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FMC Corporation
Founded 1883
Founder(s) John Bean
Headquarters Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Key people Pierre Brondeau (president and CEO)
Revenue (turnover) US$3.115 billion (2008)
Employees over 5,000 people
Website http://www.fmc.com/

FMC Corporation (NYSEFMC) is a chemical manufacturing company headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, but formerly manufactured agricultural equipment, firetrucks and construction machinery. FMC employs over 4,800 people world wide, and had gross revenues of US$3.115 billion in 2008.

HistoryEdit

The Bean Spray Pump CompanyEdit

Founded in 1883 as the Bean Spray Pump Company in Los Gatos, California[1] by John Bean Calfornian Almond grower. The company's first product was a piston pump. Bean invented the pump to spray insecticide on the many fruit orchards in the area. A Bean sprayer is on display at the Forbes Mill museum there.[2] Bean Avenue in downtown Los Gatos is named after John Bean.

The company then diversified into supplying machinery for food packaging and processing for the fruit industry.

FMCEdit

In 1928, Bean Spray Pump purchased Anderson-Barngrover Co. and Sprague-Sells, and changed its name to Food Machinery Corporation, and began using the initials FMC. FMC received a contract to design and build landing vehicles tracked for the United States War Department in 1941. FMC also built the M113 (APC) Armored Personnel Carrier and the Bradley Fighting Vehicle as well as the XR311 at its former facility in Santa Clara, California. The troubled development of the Bradley was satirized in the 1998 HBO movie The Pentagon Wars. In the movie FMC was fictionalized as A.O.C corporation. Bean also manufactured fire fighting equipment in the 1960s through the 1980s under the FMC and the Bean names, with its factory in Tipton, Indiana, USA until its move to Florida.

The company built early automated pea viners used to process pea vines for caning and freezing. These early mobile machines were built under license from the Scott-Viner Company of Columbus Ohio. The early machines known as the FMC-Scott 'Pea train' were based on a static machine mounted on a chassis with a pickup attached, to feed the swaffed pea vines in. Later machines were self-propelled and became the FMC Green Pea Combine. FMC marketed them in the UK under the FMC-Scott name from 1964. A UK division Varley-FMC Ltd was formed as a JV between IMC of Belgium and Varley Pumps & Engineering Ltd in Middlesex. Both firms being FMC subsidiaries.

IMC (International Machinery Corporation) was originaly a JV with Mathers & Platt from the UK who had being UK license of early canning & fronzen machinery in the UK, but are best known for electrical machinery such as Dynamos used on Showman's road locomotives to generate power.[3]

FMC also produced fire truck fire pumps and pumper bodies, and had an OEM arrangement with LTI (Ladder Towers Inc.) to market aerial ladders. In the early 1980s the Fire apparatus division of FMC tried to expand its role in aerial ladders on fire trucks, leveraging the Link-Belt crane division. FMC was ultimately unsuccessful in its expansion into production of aerial ladders. The FMC Fire Apparatus division was also ultimately shut down in 1990.[4]

FMC sells chemical products used by beef and poultry processors to reduce pathogens, such a E. coli and salmonella, on uncooked beef and poultry.[5] FMC obtained a patent on a method for sanitizing fowl that have been killed, plucked and eviscerated by contacting the fowl with an aqueous acid solution and maintaining that contact for a time sufficient to sanitize the fowl.[6]

SpinoffsEdit

In 1946, FMC bought out Bolens Lawn And Garden Equipment. FMC changed names again in 1948, becoming Food Machinery and Chemical Corporation. In 1961 the name was changed to FMC Corporation.

In 1967, the FMC Corporation merged with the Link-Belt Company. The company produced FMC Link-Belt branded cranes and excavators. In 1986, the Link-Belt Construction Equipment Company was formed as a joint venture between FMC Corporation and Sumitomo Heavy Industries.

Between 1965 and 1985 FMC was the owner of the Gunderson metal works in Oregon USA, during that period it was known as the 'Marine and Rail Equipment Division of FMC' (MRED), it was sold in 1985 to The Greenbrier Companies.[7]

In the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s, FMC Corporation began spinning several of its divisions into separate companies, including United Defense and FMC Technologies, and selling its divisions, including the John Bean Company, now a subsidiary of Snap-on Equipment, a division of Snap-on. Bolens was sold to Troy-Bilt in 1991.

FMC sold the French pea viner operation to a MBO which was then taken over by Bourgoine of France.

The UK operation based at Fakenham in Norfolk was sold to Ploenger and renamed as PMC Harvesters Ltd.

The US harvester machinery operation based in Hoppeston was sold to the OXBO International Corporation, who were created from a merger of Byron Equipment Company and Pixall of Wisconsin in 1998.

ScandalsEdit

During the 1980s, FMC was involved in the insider trading scandals hitting Wall Street when Ivan Boesky used illegally gained information regarding a restructuring plan to turn a $975,000 profit.[8]

In 2009, CBS television news magazine 60 Minutes ran an expose discussing the use of an FMC Corporation produced chemical, Furadan, as a poison used by Kenyan farmers to kill African lions. The piece suggested that the Furadan was a serious threat to the future of the lion population in Africa. FMC Corporation refused to comment for the piece.[9][10]

Gallery Edit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

Further readingEdit

  • "Gunderson, Inc." (9 April 2006). Retrieved on 21 August 2010.
  • Kathy Hinson (ed.), Gunderson; A history of an Oregon Company (Portland, OR: Gunderson, 2000).

External linksEdit


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