BLM GROUP Blog

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How helping a friend turned into a pioneering business

Jul 21, 2020 9:30:00 AM

“I didn’t know anything about having my own company,” begins Cullen Raichart, Founder & CEO of GreenBroz, an emerging agricultural machine manufacturer. He continues, “I was a Chief Engineer at a Fortune 500 company and didn’t have real knowledge about building a company. I’ve always been an inventor, always someone who tinkered with stuff, and always could fix things.”

He realized his passion for inventing machinery when a friend asked him to design and build a cannabis harvesting machine. Working out of a rented space in San Diego, CA, he began working on the 1st prototype.

It took a little over a year, and a lot of trial and learning, to produce a production ready machine. When it was completed, he knew he had made machine that would change the cultivation of legal cannabis and hemp. His goal became to streamline harvesting processes and, in turn, reduce growers time and costs. In 2012, GreenBroz was founded.

 

Raichart helped a friend and started a pioneering businessRaichart, Founder & CEO of GreenBroz cannabis harvesting machine.

 

The company and product portfolio has grown rapidly. In 2013, a 2nd machine model was added, and sales were approx. $60,000. In 2019, the company moved to a brand-new production facility located in Las Vegas, Nevada. Today, GreenBroz offers 8 different automated harvesting machine solutions, has three new machines in development, 40 employees, and sales exceed $13,000,000.

Initially, GreenBroz’s products were mostly made from plastic with a few metal components. After reevaluating their product design, the decision was made to manufacture all machine components from 304 stainless steel. Approximately, 98% of each machine is food-grade stainless steel. The components were laser cut out of flat sheet and bent to shape on a press brake.

 

cannabis harvesting machine made from 304 stainless steelGreenBroz machine, all machine components were made from 304 stainless steel.

 

As the GreenBroz team went down the redesign journey, there were common structures, built by bending metal, that would be much easier and quicker to produce with tube. The redesign phase was occurring during the same time the company was moving into the new facility in 2019. With the pressure mounting, they were in a desperate search to find the right tube laser cutting system for their needs. The team recognized their capacity could not justify a dedicated tube laser system initially and searched for a machine that could process both sheet and tube.

 

 

After discussing their needs with another laser machine manufacturer, the sales agent referred him to BLM GROUP. Raichart shares his conversation with the competitor sales agent, “Honestly, I’m going to tell you, you need to look at this BLM GROUP machine (referring to the LC5 flat-sheet & tube laser cutting system) because it does exactly what you are looking for.” Raichart and his chief engineer made the trip to Novi, MI to demo the LC5 flat-sheet & tube laser cutting system.

 

“My experience working with the BLM GROUP team was so cool, warm, and comfortable,” Raichart adds. “The demo went great and there wasn’t the typical added pressure from sales to close the deal. They understood our needs and helped us throughout the entire process – right from the first conversation through today for aftermarket support and training of new staff.” He continues, “I actually changed my business model after our experience with BLM GROUP!”

How helping a friend turned into a pioneering business successRaichart, Founder & CEO of GreenBroz in his facility in Las Vegas, Nevada.

 

GreenBroz uses the LC5 flat-sheet & tube laser cutting system daily. “Every time we buy a machine, we try and buy ahead of ourselves and grow into it. When you have that, if it’s right, it just accelerates your growth and creativity. The LC5 has been a great addition to our production equipment and has expanded our capability. The ability to create tab and slot, cut-bend joints, and have everything fit together perfectly has greatly improved our repeatability, product quality, and material consumption.” remarks Raichart.

 

How helping a friend turned into a pioneering business with a lasertubeAll machine components were made from 304 stainless steel.

 

“With the COVID outbreak, we were actually able to redesign an existing product into a PPE remediation machine because we have instant prototype ability. We made the PPE remediation machine in 2 weeks from the ground to basically pre-production. This is something I would never have attempted without it (LC5) because we’ve gotten so proficient at using it in the year that we’ve had it."

It was an amazing press of energy and collaborative effort and it was all facilitated by being able to cut the frame out of tube. If we didn’t have that capability, we would’ve been bending flat, which takes way too much time. There’s no way we would’ve ever produced it as fast as we did, if we had to do everything the way we were doing it in the past,” Raichart finishes. GreenBroz is currently awaiting certification from the FDA Food & Drug Administration) for EUA (Emergency Use Authorization).

As more products are developed and additional uses for tube are identified, GreenBroz is looking to expand its tube production with the purchase of another BLM GROUP tube laser cutting system.

References: GreenBroz website

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