The million dollar machine changing the erosion control landscape
Until now, soil erosion control blankets could only be made in one place in Canada.
A warehouse in Alberta will soon be home to a very special machine. – BMP Supplies
- The machine will increase the supply and availability of soil erosion control blankets for Western Canada and parts of the U.S.
- BMP Supplies is setting up the machine in an Alberta warehouse with ample supply to hay.
- The machine is set to be up and running sometime next month.
The Whole Story:
A million dollar machine in an Alberta warehouse is poised to upend a commonly overlooked corner of Canada’s construction sector.
Paul Lindemulder, who works in sales and marketing for his family business, BMP Supplies, explained that his father started the company 20 years ago with one of its most popular products, a catch basin protector. The orange, donut-shaped devices prevent unwanted sediment from going into catch basins. He soon began creating other devices, like turbidity curtains that prevent runoff into bodies of water like lakes.
But one sought after product remained elusive for decades: soil erosion control blankets.
“That was always the dream,” said Lindemulder. “In this industry it’s kind of the big product that is most common because it is used in so many applications. It does a lot more than other products. It’s a dream product to release for a company like ours.”
The blanket is a fabric roll made with jute or plastic netting filled with straw or coconut to protect soil from wind and water erosion. It is typically used to protect slopes and embankments and can help to reduce runoff and help promote the growth of vegetation.
The process to get the product is complex and expensive. You need three things – an expensive and rare machine that weaves the blankets, a large warehouse to store it and a nearby supply of high-quality hay. Only one other machine exists in Canada and it’s far from many parts of Western Canada. This causes long lead times for orders and high shipping costs. Lindemulder said this has caused many projects in the west that would have liked to use erosion control blankets to forgo them.
BMP is primarily based out of Calgary with two warehouses. Its head administrative office is in Surrey, B.C. As leadership of the company started to transfer over to Jim’s four sons, the company decided it was time for a major play.
First they secured a 12,000 square-foot building on a five acre site in Brooks, Alta. close to a nearly endless supply of straw. Then they ordered the machine that weaves the blankets. It’s made in Germany by AH Meyer and costs roughly $1 million. The 80-foot long and 20-foot wide machine recently arrived in seven boxes and a team of experts from Europe will help assemble it in Brooks.
“It’s a game changer,” said Lindemulder, who noted that the Brooks location sets BMP up to supply projects in western North America. “It’s something everyone wants in their jobs but getting it is difficult. That motivated us to get it in the hands of construction companies. It’s great for the environment as it protects sensitive areas and now sites can be specced for this product.”
Lindemulder anticipates erosion blanket product could begin as early as next month.
“We are getting the word out and letting customers know,” said Lindemulder. “It’s about getting the whole industry to change focus, especially in Western Canada.”