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Cottage Grove, Woodbury firms on a collision course for success

After a longtime partnership between CCE Technologies, Cottage Grove's first Business Park tenant, and Woodbury-based AVEKA Group, the two particle processing companies have merged.

They are now called AVEKA CCE Technologies.

"It dovetails very nicely," former CCE President Charlie Regenhard said of the merger. "We do a lot of things they don't do and they do a lot of things we don't do. (The merger) expands their capabilities so it's a good fit all around."

CCE, which specializes in fine particle milling, air classification and toll processing, has been in business since 1987 and moved to Cottage Grove in 1998.

Regenhard said his company offers AVEKA a unique service called jet milling. The jet milling process uses highly compressed air to collide small particles against each other, reducing them into powders.

"Unlike mechanical milling or hammering, jet milling accelerates particles together and can grind really hard materials into very small pieces," Regenhard said. "We can also separate (the particles) by size."

Often times, jet milling processes are used to create powders for the cosmetic, paint, ink and plastic industries.

Merilee Reski, director of business development at AVEKA, said the merger has given the company a service that was often contracted out.

"We worked closely with them and because they had lab scale capabilities we would send that work down to CCE," Reski said. "Having jet milling capabilities brings us another tool to put in our tool box."

Currently, Regenhard said the company employs between eight to 10 full-time workers, all skilled machine operators, technicians and engineers. The merger will not affect employees and work will continue at the Cottage Grove location.

"We've had a very good working relationship for a long time," Reski added. "We had the opportunity to purchase (CCE) and we made it part of our company. It's a fantastic addition."

AVEKA Group also owns three other manufacturing and processing facilities in Iowa and is headquartered in Woodbury.