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100+ jobs to be lost in Gardner-Denver operation shutdown

Peachtree City’s Gardner Denver plant is closing, according to an article published in the Quincy (Illinois) Journal newspaper.

Company representatives failed to return two phone calls by press time Tuesday for official comment on the matter, but the Journal reported that the operations will be consolidated with other company locations by the end of this year.

The company employed 188 people at its local facility, according to the Fayette County Development Authority’s website, in the manufacturing of Hoffman/Lamson blowers used for “air and gas application needs.” The Peachtree City operation included a testing facility along with the manufacturing operations, according to the company’s website.

The local plant offered 22 different models that were “engineered to order.”

The question remains as to whether Gardner Denver’s acquisition last year of the Italian company Robuschi may have been the death blow to the Peachtree City operations. In a press release Dec. 19 touting the $200 million deal, Gardner Denver noted that Robuschi “is a market leading manufacturer of blowers and pumps with annual revenues of approximately $92 million.”

Gardner Denver is located in the city’s industrial park off Ga. Highway 74 South across from Cooper Lighting.

The company paid more than $149,000 in local and state property taxes last year alone, but it also enjoyed a freeport exemption that allowed it to exempt 100 percent of the value of inventory created or stored for 12 months or less as exempt from being taxed as personal property.

Although the company has not addressed the reported plant closing on its website, it issued a press release Monday noting that Gardner Denver CEO Barry L. Pennypacker has resigned from that role and his positions as president and director. Pennypacker was replaced by Gardner Denver Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Michael M. Larsen who was named interim CEO.

In February, the global company announced record earnings in the fourth quarter of 2011 on the strength of $614 million in revenue and $598 million in orders. The company also set records for operating margin, net income and diluted earnings per share, according to a press release on the company’s website.

Gardner Denver has 40 manufacturing facilities located in 36 different countries. In 2010 revenues were $1.9 billion with two-thirds of that mark coming from outside the U.S., according to the company’s website.

The company’s website also provided this account of how its blower products are used: “In the water treatment market, air is provided to water and wastewater aeration systems and air scouring/filter backwashing. Hoffman™ and Lamson™ blowers can be specified for coarse/fine bubble diffuser systems, reactor batch supplemental air, digester gas boosters, grit channels and sludge digestion applications.

“In the industrial market, our blowers provide air or gas for sulfur recovery, combustion air, process gas boosting, coal mine venting, fluidized bed combustion systems, vapor and gas extraction, composting, sludge incineration and printing systems, to name a few. Hoffman and Lamson Engineered Vacuum Systems are used to pick up, convey and capture a myriad of materials ranging from aluminum granules to corn flakes. The experienced Hoffman and Lamson team, backed by years of research and development, provides effective, affordable solutions for a variety of applications.”



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