Case Studies

Cemen Tech Inc.

Churning out innovative concrete mixing solutions for 46 years

Based in Indianola, Iowa, Cemen Tech Inc. is the world’s largest manufacturer of volumetric proportioning and continuous concrete mixing systems. The 100 percent employee-owned company has more than 46 years of experience in the volumetric mixer industry and has become a global name -in more than 52 countries- for cost-effective and timely solutions.

Compared to traditional drum mixing, volumetric mixing is more cost- and time-effective. The simplicity in operation, versatility in batch size and return on investment from Cemen Tech mixers is second to none. “We produce a number of products, but our main product is a volumetric concrete mixer,” says Connor Deering, now president and CEO of Cemen Tech.

“This machine produces concrete by volume as opposed to weight, as in your typical drum-truck application,” continues Deering. “It mixes fresh concrete on site at exactly the type and amount needed. Our mixers give an enormous amount of flexibility to someone who needs concrete.”

Anyone who works with concrete can benefit from owning a volumetric mixer. Contractors now have the ability to control their jobsites even more. “The machine is easy to operate, and I love the way it handles and cranks out the concrete,” says Bob Lail of Delong Concrete. Lail’s Cemen Tech mixer allows his team to pour concrete whenever, wherever, and in the quantity needed on a daily basis.

Cementech Inc.

Driving innovation

Cemen Tech has always pushed the envelope in innovative concrete solutions. The company was established by Hugh and Eileen Tobler in 1969, originally starting as a marketing company in Minneapolis, promoting mobile concrete mixers. In 1974, Cemen Tech relocated to Indianola in order to expand.

Throughout the late 1970s, the company started experimenting with producing its own volumetric mixers, first as a stationary model and later as a truck- or trailer-mounted mobile mixer, originally called Concrete Dispensers. The new mixers quickly earned the respect of customers as one of the most efficient and productive concrete mixers on the market. Cemen Tech has continued that culture of innovation and introduced a newly engineered mixer at this year’s World of Concrete.

In the ’90s, Cemen Tech began a period of global growth. Sales grew in the Caribbean, Canada and other locations worldwide. Cemen Tech has expanded to two locations -Indianola and Indiana, Pennsylvania, and the company now serves customers in 52 countries. “40 percent of our business is now global,” adds Deering.

Why go volumetric?

Why are customers around the world searching for Cemen Tech’s volumetric mixers? From mobile to stationary mixers, Cemen Tech products are a full service batch plant that allows  concrete customers to store, proportion, mix and dispense concrete with a single unit in the quantity they need. Cemen Tech also offers a variety of sizes and options to fit unique business needs.

“Our customers range from municipalities -cities, counties and states to concrete contractors, general contractors and a good chunk of military business,” shares Deering. “We’ve worked with the Navy, the Air Force and the Army over the years.”

“We have three large military contracts going right now,” he adds. “One of the most iconic photos we have is of one of our mixers being used to repair a runway in Afghanistan with a large C-17 cargo plane taking off while military personnel make repairs to the runway.”

This mobility and flexibility is what makes Cemen Tech’s mixers so unique. Cemen Tech volumetric mixers produce fresh concrete every delivery, eliminating overages or shortages of product -no waiting, no waste. The mixers also produce the exact amount of concrete needed every time -from 10 yards to 100 yards.

The concrete produced is high quality. “We have received the first breaks from the mix design out of the Cemen Tech MCD10-150 and have achieved the highest seven day breaks on the project with the same mix design; that’s impressive,” exclaims Jason Starner, construction division manager of McMillen LLC.

“Traditionally, barrel or ready-mix trucks dump all of the ingredients -sand, stone, cement powder and water, all together and they’re mixed en route to the destination,” explains Mark Rinehart, director of sales and marketing for Cemen Tech. “With our trucks, separated materials ensure a fresh mix on each delivery.”

“This means you can pour half a yard of concrete or 14 yards of concrete, making our mixers the perfect solution for customers that need small amounts of material,” adds Rinehart. “But they can also be set up to produce continuously if say, 100 yards are needed.”

Furthermore, with a Cemen Tech mixer, changing mix designs is quick and efficient, going from one job to the next without having to return to the plant. The accelerated clean out and elimination of waste also means Cemen Tech mixers are more environmentally friendly than traditional drum mixers.

In addition to mobile and stationary mixers, Cemen Tech also produces bulk cement silos designed to save the time and labor involved in breaking bags or handling sacks of cement. Silos are available in both upright and low-profile models and can be powered by on-site electric power or independent gas engines.

Diverse applications

The versatility of Cemen Tech mixers opens the door to a range of applications including general concrete, flowable fill, rapid setting concrete, overlay, precasting, municipal applications, wet and dry shotcrete as well as other specialty and mounting applications.

“Our mixers are involved in a broad scope of work -reinforced concrete to liquid and dried colored concrete, polished concrete, steel fiber reinforced- any project that has a unique need for concrete; that’s what our mixers are built for,” says Rinehart.

“Our Cemen Tech mixers have already produced over 100,000 sq. feet of pervious concrete without a problem,” says Matt Murphy, owner of Precision Concrete Materials.  Murphy’s team also played a critical role in a seismic bridge hinge reconstruction project on I-280 in San Francisco in September 2014. They were able to complete twice the amount of work as a previous project and completed the job seven hours ahead of schedule which allowed 60,000 people who use the interstate every day access to downtown San Francisco.

Cemen Tech’s mixers are ready to tackle the challenge, even if it’s in a remote location. “We recently had a client come in and purchase 40 trucks and they’re using them in the oil and gas sector because of the remote need for concrete,” tells Deering.

“Our machines can mix without the full infrastructure of a ready-mix plant and they can travel more freely where the need is,” adds Rinehart.

Cemen Tech is also a big player in the shotcrete industry. “We introduced a new model in this segment last spring and it’s been a huge success,” shares Deering.

In the case of shotcrete, which is applied through a hose and projected at high velocity onto a surface, the major advantage of Cemen Tech volumetric mixers is the ability to reduce slump of the mix in demand. “Because our volumetric mixers mix and then immediately discharge, operators can quickly change the slump of the mix with a simple adjustment of the flow valve and all of the concrete is fresh, giving maximum in-place strength,” explains Deering.

Backed by employee ownership

Deering says the high level products Cemen Tech delivers would not be possible without the 100 or so employees that make up the company. In 1989, Cemen Tech started formulating plans to become an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) company.

In 1995, Cemen Tech employees purchased the remaining shares held by the Tobler family to become 100 percent employee-owned. That includes every person on staff, from the president to the welders and fabricators, the assembly line to the office staff.

“Being an employee-owned company, our employees have a much higher level of commitment, not only to customers’ success but our success as an organization,” measures Deering. “Employee ownership shows and is really prevalent in our culture.”

“Our production staff takes a lot of pride in the product we produce,” adds Rinehart. “If something isn’t right, they’ll fix it immediately so the customer has what they need for their project.”

Charging forward

Deering, who stepped into his leadership role at Cemen Tech just shy of a year ago, says he is excited to take the company in the right direction. “I have a strong manufacturing background,” he says. “While not in the same industry, the metrics going into success and productivity are similar. I have the opportunity to set the strategic direction and really enhance the culture we have; having that opportunity is a lot of fun. We have a fantastic team in place here and I’m proud to be a part of it.”

Coming into 2015, Deering says Cemen Tech has a record backlog. “As concrete demands grow in the next few years, we are ready to help meet that demand,” he says. “2017 projections are almost back to 2005 levels in terms of cubic yards that will be poured. We expect a very strong couple of years coming down the line.”

After 46 years, Cemen Tech Inc. continues a tradition of pushing the envelope in proportioning and continuous concrete mixing solutions, driven by dedicated employee owners and interested customers worldwide.

Published on: July 9, 2015

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