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Conveying success.

Conveying Success

Jonesboro's Hytrol Conveyor Co. Offers High-Speed Equipment

The next time you're standing in the grocery store checkout line watching the lettuce and milk pass by, consider the Hytrol conveyor.

Hytrol conveyors seem to be everywhere.

They're in grocery stores.

They're at airports.

They're even in those discount chain stores that whisk your merchandise out to you from adjoining warehouses.

In May, Hytrol Conveyor Co. of Jonesboro introduced a model using special tubes that move across the surface of the conveyor. At the diversion point, divert blocks, corresponding to product lengths, move diagonally across the conveyor to push products into take-away lines. The blocks then return to the normal position.

With almost $55 million in gross revenues in 1990, Hytrol is one of Jonesboro's leading industries. At No. 44 on the Arkansas Business Top 50, Hytrol is the world's largest manufacturer of conveyor hardware, processing 100 tons of steel per day.

That's a long way from the days when the product was being developed in the garage of a Milwaukee draftsman.

Tom Loberg was working for a farm equipment manufacturer in 1947 when a friend approached him about building a conveyor that would move bags of seed and feed for stacking.

Loberg soon was receiving additional orders for his conveyors. He eventually had his own manufacturing plant in West Allis, Wis.

Loberg called his first conveyors Hydro-Controls. The name later was shortened to Hytrol.

Hytrol sells conveyors through local distributors. In 1962, the company moved all operations to Jonesboro.

Hytrol employs almost 600 people, offering an impressive package of benefits for its workers. Included in the perks are annual bonuses, family health care and a health club with a weight room and an indoor swimming pool.

Swimming lessons and water-safety courses are free. Employees can even earn extra income by participating in aerobics classes.

An in-house cafeteria serves breakfast for $1.50, and employees can eat lunch for about $2.

Not surprisingly, employee longevity is common at Hytrol.

Just about anyone with a title worked up the corporate ladder from the floor.

Twice each year, employees have the opportunity to voice their opinions. The open-door policy has led to an 80,000-SF addition to the plant and equipment investments worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

An employee stock ownership plan is being developed to guard against an outside takeover.

PHOTO : KEEP |EM MOVING: Hytrol Conveyor Co. at Jonesboro is the world's largest manufacturer of conveyor hardware, processing 100 tons of steel per day.

Ruth Mitchell Arkansas Business Staff
COPYRIGHT 1991 Journal Publishing, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Top 50 Profiles; Hytrol Conveyor Co.'s successful operation
Author:Mitchell, Ruth
Publication:Arkansas Business
Article Type:company profile
Date:Jul 15, 1991
Words:419
Previous Article:Back on track.
Next Article:Milking the market.
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