Grafix North America Inc. has expanded into plastics auxiliary equipment from its base in printing equipment by acquiring AWS Inc., a maker of chillers and temperature controllers.
AWS products include portable chillers, central chillers, cooling tower systems, blown film coolers, pump tank stations, temperature control units and heat exchangers.
Both Illinois companies have roots in the printing industry. GNA, of Burr Ridge, has a line of process cooling equipment for printing presses and also makes powder spray and drying systems for printing. Elgin-based AWS is fairly new to plastics machinery, diversifying into the industry about two years ago after focusing most of its 20-year history on printing press cooling equipment, according to Steve Russell, AWS vice president of operations.
GNA will continue to run AWS' 45,000-square-foot Elgin plant. GNA will retain Russell and Wayne Lange, who is vice president of sales for plastics process cooling equipment at ASW.
Terms were not disclosed. AWS will be run as a division of GNA.
GNA touts its nationwide, salaried service staff. Russell said printing industry customers demand good service in their plants, and GNA and AWS have carried that philosophy over to plastics. AWS will offer complete turnkey systems, installed by company employees.
AWS and GNA do not release sales figures, Russell said. AWS employs 60, and GNA has 30 employees, he said.
Both firms will continue to supply printing auxiliary equipment. GNA distributes machines made in Germany by Grafix GmbH.