Time flies when you're making history. That was our motto when Hytrol celebrated its 65th anniversary, and as we enter our 70th year in business, we are taking a moment to reflect on just how true that statement remains today. Hytrol is a company fueled by innovation and relationships. We understand the necessity of both if we are to fulfill the path charted for us by our founder, Tom Loberg.
When Tom Loberg created Hytrol in 1947, he laid that foundation for the generations of employees to come. By today's standards, Tom's first solution was simple--a conveyor designed to carry bags of grain--but perfectly timed to fill a great need for his customers. From that initial solution to the innovative solutions designed by our team of engineers and employees we have today, Hytrol has always thrived on creating durable, reliable and inventive products.
Hytrol has continued to create the best material handling systems in the world. That is only part of our key to success. The second half of our success comes from our major relationships: our Integration Partner Network that Tom assembled early in the company's history. For 70 years, the unique three-way partnership between Hytrol, our distributors and our customers has been more than a way of doing business: it's a philosophy from which we have never wavered. Generations of employees at Hytrol have committed to continuing this relationship. We're the best at designing and manufacturing material handling solutions; our integration partners are the best at implementing them.
Hytrol is still located in Jonesboro, Ark.--a fact that we are fiercely proud of. When others have moved jobs overseas, we have continued to invest in our community and in our future. Working hand in hand with our Integration Partner Network, we invest heavily in expanding the talents and capabilities of the Hytrol team. We're proud of the growth and of the success facilitated by these relationships, and we are proud of the way we have progressed as a company while honoring Tom's commitment to the network.
Staying true to our roots has worked well for us. We recently invested almost $18 million into a facility expansion and capacity expansion initiative. We've broken sales records year after year. We've adopted Lean manufacturing, and are constantly look for ways to bring more value to our customer. This mindset is woven throughout our culture.
Today, we continue to embrace innovation, expanding our product line to focus on new markets. Whether it is our products tailored to meet the reliability, speeds and heavy duty cycles of the parcel market, our plastic chain products employed in the food and pharmaceutical markets or our growing international business, we understand there are unique challenges and needs we must address. Consumers today are demanding more. That challenge has created an opportunity for Hytrol as we respond to that demand. Much like Tom's first solution, Old #1, merged an innovative solution to solve his friend's issue, Hytrol continues that tradition of blending innovation and relationships.
If history has anything to say about what's next, it's that Hytrol will continue to create solutions and relationships that matter. We've never diverted from the foundation that Tom Loberg laid for us. We continue to have the best people in the world designing and building inventive material handling solutions. I know this combination is the reason for Hytrol's success. No one knows exactly what the future holds, but at Hytrol, we know the path that we will continue to follow. We will continue to build innovative material handling solutions, we will continue to focus on relationships, and we will continue to build the team of the best professionals in our industry--and as a result, we will continue to make history.
David Peacock is the president of Hytrol. As a strategic executive with progressive experience in the manufacturing industry, David is focused on driving performance and continuing the company’s longstanding heritage through lean practices and alignment of cross-functional talent. He continues to promote a culture of excellence by encouraging collaboration and communication. With a dynamic leadership style, David possesses the organizational and tactical knowledge to guide Hytrol’s people, processes, and initiatives.