Cimline serves up another cutting-edge innovation

By Katie Johnson

The common idiom, “the proof is in the pudding,” represents the idea that one’s effort and planning – or lack thereof – are always evident in the finished product. And, given how precise one needs to be in order to make a good batch of pudding, it’s a great metaphor for the asphalt industry. Even with the perfect ingredients, a few misjudged details can make the whole dessert a flop; too runny, too lumpy. But, when everything is accounted for and timed perfectly, the pudding is something that is spectacular.

Sound familiar?

Opened in 1970, Minnesota-based Cimline, Inc. has been cooking up innovations for the past 50 years. Within that time the company has established a simple, yet effective recipe: to implement processes that create solutions to their customers’ problems – even the ones they don’t know about. The result has been products that extend the life of pavement in safer, more productive, and less intrusive ways. While the company has built a catalogue of products that fit that description, there may not be a better example of these ideals than Cimline’s latest offering, the MA4.

Finding a fix
For the past 15 years, the mainline asphalt paving market has been tirelessly testing and researching ways to prevent longitudinal paving joint failure. Studies have focused on everything from infrared heat and compaction to density studies and topical solutions. In that time, longitudinal joint sealing, also known as Void Reducing Asphalt Membrane, or VRAM, has gained traction as an effective preventative practice, especially when introduced as part of the paving process.
For many companies, however, applying VRAM during the paving process left them with two less-than-ideal options. The first was to invest in another piece of heavy equipment and the licensed manpower to operate it. The other option was to hire and coordinate a subcontractor, which often meant adding significant cost and logistical considerations onto the project.

That’s where the MA4 comes in.

The newest addition to the Cimline product roster, the MA4 melter applicator is the first, and only, towable VRAM applicator. Designed to be towed by trucks as small as 1-ton, it’s also the only non-CDL longitudinal joint sealer with computer rate control in the industry. Cimline’s goal was to provide their clients with an accurate and versatile way to apply VRAM.

Innovation and prevention to go
The MA4’s mobility certainly doesn’t come at the expense of its primary job as a melter applicator; Cimline’s newest product is ruggedly constructed to break down material, either in solid block or bulk form, and apply it easily to the pavement. The application bar can be set in seconds, and on-board lights assist the driver in maintaining the best possible speed for the job. All together, the MA4 allows contractors to safely navigate high-traffic roadways, choreograph their paving process, control material logistics and accurately apply VRAM where they need it – all at the same time.
But, as any good chef will tell you, no dish is complete without a taste test.

As a sampling, four states have already listed VRAM as a required specification for their new paving projects, and more are expected to follow. The MA4’s success comes after a successful showing in 2019 when it was applied to 11.25 miles of five lines in Indiana. According to Ben Thielbar, Cimline’s Director, the success of the Indiana project was twofold: first, not only did the MA4 handle being in high-traffic areas with multiple traffic control, “the MA4 did not miss a shot or an application rate,” he said. Second, the ability to store VRAM materials on the job site allowed the MA4 application crew to be ready at a moment’s notice.

The team at Cimline is, and always has been, powered by creating innovative solutions for the pavement maintenance industry. These solutions are fueled by cutting-edge thinking and a genuine pride in improving its pavement maintenance solutions – whether that means coming up with products that are preventative, innovative, or – as is the case with the MA4 — both.

While the Cimline team will continue to push boundaries and create new recipes, its members can take pride. After all, the proof is in the pudding: the MA4 is another winner.

At Cimilne, we design and manufacture equipment to preserve roadways throughout the world. With a drive for performance and innovation, Cimline continues to offer cutting edge technology through its worldwide network of distributors. We are headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota with manufacturing plants located in Minnesota and Mississippi.

To learn more, visit or call us at (877) 841-0848.