Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Heavy Hauling Truck and Trailer Fleet Project

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Working on an appraisal of a heavy hauling truck and trailer fleet in California. In this photo we’re inspecting trailers bringing pre-cast concrete building components to a major university dormitory expansion. The heavy haul industry is in a capacity crisis, according to a recent article in Business Insider, as orders for trucks and trailers have skyrocketed 141% compared to 2017. I guess this is a good problem to have if you’re a supplier…

Update on Craft Beer Industry

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A quick update on the craft beer industry.  Nearly 1,000 breweries opened in 2017, which increased competition while overall growth decelerated.  Continued growth in craft brewing is expected but will certainly be tempered by local and regional market saturation and strong competition from macro brewers and even other non-beer i.e. craft distilleries.


Aerospace Components Manufacturing Facility Appraisal

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Working on an appraisal update of a state of the art aerospace components manufacturing facility.  An impressive array of machine tools with a very well-layed out floor plan to maximize operational efficiencies.



Bed in a Box?

How do you put a bed in a box?  Well, we found the answer out recently on an appraisal assignment…you purchase a $350K mattress compression roll packing machine such as this one from C3.  The “BinB” market is estimated at about 10% of the overall bedding market but is growing substantially.  Lead time for one of these machines is about 4 months.  On-line mattress sales have grow significantly, rising from 6% of total mattress sales in 2014 to 10% in 2016.  Other specialized foam processing equipment such as slitters, saws, profilers and cutting centers are also experiencing high demand.  The mattress purchase model is changing and consumers are gravitating to the value proposition offered by companies in the “BinB” space.

Straw Making Machinery

Another recent assignment had us talking about straw-making machines. We tend to take for granted the availability of straws in just about any type of restaurant, convenience store, theme park or sporting event. But where do all these straws come from? Typical straw-making lines consist of an extruder, vacuum cooling tank, puller/cutter and packer along with a wrapping machine. Korea and Taiwan are the leading exporters of straw-making machinery.  Warm weather and low labor cost markets such as S.E. Asia, the Middle East and N. Africa are seeing the highest demand growth for such machines though they tend to purchase lower cost equipment from China and India. North America and Europe rely on either imported straws or automated, high volume machinery, which minimizes labor costs but also come with hefty price tags. There are only about 6-10 N. American straw-making companies left and they face challenges that off-shore straw suppliers don’t – i.e. safety and environmental issues, which makes it tough to compete against cheaper imports.

Street Sweepers – an Industry Really Cleaning Up

We recently completed an appraisal for street sweepers – an industry that is really cleaning up.  There are two main types of sweepers – regenerative air and mechanical broom.  Each has advantages depending on application, for example, the type of debris that is being collected, the shape of the street or parking lot (i.e. crowned, flat), dumping preferences (i.e. remote, ground level or higher). These variables will dictate which type of sweeper is more suited for a particular application.  Elgin is the largest street sweeper equipment supplier in North America, accounting for over 50% of all new sales. Tymco is another popular brand and has had success with several longstanding model designs over the past 20 years. Cleaner, “greener” street sweepers powered by CNG are witnessing growing adoption and leading sweeper manufacturers now offer alternative fuel powered vehicles. Sweeper manufacturers mount their systems on truck body chassis sourced from major manufacturers. Most units are mounted on medium or heavy-duty chassis. Commonly used chassis include International 4300, Freightliner M2 and Isuzu NPR Series. Systems are mounted on both conventional and cab-over style chassis.

Airplanes Everywhere…

Had the unique opportunity to visit the famous airplane storage yard / grave yard in California’s Mojave Desert.  Amazing to see the vast array of planes – from huge 747 relics from the 1970’s to model DC10’s, L1011’s and Boeing 73X series.  Nothing goes to waste on these planes as whatever can be salvaged is picked clean off.

DNA Sequencing Instruments Less than $20K?

A DNA sequencing instrument under $20K that fits on your desktop?  Yes, the cost of sequencing DNA continues to plummet thanks to the innovation of companies like Illumina.  Their latest sequencer is aimed at studying virus, bacteria and microbes.  How will these low cost instruments affect the high end instrument market, which can have instruments that cost up to $1 million?  


Amazon’s Prime Air

While conducting an inspection of aviation ground support equipment I ran across an entire plane dedicated to just Amazon Prime shipments.  Shows you how much volume Amazon is turning these days and the resources required to move it.