Tyler refrigeration machines will go up for auction today

Published 9:21 am Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Niles Daily Star

More than just pieces of machinery, but pieces of Tyler Refrigeration’s history went up for auction today.

Following the closing of one of the city’s biggest and most notable employers, Myron Bowling Auctioneers is handling the selling off of bits and pieces of the plant’s assets.
Machines Niles area workers have been mastering for years as they dutifully reported for work each day.

Over 150 items from within the facility will be up for auction.

The announcement of Tyler Refrigeration’s shocked and devastated many when it was made official back in May.

The company, owned by Carrier Corporation, would see production discontinued, the announcement stated in “product lines catering to food retail customers in North America.”

A campaign to save the company yielded no change in decision.

The Niles factory, its five branches and other assets were ultimately acquired by Hill PHOENIX, a Dover, Conn. company.

At the time of the announcement, an estimated 40 white collar workers were left unemployed and by the end of it a total of 500 workers would be left without jobs.
Now, pieces of the factory that had been so ingrained in Niles’ industrial framework face finding new homes.

The list of available assorted machinery includes line equipment, press brakes, hydraulic formers, lift trucks, racking and storage and raw materials amounting to over 200,000 pounds of stainless, aluminum, steel and galvanized sheet metal and coil.

An inventory of purchased parts would also be included in the auction, scheduled for 10 a.m. on today.

As many manufacturing facilities across the country struggle through the current economy, auctions such as those provided by companies like Myron Bowling Auctioneers have become a way for companies to liquidate their assets efficiently as well as a means of physically clearing out what can be, in Tyler’s case, decades of acquired equipment. According to Myron Bowling’s website, “auctions sell more assets on an annual basis than equipment dealers.”

The company organizes the event as well as handling advertising to bring in buyers.
“We do about 85 sales a year around the country,” Bowling said. “For us, it (the process of putting an auction together) happens fairly easily. But that’s not to say it’s not a lot of work.”

The objective, ultimately, he said is to “terminate a plant and empty a plant.”
Equipment, he added, begins to depreciate in value quite quickly once a factory, plant or facility goes dormant. An auction is a means of “reutilizing the value of the money.”
Bowling has been overseeing the Tyler Refrigeration auction himself and said he expected to see a decent turnout on Tuesday.

“Demand is starting to go back up a little bit,” in general, Bowling said.

A positive, one might say, when looking at the bigger picture – as more buyers are looking for equipment and able to afford it. But it is also an unfortunate reality that the equipment such companies are getting remain pieces of history on factory floors no longer operational. As pieces of the company go up for auction, Niles faces a future without one of its most popular manufacturers.