Semi-Bulk Systems, Inc. was founded by Avrom R. Handleman and Charles S. Alack in 1975. Mr. Alack was with Monsanto for 11 years and worked in Manufacturing, Central Engineering, Specialty Chemical Sales, Commercial Development and Product Marketing. Mr. Handleman was with Monsanto for 20 years and worked in Research, Commercial Development and as Market Manager for the Wildfire Chemical Business
It was in the development of the Wildfire Chemical Business that Mr. Handleman designed and patented the initial Ejector Mixer Slurry Unit and the precursor to the Air-Pallet® Container. The development of the Ejector Mixer and the shipping container with the air membrane in the base made it possible for Monsanto to offer a fire retardant chemical in the form of a dry powder and rapidly convert the powder into a solution to be pumped aboard airplanes to bomb forest fires and minimize the impact on the environment. This technology continues to be the primary process support for fighting forest fires.
For two decades, the company’s focus was manufacturing semi-bulk containers for powders, filling & unloading units and systems for containers. Company projects included powder handling and processing with feed control and Pneumatic Convey design.
The company produced a full line of products including Air-Pallet® Containers in round, rectangular and mini configurations; Industrial Air-Cone® Hoppers; and fill and unload units and systems for APC handling. These products were used in a variety of chemical and industrial industries like PVC, printing ink, chemicals and filter aids.
In addition, the ownership structure changed from the two co-founders to employee ownership with 30+ shareholders.
Mr. Handleman retired from Semi-Bulk Systems in 1996 shortly after the formation of the Semi-Bulk Systems Sanitary Division (food, dairy, beverage, cosmetic and pharmaceutical) in 1995. Mr. Ronald H. Bentley was named Director of the new division. The VACUCAM® (VACUUM Convey and Mix) Slurry Processes were expanded to offer both the food and industrial markets this state-of-the-art technology for mixing powders and liquids.
Although systems were previously sold for such processes, the company began to focus on these hygienic processes for dry powder handling and powder/liquid mixing. To support and promote the VACUCAM® Slurry Process Technology, Semi-Bulk’s product lines were expanded, adding many new products to meet the requirements for hygienic processes. These new product lines were developed to offer a TOTAL SOLUTION, including dry side modular processes with ACH and powder/liquid mixing modular processes based on EJM and full solution standardized modular skidded powder mixing processes.
The products developed to focus on conditioned powder feed included bulk bag unload stations, bulk bag unloaders with surge bins, hygienic design Air-Cone® Hoppers and many new modular processes.
With the achievement of ISO 9001 and 3-A Certification as well as sanitary fab transition, Semi-Bulk Systems expanded into new food, chemical and industrial markets including dairy, beverage, sugar, power plants, paint and others serving both smaller operations as well as Fortune 50 manufacturers.
At the same time, Semi-Bulk Systems began expansion of distribution outside the United States in Europe, Mexico, China, Asia, Brazil, Japan and India.
A History of Quality
The company’s products have always strongly supported industries’ initiatives to develop sustainable processes. From the support of the wildfire chemical business for fighting wildfires around the world, to providing the industrial and food process industries with process solutions to reduce energy consumption and provide major Process XstreamLining® benefits, the company’s technology and process solutions continue to provide opportunities to allow customers to improve their product quality, meet capacities and achieve lowest cost production while meeting or exceeding their sustainable objectives.