Nedco Conveyor Technology Co.
- Written by: Jeanee Dudley
- Produced by: Sean Barr
- Estimated reading time: 4 mins
Curt Tarlton founded Nedco Conveyor Technology Co. (Nedco) in 1961, offering engineering, design, manufacturing, as well as mechanical and electrical installation services to clients all over the United States and beyond. With a main plant in Union, N.J., and a small office in Chicago, the company has established a broad market. Nedco has established a niche manufacturing quality conveyors and material handling products for the pharmaceutical and food industries.
Tarlton founded the business at age 29, after working successfully in sales in the years prior. “I decided I wanted to get into a company as a partner, but that did not present itself as an option at the time,” he recalls. “I went on to start Nedco, originally as a distributor with no manufacturing capabilities. Eventually, my team and I determined that the profit center for this business was in manufacturing. Our customers were very happy with the quality we introduced and we have kept at it ever since.”
Leading products and services
Nedco works through a network of distributors to provide conveyor and materials handling systems to customers. Even through distributors, the company offers turnkey solutions. The business provides a full team of installers for businesses that require full installation, or just a supervisor for guidance. Nedco can have a system completely ready for customers, performing mechanical and electrical work, as well as panel fabrication, wiring and PLC programming.
The company’s vast product line includes: tabletop conveyors, belt conveyors, spiral elevators, bucket elevators, accumulators, sanitary belt conveyors, unit handling systems, robotic systems, work cells, diverters and convergers. The complex machinery is designed and built in-house to meet all of the needs of a manufacturing, processing or handling facility.
“We are strong in serving the pharmaceutical and food industries,” Tarlton explains. “We do some work for the industrial sector, but those are our primary markets.”
Nedco’s newest product, the Zepher, has attracted a lot of attention in the company’s primary markets. The Zepher is an innovative accumulator table that has helped customers dramatically increase productivity in plants. The Zepher accumulates at low speeds and automatically meters single-file output at high speeds. The machine can handle containers of a range of sizes and types. The system is also a space-saver, taking up minimal floor space.
Another popular product line is Nedco’s modular tabletop chain conveyors. These systems offer smooth and continuous movement of products and materials. Customers seek out these products, such as the company’s Rex Tabletop Chain, for durability, efficiency and easy maintenance. Nedco produces standard modular components, easy to ship and replace when a component wears out. While the most basic application for these conveyors is transportation, the business offers a number of accessories to add additional functions to the line. These conveyors are easily integrated with other Nedco products to form a complete system.
Like many businesses, Nedco faced obstacles throughout the recession that challenged the team’s growth. “Business has been really good for the last year,” Tarlton states. “During the recession, however, there were some very slow times. Many of the projects we work on require two years of planning or more, prior to starting. Business was slow coming out of the downturn. The companies we work with had slowed down production and were not increasing budgets in capital.”
Tarlton and his team found a bit of a delay in feeling the recession. Through 2010, the business was doing well; however, in 2011 and 2012 the business slowed down significantly.
As fate would have it, in 2013 Nedco started to see growth again and the company is currently in expansion mode. “Going into 2014 we see expansion and continued growth,” Tarlton notes. “Obamacare has been a driver for expansion, because the pharmaceutical market will be expanding.”
Tarlton has high hopes for the new Zepher line. “There’s nothing like it on the market,” he explains. “We are in the process of promoting that product. We want to continue our growth through distribution and we are always looking to break into new areas.”
Nedco’s network of distributors is integral to the sales and marketing process. The company is represented in nearly every region of the country by regional sales managers. These managers are responsible for getting products to distributors, so Nedco can focus on quality and innovation. These relationships have contributed to the business’ longevity and attracted countless clients.
“We take great pride in being in business for more than 50 years,” Tarlton adds. “I am getting ready to retire and I am happy that I have been able to provide our people with a decent living over the years.”
Tarlton considers his employees a family; as many have been with the business for more than 20 years, working to maintain and build upon the company’s strong reputation. In the coming years, Tarlton is looking forward to continuing progress as Nedco Conveyor Technology Co. grows and adds new products to the line.
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