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TMI Group's New Delaware Manufacturing Facility a Model of Sustainability

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TMI Group, formerly Long Island, N.Y., USA, has moved its corporate headquarters to New Castle, Del., along with a new manufacturing facility that created 15 new jobs and is a model of sustainability. John Sullivan, CEO, explains that the move "makes good business sense in a lot of ways. It's a high tech area with a highly educated workforce, it is the second lowest tax state in the nation, and it's a pleasant place to live," he notes.

The privately-owned TMI Group of Companies consists of Testing Machines Inc., New Castle, Del.; Lako Tool, Perrysburg, Ohio; Lawson-Hemphill, Swansea, Mass.; Messmer Büchel BV, The Netherlands; Adamel Lhomargy SARL, France; TMI Asia, Indonesia; and TMI Canada. TMI Group's new home also serves as the manufacturing location for Testing Machines Inc. Serving the testing industry for 79 years, TMI manufactures and markets laboratory testing instruments that measure materials properties for packaging, paper, pulp, packaging film, plastics, foil, ink, coatings, nonwoven, textile, yarns, and corrugated industries.

Sullivan will oversee the company and all of its divisions from the new headquarters in Delaware. A full 60% of his employees made the move with him, and he's already added 15 local new employees to his payroll. Of TMI Group's 100 global employees, 40 will be based in Delaware. Sullivan intends to add 10 more employees to his New Castle headquarters within the next three years. Some of his newest employees include recent graduates of the University of Delaware and Delaware Technical and Community College.

In addition to bringing new private sector jobs to the area, Sullivan is also setting a good example for other CEOs of manufacturing firms—by showing that going green means more green for the company's bottom line. The move gave Sullivan the opportunity to do something he'd long envisioned—create a state-of-the-art, sustainable facility. He purchased a 10-year-old building at 40 McCullough Drive in New Castle. He then contacted Alan B. Levin at the Delaware Economic Development Office (DEDO). With the assistance of DEDO, an additional investment was made through grants offered by the State of Delaware to transform the building into an environmentally-friendly plant.

Four initiatives were involved in the scope of the project. The first initiative included installing 160 solar panels generating 50 KW of energy. The second investment included a geothermal heating and cooling system that consisted of 15 wells. The third initiative was installing a new membrane roof, and the last investment was the installation of a LED lighting system throughout the manufacturing plant. All four projects were completed on time and are up and running. The combined energy savings, according to Sullivan, will total 80%.

"The additional energy we produce will be sold back to the grid of DELMARVA Power and Light," he says. The TMI Group will also receive energy credits based on a Net Metering system that will track energy outflows generated by the company against energy inflows supplied by the power company. "The investment in sustainability not only enables us to leave a small environmental footprint, but is also economically feasible," Sullivan points out. "The solar power panels and geothermal wells help us lower our operating costs—which in turn allows me to reduce our prices to our customers."


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