The trends that have shaped our customer-centric focus from the start continued to drive our business in 2014.
Usually, at the start of a new year, it’s customary for a business to reflect on the changes that may distinguish the current year from the previous. As we launch into a busy 2015, however, I would like to reflect on some things that have remain constant over the years. The most consistent—and most important—factor in our business has always been our customers. From day one, we have specialized in equipment that creates new opportunities for waste materials. That singular focus has allowed us to work with people who share our commitment to practical, innovative solutions to waste challenges.
So, first and foremost, we would like to say thank you to the new customers and return customers who have chosen Rotochopper for the unique value we offer. We look forward to forming more long-term relationships with new customers in what looks to be a very exciting 2015.
In 2014, we saw a continuation of the trends that have driven our growth from day one. We saw continued growth within the core markets we serve: landscape mulch, pallet recycling, compost, and sorted C & D recycling. As always, that growth meant that we got to collaborate with customers who have innovative approaches to waste materials.
Trend #5: Diversification
Diversification is becoming increasingly critical for many companies that grind waste materials. These companies are looking for versatility not only to grind multiple raw materials but also to make multiple end products.
Trend # 4: Simplification
As more and more companies begin to see the hidden costs of handling raw materials multiple times, they are looking for new ways to minimize steps and streamline the grinding process. This trend is also increasing the interest in stationary electric equipment with customized handling systems. See trend #3.
Learn how a C & D recycler eliminated extra handling costs between the grinder and the end product stockpile.
The drive toward simplification is also changing the mix of end products made with grinding equipment. Although 2014 brought some nice growth in wood pellets and other densified fuels, we are also seeing an increase in companies that are exploring alternatives to pellet fuel, looking to burn short-length wood fiber in industrial heating systems instead of pellets, thereby skipping the steps and costs involved with pelletizing the wood.
Trend # 3: Switching to electric
Even industries that have been dominated by diesel equipment, such as colored mulch, are turning to electric equipment in larger numbers.
Trend # 2: Renewed commitment to manufacturing in public education
Perhaps the most exciting trend is a growing interest in manufacturing and a commitment to nurturing that interest by public schools. This emphasis on manufacturing provides an opportunity for us to work with local high schools to help students learn about the careers open to them with the right skills and education.
Some schools are implementing innovative programs to encourage students to consider careers in manufacturing. We are proud to be involved with our local schools.
Trend #1: Abundance and scarcity both fostering new ideas
Scarcity of traditional animal bedding sources is driving the use of alternative bedding materials. A surplus of cheap shell corn is greatly increasing the use of fine texture corn in livestock rations. The need to grind large volumes of shell corn to an ultra-fine consistency is quickly revealing the limitations of the traditional equipment used to grind agricultural materials. Not surprisingly, Rotochopper equipment is at the forefront of this new grinding market.
Learn how a Rotochopper owner is custom grinding dimensional lumber for animal bedding, railroad ties for boiler fuel, and high moisture shell corn for cattle rations, all with one machine.
25 years of exciting growth
For 25 years, we have had the privilege of working with customer to create new opportunities for materials like wood waste, shell corn, asphalt shingles, and many other raw materials. In 1990, our company founders, Fred Peltz and Vince Hundt, set out to create better solutions for waste materials. Those early days of wood waste recycling set the company values that continue to guide our business growth today. The years ahead promise to be filled with even greater opportunities for innovation and growth in grinding markets.
We invite you to join us in celebrating our 25th Anniversary at our annual demo day this fall and at other events. Thank you to our customers for the first 25 years. We look forward to serving you for the next 25.