects another way we are able to keep costs low.

Elevate Your Game

Our mantra this year is “Elevate Your Game.” We believe our system work will help customers become more profitable. Keep in mind, this vision is not only for our customers—we challenged ourselves to be better, to do more. Doing system work delivers on that challenge.

Dick Reeves is director of resource recovery for General Kinematics, Crystal Lake, Illinois. Learn more about the company at www.generalkinematics.com.