It has been a tremendous year, and I look back on it with pride for all that we have accomplished. Hytrol has made substantial advances in technology with our Technology Center and innovative new products. We were also blessed to follow up last year’s record year with two record months. Our founder Tom Loberg once said, “We have the best people in the world.” And I agree because without the dedicated members of the Hytrol Family these accomplishments would not be possible.
In August, we hosted an open house for our reimagined Technology Center. The 8-month project included more than $1.5 million updates to the facility. It features a two-level conveyor showcase area for customer demonstrations and generous space dedicated to our research and development engineers to develop new products and technology for prototype testing.
A highlight of the center is our client experience studio, featuring an industry-exclusive augmented reality environment. The room allows customers to experience their material handling design virtually before it is built or installed.
We hosted IPs in October for our 2018 Convention. More than 160 people attended the 3-day event that included tours of our expanded production facility and research and development center as well as in-depth workshops on Hytrol products and material handling technology. It was a great opportunity for IPs to discuss their needs with us and how we can partner to meet those opportunities.
Hytrol introduced the industry’s first all-electric accumulator, the NBEZ. It offers acquisition, maintenance, and operational benefits for the end user. We also introduced, EZLogic OS, a mobile software that controls conveyors from your phone. Other new products include gapping and sortation solutions and our upgraded ProSort 100 and 400 series.
New Mission and Vision Statements
We updated our mission statement in a months-long process. I’m proud of the work done by the 14-member committee of employees representing all areas and shifts who worked on the project. After focus groups and other research were analyzed, we created a concise and memorable statement of who we are: We create material handling technology and relationships that move the world.
Hytrol continues to seek opportunities to give back to our community in Northeast Arkansas. It has been our home for 56 years. We offer support to area schools and nonprofit organizations, but it is our employees who are making the community better. They are leaders within these organizations and making a difference for a better tomorrow.
We invested in the future through programs such as Tek Starz and Girls in STEM that introduce students to career opportunities in manufacturing. The Jonesboro City Council presented Hytrol with a proclamation for our activities to foster interest in manufacturing careers.
This last year was one of great successes as we worked to create material handling technology that moves the world. It has been a pleasure to lead Hytrol during these exciting times for Hytrol and the material handling industry. I’d like to thank all who had a part with our 2018 successes – our Integration Partner Network, suppliers, and our teammates. We all come together to form the Hytrol Family – a team that Leads the Way. I look forward to 2019 with great eagerness for growth and opportunities.