Three wind power veterans have banded together to create Gearbox Express

Three power transmission and wind energy veterans have banded together to create Gearbox Express, an independent business focusing on the repair and remanufacturing of wind turbine gearboxes.

Founding partners Bruce Neumiller, CEO, Brian Hastings, CFO, and Brian Halverson, COO, have a combined 40 years of experience in the gearbox manufacturing and remanufacturing business. The team founded Gearbox Express (GBX) in an effort to better serve Wind, as well as Industrial gearbox segments.

“Our team knows the industry and is dedicated to its success,” said Neumiller. “We see big opportunity participating in the development of the Wind aftermarket as the infrastructure develops. Wind is a relatively young industry – young and growing. Much like how an entire industry was born around the service and maintenance of automobiles, we’re excited to be a part of keeping Megawatt Class wind turbines running efficiently during their lifespan.”

Gearbox Express is specifically focused on down-tower services and will be one of the first companies in the United States to remanufacture wind turbine gearboxes in an exchange inventory model. Its mission, to ensure a quick turn and get the gearbox back uptower, means it will keep a stock of remanufactured gearboxes ready to exchange.
“Our business model is rooted in efficiency, quality, speed and a passionate attitude towards excellent customer service. The sooner our customers have their gearbox uptower and operational, the better it is for their business. We work together to make it happen,” said Neumiller.

He added, “We are building our shop with our business model in our sites; it is designed with high attention to detail to ensure we are creating the right quality environment.”

Gearbox Express recently signed a lease on a 43,164 square-foot industrial building at 909 Perkins Drive, Mukwonago. The formerly distressed building was purchased out of receivership by Sara Investment Real Estate, Madison, WI, and will be leased back to GBX. Build-out of the site is currently underway.

“We selected Mukwonago due to its close proximity to I-43,” continued Neumiller. “And the connection to the established broad labor pool of southeastern Wisconsin and access to the upcoming graduates of our technical schools that are developing wind curriculum is very exciting to us. It’s a perfect time to build a wind-based business in Wisconsin.”

The company received funding from the State Energy Program (SEP) that was created with Recovery Act Funds, an SBA guaranteed loan from Investors Bank and monies from private individual investors as well as Angel investors. It closed its minimum funding this past May.

As it looks toward its opening in 2012, GBX is committed to creating 100 jobs within the state. “The monetary support Gearbox Express received in the form of SEP funding translates into more clean energy jobs in our state and a much needed service to the existing wind energy sector in our region," said Paul Jadin, CEO of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, which administers the SEP.