By Mike McNulty, Rubber & Plastics News Staff
Phoenix, Arizona - Belt Power llc, a specialist urethane and other plastics conveyor-belting maker, is expanding its operation into Texas to help handle a growing customer base.
The company, based in Smyrna, Georgia, also is investing in equipment to develop technologies that allow for better, faster, more efficient production, according to president and CEO John Shelton, who co-owns the firm with executive vice president Travis Wilson.
Belt Power plans to add a third belt production plant in the Houston area by 1 Jan, 2011, he said, noting that the firm has a number of customers in the region.
The factory will feature fabrication, full field service and distribution of lightweight belts, primarily for the food industry.
The full-service fabricator and distributor of industrial conveyor belting and supplies produces its belts using a variety of materials, with emphasis on urethane, extruded urethane, textile and plastic modular belting.
The belts are distributed for use in most segments of the food industry, including baked goods, confections and meat processing.
Belt Power currently operates belting fabrication and field service facilities in Charlotte, N.Carolina, and Atlanta, Georia, Shelton said at the annual NIBA conference, held Sept 18-21 in Phoenix. "We are currently in the South, down into Maryland and Virginia," he added.
Belt Power's new plant will expand the firm's reach throughout the South through Texas, Shelton continued.
While those are the prime areas it serves, he said, it does sell, distribute and provide expertise throughout the world.
Last year was a challenge for Belt Power, Shelton admitted. The company experienced a slight decrease in sales but, because it maintains a strong financial base, the firm survived without any serious difficulties, he said.
A number of capital projects were halted in 2009 "but we have seen some of them come back, and so far this year we're above budget," he added.
Shelton and Wilson purchased the company in 2007. Both previously held executive positions at the firm and when it went on the market they jumped at the chance to buy the business, Shelton said.
He said the company is bullish on the future and its prospects are good. Belt Power invests in the newest technologies so that it's always up to date on what innovations are available to customers, he said. The firm prides itself in its machinery and quick turnaround as part of its in-house services.
It made cost improvements last year and is investing in new equipment to create a faster and more efficient operation.
Those moves, along with the expansion into Texas, should bring greater growth for the belt producer in the future, he said.