Bigger is better in industry. On Tuesday, Elan Technology hosted a ribbon cutting for a plant expansion involving a new 15,000 square foot building and a 145,000 pounds rotary calciner machine. Elan Technology is also celebrating 70 years in business.
“Our customers have indicated their desire for us to add this capability over the last few years. The project has taken over 12 months for design, engineering and construction. We are excited to expand our current processing services and offer our customers the continued high-quality support they expect,” Chairman and CEO Tak Argentinis said.
Rotary calciners can be used in a variety of thermal treatment applications, such as drying or the decomposition of bulk materials. The machine utilizes thermal energy to separate certain components and can heat up to 1,832 degrees Fahrenheit.
Elan Technology was started by two WWII veterans in New Jersey in 1948. It became very successful until the two original owners got on in years and didn’t have anyone in their families to whom they could pass the business along. The company began to decline.
“In 1990 when I acquired the company it had negative net worth and after a few years in New Jersey we turned the company around,” Argentinis said. “We looked to move and looked at 31 sites from Virginia to Florida and selected Liberty County as the site.”
Argentinis said after planning to open a new facility in Midway, it took 100 tractor trailers to move all of the company’s equipment in 1996.
“You have been a very successful person in the industry and get credit for a lot of the industries we have here,” Hinesville Mayor Allen Brown said during the ceremony.
Elan Technology was already addressing three major markets when they began looking into the fourth market of calcination.
“We started being serious about it when we saw customers were serious too, and it took about a year and a half to analyze the markets,” Argentinis said. “Thankfully all of the customers who said they would come if we did it were waiting at the door and we went into production right away.”
The rotary calciner went into production in July 2018 and recently finished a large production run. The machine was shut down for the ribbon cutting ceremony, but will go back into production Wednesday morning.
“Anytime you have an existing industry to expand in your community is a win-win situation,” Liberty County Commission Chairman Donald Lovette said. “We have a responsibility to sustain and bring higher paying jobs to the community.”