Auxiliary equipment maker ACS Group has tapped senior executive Bob Andress as its new president, effective July 16.
Andress, who for nearly five years has served as vice president of operations at the New Berlin, Wis.-based company, is succeeding Jim Holbrook, who is retiring. ACS has hired Katrina King to take over as vice president of operations. King most recently worked as a manufacturing consultant.
“Jim was a very good leader and had a strong passion for our customers, and that will certainly be maintained,” Andress said in a July 12 phone interview.
No other immediate changes are planned as part of the leadership transition, he said.
“It's really going to be continuing what we've already started here. I'm inheriting a very well-run business that's had a strategy in place for some time now, and we'll continue on that path,” Andress said.
Andress has served as vice president of operations for the company since 2014. Before joining the ACS, he held various leadership positions at manufacturing companies such as FreightCar America Inc. and Wabtec Corp.
As president, Andress said he will focus on strengthening customer engagement while making sure the company is on the leading edge of major industrial trends such as industry 4.0 and the recyclability and reusability of materials.
“We're in a rapidly changing market, I think we know that,” he said. “Our industry 4.0 initiatives will likely drive a paradigm shift in the way that we design, operate and maintain the equipment in the industry.”
ACS makes granulators and shredders, material conveying equipment, metering and blending devices, heat exchangers, drying systems and presses under the brand names AEC, Sterling and Cumberland. The company has a technology center, headquarters and manufacturing plant in New Berlin, and another facility in Wabash, Ind., that manufactures both Wabash and Carver brand presses.
In addition, ACS has a facility in Suzhou, China, for manufacturing subassemblies for the business's product lines.
Holbrook had been at the helm of ACS since 2013 when he replaced former ACS President and CEO Thomas Breslin. He spent more than 20 years with Emerson Electric Co. and was a general manager for ITT Corp. Before he joined ACS, Holbrook was president and CEO of Ramu Inc., a venture capital-funded startup company that developed motor and control technology. It was sold to electric motor manufacturer Regal Beloit Corp. in 2011.
In a July 12 news release, Holbrook said he had “mixed emotions” about his planned retirement.
“I have enjoyed working with the passionate and talented associates at ACS Group for the past five years and appreciate all of their efforts that contribute to the success of the company,” he said in a statement. “But I'm looking forward to the freedom that retirement provides.”