Edge-Sweets Company (ESCO) is at the forefront of innovation in the field of foam fabrication. Based at its 70,000-square-foot-plus facility in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the company is unique in North America for the breadth of its ever-expanding product range, and, as its sales skyrocketed to a record of nearly $20 million in 2019, there is no stopping this industry giant.
Even better news for existing and prospective customers is that the company will be attending the Foam Expo in Novi, Michigan, this year. The show, the largest of its kind in the country, will be welcoming both industry partners and visitors from 24 to 26 March 2020. Edge-Sweets is anticipating a great turnout at its stand at this year’s exposition, thanks to the life-size model of its latest machine that will be on show.
“We’re excited about exhibiting in our own back yard, [as it] makes it easy for us being in the same state. It’s a great show and we get to bring a big team,” says Adam Firer, Marketing Manager.
While Edge-Sweets mainly serves Canada, the United States, and Mexico, the company also does business in Europe and Asia. Its diverse clients include companies of all sizes in industries from industrial insulation fabricators to defense and medical application manufacturers, plus those in upholstery, furniture, and aerospace engineering. Its list of customers is as varied as the possibilities of polyurethane itself. This wide-ranging experience makes the company a true expert in its field, and it shares that experience generously.
Apart from superb advice, the company offers sophisticated design and three-dimensional (3D) modeling, as machines are engineered to order, and all its equipment comes with trustworthy after-sales services and mechanical support. Edge-Sweets is particularly valued for its incredible customer care. Apart from the standard accounting, sales, and executive departments, the company’s services are complemented with a spare parts and a service division to keep its clients’ operations running smoothly.
The service division performs repairs, preventative maintenance, and training, as well as upgrades and retrofits on existing machines. Impressively, the company also provides process development, which helps customers improve manufacturing capacity. This includes a wide array of elements, such as mechanizing traditionally manual processes, improving time management, applying automatic nesting during the design phases of foam elements to limit waste, and much more.
Edge-Sweets Company’s foam fabrication machinery includes foam cutting and shaping tools, plus foam packaging and transfer fabrication equipment. It also offers dispensing machinery that handles the raw, liquid material chemicals which form the basis of polyurethane foams and elastomers like rubber. To this end, the company provides fabrication customers with guidance regarding what type of machinery they should buy to suit specific purposes.
Its proprietary software suites include a platform for cutting Foamglas®. The material is used as insulation in the piping industry and was cut manually for over sixty years. Edge-Sweets Company is the first to automate the process, saving installers a lot of money and time. Other custom programs in its collection were each developed to answer a specific foam cutting demand from its clients.
Edge-Sweets Company’s next big launch will be a new, much-upgraded machine that combines multiple traditional functions in a speedy, modern workhorse. This ingenious design is not only better priced than its predecessor, but it also allows users to choose from three configuration preferences that run on a single platform.
The first option comprises an abrasive wire that slices polyurethane and non-woven, bonded fibers. The second is the mattress trimming function, which utilizes a three-quarter-inch to one-inch blade that is capable of turning up to ninety degrees at a low height, allowing for fast trimming. Lastly, the machine features a Siemens-driven computer numerical control (CNC) function that enables contour cutting.
Edge-Sweets Company takes pride in the performance of its team and machines. “The bar is set very high. Our competition is very strong in the market, and there are some really good companies that we compete against. We’re actively trying to build machinery that stands out in the market, which is our main focus,” says Rick Seely, Vice President.
To ensure its reputation, its quality control processes are stringent, and machines are made to last. From thorough and regular inspections to standards tests that are run on each piece of equipment before it is released to a client, rigor underscores its entire drive for excellence. The company even offers a proof of concept video on request.
This company recognizes that each client’s fabrication needs are different. Led by this, it works to understand the process and the desired goals for every machine’s performance before the design and custom-engineering process starts. Those goals are translated into machines that perform optimally, according to specifications.
Its drive for innovation is led by a dedicated team of over fifty industry specialists. Thanks to the relatively small size of this field, its people are sought-after experts in the trade. Its very low staff turnover means that companies come from all over the world to consult with Edge-Sweets Company. “Our employees are respected in the industry. They’re very technical and very good at what they do,” says Seely.
Ensuring that it is up-to-date on the technical aspects means the company is a member of several prestigious industry associations. These include the Polyurethane Manufacturers Association (PMA), the American Chemistry Council (ACC), Polyurethane Foam Association (PFA), as well as the International Sleep Products Association (ISPA). Upholding these affiliations is just one of the ways in which the company displays its commitment to quality.
The foam industry may be its focus today, but this was not always so. Edge-Sweets Company started as a jigsaw blade fabricator in 1883 when founder Frank Edge decided to bring his product to market. Only four years later, he took the plunge as Michigan’s Grand Rapids region exploded onto the furniture scene in 1887.
The company turned its sights towards electrical equipment and became the Edge Saw company in 1953, supplying the very first foam cutting saw to the industry. It continued to evolve, adding a conveyor division in 1971. Several acquisitions followed until it merged with Martin Sweets Company, another equipment and machinery manufacturer, and became what it is, today, a healthy and growing fabricator of modern, polyurethane manufacturing machinery.
With consumer demand growing, Edge-Sweets Company forecasts another year of healthy turnover. This will no doubt continue to be led by its investments in harnessing the latest technology, innovation, and quality service.