Graham Engineering buys Welex, moving production to York, Pa.

By Bill Bregar
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: July 1, 2013 3:34 pm ET
Updated: July 1, 2013 4:23 pm ET

Related to this story

Topics Mergers & Acquisitions, Machinery
Companies & Associations Graham Partners Inc.

Graham Engineering Corp., the York, Pa.-based blow molding machinery maker, has acquired Welex Inc. and will move manufacturing of the sheet extrusion lines to York.

Graham Engineering announced the news July 1. Terms were not disclosed for the deal, in which Graham buys Welex from the Hendrickson family. John G. Hendrickson founded Welex in 1967.

David Schroeder, former president and CEO of Welex, has been named president of Graham Engineering. The current Graham Engineering president, Wolfgang Liebertz, has assumed the role of CEO of the combined Graham Engineering/Welex organization.

Graham Engineering’s parent company, Graham Group, also in York, is building a plastics machinery platform. Last fall, Graham Group bought a controlling interest in American Kuhne Inc., which manufactures single-screw extruders in Ashaway, R.I.

Combined with the Welex deal, Graham Group now is a player in machinery for blow molded packaging and industrial parts, sheet extrusion for thermoformed packaging and extruders used to make medical tubing, pipe and profiles.

The three machinery companies have a total of 140 employees, said Bill Kerlin, chairman of Graham Engineering. Kerlin also is chairman and CEO of Graham Capital Co., which manages investments of the Graham family.

Graham will move Welex’s manufacturing from Greenville, N.C., to Graham Engineering in York, but Kerlin said the move will happen gradually.

“It’ll be an orderly transition. We’ve got a strong focus on serving our customers, so we’re just going to do it in an orderly manner,” he said. The Hendrickson family will retain the Welex headquarters building in Blue Bell, Pa., outside of Philadelphia.

Kerlin said Schroeder has a good business background to head up Graham Engineering/Welex. Before joining Welex in mid-2011, he was an executive at blow molder Constar International LLC, packaging maker Tetra Laval Group and blow molding equipment maker Sidel Inc.

Donald Graham founded Graham Engineering in 1960, and the company played a key role in the growth of blow molded plastic packaging. “We welcome the addition of the Welex technology and team to the Graham Engineering and American Kuhne complement of leading technologies, businesses and talent to our technology platform,” Graham said in a prepared statement.

Kerlin, interviewed by telephone, said Graham does want to add more machinery companies, but he added that “we’re going to do it selectively, where it makes sense.”

Kerlin said Kuhne and Welex both have “a very intensive customer focus,” which was attractive to Graham Engineering.

“Our strategy is that, the machinery business is a fairly ‘lumpy’ business. It has its peaks and valleys. What we’re really seeking to do is to build a stronger, more diverse base and platform so that we can attract and retain some of the best talent in the industry,” Kerlin said.

The Hendrickson family will continue to own bimetallic barrel maker Wexco Corp.


Comments

Graham Engineering buys Welex, moving production to York, Pa.

By Bill Bregar
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: July 1, 2013 3:34 pm ET
Updated: July 1, 2013 4:23 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

French investment firm buys Alabama-based CSP Technologies

January 30, 2015 1:10 pm ET

A French investment firm has finalized a deal to buy CSP Technologies Inc., an Auburn, Ala., company that makes specialty plastics packaging.    More

Image

Yizumi's stock price shoots up

January 30, 2015 11:56 am ET

Chinese injection press maker Guangdong Yizumi Precision Machinery Co. Ltd. has seen its stock price more than double in the first five trading days...    More

Image

Lubrizol buys Brazil-based coatings technology manufacturer

January 30, 2015 11:50 am ET

Specialty chemicals company Lubrizol Corp. of Wickliffe, Ohio, said it has acquired a Brazilian company that makes coatings technology for products...    More

Image

China to lead the way on robots

January 30, 2015 11:12 am ET

More industrial robots will be operating in China’s production plants than in the European Union or North America by 2017.    More

Image

Lund adds to aftermarket auto products portfolio with buy of Bushwacker

January 29, 2015 2:49 pm ET

Lund International Inc. has expanded its portfolio of plastic aftermarket vehicle accessories by acquiring Bushwacker Inc.    More

Market Reports

Plastics in Automotive: Innovation & Emerging Trends

This special report newly released by PN and sponsored by The Conair Group examines current trends in the use of plastics in automotive, materials innovations and the changing landscape. It includes a review of legislative/regulatory activity impacting vehicle development and lightweighting, market opportunities & challenges for mold and toolmakers, innovative design strategies being implemented by major OEMs and suppliers, as well as a review of key indicators in Canada, Mexico, Brazil and China.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Injection Molding Market Analysis & Processor Rankings

Plastics News BUNDLED package contains our in-depth Market Analysis of the Injection Molding segment. You will gain keen insight on current trends and our economic outlook.

As a BONUS this includes PN's updated 2014 database of North American Injection Molders RANKED by sales volume. Sort, merge, mail & prospect by end market, materials processed, region, # of plants and more.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events