Jennifer Cerruto, the marketing manager for Franklin Miller, said that the company got its start in 1918, when the company started manufacturing an ice crusher. When the company began to broaden its product line, the decision was made to start building larger, more industrial machines.
Now nearing its 100th anniversary, the company manufactures a wide variety of machines for not only the recycling industry, but also machines for related industries. Among others, their products are used for waste water treatment, plastic recycling; electronics shredding; paper, cardboard, metal and rubber recycling and rock crushing. The machines are also used for solid waste and food waste processing, powder and bulk materials processing, and in the chemical pharmaceutical, concrete, agricultural, and oil and gas industries.
Some of the more unusual customers, Cerruto said, are cruise ships that must chop or shred all food products to pieces below a certain size before the food is disposed of in the ocean. She also said that jails and prisons make use of their equipment for wastewater processing. “They flush everything down the toilets,” she said, “sheets, shoes – everything they can. It’s a common problem.”
The food and pharmaceutical industries are not the first you’d think of when it comes to the need for industrial grinders, shredders, crushers, or other machines that are typical in the recycling industry, but Cerruto said that those industries are also good customers.
In the plastics processing line, Cerruto said that the mid-size TM2300 is a popular machine for shredding bottles, containers and crates. Besides shredding plastics, it can also be used for wood. For companies that don’t need something quite that large, the TM1400 and TM1600 can handle plastics on a smaller scale.
While some industries are so consistent that they can buy machinery off the shelf, Franklin Miller customizes machines for most of their customers, so that the machines do exactly what is needed.
Bill Galanty, the current chief executive officer, is the second generation of the current ownership of the company. His father, Harold, bought the company from the original owners in the 1950s. Bill joined the company in 1974 and became president in 1991. Bill’s son, Jake, is the company’s general manager and also works in industrial sales.
When Bill took over the company, he expanded the company’s product line even further than it had been before, adding machines for chemical processing and expanding the shredding and recycling products. “I’m proud of our committed staff, that we manufacture fine equipment in the U.S., sell it worldwide and are on our third generation as a family business,” Bill said.
Cerruto has been with the company for 11 years and has seen quite a bit of growth even in that short time, compared to the long history of the company. She noted that all of the manufacturing is done on-site, and to keep up with demand, the company added on to the factory last year, doubling the size. They also built a new test room where machines can do test runs of customer materials. The tests are recorded on video so the customers can watch them remotely, while some customers prefer to come to the site to watch the tests in person.
“The demand has gone up,” Cerruto said, which has helped the company grow to the point where they needed the extra space, but they have also continued to expand the product line. She said that the wastewater products have opened up a lot of opportunities. But it’s not all new business. “We have a lot of return customers,” she said. “We retain customers very well, competing in a crowded marketplace.”
While there are plenty of competitors, Cerruto said, “There are companies that do some things we do – but they might not do all of what we do.”
The company employs approximately 50 people at the facility but, “there are sales reps throughout the world,” she said. Besides sales reps, there are also service people who can go where the customer needs them. “We can send somebody out, no matter where.”
Cerruto said that the best thing about her job is “working for a company that is dedicated to the customer. I talk to happy customers all day.” Later, she added, “It’s a great place to work. It’s a great family atmosphere. It’s a fun place to work.”
Published in the March 2017 Edition of American Recycler News