A few years ago, Anup Sud, a cardiac surgeon traveled to Iowa for a recycling project. Discovering a growing market for high density polyethylene (HDPE) drainage tiles, he started Quality Farm Drainage LLC in January 2010.
Come September, Sud’s company will be adding Corma machinery to triple its production capacity to meet growing demand for its tiles.
The tiles are used in fields in the upper Midwest, and help farmers boost crop yields. They do it by siphoning water away from the plants.
Sud said there are bigger players in the region, but there is strong demand.
Drainage tiles seem to be an odd fit for a surgeon like Sud, who emigrated from India in 1975. He did medical training in Detroit and then opened a successful practice in Flint, Michigan.
Sud still practices medicine in Flint, but his interest in manufacturing has also grown. He had a company that made drainage tiles for the residential basement market in the 1990s. When the local housing market tanked, Sud turned off the machine and turned to recycling.
He took that machine to Iowa and now is bringing in a more modern machine that will enable the company to produce as much as 120,000 feet of 4-inch tile per day.
Sud also owns CSI Plastics LLC in Flint, where HDPE products such as laundry detergent containers are ground, washed and pelletized for use in Sioux City.