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Graham Engineering, American Kuhne & Welex integrate organization

Following the acquisitions of majority interest in American Kuhne (AK) in October 2012 and Welex in June 2013, Graham Engineering Corp. (GEC) announced that the integration of the organization across the three brands is complete. Also, as announced at the time of its acquisition, Welex manufacturing operations that were in Greenville, NC have been consolidated into GEC operations in York, PA.

"The first Welex line manufactured in York will ship in late January," said GEC president and CEO David Schroeder. "The customer, an important Welex relationship, visited last week for the factory acceptance test which went perfectly. They were impressed with the Navigator control system, the team's proficiency, the quality of their new line produced here, our lab facilities, and the expansion and improvements recently completed."

In 2013, Graham acquired Welex, adding sheet extrusion to its capital equipment arm, which already included blowmolding and pipe/profile extrusion in the forms of Graham Engineering and American Kuhne, respectively.

"It's our intention to consolidate the manufacturing operations from Greenville into York," Gina Haines, VP and chief marketing officer at Graham Engineering, told PlasticsToday at the time. "The combined headcount for [Graham Engineering, Welex, and American Kuhne] is 140, and we expect minimal impact."

Welex relocated its manufacturing from Blue Bell, PA to Greenville in 2007, purchasing the former Prince Manufacturing building, according to Locate In Carolina. At the time, Welex was projected to be making an investment of $3 million in the plant, with 20 employees.

Welex, which supplies extruders, coextruders, gear pumps, sheet take-offs, and accessories, was founded by Frank Nissel.

In October 2012, GEC talked with PlasticsToday about the acquistion of American Kuhne. 

"We have been looking at growth opportunities the last couple of years but taking our time to find a complementary fit as far as philosophy and technology," Dave Yenor, VP of Global Business Development for GEC, told PlasticsToday. "We had begun a process to vet potential candidates that might be suitable to acquire. One thing lead to another, and we started conversations with American Kuhne." 

From a market perspective, GEC has long participated in supplying machinery to the packaging markets, and has been involved in the industrial molding markets since the mid 1990s, Yenor said. Graham Engineering commercializes many manufacturing technologies, including machinery to produce plastic bottles for motor oil, detergents, dairy, juices, and food products, as well as large industrial parts. 

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