Where We Will Be

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Meet with Garner Industries experts at the following events and learn about our capabilities for plastic injection modling, CNC machining, mold tooling and more! Registration for these events is free. Can’t stop by, contact us for a personal consultation.

Design 2 Part Show
June 9 – 10, 2021
Gaylord Texan Convention Center
Grapevine, Texas

Design2 Part Show
August 4 – 5, 2021
Schaumburg Convention Center
Schaumburg, Illinois

NOCOM Manufacturing Trade Show
Sept 23, 2021
The Ranch at Larimer County Fairgrounds
Loveland, Colorado

Wichita Industrial Trade Show
Oct 26 – 28, 2021
Century II Expo Hall
Wichita, Kansas


Garner flies high with specialized molding operations

workers on the Garner plant floor

By Ron Shinn – Plastics Machinery Magazine, November 2019

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LINCOLN, NEB.-BASED Garner Industries is in the heart of the Great Plains, but some of its products are out of this world. Known for its line of BinMaster inventory-monitoring systems for silos and tanks, it was first a metal machining shop and later a custom injection molder. Today, it has blended those three spheres into an operation that offers unique advantages, particularly for parts with metal and plastic components.

“We have a lot of customers with plastic parts that need subsequent machining,” said John Kunkle, Garner’s sales manager. “We do a lot of military, aerospace and defense parts, some fairly high-end, that we injection mold and then machine the final details because of the required tolerances.

“The fact that we can do all that under one roof makes us more competitive, and it maintains confidentiality for our military and aerospace customers,” he said.

Garner manufactures parts for 70 percent of the world’s satellites, all of the now-retired space shuttles and many ballistic missile systems, Kunkle said.

Garner has 28 injection molding machines with clamping forces ranging from 35 tons to 500 tons. It specializes in small to medium-sized plastic parts and short- to medium-run precision machining of metals and plastics.

A good amount of the company’s injection molding is insert molding, overmolding and other difficult processes, such as making optical-quality plastics.

Garner can machine a metal component and then insert mold it into a part. “It sets us apart from our competitors,” Kunkle said.

“We have learned a lot about how to do it,” Kunkle said. “It is more than just making a plastic part, then slapping it in the mold and molding over it. There are a lot of things with injection pressures, supporting the first shot, things like that that we have learned. And there are ways we have been able to reduce some cycle times, which also makes us more competitive.”

Garner Industries is privately owned and does not publish annual sales figures, but says that about 50 percent of revenue comes from BinMaster products, 40 percent from custom injection molding and the rest from machining.

About 10 percent of Garner’s molding business is for BinMaster products.

Molding machines exclusively from Niigata were Garner’s mainstay for many years, but, in 2015, the company started switching to all-electric Toyo Si series presses. It now has three 500-ton Toyo presses, three 300 tonners and two 150 tonners. The 20 older Niigatas have clamping forces ranging from 35 tons to 385 tons.

The switch to Japanese-made Toyo molding machines started after Garner hired a molding department manager who had worked for a multi-national pharmaceutical molder that used Toyo presses. That company had already completed a side-by-side benchmarking test of several press brands, so Garner benefitted from what it had learned.

“We liked the Toyos because they developed higher injection pressures,” Kunkle said. “We can get bigger platens in the same press tonnage rangethan with other brands. As a custom molder, a bigger envelope is always attractive.”

Kunkle said Toyo provides great technical support and spare parts availability through its distributor, Maruka USA Inc., which is less than a four-hour drive from Lincoln in Lee’s Summit, Mo. “All these things were important in helping us move to Toyos,” Kunkle said. “We have been very happy with the machines and support.”

Other factors Kunkle said Garner technicians have come to appreciate are the resolution of the screen of the Toyo control system and the amount of data available when adjusting the press. “The process capability is better,” he said.

Garner’s most recent press acquisitions were three 500-ton Toyos for a new project, a part that is 24 inches in diameter. Despite satisfaction with the Toyo presses it had already acquired, Garner tested a mold on four different brands of machines.

“Most of the machinery suppliers said we need at least an 800-ton to 1,000-ton press for a part that big,” Kunkle said. The test found that it could run on a 500-ton Toyo.

Kunkle said he thinks the confidence Garner has in its Toyo presses is a competitive advantage, as well.

Kunkle said that Garner’s molding department manager has complete faith in Toyo’s mold-protection system to prevent damage to the mold. “He’s very confident in that, and he has instilled confidence in the technicians.”

“He knows he has a lot better capability for ejecting on the fly. There are a lot of good machines out there, but, if you are confident in something, the mindset is already there that you are going to be able to do well with that machine. If you have confidence in your equipment, you are more likely to push your equipment,” Kunkle said.

Nine of Garner’s older Niigata presses are more than 20 years old. “Most of the machinery we have bought has been for additional capacity,” Kunkle said.

“Our older electric machines are still running because it is difficult to justify replacing them when they are functioning well and still producing good parts,” he said. Garner has purchased only electric molding machines since 2003.

On the plant floor, Garner groups presses by size — 18 presses with clamping forces up to 300 tons, seven with 300 to 400 tons of force and three 500-ton machines — in a new 40,000 square-foot addition built to accommodate recent expansion.

The company has a two-station, vertical 35-ton Niigata press that is more than 20 years old. Garner uses it to manufacture about 1.5 million cranks with attached worm gears per year.

Space is available for additional molding machines.

The company has three outdoor resin silos that each have 100,000 pounds of capacity and two surge bins indoors that hold 3,000 gallons each. They are equipped with BinMaster’s continuous level sensors that let Garner, as well as its customers, view inventory levels. Resin hoppers inside the molding plant are equipped with BinMaster’s vibrating sensors to monitor resin levels and to trigger the pneumatic conveying system to move resin to the presses.

Molding machines not connected to the pneumatic conveying system are fed from gaylords.

Garner maintains about 280 active molds and makes about 20 mold changes per day.

Two full-time toolmakers perform tool modifications, repairs and maintenance.

The company manages mold-building projects for customers and sources molds from the U.S., China and, more recently, Vietnam. Kunkle is currently on a two-year assignment in Vietnam to identify and work with mold-building shops capable of meeting Garner’s standards.

“I started sourcing in China eight years ago, but China’s pricing has gotten significantly higher,” Kunkle said. “Now we are moving to production in Vietnam, where there are substantially lower costs but still good quality. They are on a learning curve.”

For robots, Garner uses Yushin and Wittmann Battenfeld products. There are also some parts-handling robots from AEC.

Blenders are from Conair, and dryers are from Universal Dynamics and Matsui.

For quality control, there is a fully automatic Zeiss CMM, a Sprint optical CMM with a touch probe and a Tesa CMM.

Garner uses Microsoft Dynamics NAV for its plant-wide enterprise resource planning software. It uses PlannerOne software for production planning and scheduling.

Regrind is generally processed beside the press or in a closed-loop system nearby.

The plant runs 24/7. Kunkle said that worker retention has improved in the past couple of years because of new programs, such as a greater pay differential between the second and third shifts, good environmental conditions in the plant and an improved lunchroom. In addition, the company offers classes in English as a second language at no charge in the plant, either before or after a shift.

“We have several different ethnic groups represented in the plant, and most of our new employees come from referrals of people in their neighborhoods,” Kunkle said. Referrals are rewarded with a $500 bonus.

Garner Industries Honored as a 2019 Governor’s Wellness Award Recipient

Four members of the Garner Wellness committee holding their award plaque

Garner Industries was recognized by Governor Pete Ricketts and the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) as a recipient of the 2019 Governor’s Wellness Awards in the Grower category. Garner Industries is one of 42 Nebraska employers honored for offering evidence-based worksite wellness programs to its employees.

“The businesses recognized today are putting people first and are making the workplace a healthy environment,” Governor Ricketts said. “Worksite wellness provides an opportunity for Nebraskans to live healthy lives, improve quality of life, and help grow a healthier Nebraska for the next generation.”

“In the past year, award recipients increased the percentage of people meeting Surgeon General Guidelines for Physical Activity by more than 11 percent, reduced tobacco use by 19 percent, and increased those meeting fruit and vegetable consumption guidelines by four percent. Great work also continues to manage stress and improve culture within these organizations.”

This year marks the 12th year recognizing businesses that dedicate leadership, resources, and time to wellness efforts in the workplace. The application process is designed to recognize businesses that have planted and nurtured the seed for wellness within their organization. Each applicant must provide information in the areas of leadership, data collection, intervention strategies, policy/environment support, and evaluation of outcomes.

The Governor’s Wellness Award has three categories. The Sower Award recognizes workplaces that have established quality wellness programs; the Grower Award honors businesses and organizations demonstrating significant improvement in employee health behaviors; and the Harvester award recognizes businesses that are experiencing documented value and return on investment. Including this year’s winners, 466 total awards have been distributed across the state.

Garner named Lincoln Chamber of Commerce Manufacturer of the Year

Garner Chairman of the Board Phil Mullin accepts award from the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce

Lincoln, NE – Garner Industries was presented the award for Lincoln Manufacturer of the Year by the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce at this year’s Celebrate Business award luncheon.

The award serves to bring attention to Lincoln’s manufacturing community and the contributions made to Lincoln both economically and socially.

Chairman of the Board Phil Mullin accepted the award on behalf of Garner. “We export to 55+ countries, and Lincoln is a good place to do business,” explains Mullin. “We have very bright people in Nebraska, we have good colleges, and a good community college – so we’re fortunate.”

Garner industries is a diversified manufacturing company with a 66-year history as part of the Lincoln business community. Today, Garner serves global customers with custom molds, plastic and metal parts, and BinMaster level sensors.

“Good companies are made up of good people,” adds Mullin. Garner industries employs more than 140 individuals in its 115,000-square foot facility at the corner of 98th Street and Cornhusker Highway.

Garner Industries Awards 2019 Educational Scholarships

2019 Garner Industry scholarship recipients

At the annual employee recognition breakfast on July 24, Garner Industries Chairman of the Board Phil Mullin and CEO Scott McLain recognized this year’s Garner educational scholarship recipients.

Established in 2018, the educational scholarship is intended to provide support for dependents of Garner employees enrolled full-time in post-secondary education.

This year Garner awarded $2500 scholarships to the following students (left to right):

  • Megan Grube – second year student in the BSN program at Bryan College of Health Sciences.
  • Reuben Erickson – second year student pursuing a BS in Environmental Science and a BA in International Relations at Drake University.
  • Elizabeth Do – first year student studying Management in the College of Business Administration at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Garner Industries goes extra mile for child hunger

The Garner Industries team poses at the 2019 Backpack Walk kickoff

From the Lincoln Journal Star – June 1, 2019

The Garner Industries team showed up in force for the Lincoln Public Schools BackPack Extra Mile Walk this spring at Lincoln East. The 2019 Garner Challenge school winners – showing most improved fundraising from the year before – were Moore Middle School, Lincoln Southeast High School, Randolph Elementary School, Park Middle School, Wysong Elementary School and Pershing Elementary School. The 2019 event raised more than $180,000 for the Food Bank of Lincoln’s child hunger programs. Garner contributes $20,000 each year as an Extra Mile sponsor.
Author: Mark Schwaninger


Garner Industries Receives Spirit Safety Award

Nebraska Safety Council Spirit Safety Award

The Nebraska Safety Council awarded Garner Industries the Spirit Safety Award on October 10 at the 2018 Nebraska Safety Council Conference.

Awards are chosen by an independent committee of volunteer Council member company safety professionals and are based on statistical data, training activities and risk management.

Garner Industries, an employer of over 130 individuals in Lincoln, Nebraska, is dedicated to quality and safety in its manufacturing processes. Established in 1953, Garner is certified to ISO 9001 quality management systems – requirements.

Garner is also certified to The Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP), designed to provide incentives and support to employers to develop, implement and continuously improve effective safety and health programs at their work site. SHARP provides recognition for employers who demonstrate exemplary achievements in workplace safety and health.

Garner Industries Announces Recipients of New Educational Scholarship

BinMaster Educational Scholarship winners 2018

Garner Industries CEO Scott McLain announced the first-ever recipients of the Garner Industries Scholarship at Garner’s annual employee appreciation breakfast on Thursday, July 19. This educational scholarship was established to provide support for children of Garner Industries employees who are enrolled full-time in an associates or undergraduate program.

This year Garner was proud to award four $2,500 scholarships to the following students:

  • Nhu Tran is working towards a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with an expected graduation in December 2020.
  • Constance Cushman is completing general education requirements this year at Southeast Community College. She plans to transfer to the University of Nebraska to complete her bachelor’s degree in environmental studies.
  • Tyson Krehnke will be a senior accounting major at Nebraska Wesleyan. Tyson plans to pursue a CPA.
  • Tony Ong will be attending the University of Nebraska-Lincoln as a freshman this fall, majoring in computer science.

Applications were evaluated based on academic performance, community engagement, and educational goals. Garner Industries plans to continue to award the Garner Scholarship on an annual basis as a part of its ongoing initiative of supporting employees and their families.

Garner Industries Named Nebraska Manufacturer of 2017

Garner accepted the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce award for 2017 manufacturer of the year

Garner Industries of Lincoln has been named Nebraska’s mid-sized manufacturer of the year by the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce & Industry. The company was honored Thursday, Oct. 12, at the State Chamber’s Manufacturing and Distribution Executive Summit held at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha. The Nebraska Manufacturer of the Year award has been presented annually since 2008 to Nebraska manufacturers that successfully implement innovative ways of conducting business using new products, processes, technologies and strategies. 

Garner Industries is a diverse manufacturing company with a 64-year history. The company was established in 1953 as a small tool and die company in the Havelock area. In the mid-1960s, the company embarked on development of an automated grain bin level monitoring system, which gave birth to the BinMaster line of level control technologies.  

The company employs more than 130 individuals in its plastic injection molding, mold manufacturing, CNC machining and BinMaster level sensor manufacturing operations. Its products are sold in diverse industries, including agriculture, construction, cement, mining, biofuels and food processing. In September of 2017, Garner Industries completed the expansion of its campus at 98th street and Cornhusker Highway. It now occupies a 115,000-square foot facility located on 32 acres.