Westborough firm expands records shredding facility
By Andrew J. Manuse/Daily News staff
Thursday, February 01, 2007 – Updated: 12:05 AM EST
WESTBOROUGH – With data breaches and identity theft growing concerns, a local company is betting many companies will want to have their old electronic equipment turned into unrecognizable shreds.
Security Engineered Machinery Co. Inc., which has been building advanced shredding machinery for the federal government for 40 years, has opened a 5,000-square-foot facility where it will destroy electronic records from businesses and government agencies throughout the country, according to Peter Dempsey, president of the privately held company.
The company hired seven people to operate the new facility, an addition to its 20,000-square-foot headquarters at 5 Walkup Drive in Westborough. The facility meets U.S. Department of Defense requirements for document disposal. Security Engineered Machinery, or SEM, now employs 43 people, Dempsey said.
“Information security is still in its infancy in the private sector,” he said yesterday. “But with the recent buzz of information theft and data breaches with large name companies in the last 24 months especially … the private sector is coming along to understand that it needs to spend money to protect itself.”
The machines in SEM’s facility can destroy anything from CDs, DVDs, microfilm, credit cards and mobile phones to computer hard drives, flash media devices and other data storage equipment. They use special degaussing technology to completely erase magnetic media. The facility can also destroy prototypes of toys, clothing and drugs to keep proprietary information out of the hands of “Dumpster divers.”
SEM’s electronic record shredding business started about two years ago, Dempsey said. The business’ sales grew from about $20,000 to about $500,000 by 2006, he said.
The facility will accept walk-in customers who can kill their computer hard drive for a minimum of $25, all the way up to Fortune 500 health care and banking companies and the government, Dempsey said.
Customers nationwide can send their equipment to the facility using SEM’s secure, GPS-tracked transport service. They can watch the destruction on site or on a Web site the company provides.
Dempsey expected SEM to get an environmental certification from the state Department of Environmental Protection by March that shows the facility recycles 90 percent of its shredded materials.