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Alba Manufacturing Chooses Baldor Products as Part of Its Competitive Strategy

Alba Manufacturing is well known for producing custom-designed, heavy-duty pallet conveyors. The company describes its equipment as battleship-tough and is typically installed in areas where conveyors take a lot of abuse.

Found in a variety of industries, including food, beverage, automotive and metals, Alba Manufacturing, Inc., in Fairfield, OH, manufactures its pallet handling equipment, knowing that the customer expects it to last forever without having to provide much, if any, maintenance.

While Alba built its reputation on custom work, the company decided to create an expansive pre-engineered line that would allow it to be competitive in a broader market.

Its challenge, according to Alba Vice President Michael Kroeger, was to cut costs without cheapening the end product or sacrificing its heavy-duty, top-quality reputation. “We invested the time to pre-engineer just about any type system a customer could possibly want,” explains Kroeger. “As a result, we do a better job of buying materials, and we can produce products more quickly. These efforts, along with other efficiencies, are keeping our costs in line.”

For advice on finding the best gearbox with the highest overall value, Alba turned to its distributor partner, CBT, located in Cincinnati, OH. “We wanted to use Baldor-Dodge® gearing, but we didn’t think it would be the most economical choice,” says Kroeger. “That’s when CBT proposed the Baldor-Dodge Tigear-2® , a high performance product that was right in line with our competitive strategy.”

Not only did Alba discover that the Tigear-2 was cost competitive with other brands, it also discovered that the Baldor-Dodge gearbox would provide it with opportunities for optimization. According to Alba Engineering Manager Michael Stapleton, because of the way the gearbox is designed, it can sometimes use a smaller unit than it used before.

“We can drop one size down but still get the same torque rating,” says Stapleton. “Getting the performance we want from a smaller unit means that we can achieve additional cost savings. When you drop a case size – the savings add up.”

Another benefit for choosing the Tigear-2, according to Kroeger, is giving the customer what they want. “Customers have a preference for the Baldor-Dodge product,” says Kroeger. “They like that this reducer is sealed for life and that it comes with food-grade oil. There is a real comfort factor for us in choosing a brand of product with such a positive history.”

Company leaders feel just as strongly about standardizing on Baldor-Reliance® motors. Stapleton says they investigated other options but couldn’t find any better alternative. “There’s no reason not to stick with these motors,” says Stapleton. “They meet our specs, they offer superior quality and performance, and they’re offered at competitive prices. Why look at anything else?”

Alba is so committed to Baldor products that they are using the brand names on the quote sheets sent to customers – advertising the fact it supplies Baldor-Reliance motors and Baldor-Dodge gearboxes on its equipment.

“The reason that we do it is to show that we offer quality,” says Kroeger. “It’s one thing just to list that you are using a half-horsepower motor – but what kind of motor? When I list that it’s a Baldor•Reliance motor and a Baldor•Dodge gearbox, I think it lends credibility and proves that we are providing a quality product to our customers.”

While Alba began as a small regional company, today it offers one of the largest varieties of off-the-shelf, pre-engineered chain-driven conveyors available in the marketplace. Kroeger says it has been able to set itself apart from the competition and grow the business by providing customers a high-quality, affordable solution.

“Our equipment is heavy-duty and robust,” says Kroeger. “We provide welded structural steel versus those who use bolt-together construction. We also focus on flexible service and providing solutions. Using Baldor•Reliance motors and Baldor-Dodge Tigear-2 reducers is just one more level of quality that differentiates us in the marketplace.”