From the magazine, HDD

Melfred Borzall goes greener

February 2011 also marks another notable achievement for Melfred Borzall (MBI); the completion of a 16,000 square foot expansion to its Santa Maria, California, manufacturing plant.

According to Marketing Director Peter Melsheimer, in spite of a sagging economy the growing demand for MBI tooling is the reason it decided to move ahead with the much-needed expansion.

“Much of our growth over the past couple years has been outside of the US. Australia has been a tremendous growth market for us through the help of our two distributors, Queensland Drilling Supply and DMAC Drilling Services. We recently added on Blick Industrial Supply in New Zealand. We have never had representation in New Zealand before and they have really opened up this market for us. We are seeing growth in Russia and India as well.”

Mr Melsheimer also attributes the growth to MBI’s long-term policies of continuously updating tool designs and maintaining high standards in customer service.

“We have six engineers on staff as well as an average of four interns throughout the year. There is a constant influx of ideas for updating and designing new tools to meet the needs of our customers, such as the redesigned Eagle Claw and new drill head designs. We’ve always had high standards in customer satisfaction and continue to do so.”

Keeping with MBI’s long-term agenda of protecting the environment, the new building is designed to expand and upgrade the current photovoltaic system as needed. The current system produces approximately 135 kW of solar electricity – enough power to help run the entire plant and reduce the production of green house gasses a fossil fuel power plant would produce.

President and founder of Melfred Borzall Dick Melsheimer said “Currently we produce an average of 90 per cent of our electricity. Expanding the photovoltaic system will allow us to maintain that level. Both building expansions are designed to handle the load of adding photovoltaic panels. No other specifics have been decided on yet, but we should have more than enough physical space to accommodate all the panels that will be needed to maintain the 90 per cent level.”

The new plant design also integrates charging stations for electric vehicles in the remodeled parking lot.

“We encourage by example. We have two Nissan “÷Leaf’ electric vehicles on order. We will provide free electricity, which we make via the solar panels, to any employee that switches to a plug-in vehicle.”

Both building additions incorporate skylights and large windows for natural light. The north side of the plant features the larger addition. When complete, the entire welding department will move into the new part of the building. This opens up the main part of the building to expand the CNC machine shop and finished inventory area, as well as provide an overall cleaner environment for production.

The south-side expansion is primarily for storing and sawing raw material. The new plans for the south side also include a large employee break room/meeting room with a fully functioning kitchen downstairs and doubling the size of the engineering department upstairs. The new break room incorporates all recycled and green materials for the floor, cabinets, countertops, tables and energy-efficient appliances.

According to Peter Melsheimer, the future looks bright for Melfred Borzall.

“With the expansion of the building comes the expansion of manufacturing capabilities including a larger number of welding stations, more CNC lathes and machining centers, and more computers. Things are starting to pick up in the United States. Combined with our growing foreign market we’re looking at a strong future of growth and production.”

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