The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette recently published this article on Matthews International entitled “From tombstones to fuel cells, Matthews International wants to leave its mark on clean mobility“. The article is a great read on Matthews and reminded me that this “quiet company” of funeral service continues to make a difference every day, not only in the death care profession, but to the living as well.
Matthews operates in three distinct divisions — one of which they call their Memorialization segment. The Memorialization segment is founded on over a century of service engraving tombstones and monuments and has evolved into Matthews Aurora, Matthews Cemetery Products, and Matthews Environmental, which deals in the cremation market. However, the author of the article points out, “the business of accommodating death has diversified the company into many areas of consequence to the living.”
I will point out here that Matthews Memorialization segment has totaled over 48% of the company’s gross sales of over $803 million in the last six months period as compared to about 42% of the gross sales one year ago, so it continues to grow. However, Matthews has found that its memorialization base has allowed the company to also use what they have learned in those processes to move forward in other directions. For instance, what the company has learned in designing cremation and emission equipment for crematories is now becoming their base for a burgeoning waste-to-energy business.
And, some of the equipment used in printing has evolved the technology to be used for printing wall paper and the author again points out, “that same technology — cylinders — has been put to use turning lithium powder into electrodes that go into a lithium-ion battery cell. Other rollers are now engraving the anodes and cathodes for fuel cells.”
According to the article and Greg Babe, CTO at Matthews, the company now makes the equipment that makes some of these energy storage products. Matthews CEO Joseph Bartolacci, according to the article, told investors this in April about the company’s energy storage business, “The market is evolving, very, very, very rapidly. Our position in the market is somewhat unique today. We don’t expect to remain the only unique solution that’s out there, but I would tell you that we have years of head start in a lot of these opportunities that we’re dealing with.”
From old world granite tombstones to potentially building the storage capacity for hydrogen fuel cells and lithium ion batteries, Matthews International keeps moving forward. We expect the company to continue to be a big player in the death care markets, but maybe, you will see them being a part of powering your vehicle as you move in a future funeral procession as well.
Here is a website and video on the Matthews Memorialization segment.
Related: Matthews International goes from graves to green energy. Yahoo Finance
More news from the world of Death Care:
- Collecting FEMA funeral money takes some tenacity. Union Leader (NH)
- Leaf Cremation offering “stone” remains for families to preserve loved ones. Blue Mountain Eagle (OR)
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