By Steve White email@example.com
Metal rises from a bath of molten zinc. It's a glimmering glimpse into Reinke Manufacturing's new galvanizing plant near Deshler.
"A lot of time and money have gone into this," Robert Brockmeyer said.
He mans the kettle in a fume-free plant, where outsiders are surprised how big and clean the facility is.
Brockmeyer said, "They've gone to extra time to make stuff safe for employees but I think that's a big plus."
Vats of hydrochloric acid are sealed from the rest of the plant, and a system captures emissions from the zinc kettle.
Russ Reinke grew up around the plant his father founded in 1954. He says they take pride in the expansion.
He said, "We wanted it to be not only an efficient facility and provide high quality product, but also wanted to be a good facility to work in, being safe for employees and good for the environment."
Reinke previously used vendors to do the galvanizing work, but now keep it in-house.
"Transportation did play a big role and it's not getting any cheaper," Reinke said.
Other factors influenced the decision to add the galvanizing plant.
"Probably the main benefit is to control that part of the supply chain as our business grows over the years we've needed to put this in to better serve customers and provide a high quality product."
Construction on the $10 million plant began just over a year ago, during a period of record farm profits and it was completed during a historic drought. Both factors have helped sales of the irrigation systems they sell to farmers worldwide.
Reinke said, "It's been a fantastic year, been very busy all year long."
Robert Brockmeyer is typical of the company's 450 employees. They come from 60 different zip codes, and Brockmeyer drives 40 miles one way.
"Deshler's very fortunate to have this in their town and tremendous help for a lot of people," he said.
Reinke invested millions to capture any harmful by-products. They added about 15 employees and eventually would like to add more shifts and more employees.
They also plan to expand operations in Bellevue, Kansas.