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Rex Name Survives

Wed April 12, 2000 - Northeast Edition
John L. Campbell

TEMCO, an acronym for Trinity Equipment Manufacturing Co., Fort Worth, TX, has acquired the assets of Rexworks Inc., a Milwaukee, WI, manufacturer of cement mixers. TEMCO is a subsidiary of Trinity Industries Inc., a $3-billion steel fabricator of railcars, barges, highway guard rails and LPG storage tanks with headquarters in Dallas.

According to Dan Banks, TEMCO’s president, his firm bought only the manufacturing assets of Rexworks. “The name REX has industry recognition and they make a good quality product,” Banks said, adding, “they have the best gear box [on their mixer] in the business.” He plans to have all manufacturing assets, tools, and equipment moved to Fort Worth by the end of May. TEMCO, a new subsidiary established last November by Trinity, also owns T. L. Smith Company, another mixer manufacturer, located in Springville, NY.

“Smith mixers have a blade system that mixes and unloads to good advantage,” Banks said, explaining how TEMCO will manufacture stationary and over-the-road cement mixers under the REX, SMITH and TEMCO trade names. TEMCO also has a kit assembly facility in Leesburg, FL.

How big is the market for cement mixing equipment? To answer that Dan Banks cited the fact that there’s 1.4 cubic yards of cement sold annually in the Unites States for every man, woman and child. “The demand is based on population density,” Banks explained, “and the biggest markets for cement are Florida, California and Texas.” TEMCO will manufacture the REX mixers in Fort Worth, where they have over 120 employees. That facility had been fabricating railcars.

At one time both T. L. Smith and Rex Chainbelt were part of Milwaukee’s heavy-industry complex. The REX logo originated in 1892 at the Chain Belt Company in Milwaukee. Cement mixers were the company’s first product line. For the next century, the company grew in reputation with heavy-duty metal chain, conveyors and speed reducers. During that time the corporate name was changed to Rex Chainbelt.

In 1982 the cement mixing division experienced a management buy-out and the new name became Rexworks Inc. Struggling to maintain solvency, the company was sold to Guiffre Brothers, truck-crane manufacturers in 1997, with the idea of utilizing the fabricating facility for both businesses. Neither Frank nor Dominic Guiffre were available for comments on the sale, but Dan Banks said that, as part of the purchase agreement, Guiffre Brothers would be a distributor of TEMCO products.

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