FMC Corporation Company History
Headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, FMC Corporation is a global leader in the chemical industry with its business operations geared toward three main markets: Agricultural Products, Specialty Chemicals, and Industrial Chemicals. FMC’s origins date back over 125 years to 1884 with the invention of a high-pressure spray pump by a retired inventor named John Bean. Bean’s invention led to the establishment of the Bean Spray Pump Company which was incorporated on May 20, 1904.
The company broadened its focus on pumps by venturing into the food industry—becoming the world’s largest food machinery manufacturer with the acquisition of a food processing equipment company and a cannery machinery company in the late 1920s. This new focus resulted in a name change to the Food Machinery Corporation in 1929. Further development and diversification by FMC Corporation was marked by the acquisition of several pump companies: the Peerless Pump Company (1932), the Chicago Pump Company (1954), and Northern Pumps (1963). The Westvaco Chemical Corporation was acquired in 1948 marking not only the company’s largest acquisition to date, but the expansion of its product line in the chemical market. This expansion mandated yet further name changes for the company to the Food Machinery and Chemical Corporation (1948) and then to FMC Corporation (1961). By 1966, revenues for FMC exceeded $1 billion for the first time in company history. A 1967 purchase by FMC of the Link-Belt Company would later result in the Construction Equipment Group, a division of FMC that would be responsible for the international marketing of Link-Belt construction equipment, namely cranes and excavators.
As FMC headed towards the 21st century, it continued to explore and acquire new businesses and demonstrated success in doing so with sales reaching $5 billion in 1996. The year 2000 marked the announcement of a restructuring plan by the company, and by 2001 FMC was split into a machinery business (FMC Technologies) and a chemicals business (FMC Corporation). Today, FMC Corporation employs approximately 4,900 individuals worldwide and maintains a commitment to providing solutions to its customers through technological advances.
Products Manufactured by FMC Corporation that Contained Asbestos
Relative low cost, abundant supply and resilience to heat and corrosion made asbestos an attractive insulation material for use in components such as gaskets, packing, brake linings, and clutch facings. While these parts were not manufactured by FMC Corporation, they were supplied to the company for inclusion in equipment the company produced.
Among the products produced by FMC Corporation that may have contained asbestos components include, but are not limited to:
|Pumps—may have contained asbestos gaskets and/or packing|
|Cranes and excavators—may have contained asbestos-containing brake linings and clutch facings|
|Link-Belt Company/Construction Equipment Group||1967|
|Industrial brakes and clutch components—may have contained asbestos friction disks|
|Stearns Electric Company||1967-1986|
Occupations at Risk for Asbestos Exposure
Individuals who worked with or in close proximity to any of the asbestos-containing parts of pumps, cranes, excavators, or industrial brakes and/or clutch components may be at an increased risk for occupational asbestos exposure and, in turn, at risk for the harmful negative health outcomes such exposure may cause—asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma. Persons likely to come into contact with the above referenced products as a result of their line of work may include, but are not limited to: industrial plant workers, naval personnel, shipyard workers, construction workers, plumbers, steamfitters (pipefitters), workers at power-generating plants and oil refineries, boiler repairmen, maintenance workers, insulators, HVAC workers, electrical engineers, auto mechanics, garage mechanics, heavy equipment mechanics, crane operators, and heavy equipment operators. Instances in these professions where exposure is most likely to occur may include when maintenance and repairs take place on equipment containing asbestos parts and when asbestos-containing parts are cut, sanded, or grinded causing fibers to be released and inhaled.
Mesothelioma is a devastating disease with an overall poor prognosis. If you believe you or someone you know has experienced occupational exposure to asbestos, it is important to know your rights and what course of action you can take to obtain compensation for your injuries.
As of year ending 2010, FMC Corporation was named as a co-defendant in approximately 12,000 asbestos lawsuits (premises and product claims). In the majority of these cases, individuals claim personal injury or death from asbestos exposure in premises of FMC or to components of machinery or equipment once manufactured or sold by the company and accessed only at times of repair and maintenance. The asbestos-containing parts in question were not manufactured by FMC businesses. FMC Corporation has issued approximately $36.6 million in asbestos-related settlements since the 1980s, while having dismissed approximately 98,000 asbestos claims since that same time.
As of December 31, 2010, FMC Corporation cited revenue of $3.1 billion—an increase from 2009 year-end revenue of $2.8 billion.
Author: Tara Strand
Senior Content WriterRead about Tara
Reviewer: Jennifer R. Lucarelli
Lawyer for Mesothelioma Victims and Their FamiliesRead about Jennifer