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LSR drives Graco’s acquisition of Fluid Automation

Strong forecast demand for liquid silicone rubber (LSR) and the fact that the market represented one of the few gaps it had in the metering market were key drivers in Graco Inc.'s acquisition of LSR metering-and-dispensing-equipment supplier Fluid Automation Inc. (Wixom, MI).

"When you look at Graco's lineup of metering equipment, LSR was an area that [Graco] had been considering," Beth Torgerson, marketing communications manager at Graco's Applied Fluid Technologies Div., told PlasticsToday. "As we looked at into this acquisition, it was a way to gain valuable insights into the engineering of LSR equipment and help grow an already established brand."

Torgerson said that brand, and some "key personnel" have been retained in the acquisition, which was announced on Nov. 27. "Fluid Automation products are a quality product with a strong, recognizable brand," Torgerson said, "one that we want to maintain."

Torgerson said Graco views LSR as a growth industry, citing a Freedonia Group report forecasting silicone demand growth of 5-6% annually, through 2016, as well as a Global Industry Analysts study that predicted the global silicone market to reach $17.2 billion by 2017.

Fluid Automation was founded 1974 by Lance Daby who commercialized his "direct-from-the-drum" pumping system for RTV materials. The company considers that development, as well as its 1:1 LSR material dispensing systems, to be industry firsts for the LSR sector.

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