With nearly 30 years of experience under its belt, Trimac Industrial Systems has grown into a respected manufacturer of industrial finishing equipment. Based in Bonner Springs, Kan., the company strives to design reliable, long-lasting and cost-effective customized cleaning, curing and drying solutions for its clients.
Trimac serves the paint and powder coating industry as well as the washing, curing and drying needs of automotive, textile, food processing, wood drying, adhesive and thermoforming applications. The company isn’t solely focused on one market or another, and it is capable of working on projects both big and small. In just about any setting where a manufacturer needs to make, clean and coat a part, Trimac’s solutions can be of use.
“North America is our primary market, but we sell internationally,” co-owner and CEO Marty Sawyer says. “The weight of our products is not prohibitive, so transportation isn’t a limiting factor. We’ve worked on deals in Africa, India, Russia, China, Vietnam and Australia.”
Helping Trimac distinguish itself are its Gas-Cat and Kemac Power Spray Systems product lines. The company manufactures a full line of industrial heating and washing equipment as well as finishing systems using infrared and convection ovens and pretreatment and aqueous parts washers. Its options allows clients to purchase all of their solutions from one manufacturer. Trimac is the only producer worldwide that can make both flameless catalytic infrared ovens and aqueous spray washers.
“There are two things that make us unique from a technological standpoint,” Sawyer says. “On the heating side, we have our proprietary technology for gas catalytic infrared ovens. Then on the washing side, we also have some patented offerings.”
Trimac is proud of the fact that its equipment is not only unique, but it is also known for its long life. The company wants its equipment to be operating long after a sale is made. This is important to its customers, who are looking to make a long-term investment when they purchase from Trimac.
“We look at what our customers need and design the best solutions accordingly,” Sawyer says.
Trimac is constantly looking for ways it can up its game even further. The company has advanced the communicative abilities of its equipment so it can provide more performance information to operators. It is also engaged in a great deal of application testing of its products.
“We’ve found that there is a lot of misinformation about our infrared technology and what it can do,” Sawyer says. “We are testing the green applications of our products, as catalytic infrared can cure products in one-third to one-half of the time and cost compared to standard technology. Catalytic infrared requires a lot less energy and is a more complete combustion.”
More complete combustion means a smaller release of products like carbon dioxide and soot. Faster curing means less energy use. Trimac has decades of anecdotal evidence of these factors thanks to the performance of its products, and now it is trying to prove these points scientifically.
“We know our products work as we have more than 10,000 of our heaters installed around the world,” Sawyer says. “But because the technology is proprietary, a lot of people aren’t aware of it. But as the world makes a priority of emission control, this is something that can be introduced on a wide scale. We offer something that is a cleaner solution and cheaper to operate, although we haven’t finished all of the green testing yet.”
Focused on Customers
Looking ahead, Sawyer believes Trimac can leverage several competitive advantages. One is the design and performance record of its equipment. The other is its relatively small size and customer-centric culture.
“We take the time to understand what and how the customer does what they do,” Sawyer says. “That way, we can design what they need rather than just sell them what we have.”
Sawyer points to an example of a project it worked on for the federal government a few years back. The project was originally supposed to be for an electric infrared oven solution. As the project moved forward, Trimac determined that the gas catalytic infrared oven would be a better option. This is because the power needs to support the electric solution would have required the installation of a substation, while the catalytic infrared oven would not.
“We want to find the right answer for the customer and their business,” Sawyer says. “We sell solutions because we are interested in what our clients do and want them to succeed using our equipment. We want to find improvements that help them be better because that is what we feel is most important about the solutions we provide.”
Enhancing communication efforts is key to Trimac’s future. Sawyer says there aren’t enough people aware of what the company does, or that its solutions are viable and proven. To make sure its message resonates, the company will invest in a new website and rebrand so it can get a clearer message out about its unique capabilities.
“We support our customers and give them timely responses so they can move forward,” Sawyer says. “That is our priority. The choices we make support our business and our customers, and we want people to really understand that is who we are and what are products are all about.”