Reduction Engineering Inc. has assembled pelletizers for Conair Group Inc. since 2002. Now Reduction is taking the next step and has purchased Conair's line of strand and water-slide pelletizers, in a deal announced May 1.
Terms were not disclosed.
Christopher Keller, Conair's president and chief operating officer, called the deal ``a natural evolution of the relationship between the two companies.'' He said Pittsburgh-based Conair was the largest supplier of strand pelletizers in North America.
``As our company and the marketplace have evolved, we have come to recognize that this product line is no longer an ideal fit with our other product offerings,'' Keller said.
The Reduction/Conair pelletizer alliance began in 2000, when Reduction Engineering began to supply all of Conair's rotors, the key component of a pelletizer that chops strands of resin into pellets. Kent, Ohio-based Reduction handled service and resharpened used rotors. The company also built a limited number of smaller pelletizers, as Conair continued to build pelletizers at its factory in Franklin, Pa.
Cooperation fuels continuous growth
In 2002, Reduction Engineering took over all assembly of Conair pelletizers. The companies shared marketing, product development and customer service.
Reduction President Robert Sly founded Accu-Grind Industrial Knife Co. in 1992 to resharpen and repair industrial knives. In 1994, he founded Reduction Engineering as a sister company, to make pulverizers that grind resin pellets into powder for rotational molding. The company also makes rotomolding machines.
Sly said buying the pelletizer business ``means the logical next step'' to becoming a supplier of a well-established line of equipment.
Chris Case, a pelletizer industry veteran, is Reduction Engineering sales manager. Case said the company now employs about 75 people in Kent and at a regional service center in Oxford, Mass. Reduction will add sales and support staff for the pelletizer equipment, he said.
Reduction Engineering already purchased new metalworking equipment to meet demand for pelletizers, which are produced at its 30,000-square-foot headquarters. Last year, the company moved fabrication of pulverizers to a 32,000-square-foot building across the street.
Case said the company also added machining in the Massachusetts service center. Reduction Engineering closed a service center in Charlotte, N.C., last year, he said.
Conair said it will continue to provide parts and service for all pelletizers sold before the agreement. Conair, which employs about 350, said the deal will not cause any layoffs. Case and five other Conair employees moved to Reduction Engineering in 2002.