JWB Manufacturing Matches Machines to Job Specs

Tue October 24, 2006 - Midwest Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

After more than 10 years of providing an invaluable custom fabrication service at its manufacturing plant in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, JWB Manufacturing, a division of James W. Bell Co. Inc. (JW Bell), has proven it can tackle just about any special need.

“We do chassis work,” said David Bengford, vice president of JWB Manufacturing. “We’ve worked on the structural aspects of the machines. Just about every order has unique features, different requests that we have to figure out.”

A recycling/aggregate firm’s search for the right crushing or screening plants can involve more than buying the equipment from the dealer.

In order to have the machine meet its exact needs, a company may need a little more work done on the plant’s design. After approximately a month of drawing the specifications, it takes the plant a little more than a week to complete the labor.

Situated in the Midwest, most of JWB Manufacturing’s design requests come for mobile machines. The portfolio of portable plants range from single or tandem axle screening plants to seven axle 190,000-lb. combination crushing screening plants.

“There are not too many permanent quarries,” said Bengford. “Most companies spend three months at a mini-quarry, then move on to the next one. That’s why most of the recycling equipment out here is mobile. They’re easier to transport.”

While the upcoming winter season will bring most recycling operations to a halt, JW Bell’s manufacturing plant will still be churning away.

“The winter gets pretty busy because we’re trying to complete orders before spring,” said Bengford. “We usually increase staff from 25 to 30 to more than 30 to help with the load.”

Investments JWB Manufacturing makes in keeping the facility’s hardware up to date also helps with the production. A 10 by 24 ft. computerized combination plasma and oxy-acetylene burning table was recently installed and has already made a big difference.

“It’s brand new and totally computerized,” said Bengford. “It’s saved us a bunch of money by cutting down on burn-outs.”

JWB Manufacturing’s facility consists of two buildings totaling 64,000 sq. ft. of indoor fabrication. Raw steel is cleaned and stored inside. All of the equipment is housed in a 27,000 sq. ft. building that was once used for manufacturing tanks during World War II.

The company’s efficiency has reached beyond the Midwest and across the Atlantic. The fabrication crew is finishing up a custom job on three units that Terex Cedarapids will ship out to Russia.

“There isn’t much difference in the basic design aspects,” said Bengford, who has been with the company for more than 30 years. “Rock is still rock in any country.”

James W. Bell founded the company in 1923 as a distributorship for Iowa Manufacturing Co.’s crushing equipment.

The company thrived until World War II, when focus on military construction forced JW Bell to become a contractor and build runways at Army bases in Texas.

The post-war construction boom put James W. Bell Co. Inc. back on track, building its headquarters in Cedar Rapids and adding more manufacturers to its equipment line.

JWB Manufacturing has been providing custom design and fabrication for the crushing industry for more than 13 years. Even though it is a relatively young company, JWB Manufacturing draws on an experienced crew of employees that have been in the crushing industry many years and have tackled just about every configuration of portable and stationary crushing plant.

Now led by John Bell, the company has a second branch in Altoona, Iowa, and sells and rents equipment from most major manufacturers, including Terex, Sakai, Tramac, Atlas Copco and Cedarapids.

For more information, call 319/362-1151 or visit www.jwbell.com.

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