US Business Review Article: Crushing Competitors

CRUSHING COMPETITORS

Sebright Products Inc. differentiates its waste compaction equipment by using engineer-driven processes and offering customization.

by Kathryn Jones

One  man’s  trash  is  another man’s treasure, as the old saying goes. Such is the case for Hopkins, Mich.- based Sebright Products Inc., which designs, manufactures, installs and services waste compaction equipment   for  commercial  and heavy industrial applications.

The company was founded in 1976 as a waste compactor installation business, but started manufacturing equipment for Brask Enterprises in 1980. In 1984, Sebright was officially incorporated and the company began introducing its own products to the open market. In 1999, it initiated a specialty equipment division called Bright Technologies, which focused originally on belt filter presses for sludge dewatering at municipal sewage plants.

There are three kinds of solid waste, President Brent Sebright explains: dry, wet and special waste. “Dry waste is what you could get from either an industrial or commercial setting such as pallets, plastics, corrugated waste, trash bags and general office waste,” he says.

Dry waste is usually handled with compactors or precrushers that crush the waste so that more of it can be hauled away at one time. The company also makes portable compactors that run  on either gasoline, propane or diesel fuel to be used at construction sites, golf tournaments, special events or any place where a large volume of trash needs compacting. “Recycling has changed things quite a bit,” Sebright notes. “Most people recycle their corrugated waste today, plus plastic bottles and polystyrene or Styrofoam is recycled now. We are constantly looking at opportunities to develop more equipment to aid companies in the recycling of their waste and help them meet their goals to become a green company.”

Bright Technologies makes several pieces of equipment for recycling. One of them is its Densifier, which can densify polystyrene. Without the densification of polystyrene, a standard semi-trailer loaded with expanded polystyrene only weighs 2,000 to 3,000 pounds when it is full. Those trucks are capable of hauling 40,000- pound loads. Once the polystyrene is run through the densifier, it brings loads up to the legal limit, so trucks can maximize their freight.

Bright Technologies makes belt filter presses for wet waste from industrial and municipal sewer applications that “need to take the liquid out of the sludge that builds up in their sediment ponds,” Sebright says. “Then, the solids that come off the machine can go to the landfill, which then may be used as a cover to keep the trash from blowing around at night. The liquids are returned back to the ponds so that Mother Nature can evaporate it.”

Six months ago, it introduced its Xtractor, which can be used to separate liquids from bottles, cans or aseptic pack- aging. “Along with the base unit, there are options that can enhance the Xtractor’s performance such as a perforator, which is designed for plastic bottles,” Sebright says. “Our conveyors can be custom designed to meet the needs of our customers.”

ENGINEER-DRIVEN

“We constantly strive to be the high-end, quality equipment manufacturer in the industry,” Sebright says. “A lot of our competition deals with the commercial side of the business, which are the grocery stores, hotels and fast-food chains. While we certainly like selling to them, we do particularly well with the industrial appli- cations where plant engineers are involved, and they want specifically designed systems to handle their trash.

“Once contact has been made with the potential customer, our salespeople will do an analysis of what the customer can expect in savings by utilizing our equip- ment,” he continues. “With our engineer- ing capabilities, we provide them with 3- D drawings showing how our equipment can interface with their grounds and buildings. We can show them an auto- mated video of carts moving through their plants, so they get a basic under- standing of how their waste stream will flow through the plant to our equipment. This allows them to better understand what they’re paying for and how our new equipment can interface with what they already have.”

Published by Schofield Media Ltd. On behalf of Sebright Products © 2007 Schofield Media Ltd. All rights reserved.

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