BOMAG Americas, a company that traces its roots in Kewanee to the 1920s, will “cease manufacturing operations in Kewanee” by the end of next year, the company announced Wednesday.
“Driven by a key strategic initiative to expand its leading North American position and support for its customers throughout North America, BOMAG Americas, Inc. today announced it will cease manufacturing operations in Kewanee by the end of 2014 and relocate its business to a yet to be determined location in the southern United States,” a news release issued Wednesday said.
“The products (single drum rollers, asphalt rollers, MPH364 reclaimer/stabilizer) which are currently manufactured in Kewanee will either be relocated and/or replaced with market accepted products manufactured in other existing BOMAG facilities located in Oklahoma, Germany or China,” the release said.
The release said the company is making this move “in order to maximize its manufacturing efficiencies, maintain competitive product costs and most importantly better support our customers.”
BOMAG will build a new facility to accommodate a parts distribution center, training facility for sales and service, assembly to accommodate special features for the North American market and a corporate office complex.
“In conjunction with this move the company is also announcing its intent to enter into a long term lease with a facility based in Oklahoma that will focus on providing the engineering, technical support and manufacturing of asphalt pavers, material transfer vehicles and reclaimer/stabilizers specifically designed for North and South America as well as other key export markets,” the news release said.
According to a company history, the local BOMAG operation was established initially as Martin Machine Company in the late 1920s, producing heavy-duty construction trailers and a line of tow-behind construction compactors.
In February of 1958, Hyster Co., headquartered in Portland, Ore., purchased Martin Machine Company and expanded asphalt and soil compaction equipment while maintaining production of heavy duty trailers.
In the late 1960s the company purchased 74 acres on the south side of Kentville Road and built a 222,000-square-foot plant for compaction equipment. A few years later an 81,000-square foot trailer plant was added. That building is now the Great Dane Trailers plant.
The Hyster facility was renamed Compaction Americas in 1990, and in 2001 the company was acquired by SPX Corp. — which subsequently sold it to Fayat, a French company.
“In order to improve our leading position in the marketplace we felt it was imperative to consolidate our manufacturing operations in order to leverage economies of scale and maximize our competitive position,” said Joerg Unger, president of BOMAG Worldwide. “Our intent is to strengthen our North American organization with the objective of being closer to our customers in service support, product development and product specific engineering utilizing all potential synergies within the BOMAG Worldwide organization.
Page 2 of 2 - “The North American market is the largest market in the world and is strategic to our company’s long term success,” Unger said. “The announcement of such an investment is a highlight of our commitment in this development.”