Exporter of the Year
An international company from its early beginnings, 4B Components Ltd. was founded in East Peoria in 1984 as a subsidiary of the Braime Group, a family business founded in 1888 in Leeds, England. After introducing the world’s first seamless steel bucket in 1909, Braime grew rapidly during the early years of the motor industry and played an important role in armament provision during World War I. Today, 4B is a worldwide leader serving the bulk elevator and conveyor market in the agriculture and industrial sectors.
4B’s material handling division specializes in the engineering and manufacturing of mechanical parts for bucket elevators, belt conveyors and drag chain conveyors, while its electronics division produces electronic sensors, switches, indicators and controllers for combustible dust hazard monitoring and preventive maintenance of bucket elevators and conveyors.
Between 1991 and 2005, 4B expanded its operations to include offices in France, South America, Asia and Germany. The company has since opened regional offices in South Africa and Australia. In addition to its network of distributors around the world, 4B has a 55,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Morton with over 40 employees—including a highly-skilled, multilingual international team.
Over the years, 4B has remained in ongoing interaction with the Illinois SBDC International Trade Center (ITC) at Bradley University, according to company president Jonathan Wheat. “The ITC has been a valuable resource by providing guidance and training to our staff on international trade documentation requirements and tariff classification, by keeping 4B informed of state-sponsored loan opportunities and international trade reimbursements, and by including 4B into its network of university trade centers in the Midwest,” he explains.
A focused export strategy and ongoing investments in innovation have driven 4B’s significant international growth. “We continue to invest in this area by adding to our very talented international team of sales engineers,” Wheat notes. “We look forward to increasing our manufacturing capabilities and expanding our facility in Morton. We have enough acreage to double our existing manufacturing and warehousing space.” As the world recovers from the global health pandemic, 4B is positioned to continue this growth well into the future. go4b.com/usa PM