CHICAGO — Auxiliary equipment and systems supplier AEC Inc., which introduced 19 products at NPE 1997, continues to search for complementary acquisitions.
``Our philosophy is to look for companies that can plug a product line gap,'' Richard W. Winterich, executive vice president and general manager, said in an interview during NPE, held June 16-20 in Chicago.
In November, AEC added HydReclaim Inc. of Fenton, Mich., which makes gravimetric blending, film scrap reclaim and pneumatic handling systems. HydReclaim underscores AEC's interest in auxiliary applications for the extrusion industry.
The minicompanies of AEC reorganized in early 1996 to strengthen lines between marketing and engineering teams, and the outpouring of new products is one result.
In April, AEC opened an international office in Singapore to coordinate local factory-trained sources of services, AEC parts distribution and installation.
In May, the company named Kevin Chudyk vice president of sales, with responsibility across the five divisional product lines. Recently, Chudyk had been vice president of size reduction at AEC's facility in North Uxbridge, Mass.
Privately owned Harbour Group of St. Louis acquired AEC in 1995 and invested the capital to acquire new operations and upgrade manufacturing capabilities.
AEC, which is headquartered in Wood Dale, Ill., employs 650 people and is a unit of Harbour Group's plastics processing equipment group.
At NPE, Whitlock, AEC's conveying and drying division, introduced Nomad drying carts, WDMR compact dryers, a touch-screen interface for large dryers, gas dryer conversion kit and minimum inventory material receivers.
HydReclaim introduced Optimum series OS blenders and Optimum series OL continuous gravimetric blenders.
The Application Engineering Division brought out new Pinnacle central chilling stations, PSA portable air-cooled chillers and TrueTemp temperature controllers.
Application Engineering introduced PC servo control for interceptor and phaser traverse robots, Bosch Rho III computer numerically controlled servo control for interceptor and phaser traverse robots and Excel series sprue pickers.
Nelmor introduced the Millenium 1634 granulator and Talon 6x8 beside-the-press granulator, AK series under-the-press granulators, TF series tangential feed granulators, the LT1248 long-throat granulator and SH2525 shredder.
AEC presented an interactive CD-ROM program at NPE. Chicago-based design firm Plastics Network completed the Web site at http://www.aecinternet.com to convey information and photographs of 60 AEC division products.