Woodex Bearing workers adjusting to employee ownership

By Frank Antosiewicz
Correspondent

Published: March 30, 2012 6:00 am ET

Related to this story

Topics Machinery, NPE 2012

ORLANDO, FLA. (March 30, 11:20 a.m. ET) — Since its inception, Woodex Bearing Co. Inc. (Booth 63012) has been evolving. Now the maker of Meco dry-running shaft seals is doing business as an Employee Stock Ownership Plan company.

“Becoming an ESOP was a long planned affair,” said Starkey Steuernagle, Woodex general manager, in a telephone interview.

He said Chairman Emeritus David Bowers and his wife Betty sold their majority stake in the company Jan. 1 to the employees as a way to ensure that it continues as a “Made in Maine” company.

”It hasn’t sunk in yet. Most of the experts say that it takes a few years for it sink in. It has increased our debt load, but we feel good that in the long run we will still manufacture the same product lines with a strong reputation for quality and customer support,” Steuernagle said.

He added, “We feel that we can only grow as people take stock in the company.”

Steuernagle noted that many employees have been with the company for 15 years and more. Vice President Steve Williams started as a teenager and has been there for over 30 years. President Glenn Irish has been with the company for 24 years.

Woodex currently employs 28 and operates in a 17,000 square foot facility in Georgetown, Maine, that combines conventional machine tools with state-of-the-art numerically controlled machines.

The company actually started in 1908 in Wakefield, Mass., as a trademark describing the Neveroil Bearing Co.’s oil-impregnated wood bearings. It was later named Wakefield Corp., then became Woodex Bearing after another change of ownership.

Woodex has served the plastics industry for many years by providing shaft seals for process machinery, mostly for extruders and dryers. They are also used in mixers and blenders.

“Most are used in primary resin manufacturing where resin is dried and extruded to pellet form. It also can be used where compounded with fillers and colorants,” Steuernagle said.

Woodex attended its first NPE in 2009 and this year is showcasing its newest model HB seal for screw conveyors


Comments

Woodex Bearing workers adjusting to employee ownership

By Frank Antosiewicz
Correspondent

Published: March 30, 2012 6:00 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Best Places To Work: No. 7, CMD Corp.

March 4, 2015 12:27 pm ET

There's a lot of innovating going on at the No. 7 company on Plastics News' Best Places to Work ranking.    More

Image

West Coast ports dispute impacts machinery imports

February 27, 2015 5:00 pm ET

Asian machinery companies got caught in the West Coast ports labor dispute — causing some headaches to get equipment ready for NPE 2015.    More

Image

Wittmann, Illig among machinery firms boosting investments in India

February 27, 2015 1:34 pm ET

GANDHINAGAR, INDIA — Expected growth in the Indian plastics market is leading several global machinery firms to make investments there,...    More

Image

NFM Welding Engineers opens direct office in China

February 26, 2015 2:05 pm ET

MASSILLON, OHIO — Extrusion equipment manufacturer NFM Welding Engineers Inc. has opened a sales office in Dalian, China.    More

Image

Amut buys Dolci and Bielloni

February 25, 2015 3:41 pm ET

Amut SpA, the Novara, Italy-based maker of extruders, thermoforming machines and plastics recycling equipment, has acquired the Italian company that m...    More

Market Reports

Flexible Packaging Trends in North America

North America represents about 30 percent of the global consumption of flexible packaging. Annual growth in this region is forecast at 4 percent during the next 5 years.

For more insight on growth opportunities, drivers of growth and the outlook for 2015, download this report.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

This report analyzes the $20 billion plastics industry in Mexico including sales of machinery & equipment, resins and finished products.

Our analysts provide insight on business trends, foreign investment, top end markets and plastics processing activity. The report also provides important data on exports, production, employment and value of plastics products manufactured.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events