Governor Kim Reynolds makes stop at Dur-A-Lift

Governor Reynolds stopped by Dur-A-Lift & Diversified Technologies on Thursday as part of her 99 County Tour.

GEORGE, IOWA – Iowa governor, Kim Reynolds, made a stop in Lyon County at Diversified Technologies (DTI), the parent company of both Dur-A-Lift, Inc. and Sudenga Industries, Inc. on Thursday, March 24 as part of her 99 County Tour.

Governor Reynolds admiring a Dur-A-Lift bucket truck while receiving a short tour of Dur-A-Lift’s facility.

One of the main topics of conversation was the Manufacturing 4.0 Workforce Innovation grant which was awarded to 46 companies across Iowa. These grants were geared toward Iowa manufacturers with 76-250 employees investing in Industry 4.0 technologies to address workforce issues exacerbated by the negative impacts of COVID-19. The grant prioritized projects aimed at helping manufacturers increase productivity, efficiency and competitiveness through the acquisition of Industry 4.0 equipment, such as specialized equipment for automation, collaborative robotics and equipment for process improvements, among other things. DTI was the recipient of two of these grants for a combined total of $324,000 with a minimum of a 25% match required.

Reynolds speaking to a number of Dur-A-Lift and DTI staff members.

“Our Manufacturing 4.0 initiative focuses on one of Iowa’s largest industries, and will help them unleash new potential to grow their businesses,” said Gov. Kim Reynolds. “To maintain our economic vitality in this sector, particularly as we work to mitigate ongoing workforce shortages, these grants serve as a critical resource to support advanced manufacturing businesses. It is imperative that our businesses remain globally competitive and a step ahead of the evolving demands of the 21st century economy.”

Gov. Reynolds shakes hands with DTI engineer BJ Gerken.

DTI will use their $159,750 grant for a Dur-A-Lift Sync Project that will utilize IoT technologies to streamline the production process within the Dur-A-Lift facility. This project includes the long-term goal of deployment companywide, which will include deployment within the Sudenga division. A grant in the amount of $164,250 will be used to acquire the latest intelligent manufacturing equipment, including Cobot collaborative robots, weld positioners and more.

Cobot collaborative robot which was purchased with the Manufacturing 4.0 Workforce Innovation grant.

Production of all Sudenga and Dur-A-Lift product lines takes place at a manufacturing facility located one mile east and one mile north of George, Iowa. The George area has served as the home for Sudenga operations since 1888 and has been home to Dur-A-Lift since 1988. Sudenga Industries manufactures grain, seed and feed processing and handling equipment. Equipment includes portable and stationary augers, grain bin sweeps, bucket elevators, chain conveyors, feed processing equipment, seed handling equipment and more. Dur-A-Lift manufactures truck and van mounted aerial lifts that help people work beyond their limits in the electric utility, forestry, sign and lighting, and telecommunications industries.

Read more about the Manufacturing 4.0 grant here