The new machine at Fuller Industries has significantly enhanced its custom brush-manufacturing capabilities while simultaneously opening many new markets, Director of Custom Products Lisa Moeder said.
The new addition to the plant’s floor is called the Borghi Jupiter. Fuller can now create tufted cylinders up to 10 feet long and 34 inches in diameter.
Tufted cylinders are used for big items such as street sweepers and smaller items such as agricultural troughs – and many items in between.
“We are one of only a few companies in North America that offers this capability,” Moeder said. “The Borghi has introduced Fuller to whole new horizons.”
Fuller was in the position of having to turn down jobs in the past. Now it plans to make even more products for the agriculture industry, and pursue possibilities in areas such as food processing, bakeries, aviation, the energy sector and others.
“We will create a larger footprint for Fuller in the custom-brush business,” Moeder commented. “Our new capabilities will lead us to many new markets throughout the country.”
To accommodate the new demand, Fuller has added to its sales force. Thirteen representatives concentrate on markets from the western Kansas border to California. Another rep focuses on the eastern half of the country, while Moeder concentrates on the Midwest.
Moeder recently attended the National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, Ky., and plans to visit as many expositions as possible.
The Borghi arrived at the plant, just west of Great Bend, in January. After producing some samples and prototypes, the first actual production run occurred Feb. 21.
This job involved making a brush seal for cotton gins. “We had never been in the cotton business before; this is a whole new ballgame,” Moeder remarked.
Martin Brack, custom products engineer, noted the Borghi is the first piece of new equipment purchased within the last 10 years.
“This is one reason all of us are so excited about the new possibilities,” Brack said. “The Borghi will save time, labor and money.
“And we can perform some jobs four to five times faster than in the past,” he elaborated. “For example, a job that may have taken a week can now be done in a day.”
Training in Italy
Brack was one of five people to travel to Italy for training; Borghi is headquartered near Bologna, Italy, and is the only place in the world to learn the ins and outs of the equipment.
Others who made the week-long trip early this year are: Travis Kurth, manufacturing engineer; Shawn Gieck and Cecil Graves, both technicians; and Scott Evans, vice president of business development.
In addition, three Borghi representatives came from Italy to Great Bend for in-house training. They will return this spring to add more capabilities and provide follow-up training.
Moeder and Brack agreed that the relatively new Fuller management team is responsible for the Borghi and many other improvements.
“They have made a huge investment to get this equipment,” Moeder said. “It is amazing. I have wanted something like this for more than 10 years. This investment into the best equipment and appropriate training demonstrates that local investors and management are committed to growing Fuller. They care about every employee out here.”
Fuller Industries LLC, formerly known as The Fuller Brush Company, manufactures commercial cleaning supplies, custom brushes and private-label chemicals. It was founded in 1906.