Engineered for the Customer

Polyurethane Machinery Corporation
Written by Ryan Cartner

PMC – Polyurethane Machinery Corporation – is a leading designer and manufacturer of plural component equipment for spray-applied polyurethane foam, polyurea coatings, concrete pouring, and slab-jacking. With over one hundred years of combined experience and knowledge in the urethane industry, PMC offers high quality, field-tested equipment designed with the customer in mind.
In 2005, industry giant Graco had absorbed the two largest competing companies; Gusmer and Glascraft, leaving itself with very limited competition in the urethane marketplace. As a result, Polyurethane Machinery Corporation was founded in 2007 to provide a U.S.-made, affordable spray equipment alternative.

The company operates from Lakewood, New Jersey, and all products are manufactured in the US to be distributed globally. Murph Mahaffey, Director of International Sales, has twenty-three years of experience working for manufacturing companies in the urethane industry and has spent the last three years with PMC. In that time it has quadrupled its international distribution partners worldwide.

Since its beginning, the company has seen steady progress, reaching double-digit growth for several years running. As its position in the marketplace grows, it sees a consistent increase in requests for PMC products both domestically and globally. PMC is confident that it has the capacity to continue this trend in the years to come.

PMC is in an impressive 100,000-square-foot facility and shares facilities with its sister company KOMO. “We’re a very focused group in terms of what we do and the industry we serve,” says Mahaffey, noting that the company is growing all the time to keep up with production requirements and many of its employees have a long history in the industry.

A guiding principle at PMC is that products are designed with the end user in mind. The development process starts with direct feedback from the field, from end users and distribution partners who work with end-users. The goal is to design equipment that is reliable, productive and ultimately makes money for the customer. “We want to make equipment that is in operation for a long time. Some of the machines we sold ten years ago are still in operation today,” says Mahaffey.

The company recently developed a Mechanical Purge Spray Gun, because it saw the need for a reliable gun that can be purchased for a reasonable price for roofing and high volume coating applications. It is called the PX-7 and was revealed at the Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance convention in Palm Springs, Florida in February of this year.

According to the convention’s news release, it was met with great accolades. The new gun has a mechanical valving rod system to jettison leftover material and clear the mix module, eliminating the need to use solvents.

Last year the company worked on a project with Sprayworks called the AP-EX Extended Spray System, which allows for the head of a spray gun to be extended up to four feet. This gives the operator the ability to spray residential stud walls without the need for a ladder, get inside rim joists safely, and eliminates blow-back onto the face shield and body. Using the Apex System can reduce work time by thirty to forty percent and creates a safer work environment by removing the need for ladders, stilts, and scaffolding.

Equipment design is focused on principles that have received excellent user responses. For example, end user feedback showed that hydraulics make the best drivers and that horizontal pumps give the most even pressure. The company only uses components of the highest quality, gun blocks made of hardened stainless steel, coupling blocks that are machined rather than cast and electromechanical switches and relays rather than printed circuit board based designs making for more durable machines that require less maintenance and are easier to repair.

These simple things equate to longevity in the field. Following these principles, PMC has engineered a full line of urethane spray equipment including proportioners, a heated hose system, transfer pumps, spray guns, and auxiliary equipment, all priced competitively. And when maintenance and servicing is accounted for, lifetime cost savings can be expected as well.

Adding to PMC’s own line of equipment is an impressive list of engineered-on-demand products, as it produces specialized technologies to meet specific needs. For example, last year PMC partnered with Honeywell to develop a ‘third stream’ machine, containing three pumps rather than the standard two, which allowed a blowing agent to be metered in at a variable rate. One advantage to this setup is greater foam adhesion to cold substrates, allowing the end-user to work into colder weather, thereby extending the spray season.

Systems like this had already proven to be lucrative in the Japanese market, and so PMC built an affordable, US-made alternative. PMC also partnered with North Carolina Foam (NCFI) to develop a specialized spray gun for concrete slab jacking and with the city of Newport News to create a unique machine based on their input.

In September of last year, PMC had its first annual global distributor conference with companies from fourteen countries visiting the PMC facility for a week of discussions, demonstrations and planning for another year of continued growth. The entire PMC team, from the executive branch to the technical and sales people, sat down with over fifty distributors from around the world to hear about their experiences with PMC products. This is valuable from-the-front-lines insight that will help direct PMC’s efforts going forward.

However, it was not all work, PMC also hosted a clambake at the famous Jenkinson’s boardwalk at sunset; another night featured a dinner cruise on the River Queen, and on the last night of the conference, a few of the remaining attendees went on a fishing trip. To PMC, having a solid relationship with its partners meant not only bringing them together for a highly productive conversation about industry challenges and future planning but also giving them a little taste of the Jersey Shore.

PMC prides itself on being very proactive in the industry. It is a premier sponsor of the Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance (SPFA) and regularly attends and gives presentations on equipment and applications at the SPFA convention and to the Polyurethane Development Association (PDA) and PDA Europe groups.

Last year, Mahaffey spoke at the PDA conference in Costa Mesa, California about using robotics in coatings equipment and specifically how automation systems can improve bridge deck polyurea coating applications. As the industry evolves and changes, PMC consistently demonstrates the expertise to change with it. It has also been known to open its facilities to various companies to use for training. The PDA and some of its distribution partners have given training courses in PMC manufacturing facilities.

According to Mahaffey, what makes PMC so successful is knowing how to listen to the people who depend on the equipment. The company spends much time interacting with distribution partners and end users, and that has led to many achievements. Holding to this commitment means meeting customers face to face, and to accommodate this idea, PMC has built what it calls a mobile equipment showroom.

Built into a trailer, this state-of-the-art demonstration rig contains spray and slab-jacking systems that it takes on the road to trade exhibitions and on tour during the summer. It is outfitted with the capability to change between proportioners easily and has enough power and air supply to test any PMC product on the market. It is equipped with a workbench, toolbox, extensive cabinetry and drum heaters. There is also a mobile spray booth allowing customers to feel the spray gun and see the spray pattern while watching the machine run. There are full-face respirators and a built in full OSHA-approved eyewash station keeping operators safe.

The mobile equipment showroom is one-of-a-kind and is revolutionizing the way equipment is demonstrated to end users. It also really shows the direct customer-focused way that PMC does business.

“Our product development is determined by what we see in the industry and what the industry needs,” says Mahaffey, and these principles are clearly reflected in how proactive and involved PMC is when it comes to interacting with end-users and industry professionals.



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