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Company History


EMCO is proud to unveil our new Corporate Headquarters and state-of-the-art Manufacturing & Distribution facility. The 260,000 square foot facility is located on a 30-plus acre site in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin. The modern facility was completely retrofit to serve EMCO’s manufacturing and distribution business, including: over 10 miles of stainless steel pipe, 1.1 million gallon capacity of bulk storage, a clean room built to ISO 8 Class 100,000 standards for food grade packaging, a warm room, three indoor truck scales, rail car capacity for 26 cars, and a fully staffed lab including technical services. EMCO’s expansion project also includes the opening of a new Waste Services facility in Kenosha, Wisconsin. These two new locations join our existing locations in North Chicago, Illinois; Columbia, Illinois; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Mishawaka, Indiana; and, Toronto, Canada.


EMCO begins representing OMG Americas, Inc. product lines, the world’s leading manufacturer of dryer and paint additives in the coatings, adhesives, ink and paint industries. Warehousing is opened in Ontario Canada as EMCO begins representing Bayer Material Science CAS product lines in all of Canada. EMCO Chemical Distributors Canada Ltd. is established as a wholly owned subsidiary of EMCO Chemical Distributors, Inc.


EMCO’s sales reach $297 million. EMCO is named 7th largest distributor in the United States employing over 400 people.


​Although the year is just starting, we are excited to announce the purchase of a 30 acre site in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin. The site includes a 260,000 sq ft building with a 25 car rail siding. We will be expanding our manufacturing and distribution business to this new location. Our packaging operations will stay in North Chicago, IL.


​As in 2008 our sales dollars are impacted by the price of crude oil, however, this year crude prices dropped and so did our sales dollars. We finished 2009 with sales of $219,000,000. We completed one year of operating the MOZEL facility and were extremely pleased with the results. We also purchased new software to run our company, and hopefully will have it implemented and running in early 2010.


​A very exciting year as our sales reached $246,000,000. Selling prices of chemicals skyrocketed due to the high price of oil. Most significant was our purchase of the MOZEL Chemical packaging facility in Columbia, IL. EMCO is now America’s largest custom packager of polyurethane isocyanates. The acquisition provides EMCO with two similar packaging facilities, an insurance policy our customers appreciate. We also opened a packaging sales office in Memphis, TN, expanding our operations and coverage, helping us to better service our customers.


​A nice growth year for EMCO. Our sales almost broke through the $200,000,000 barrier, not quite at $196,000,000. We purchased and installed in our newly constructed clean room machinery to fill pigmented pearls. We also added another sales person.


​EMCO sales reached $185 million and our ISO 9001 certification was renewed. We purchased a new warehouse/production building 0.3 miles from our main production facility, so we now have over 515,000 square feet of floor space. We also opened our first satellite warehouse to service the St. Paul/Minneapolis area on a daily basis. We built and opened a new laboratory of 11,600 sq ft (including a separate product retain room), replacing our old lab. With the construction of the new lab we now have the ability to do drawdowns and sulfur analysis, plus we installed a small paint booth for spraying test panels for analysis and capability studies. In addition, we built a new powder fill room for packaging pearlized pigments into small containers.


EMCO sales reached $172 million and we opened a new Distribution Center adding 50,000 square feet of storage to bring our total space to 460,000 square feet.​


​EMCO sales reached $134 million and we became the 19th largest chemical distributor. We established a Fine Ingredients Division to serve the food and pharmaceutical industries. In addition, we installed a 60,000 gallon mini tank farm/blend area.


​EMCO sales reached $119 million. We expanded our distribution territory to serve Minnesota, Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan, Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio, as well as, Illinois.


​EMCO sales reached $109 million, ranking 22nd in U.S. and still the largest single site distributor in the USA. Obtained ISO 9001:2000 certification for the Custom Packaging Division. Awarded North Chicago’s Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year. Employed 216.


​EMCO reached $97.5 million. Obtained Site Class Verification for NACD’s Responsible Distribution Process.


​EMCO sales reached $92.7 million. Obtained Management System Verification for NACD’s Responsible Distribution Process.


​EMCO sales reached $86.5 million, ranking 21st in the U.S. and largest single site distributor in the USA. Employed 179.


​EMCO sales reached $73.5 million, ranking 23rd in the U.S. and tops for largest single site distributor in the USA. Created Specialty Chemical Division. Employed 176.


​EMCO sales reached $61.3 million. Created Waste Division. Employed 163.


​EMCO sales reached $49.4 million. Built explosion-proof fill room for Custom Packaging Division. Employed 156.


​EMCO sales reached $37.4 million. Purchased adjacent building, expanding plant square footage to 325,000. Created Custom Packaging Division. Employed 102.


​Renamed company as EMCO Chemical Distributors, Inc. and relocated business to 118,000 square foot facility at 2100 Commonwealth Avenue in North Chicago. Sales hit $25 million, ranking company nationally among chemical distributors. Employed 70.


​Continued business expansion, adding plant space as well as bulk storage tanks.


Edward Polen started E-M Co., filling chemical orders and packaging chemicals into small containers out of the garage at his Highland Park home.

​Moved business from home to 4,000 square foot plant at 2240 Commonwealth Avenue in North Chicago. Company consisted of 1 employee and 1 delivery truck.


​Edward Polen leaves Boston to take a job as a pharmacist for Walgreens. He eventually takes a salesman position at Big Ben Chemicals and Solvents in Chicago, and remains at Big Ben until its sale in 1971.