Harbour Group Ltd., owner of auxiliary equipment maker AEC Sterling Corp., has bought into Italian robot supplier Sytrama srl of Vignate, Italy, and announced the creation of a new automation group based in Connecticut.
Sytrama will supply automation equipment to Harbour's AEC Sterling Corp. and its subsidiaries. Sytrama makes servo-driven robots that can work on injection presses with up to 4,000 tons of clamping force. The robots can be used to place parts onto conveyors or containers, position metal pins for insert molding and help do in-mold labeling.
In the July 8 announcement, Harbour did not say what percentage of Sytrama it has acquired. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. A news release said Harbour ``has acquired a substantial equity interest'' in the Italian firm.
St. Louis-based Harbour Group also announced it has formed AEC Sterling Corp.'s Automation Business, naming Kenneth Heyse as general manager. In 1997, Harbour Group invested in Heyse's company, Plastics Automation Exchange Inc., and this year moved PAE to a bigger, 12,000-square-foot building in Windsor, Conn.
The new AEC Sterling Automation Business will be in a facility next to PAE in Windsor, Harbour announced. All of AEC Sterling's robot operations are moving from company headquarters in Wood Dale, Ill., to Windsor. Heyse said the company is renovating an 18,000-square-foot building.
PAE makes end-of-arm tooling and remanufactures used robots.
``Locating AEC Sterling's automation engineering and manufacturing adjacent to PAE offers us an advantage in providing fast, cost-effective, flexible and sophisticated solutions to all types of molders,'' said AEC Sterling President Bruce Freeman.
Sam Fox, Harbour Group's chairman and chief executive officer, said Harbour wants to expand its presence in automation equipment for plastics.
PAE recently began selling pre-engineered robot tooling made by A.S.S. Maschinenbau GmbH of Overath Brombach, Germany.
In a July 10 telephone interview, Heyse said the deal with Sytrama, the Italian company, is not just a simple marketing agreement. ``We are going to be developing products for the global marketplace together,'' he said.