Kent Corp – A Work in Progress


Kent Corp
Muscatine Journal
A work in Progress

MAY 23, 2013 9:00 AM • BY MIKE FERGUSON
MUSCATINE, Iowa – Work crews have begun moving dirt for a new multi-million dollar warehouse and distribution center in Muscatine’s industrial park that will serve as the distribution center for nearby Kent Corp.

The $18 million, 567,000-square-foot facility is being built by GSTC Logistics of Walford. The project is scheduled for completion by the first quarter of 2014, said Kevin Fields, executive vice president for Enterprise Services for Muscatine-based Kent Corp. It’s being built just north of Progress Park off 41st Street South, across from Curry’s Transportation Services, Inc.

“If it’s done sooner than that, that’s great,” Fields said.

The Muscatine City Council has scheduled a public hearing at 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 20, on a proposal to rebate an estimated $4.778 million of the construction cost through tax increment financing. On May 9, Gordon Sevig of GSTC Logistics told the city council he expects the facility will employ 29 people who will collectively earn about $1,129,000 annually. That equates to an average annual wage of nearly $39,000.

“We needed additional warehouse space because we don’t have the capacity to store it ourselves,” Fields said Wednesday.

Kent Corp. has been using GSTC’s transportation capabilities for 20 years, so “this is a natural extension for us,” said Fields. “It’s going to be great for us, great for their company, and for other local carriers, too.”

Kent Corp., the parent company of GPC, is signing a 10-year lease with GSTC Logistics, Fields said. The new center will have what Fields described as a “state-of-the-art warehouse management system, allowing us to better serve our growing customer base in the United States as well as customers worldwide.”
He said Kent Corp. had been considering a Muscatine location for a warehouse/distribution center for several reasons, including reduced transportation costs, accessibility to the nearby plant, easy access to U.S. Highway 61 and rail access. The facility will include a rail spur, he said.

The company plans to warehouse several of its products at the new warehouse, including maltodextrins (a food additive), starches and its World’s Best Cat Litter.

The warehouse will be up to food-grade standards. That means wood cannot be used in construction, because wood can splinter and splinters can’t be a part of food products.

“We have to use concrete around the outside so that rodents don’t get in,” Fields explained. “It’s an elevated standard for building construction. It reduces the risk of contamination.”

The facility is being constructed by Muscatine-area firms, Sevig said, including Hybrand Industrial Contractors and Heuer Construction.

Sevig praised Muscatine city officials for the speed and quality of their dealings with his family-owned business.

“Muscatine was probably the most friendly and easy to work with, about as good to us as anybody could be,” he said. “If they didn’t pick up the phone, about an hour or two later you’d get a call back with a really helpful answer.”

Greg Jenkins, interim president and CEO of the Greater Muscatine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said he hopes the new facility will spur future development in the area.

“It’s a good project for the community,” he said.

Seeding a New Kind of Concrete


This is an interesting development I came across, kinda fitting since we are in the heart of the corn belt.

Enjoy an interesting article!

Reinforced with husks?

Concrete with Corn?

Corn Husks & Concrete?

Corn Husks & Concrete?

Sunflower seed husks, a huge waste product of the vegetable oil and food industry, could be used as an environmentally friendly filler, or aggregate, for concrete according to Turkish researchers writing in the International Journal of Environment and Waste Management. The team demonstrated that the use of husks reduces the density of concrete as well as boosting the material’s resistance to cracking after exposure to icy then thawing conditions.

Engineers Can Burak Sisman and Erhan Gezer of Namik Kemal University in Turkey, explain how the accumulation of unmanaged wastes from the food industry, particularly in developing countries is becoming increasingly problematic. As such, researchers are hoping to find new applications for such waste in the creation of environmentally friendly materials and composites in the road-building and construction industries for instance. This is particularly pertinent given the rising cost and chronic shortages of conventional materials. Engineers are thus being challenged to convert industrial wastes to replacements for certain materials.

Concrete is perhaps one of the most energy and resource intensive materials and researchers have investigated and applied waste rubber, glass powder and paper waste sludge as alternative fillers and bulking agents. The addition of such materials can affect significantly the properties of concrete altering its strength, density and water resistance detrimentally in some instances.

The team has turned to the sunflower seed and more specifically its inedible husk as a possible alternative material for concrete. Turkey is the ninth largest sunflower producer in the world, generating almost a million tonnes of product from 584000 hectares, the bulk of which is used in the manufacture of sunflower oil in the Thrace region. The by-product is approximately 300000 tonnes of fibrous seed husk. The team has therefore experimented with different formulations of seed husk in a concrete mix.

They produced concrete samples with the lowest density could be classified as “lightweight.” Some samples had low compressibility suitable for construction use although higher husk content meant the resulting concrete could be used only for insulation applications. The team suggests that the sunflower seed concrete would be most suitable for the construction of agricultural buildings that are usually only one floor and do not to be as sufficiently load bearing as domestic or office buildings.

Inderscience (2013, April 25). Seeding a new kind of concrete. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 14, 2013, from