REMCO headquarters building



By Brad Dawson, Rubber & Plastics News Staff

April 24, 2000

Roller Equipment Manufacturing Co. Inc. is introducing a computerized system for its roll grinder/groover machines that will allow its technicians to troubleshoot and make program updates from remote locations. The process works like most modem systems--a phone line is run to the machine, and the modem is hooked up to a computer. Once a connection is made, the caller can issue commands to the machine, unload or download information and run diagnostics on-screen, Remco Technical Manager Mark Andrews said.

"If the program doesn't flow right, we can see it on the screen," he said. "If we run a diagnostic, and the program jumps to the wrong place, we can fix the problem and re-download."

The company also gives its customers palm-top computers that can be plugged into the machines for software updates and testing, but the big difference is thatRemco technicians are cut out of the loop, President J. Dean Armstrong Jr. said at the Rubber Roller Group's 2000 annual meeting April 12-14 in Nashville, Tenn.

"It can end up taking extra time and steps," Armstrong said. "Customers now can have the comfort of a sophisticated control system with a tech on board."

With the modem system, customers can get help immediately, and also potentially save the costs of a plant visit from Remco service personnel, Andrews said.

When Remco developed the controller for use in computerized grinder/groover machines, it kept the idea for the modem system on the back burner. Now, four years later, the company is using the capability to its, and its customers', benefit, he said.

Remco is offering the package to owners of new or existing computerized grinder/groovers. The customer must commit to a new dedicated phone line to allow the system to work, Andrews said.

While the system helps a customer deal with problems more efficiently, it also benefits the company, he said.

"We spend a lot of time on the phone, and many times the customer doesn't know what to look for or can't interpret data to us when there's a problem," Andrews said. "This way we don't spend that time, and that's an advantage to us."

Remco now can provide the system with a new machine in 90-120 days, just like the rest of its equipment, Armstrong said.

Grandview, Mo.-based Remco is dedicated specifically to roll-covering equipment, plus some machinery producing cylindrically or round-shaped products, such as hoses or belts, he said.

"It's the niche we started in, and we'll stay in it," Armstrong said.

The 23-year-old company operates out of two buildings in Grandview, with 40,000 total square feet and 20 employees. All of Remco's design, manufacturing and marketing is done in-house, while its sales force is composed of independent agents.