GEMCO industrial machines are made in the USA, and they are used to manufacture almost everything you see and use every day, from cosmetics to medicines and more. The company has been the undisputed global mixing and drying authority since 1916. This company is a pioneer when it comes to industrial mixers, having invented the first tumble mixer by patenting the Double Cone industrial mixer design in the 1930s. The tumbler blenders and dryers from GEMCO are of unquestionable quality, and they are constantly being upgraded to meet the highest technical standards.

They built thousands of powders blending and drying units that are used in nearly 40 countries and 40 industries around the globe. Over the past five years, the size of the target area has grown exponentially, and now GEMCO has 15 representative locations on four continents.

This has always been a family-owned company with strong family principles. It operates from an 80,000-ft3 industrial machine factory, powder test lab, and tolling center located in Middlesex, New Jersey.

Interview with Casey Bickhardt, President/CEO/Owner of GEMCO .

Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity for the company?

Casey Bickhardt: I am proud to say that GEMCO’s tumble blenders and dryers engineering services are beyond world class—design and manufacture. Our premium processing solutions are developed to become the individual clients’ unique competitive advantage. 

Today, nearly 40 different industries utilize GEMCO’s equipment: pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, chemical, powdered metal, food & beverage, cosmetics, and more. The company offers replacement parts, process flow consulting, and certified machine service assistance and maintenance worldwide because GEMCO wants to ensure that their superb machines keep on blending. Also, our company with top of the class engineers can custom manufacture and update industrial mixers and dryers’ equipment.

The sister company, Advanced Powder Solutions (APS) is an in-house testing and tolling company. APS gives customers the level of confidence to know that their product, once tested in the laboratory, will run in GEMCO’s machines with no problem. It helps our clients get the outcomes they want and establish the best evaluation of the materials both before and after processing, as well as the best specifications. With GEMCO’s machines, we have a 99.9% success rate. The best evaluation of the materials both before and after processing, as well as the best specifications, are the outcomes that our clients are achieving. 

Also, our sister company is GEMCO Valve, with which we share the same values and ideals of innovation in design, excellence in manufacturing, and superior customer service. Their focus is on the research, design, and development of valves, which has enabled them to cooperate with NASA on extended lunar habitation and manned Mars missions.

These are the examples of effective collaboration made possible by a creative strategy that enables us to come up with answers for the entire spectrum of materials, uses, and processes.

E.E: What’s the news about new products?

CB: GEMCO nurtures the tradition of innovation. One of the biggest projects we worked on was the introduction of end-point analysis into our dryers. That brings numerous savings. It will no longer be necessary to open the machine to take the sample because that is how the air goes in and the product cools down. With new sensors, at any time we can see all the stages of the process, which is now considerably accelerated.

We developed an automatic filter cleaning system—GEMCO’s Blow Back Technology—with a sensor inside and outside the machine. As filters can clog, we automatically close the vacuum, pulling on the vessel, and send a burst of inert gas to dedust the filter. This removes the need for workers to enter the unit. It also stabilizes temperature consistency and product quality from batch to batch. 

Sometimes the customer needs gas; it might be for safety if they have explosive material. They might want to purge the unit with a gas like nitrogen or another inert gas that will not allow it to explode with all that oxygen. There are other customers for whom we can put the purging in the product. The nitrogen, as it bubbles up through the product, is removing water molecules or free radicals, and it speeds up the drying process. Also, there is stripping, which is basically stripping the water molecules off the powder.

There’s more news to come, especially when it comes to 3D printing. The trend towards 3D printing parts and products is growing due to its ability to create complex designs with speed, accuracy, and cost-effectiveness. This technology has become increasingly accessible to businesses and individuals, allowing them to produce custom-made and on-demand items. GEMCO is reclaiming the waste and making it usable as material for companies that make the powder for 3D printers. 

GEMCO will present the new, innovative solutions for more efficient blending and drying at the upcoming International Powder and Bulk Solids Conference and Exhibition 2023 in April and the Rapid + TCT Conference in May, which will be hosted in Chicago. These are the biggest powder trade shows in North America, which GEMCO is proud to be a part of.

E.E: What are the ranges of products?

CB: GEMCO is focusing on industrial mixers and dryers, holding to a premium standard. Every machine is shaped by the ambition for streamlined efficiency.

The company offers three distinct vessel shapes for industrial mixers and tumble vacuum dryers, allowing customers to choose the system that is best suited for their purpose. Depending on the industry and special needs of customers, they can choose between a Double Cone, a Slant Cone, and a V-shape.

GEMCO also offers custom industrial mixers and dryers, well-tailored for every customer, whether they have a pharmaceutical, cosmetics, general chemical, powdered metal application, or something entirely different. The company’s industrial tumble vacuum dryers and systems are precision batch dryers that process loads up to 10,000 kg.

E.E: At what stage of the market are you currently active?

CB: The markets are still growing, and our lead industry is pharmaceuticals. The demand for blenders and vacuum dryers has increased worldwide. GEMCO has engineering capabilities and the ability to test both small and large machines. This is what sets us apart from the competition and leads to premium quality. The company’s 250 percent rise in sales over the previous five years serves as the finest example of this.

We are hoping for the best, but it is certain that 2023 will be a challenging year with high energy prices, especially in Europe. That is why various industries should think about accelerating trends with new, modern industrial machines that can save time, energy, and money.

Our formula is simple: moving equals mixing. GEMCO’s machines are speaking for themselves, by consuming 65 percent less energy and power than those made by our rivals. For example, the GEMCO’s tumble vacuum dryer uses ½ of the power and energy of a fluid bed dryer, and it operates in 1/3 the time of a tray dryer.

GEMCO has an enhanced drying method that provides a secure, safe, and superior product. All surfaces of the material in our tumble dryers are equally exposed, and every particle moves six times per revolution. 

E.E: What estimates do you have for 2023?

CB: GEMCO is planning to invest at least 12 percent of the growth of its company in employees, training, and new equipment. We recognize that people are our greatest asset and that a team made up of dedicated professionals is making a difference. 

Our innovative design, integrity, and experience are unique on the market since we’ve been in this business for more than a century. We want to keep up with the cutting edge of technology and remain the leaders in this field.