Like a Quentin Tarantino movie, this case study is best examined from the end point.


A chemical plant is back to running one of its key mixers less than 24 hours after the break-down.


Marc McIlwain, Branch Manager with B&D Technologies in Simpsonville, South Carolina, received an emergency call from a chemical plant in the Greenville area. A vital gearbox on one of their most important mixers had a catastrophic failure.  They quickly called B&D Technologies as, thanks to our sister division B&D Service, we have immediate access to numerous lines of gearboxes and have repair shops that can repair or rebuild just about anything. But given the excessive level of disrepair on this gearbox, coupled with the hurried need, we quickly shifted gears to sourcing a new gearbox.


SEW Eurodrive (B&D is a top 5 distributor in the U.S.) can divert production and ship a unit, sans paint, faster than any manufacturer we know. It is one thing to miraculously have something in stock, but sometimes customized gearing can create a challenge when crafting something from scratch in a very short amount of time.

Marc got in touch with the SEW folks in Lyman, South Carolina and worked out a replacement design and timeline to get the inoperative plant up and running as fast as possible. 24 hours later, the plant was running.


If you have not been to a plant to see automation at its finest, go see the SEW plant in Lyman. I have never been so amazed at the sheer size of the operation and the abundance of robots. The practices and designs are very progressive and the people are accommodating and smart.

B&D Technologies and B&D Service use SEW for many applications based on flexibility, progressive designs, and engineering support.

Last Words

I often bash logistics companies for losing all of their technical talent, like the big three in the PT business. The thing of it is, distributors are either running towards knowledge-based solutions or running in the opposite direction towards pure logistics. Think about this, when Amazon and Wall-Mart get into the Industrial Distribution business, the larger national distributors will accelerate their movement towards logistics like we already see today.

We, on the other hand, do not have to change anything. We have been providing solutions for over 70 years.

C. Tolbert DOE