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Greenfield Products shows growth since move to local industrial park

Greenfield Products shows growth since move to local industrial park
By KEVIN BOWDEN
Staff Reporter
Greenfield Products has certainly benefited from its decision to locate in Union City’s industrial park.
Since moving to the park in February 2007, the company has grown from 20 employees to more than 60 employees and the industry is continuing to expand.
“You’ve got to think globally,” plant manager Bobby King said.
The local industry has certainly done that. (See related photos, Page 2.)
Greenfield Products is one of 19 companies owned by Mi-Jack Products of Hazel Crest, Ill. Mi-Jack is a privately-held, family-owned group of companies that sells and services heavy material handling equipment throughout the United States and around the world.
“Everything we do has an international flavor to it,” King said.
The company manufactures engineered products for use by large mobile cranes, fork trucks and stand-alone applications. Inside the local plant engineers use computers to design the special equipment that is then manufactured by skilled workers in the production facility.
Greenfield Products manufactures attachments designed to move such items as gigantic earthmoving tires, large shipping containers, steel beams and large trailers.
King explained computers track the development of each of the products manufactured at the plant. In fact, the plant’s employees actually design and make most of the tools and equipment used to manufacture their products.
Among the many unique and really large pieces of equipment produced at the plant are “container spreaders.” The generic term refers to equipment used to handle shipping containers used on highways, railroads and at sea ports.
The containers range in size from 20 to 53-feet-long and are generally 9 1/2-feet-tall. They can weigh up to 67,000 pounds fully loaded and the containers are designed for commercial and military use.
With those dimensions, the customized material handling products manufactured by Greenfield Products are massive and can take  months to produce.
The process is detailed and precise. The scale of the steel structures that make their way out of the plant’s cargo bays is gigantic and the measurements must be exact.
The local plant also has a line of large fork truck attachments that handle tires on large mining trucks. Those tires are 14 feet in diameter, are five feet thick and weigh 17 tons with the wheel and wheel motor attached.
Greenfield Products is also involved in the wind power industry.
The company designs and manufactures the equipment that is used to transport the giant windmill blades and towers. Greenfield Products also manufactures the equipment actually used to erect the windmills.
The local plant is also involved in the manufacturing of specialized lifting devices used to move concrete and steel pipes and also ships fabrication and processed steel to Mi-Jack for use in that company’s mobile crane production.
King said the local plant annually delivers more than a million tons of materials to Mi-Jack’s Hazel Crest headquarters.
He estimates the local plant processes more than five million pounds of steel annually.
Manufacturing all the specialized equipment at the local plant are fabricators, welders, machinists, painters, assemblers and workers involved in material control.
“We make every effort to be totally self-sufficient, starting with raw material building up to the finished product, tested and shipped,” King said.
He explained a typical project involves a welded structure made from one to several sub-assemblies with several hydraulic functions and electrical inputs and outputs for controls and safety indicators.
Inside the plant there are three crane bays that can each handle up to 20 tons. There is also such specialized equipment as a plasma burning table, massive paint and blast bays and overhead cranes to move some of the large steel used in the plant.
King said there is an emphasis at Greenfield Products on working closely with clients to make sure all the products that come out of the plant meet their needs.
The list of clients for Greenfield Products includes Mi-Jack, Kalmar, Caterpillar and Lindle. The local plant also serves major railroads, sea ports, steel and concrete producers.
King said Greenfield Products has its products on every continent including Antarctica and Europe and in many countries, including Russia, Australia and Mongolia.
“Quality, through superior knowledge and professional experience, is the basic premise Greenfield Products was built upon, today those same ideals remain at the forefront of every project that comes through our doors,” the company’s brochure states in part.
“We’re poised for growth,” King said. “Our plans are not to just sit here.”
That’s good news for the local economy considering the recent shut down of the local Goodyear plant.
Greenfield Products actually owns its building and 35 acres in the Northwest Tennessee Regional Industrial Center.
Staff Reporter Kevin Bowden may be contacted by email at kmbowden@ucmessenger.com.

Published in The Messenger 10.06.11

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