What started as a small sand screw operation in Benton, Kan., has evolved into a world-class aggregate equipment manufacturer. GreyStone Inc. (GreyStone) now develops innovative, green-friendly solutions for complete sand washing, classifying and dewatering, including engineering, equipment, controls, structural fabrication, installation, operation and service. As one of the few companies in a specialized market, GreyStone’s eye for ingenuity has earned the manufacturer industry-leading status.
“GreyStone originated in the late 1950s as L.B. Manufacturing,” shares James Holmberg, president of GreyStone. “In 1982, the local Ready Mix company purchased L.B. Manufacturing and moved the business to Columbus, Neb. The name was changed to GreyStone in 1988 and shortly after, in 1992, my parents purchased the company.”
For more than 30 years, GreyStone has remained Nebraska-based and family-owned and-operated. However, through sustainable-driven product lines, the company has built a network of global dealers and customers. “We are doing more innovative manufacturing now than ever before,” reveals Holmberg. “Our patented technologies are better for the environment and for our end-users.”
The company has established a global network of dealers that reaches throughout Canada, South America, Europe, Africa, Mexico and everywhere in between. “There are only about four other companies in the world that make this type of equipment, and we’re one of the top manufacturers,” says Holmberg.
A Better Way to Process
The company manufactures a complete line of field-proven portable and semi-portable aggregate equipment, which includes washing and screening plants, sand classification tanks and systems, single and twin fine material dewatering screws, coarse material washers, log washers, advanced computer control systems, water clarifiers, rotary and vibrating screens, blade mills, cutter heads, twin jets, aggregate reclaiming systems and many other solutions for producers. Additionally, GreyStone offers complete plant design and application engineering services, project management, troubleshooting and add-on engineering, tailored to specific product lines and producer needs.
According to Holmberg, GreyStone is always on the lookout for new and improved solutions. “Our Aggre-Dry Washer is our most recent, innovative sand dewatering unit,” he shares.
The Aggre-Dry Washer combines a fine material screw and dewatering screen to produce sand and gravel products with moisture content as low as 8 percent to 13 percent, by weight, while using only 30 HP to wash and dewater up to 100 TPH.
“With moisture levels around 10 percent for our equipment and industry standard at about 25 percent, that extra 15 percent of water keeps us ahead of our competitors, because our material is ready to sell faster and uses significantly less water overall,” comments Holmberg.
Less water means a greener solution. “Not only is the process environmentally friendly, but it’s also faster,” notes Holmberg. “The sand is ready to use right when it comes out of the Aggre-Dry Washer; that means end-users can start using the product and get on to other jobs quicker. The system actually recently won an innovation award at the national CONEXPO-CON/AGG show.”
Aside from motors, gear boxes and some rubberized parts, GreyStone designs, engineers and fabricates all of its equipment in-house. Holmberg notes that it is about finding solutions for all kinds of material.
“Every type of sand and gravel has a different purpose; some is used for concrete and others for sand traps and all sorts of other applications,” he details. “Our job is to find ways to classify and improve the quality of the material for our customers.”
Powering through the economic downturn, GreyStone won a contract to manufacture for the U.S. Navy’s Seabee division. “We had to redesign parts of our equipment for Navy specifications,” explains Holmberg. “This project really helped carry us through a challenging time.”
GreyStone completed the portable wash plant system in September 2012. The system included a twin 36-inch dewatering screw portable wash plant, a feed hopper and conveyor, four radial stacker conveyors, a generator and a water pump. GreyStone tested the units and designed them to withstand harsh climates and be transportable throughout the world’s most challenging environments.
After weathering the recession through key partnerships, Holmberg proudly reports that GreyStone is positioned for growth and ready to create the next innovative aggregate technology. “We stay on top of what’s going on in the industry,” he explains. “We stay connected as member of the National Stone Sand and Gravel Association [NSSGA] and the Association of Equipment Manufacturers [AEM], and will be exhibiting at CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2014 and introducing two of our newest products.”
In 2012 GreyStone celebrated 20 years of ownership. “We plan to broaden our reputation as a trusted green manufacturer and continue to develop innovative products in the coming years,” Holmberg says. GreyStone Inc. is building on nearly 60 years of aggregate manufacturing expertise, delivering solutions that stand the test of time.