Thursday, September 25, 2003

Engineered Environments acquired

Industry notes: Manufacturing

Engineered Environments Inc., a Clermont County maker of environmental control units, has been acquired by St. Louis-based Engineered Support Systems Inc. for $15.5 million in cash plus other adjustments.

ESSI said the acquisition complements its Keco Industries Inc., a maker of mobile heating and cooling systems for the U.S. military in Florence.

Engineered Environments employs 70 at its 31,000-square-foot plant in Union Township. The privately held company had revenues of $14.4 million and cash flow of $3.3 million last year.

Defense contracts represent more than 80 percent of Engineered Environments' business.

Graeter's time system reads workers' hands

Graeter's Ice Cream thinks that it has iced the problem of employees "buddy punching'' co-workers' timecards with a biometric system that reads each worker's hand.

The HandPunch biometric terminal automatically takes a three-dimensional reading of each employee's hand when they place their hand on the unit as they report in and out of work, verifying their identity in less than a second.

Graeter's doesn't have a manager on duty during the night shift at its Mount Auburn ice cream plant, and Richard Graeter, executive vice president, said the company was dealing with too much punching of time cards by coworkers when the employees didn't show, arrived late or left early.

The units are made by IR Recognition Systems, part of Ingersoll-Rand's Security & Safety Group's Electronic Access Control Division.

Graeter's, which has been using the system for almost four years, said it keeps clear records of who was at work and eliminates the cost of employee badges.

Cordless compressors win hardware award

For the second consecutive year, air compressor-maker Campbell Hausfeld has received an Editor's Choice Award from Popular Mechanics magazine at the National Hardware Show.

The Harrison company's cordless air compressor, the FP2400, received the award, one of 16 presented from 3,000 products on display at the Chicago show.

Weighing 20 pounds, the compressor frees do-it-yourselfers from extension cords when powering light tools or inflating items, the company said.

The cordless compressor will be featured in Popular Mechanics' January issue.

Makino opens Chicago-area office

Makino, the Mason machining technology company, has opened a regional sales and service office in Elgin, Ill., northwest of Chicago.

Last year, the Japanese-based company moved its Die/Mold Technologies operations to Auburn Hills, Mich., near the heart of the Detroit automobile industry and opened an office in Waukesha, Wis.

Rotex to be featured in MMS case study

Rotex Inc., Cincinnati manufacturer of industrial screening, will be featured at the next benchmarking case studies sponsored by Midwest Manufacturing Solutions.

The event will be at 7:15 a.m. Oct. 17 at the Manor House in Mason. For more information, go to


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