Equipment manufacturer Billco is celebrating more than just the holidays this December. The company is also celebrating 70 years in business—an accomplishment that company officials attribute to innovation and adaptability.
Billco was founded in 1948, in Zelienople, Pa., by the Billinger family. In 2008, the company was acquired by a group of its managers, who, according to company president Phil Plant, have continued to foster the same tight‐knit family business atmosphere, while remaining dedicated to its founding qualities and values.
“Over the past seven decades, we attribute Billco’s success to the hard‐working individuals who have worked together with a constant focus on upholding the quality and values our company was built on,” says Plant. “We truly care about the success of our customers and take pride in the products we provide to them.”
Billco marketing manager, Danielle Blewitt, says the company owes its many prosperous years to its hard-working individuals.
“We support our customers through the whole process, from process design, to install and day-to-day operation,” says Blewitt.
And though the company has 126 employees and might be considered small compared to others, it has the resources to provide around-the-clock support, 365 days of the year, says Blewitt.
The company has reached many milestones over the years, including some industry firsts, beginning in 1962 with the first flip-top glass washer. Its most recent innovation includes the Remnant Storage solution, which automatically tags and stores leftover glass for automated retrieval.
“We’re very excited about this new product and have seen a lot of interest in it,” says Plant. “We were recently notified that it just won the USGlass Readers’ Choice award!”
The company has faced a number of challenges throughout its history, including foreign competition and market recessions. While Billco still manufacturers its equipment in the U.S., Plant says this can be difficult at times.
“Sometimes it’s a challenge to [manufacture in America], but we are meeting it by keeping our company lean and agile,” says Plant.
According to both Plant and Blewitt, Billco has continued to look for new opportunities that help the company remain competitive during challenging times.
“In order to weather the challenges posed by the ups and downs of the market, we have also been diversifying our equipment offerings and have been marketing to new industries,” says Plant.
Going forward, Blewitt says one of the company’s main goals includes companywide improvements and automation.
“It’s an exciting time for us as we improve our processes, innovate new products and improve existing ones,” says Plant, adding that they are looking forward to a celebration taking them into the next 70 years.