Founded in 1917, Western States is the only remaining United States-based sugar centrifuge/centrifugal manufacturer (machines utilized to separate liquids from solids). Brand names include Western States, Roberts Centrifugals, and Titan. Additionally, Western States is a distributor for Riera Nadeu, S.A. located in Barcelona Spain. While Western States’ originated to develop and manufacture improvements for centrifugals in the sugar industry, expansion occurred in 1950 to include centrifuges for non-sugar industries including the separation of fine chemicals, agricultural chemicals and pharmaceuticals. Since its humble beginnings, Western States has grown to become a global supplier for both the Sugar and Chem/Pharma industries, with more than 6,000 centrifugals installed world-wide.
Through the inventiveness and entrepreneurial spirit of Eugene Roberts, The Western States Machine Company (Western States) was founded in Salt Lake City, Utah and incorporated April 11, 1917. From its humble beginnings, Western States expanded into foreign sales. By 1920, relationships were established with Cuba, the world’s leading producer of cane sugar. From there, Western States expanded to Canada, Peru, England, Hawaii, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Santo Domingo, Scotland, Korea and Japan.
The remarkable growth of Western States was in large part due to Eugene Roberts’ early experience in the sugar mill (at 16, a mechanic’s helper at the Lehi Sugar Factory of Utah, only one of three independent sugar beet factories in the United States). His detailed, hands-on knowledge and expertise pertaining to production and technical issues were priceless in contributing to the company’s growth.
From its early beginnings, Western States has built its success on three principles: quality products, superior service and building relationships.
As Western States grew in the 20’s and 30’s, centrifugal manufacturing had to be scaled back with the onset of World War II. At which time, Western States was awarded several contracts with the US War Department to build a variety of war-driven supplies. One of these contracts, awarded in 1942, included the development of a centrifugal which contributed to the manufacture of war chemicals – Western States first foray outside the sugar industry.
As the war ended in 1945, Western States realized a boon to business primarily due to orders for spare parts and replacements. During the subsequent three years, Western States manufactured and shipped 571 centrifugals. On September 14, 1950, Eugene Roberts died – ending a 56 year legacy within the sugar industry. However, Roberts’ vision continued to thrive and grow through his successors. Key contributors included George Stevens, Richard Huser, James Coleman, Harry Allison (who designed our logo), Roger Fair, George Conrad, Joseph Hertrich, Joseph Bange, Tony Stulreyer, Oscar Moyle Jr., Bob Jones, David Douglas Buckner — to our current day President and CEO, Robert Sinnard Jr. Along with these leaders for the last 40 years Western States has had a core group of employees that have unselfishly dedicated their careers to the betterment of the company.
In the 1970’s a series of Continuous Process Centrifuges were invented through continued innovation that were still being manufactured in 1994. During this time span, Western States separated various materials such as chemical waste treatment, bagasse (spongy remains from ground sugar cane), and Lactose processing. In 1985, Western States manufactured the first USDA approved centrifugal, utilized to process dairy products – primarily due to its innovative designs, materials, and CIP (Clean-In-Place) System.
Throughout the 80’s and 90’s Western States continued to increase sales within the food and chemical industry – many of which were developed to process crystalline materials. Additionally, the company continued to leverage technologies such as computer aided design (CAD), personal computers, and integrated computer systems to increase internal efficiency and performance.
Continuing into the 21st century, Western States advances and innovates centrifugal technology as it expands its footprint into more than 35 countries around the globe. Through the constant innovation and foundational principles established in 1917 – distinguished service, unprecedented quality, and cultivated relationships – Western States is poised for continued and future growth through its state-of-the-art facility located at 625 Commerce Center Drive, Fairfield, Ohio.