Mixer Systems Inc.
90 Simmons Ave., Pewaukee
Industry: Concrete batch plants and mixers for manufacturers of concrete pipes, support beams, pre-cast panels and related products.
Components made of concrete are everywhere including storm and sanitary sewer systems, girders and support beams on bridges, concrete blocks and pavers and panels used in commercial buildings, apartment buildings, condominium buildings and parking garages.
The companies that make those components need to first produce concrete. And when they’re looking for new concrete batch plants or equipment, they frequently turn to Pewaukee’s Mixer Systems Inc.
Mixer Systems makes concrete mixers and batch plants for concrete component makers. The company’s systems are not large enough for the road-building industry, said Terry Fellabaum, director of sales and marketing.
Most of Mixer Systems’ customers are looking for a complete concrete batch production plant, instead of just a concrete mixer.
“These are turn-key operations, where we provide them with everything,” Fellabaum said. “We design it, build everything here, do the electronic controls. We even have a part of the company, called PSI, that does the installation and training, then gives the customer a running plant.”
When Fellabaum says Mixer Systems manufactures all aspects of its batch plants, he means it. The company’s workers weld bins, craft conveyors, fabricate the interior paddles and fixtures used in the mixers, and its electrical engineers design and build electronic controls for the systems. Mixer Systems previously sold mixers that were made by an Italian manufacturer, but the company found that it was best able to deliver quality to its customers by making everything in-house.
“That way, we can control it all and there’s just one person for our customers to talk to,” Fellabaum said. “By doing it all, we can better take care of everybody.”
Mixer Systems has two niche divisions.
Its DustMaster division works with foundries and electrical generation plants to separate waste products into recyclable and re-usable streams. It also works with those same customers to make bricks, concrete and other materials using industrial byproducts like fly ash.
The company’s GlassMaster division sells customized mixers to glass plants, which use them to mix recycled glass and new ingredients to make bottles, windshields and other glass products.
Mixer Systems is owned by Bill Boles, who started the company in 1979. The company now has about 30 employees. Two years ago it employed 70 workers in its 86,000-square-foot facility, but it was down to as few as 20 employees in late 2009.
Although the company has brought back about 10 workers from layoff, it will likely be another year until it starts to see significant growth, Fellabaum said.
“We’re new equipment, and we were the first to be cut off (when commercial real estate work slowed in the recession),” he said. “There is a lot of excess equipment in the field today. Until that is used at full capacity, our customers won’t order new equipment. We figure there’s another year or so until we reach that point.”
Mixer Systems is now working to develop new products it believes will help the company capture additional market share and new sales when demand increases for its concrete producing equipment.
The company is now developing a twin shaft mixer, which it hopes to bring to market early next year. The twin shaft mixer will be able to mix up to six yards of concrete at a time in a short amount of time, Fellabaum said.
“This is high-volume, high production,” he said.
In 2005, Mixer Systems acquired the intellectual property to develop an aggregate heater, which moves hot air at high velocity through aggregate material such as stone, gravel or sand.
“We can take stone that is at zero degrees, and heat it up to 50 degrees in 10 to 15 minutes, up to 30 tons of it,” he said. “This allows (our customers) to pour concrete when it is below 55 degrees.”