Michael J. Kachmer, President and CEO
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the food and beverages (F&B) arena has undergone several changes in their manufacturing, packaging, and delivery processes to ensure minimal contamination and maximum safety. At the same time, as the pandemic continues to drive changes in customer behavior and regulatory mandates, F&B manufacturers are seeking partners that can help them maintain their operational equipment through years of demanding conditions and evolving market trends in a low-cost and trouble-free manner.
Enter Duravant, an Illinois-based engineered equipment and services company that combines its 100-year operating expertise with its comprehensive portfolio of end-to-end process solutions to assist their customers in traversing through the evolving market, regulatory, and customer trends. The company designs, develops, and maintains high-performance process equipment that delivers long-term productivity and reliability at a significantly cost-effective range.
A Journey to the Top
Since its inception in 2014, Duravant has grown to become an industry leader in three market segments including the food processing, packaging, and material handling arenas. With its portfolio, several brands across the F&B space have optimized their productivity, efficiency, and profitability. Presently, Duravant offers the highest quality products in the market, which are also impeccably designed and engineered to provide a low cost of ownership. Additionally, the company’s success can also be attributed to its emphasis on going beyond customer specs and understanding their needs to ensure that the final product is best-suited to a client’s unique needs. Post-implementation, Duravant continues to support its customers, years after installation, which is a perfect indicator of the company’s ethos of building long-term relationships with its customers. Above all, the company’s mission is to consistently deliver high-performance equipment to its customers and partners through leading product design, delivery, and unparalleled support services.
A Portfolio Engineered for Excellence
Duravant offers its food processing equipment via its operating company Marlen International under the brand names Marlen, Carruthers, and Afoheat. Their product portfolios include machines for pumping, portioning, filling, size reduction, thermal processing, and material handling that can be used in a multitude of sectors including meat, poultry, fish, bakery, and confectioneries, among others. And owing to their strong competencies in delivering high-performance equipment that meet all the needs of the customers, Duravant’s food processing brands have been the preferred choice for top food processors across the globe.
The core goal of the company’s food processing portfolio is to offer the most advanced, reliable, engineered equipment on the market. A prime example is Duravant’s OptiServ vacuum stuffer, which has a throughput of over 40,000 pounds per hour and boasts the industry’s highest available vacuum level, as well as Marlen’s extensive support services—MarlenCare.
Alternatively, the company’s material handling business—provided through another operating company, FMH Conveyors—comprises custom engineered and designed conveyors for truck loading and unloading. The portfolio also includes flexible gravity conveyors, telescopic rigid conveyors, and reconfigurable systems froms brands such as NestFlex, BestFlex, MaxxReach, and more. And with its FMHCare support offering, the company provides installation support, system integration, 24/7 technical support, 20-point inspections, and equipment audits, among others. Lastly, in the realm of packaging, Duravant offers a full range of bag management and closing equipment through its partner Fischbein International and their Fischbein and Saxon brands. And with its strong footprint of agriculture, animal feed, mineral, milling, and other industries across 190 countries, the company delivers the highest levels of product quality, reliability, and support services, regardless of where the client’s location.
A Team with Incredible Core Values
At Duravant’s helm is Mike Kachmer, who prior to joining Duravant, served as President of the Foodservice Group at The Manitowoc Company, Inc. and served as both Chief Operating Officer and CEO of Culligan International. Earlier in his career, Mike held senior leadership roles at Algroup Wheaton, Inc., Van Leer Containers, Inc., Ball Corporation and the Firestone Tire & Rubber Company. And currently, Kachmer is a member of the Board of Directors of Northwestern Memorial Healthcare. And with such an incredible journey through the business ecosystem, Kachmer is the perfect candidate to showcase and spread Duravant’s core values of integrity, teamwork, respect, winning spirit, and sense of urgency.
Apart from Kachmer, the company’s team also includes many other industry veterans, including Chuck Adams, the chief commercial officer, Craig Reuther, the chief financial officer, and others that have been strategically placed as heads of critical departments across the organization. With such a team of highly competent professionals and a commitment to innovation that drives long-term customer relationships, Duravant has continually delivered on its ‘Our products work hard; our people work harder’ promise.
A Future of Innovation and Reliability
Back in May 2020, as the COVID-19 outbreak disrupted conventional operations, Kachmer was quick to send out a memo to his workforce and partners that highlighted Duravant’s emphasis on people, both internal and external. In the letter, Kachmer states, “Duravant remains focused on keeping our associates, customers and partners safe and healthy, and our business systems agile so we are able to best serve and support our communities. Thank you for your patience, trust and support during these challenging times. We will not let you down.” Over the upcoming months, Kachmer delivered on his promise, developing flexible workforce timings, efficient remote working infrastructures, and delivering their products to customers worldwide with the relevant safety guidelines in place.
With respect to expanding partnerships through the pandemic, Duravant recently acquired Netherlands-based Votech, which is a leading manufacturer of bag filling machines, palletizer equipment, and other packaging solutions. Votech is set to join forces with Fischbein International, Duravant’s packaging operating company, and create a complementary relationship by combining their bag management expertise with Duravant’s bag sealing and sewing capabilities. From an internal perspective, the company started a new operating company nVenia that combines its existing Arpac, Hamer-Fischbein, and Olsen brands into a single entity to serve its global packaging clientele.
Moving forward, Duravant aims to continuously expand the horizons of its product innovation to drive more long-term partnerships with firms across the globe, thereby inching ever-closer to its goal of becoming the go-to provider of the most innovative, reliable, and engineered equipment in every market it serves.