Photo of Nuhn Industries Vice president Ian Nuhn.
Speaking yesterday from Nuhn Industries’ Sebringville headquarters before a crowd of over 300 people, the company’s vice president Ian Nuhn described how their decision in August 2013 to improve upon one of their products led to a major milestone this week.
“As a company we had an idea,” he said, standing before a conspicuous blue tent inside the company’s recently completed 34,000 sq. ft. expansion. “We had the best mixer on the market; how could we make it better? We started with a blank computer screen, and 10 days later we built a fully working prototype.”
The result, after several more months of testing and development, was the Nuhn Industries Lagoon Crawler, an 8,000 pound, remote-controlled amphibious pump designed for agitating large lagoons of manure. Reports online put the price of the machines around $150,000. “The first real crawler rolled off the line at the end of January 2014, and a year and a half later, we’re unveiling unit 100,” Nuhn said.
At this point, the lights in the assembly bay went dark, and the opening theme from “2001: A Space Odyssey” began to play. The blue tent was lifted up by one of the new shop’s overhead cranes, and the 100th unit drove out as AC/DC’s “Back in Black” aptly cut through the speakers. The centennial crawler was painted all in black; a nod, Nuhn noted, to the fact that people frequently tell him the machine looks like the Batmobile.
Nuhn said that another reason for the gathering was the completion of the spacious new expansion that has increased the facility to an even 100,000 sq. ft. It includes four production bays for their machinery, and has relegated the former bay, rather congested in comparison, to a drying area for parts that have just rolled through the painting room.
The fuel tank on Unit 100 was covered in the signatures of the 85 Nuhn employees that make their pumps, crawlers and tanks, including the recently released “Electra-Steer” models, possible.
“There were a lot of late nights, a lot of blood, sweat and tears, and a lot of ups and downs,” he said. “We couldn’t have made it without the hard work of all the Nuhn Industries employees. We’re really proud of what 85 guys in the middle of Sebringville can create.”
The lagoon crawlers that have previously rolled off the line in Sebringville are in use at agricultural operations in Russia, China, across the United States, and more recently right here in Ontario.