Sutton-Garten Co. is a welding supply and industrial gas company based in Indianapolis, Indiana. Established in 1918, the family-owned company started out as a Prest-O-Lite acetylene lighting distributor and welding shop. The company still sells welding equipment, supplies and gases to the metal-working industry, but has also diversified their business into new offerings.
Sutton-Garten is always looking for new opportunities and has expanded to provide welding training and certifications, bulk gas delivery, equipment rental and other services. The company’s foresight and diversification of their services has led their business to continue to grow.
Entering the CO2 business
The company first ventured into new areas in 2006 when they integrated bulk gas sales into their business offerings. A large percentage of their gas sales comes from carbon dioxide (CO2). CO2 is used in a variety of ways, from carbonating beverages to industrial applications, such as metal fabrication. CO2 sales have steadily grown in the last several years and now account for about 15% of the company’s revenue.
The solid form of CO2, dry ice, is also used in many applications within a wide range of industries. Dry ice is used in food storage and distribution, E-commerce, biomedical, dry ice blasting and many other applications.
Utilizing onsite CO2 to produce dry ice
With the CO2 supply already on-site, Sutton-Garten began researching and planning for the implementation of dry ice production into their facility.
Sutton-Garten conducted their due diligence on the dry ice production market and contacted Cold Jet to learn more about their production machines, or pelletizers. The company soon learned that Cold Jet offers the most technologically advanced and efficient production units on the market.
“The Cold Jet dry ice production equipment produces the purest dry ice available,” said Pat Garten, President and CEO of Sutton-Garten.
Cold Jet’s dry ice production equipment has been engineered to extrude the highest density dry ice available. Due to Cold Jet’s advanced and proprietary technology, the company’s machine’s produce dry ice that has a longer shelf life and better transportability than competitors.
The machines also offer the highest conversion rate on the market due to Cold Jet’s Sub Cooling technology. A sub-cooler pre-cools the incoming liquid CO2, which results in more of the liquid CO2 being converted to dry ice (nearly 10% more than top competitors).
Cold Jet pelletizers are fully automated and easy to use. Featuring one-button operation, the pelletizers have a quick start up time and are designed to continuously and consistently produce high quality dry ice when the customer needs it. The pelletizers can be equipped with multiple dies to produce various extrusion sizes. From nuggets to pellets, Cold Jet Pelletizers offer a broad range of solutions. Cold Jet also offers slice makers and block reformers, which produce dry ice in the form of slabs or blocks.
10% of the company's revenue
Dry ice production is Sutton-Garten’s newest business line and it has become a significant part of their operation. The company began dry ice production and sales in 2008 and it now accounts for about 10% of revenue.
“I feel real optimistic about our investments in dry ice production and sales,” said Garten. “It’s a major growth area for us.”
Sutton-Garten has continued to invest in this sector of their business. The company recently expanded production capacity to meet demand from both E-commerce shippers and customers needing dry ice for blasting purposes.
This investment doubled their dry ice production, from 30 to 60 tons per day, and included the purchase of another Cold Jet dry ice production unit and the installation of a 50-ton carbon dioxide chiller tank.
Sutton-Garten now operates multiple Cold Jet dry ice production units, including two P1500’s and a PR750H. The company can produce dry ice in three sizes and multiple forms and they also have the capability of bagging and dosing dry ice as well.
The company also produces both blocks and 16-millimeter pellets for shipping purposes. For dry ice blasting, they produce 3-millimeter pellets.
Sutton-Garten has also begun to sell, lease and rent Cold Jet dry ice blasting equipment. Offering complete packages in a variety of sizes include the blasting machines, hoses, applicators and nozzles and the dry ice, Sutton-Garten is a one stop shop for dry ice blasting customers.