The project:

Our customer:

Chicago-based USG produces ceiling, flooring, sheathing, and roofing products at 49 manufacturing locations across North America.

The customer’s challenge:

The 7.6 magnitude earthquake shook the USG gypsum board plant in the Mexican state of Colima so hard, two sections of the board dryer dropped off their rails. Beneath the other three segments, the building’s motion caused the rails to shift out of alignment. With very little room overhead, the 600-ton board dryer would need to be lifted high enough to repair the damaged attachment points and re-align the rails. The 390-ton gypsum silo had also collapsed. To execute the repairs, all segments had to be lifted. Each one weighs approximately 120 tons. The derailed segments only required a lift of 100-200 mm. For the shifted segments, however, workers needed to physically access the area beneath the dryer to repair the rail system. With only 800 mm of space between the ceiling and the top of the dryer, they could only lift the segments 750 mm, a tight fit all around.

The solution:

Before the September 11, 2022, earthquake, the plant produced nearly 80,000 m² of gypsum board per day. USG needed to get the plant back up and running as quickly as possible. The collaboration with the USG was seamless and highly effective. When the Grenzebach technician arrived, the customer had, as requested, already removed the dryer doors, disconnected electrical power lines, and capped the gas lines. The repair team used hydraulic lifts to elevate the segments enough to repair the attachment points and realign the tracks. Before re-starting production in April 2023, the team also examined the airflow in the board dryer. They made adjustments that minimized the amount of unsaturated exhaust air leaving the dryer and reduced humidity on the dryer floors. These optimizations have reduced gas consumption by 10 % and electrical power consumption by 40 %.


The solution package:

  • Grenzebach Service quickly assessed the damage and ordered parts
  • Excellent teamwork with the various USG departments enabled successful and safe execution of the demanding repair work
  • The plant was able to re-open five months sooner than originally projected
  • Airflow analysis in the board dryer allowed for 10 % reduction in gas consumption

Rapid response

Grenzebach Service was on-site 5 days after the earthquake


Seamless collaboration with USG enabled fast results

Millions saved

Early reopening of the plant saved millions in lost revenues

Optimized efficiency

Airflow optimization achieved 10 % lower gas and 40 % lower electricity consumption

“Having a trusted service partner like Grenzebach was crucial. They were here in a matter of days, stayed for eight weeks, helped us draft a plan, ordered parts, and advised us through the entire process. We had board rolling off the line by April.”


Carlos Romero Director of Manufacturing & Supply Chain – USG LATAM