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February 28, 2007

3 Min Read
Auxiliaries alliance creates new equipment force

Plastics auxiliary equipment manufacturers Novatec Inc. (Baltimore, MD) and Advantage Engineering Inc. (Greenwood, IN) have signed an agreement to form the Auxiliary Systems Group (ASG)—an alliance for the engineering and development of complete integrated plastics auxiliary equipment systems. Headquarters for the alliance is Baltimore.

Throwing down the gauntlet before major auxiliary equipment manufacturers that offer complete ranges of machinery—exactly the sort of single-source option that many processors and OEMs want—officials at Novatec and Advantage claim their alliance meets the single-source option while also offering technology made by firms focused on a more limited range of machinery. Conrad Bessemer, president and CEO of Novatec, said, “No longer must processors compromise in single-sourcing their new in-plant systems by relying on suppliers that cannot possibly be experts in everything they distribute.”

The companies continue to operate independently but claim to have closely coordinated service so that all of a processor’s engineering, controls-customization, and installation needs are managed by a single project team within the alliance. Both plan to develop a communication system for ASG to permit sharing of customer information, order histories, sales statistics, and other necessary data. Novatec manufactures resin drying, blending, and pneumatic conveying systems and also is the largest North American distributor of blenders made by Maguire (Aston, PA). Advantage manufactures heat transfer and temperature control components and systems. The companies will still operate independently and will remain the sole official partners in the alliance, though manufacturers of other types of auxiliary equipment such as granulators and robots/automation may also eventually participate. Harry Short, president and CEO of Advantage, estimates that about 70% of a processor’s auxiliary equipment needs (based on total investment) can be filled by machines made by either Novatec or his firm.

In a statement, Short took sharp aim at some large major competitors known as one-stop sources for auxiliaries, calling them auxiliary equipment “department stores.” Bill Desrosiers, director of inside sales and marketing at AEC (Schaumburg, IL), a firm Short cited by name, hardly backed down. “AEC has always been and continues to be the world leader in the auxiliary market place,” he stated. “AEC’s single-source approach allows us to accept full responsibility for each customer’s project before, during, and after the sale is complete.” He also noted that AEC designs and manufactures all of its machinery.

Project management for the new alliance will be led by Jim Zinski, vice president of applied projects at Novatec. The ASG founding firms already share representatives in nearly all North American sales territories. Joining from competitor Conair (Pittsburgh, PA), Bessemer’s former employer, is Bill Jones, former vice president for heat transfer development at Conair, who will coordinate systems and infrastructure-development projects for the ASG.

In related news, Novatec says this month it will open a new Controls Technology Center for development and customization of in-plant PLC systems for infrastructure projects.

The new alliance has its own telephone number (1-866-252-6370), e-mail ([email protected]), and website (http://www.auxsystemsgroup.com/). Together the founding firms claim to sell more than 2500 temperature control units, 800 portable chillers, 300 resin loaders, and 400 dryers annually.—[email protected]

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