Graco reorganizes Gusmer/Decker biz
MINNEAPOLIS - Graco Inc., a Minneapolis company that has expanded through acquisition into polyurethane processing machinery, combined its reaction injection molding equipment businesses.
Graco has merged the RIM equipment businesses of Gusmer Corp. of Lakewood, N.J., and Decker Industries Inc. of Palm City, Fla. Graco, which specializes in fluid-handling equipment, earlier this year bought both Gusmer and Liquid Control Corp., which included Decker Industries.
The new company is named Gusmer/Decker. Denis Commette, Gusmer's vice president and general manager, and the top executive, said combining the resources ``will allow us to significantly expand our product offerings'' and boost customer support around the world.
Gusmer/Decker will be headquartered in Lakewood. The company will continue to run its facilities in Lakewood and Palm City.
Companies promote wood-plastic extruder
ECUBLENS, SWITZERLAND - Swiss extruder maker Maillefer SA has opened a wood-plastic composites center at its facility in Vantaa, Finland, as part of its partnership with Conenor Ltd. of Lahti, Finland.
Conenor invented a wood extruder based on its Conex conical extrusion technology, originally created to extrude pipe and cable. Both companies want to commercialize the wood extruder, which they said combines grinding, drying and extrusion in one process step, in a single piece of equipment.
Maillefer is based in Ecublens.
Theysohn machines now offered in U.S.
FORT WORTH, TEXAS - Theysohn Vinyl Extrusion Technologies Inc. in Fort Worth, is selling Austrian-made extruders for vinyl compounding, PVC pipe and profiles for windows and other products.
Parent Theysohn Extrusionstechnik GmbH of Korneuburg, Austria, has created a business group in conjunction with two sister companies, Topf Kunststofftechnik GmbH of Kirchdorf, Austria, and screw and barrel maker Theysohn Extruder-Komponenten Salzgitter GmbH of Salzgitter, Germany. The group is managed by Vienna-based Theysohn Holding, owned by Rudolf Zahradnik, Siegfried Topf and Sven Wolf.
Announcing the creation of Theysohn Holding earlier this year, the officials stressed they are not taking over the TSK (Theysohn Screw Kneader) and twin-screw compounding extruder business of Theysohn Maschinenbau GmbH in Salzgitter.
That part of the company was sold in early 2004 to Buhler AG of Uzwil, Switzerland.
Motoman's parent opening robot plant
WEST CARROLLTON, OHIO - Yaskawa Electric Corp., parent of robot supplier Motoman Inc., is spending $40 million to build a 100,000-square-foot factory next to its headquarters in Kitakyushu, Japan.
Production is to begin in November at the plant, which will make medium and large robots for materials handling, painting and spot welding.
Yaskawa reached a milestone last year of 120,000 robot installations worldwide, based largely on strong demand in automotive, flat-panel displays, semiconductors, and food and beverage markets.
The company claims its Motoman robots accounted for an estimated 25 percent of worldwide shipments of industrial robots in 2004.
The new plant can make 2,000 robots a month. The company also will install a second center where robots make robots. Craig Jennings, president and chief operating officer of Motoman Inc. in West Carrollton, said Yaskawa was the first robot maker to use robots to build robots, starting in 1990.
The Ohio-based operation has installed nearly 25,000 robots in North and South America, Jennings said.
The Dayton Business Journal recently named Motoman one of the Dayton area's top 100 companies, based on 2004 sales. Also, the newspaper named Motoman's senior marketing director, Carl Traynor, to its ``40 Under 40'' list, which honors Dayton's rising corporate stars.
In January, Jennings was recognized as the paper's Business Executive of the Year.
In product news, Motoman said its new MotoHMI operator station features an intuitive touch-screen interface to control the automation system, view production data, correct malfunctions, view manuals and view and debug programming.
Hyrobotics launches sales office in U.S.
ST. CHARLES, MO. - Robot maker Hyrobotics Co. Ltd. of Inchon, South Korea, has opened a North American headquarters in St. Charles.
The operation, Hyrobotics Corp., will handle sales and service in the United States, Canada and Mexico.
Worldwide, Hyrobotics said it has installed more than 5,000 sprue-picker robots and 2,000 traversing robots, including many automation units for plants in South Korea making cell phone cases.
The company has introduced a sprue- and parts-picking robot called the Top IV, with an improved controller and more standard features than previous models, including a 0.7-second takeout cycle, a slim design and a hand-held controller.
Mustang purchases assets of CompuVac
SARASOTA, FLA. - Mustang Vacuum Systems LLC has purchased the assets of CompuVac Systems Inc. and become a manufacturer of machinery for thin film deposition, vacuum coating and metalizing.
Both companies are based in Sarasota.
According to Mustang, CompuVac developed high-level machines for coating, but the company became overburdened financially. Mustang is reintroducing the machines, starting with the Colt 48 vacuum coater, specifically designed for in-line processing with injection molding equipment.
Mustang claims the Colt 48 sputtering machine has the fastest cycle time in the industry: 31/2 minutes, including topcoat.
Terms of the deal, which was announced May 20, were not disclosed.
Mustang Vacuum is affiliated with Mustang Dynamometer, a longtime maker of equipment for automotive diagnostic and performance tests.
Rapid prototyping reports strong sales
FORT COLLINS, COLO. - Led by big growth in three-dimensional printers, the rapid-prototyping industry jumped 33 percent in 2004, to total sales of $705.2 million worth of products and services, according to a report by Wohlers Associates Inc.
It marked the second straight year of growth, after rapid prototyping suffered declines in 2001 and 2002.
Terry Wohlers, an RP consultant from Fort Collins, said that in early 2004, the market was primed for a ``liftoff,'' then staged a ``spectacular launch.''
``All data shows that industry is once again on a steep, upward trajectory. Revenues and unit sales are strong and material sales are better than ever,'' Wohlers said. ``And the number of parts being produced annually is impressive.''
Sales of the relatively inexpensive 3-D printers nearly doubled, Wohlers said. A large installed base is a key, since machinery suppliers are building their business models around ongoing sales of consumable items such as the materials used by the printers, the report noted.
Wohlers Associates said Minneapolis-based Stratasys Inc. is leading the 3-D printer market, thanks to its Dimension printer. Z Corp. of Burlington, Mass., has secured second place for the second straight year.
Wohlers also noted growth in rapid manufacturing - the direct production of finished goods out of rapid-prototyping machines.
Companies that do direct manufacturing have reported steady growth during the past three years.
Wohlers issued the report in May at the Society of Manufacturing Engineers' Rapid Prototyping & Manufacturing 2005 Conference and Exposition in Dearborn, Mich.