Wisconsin Manufacturing News

Aladdin Engineering & Manufacturing, Aladco acquired by third generation of Horn family; Spee-Dee enters new market with rotary filling machine; Actuant posts earnings increase in second quarter

Aladdin Engineering & Manufacturing, Aladco acquired by third generation of Horn family

Natalie Bell has become owner and president of Aladdin Engineering & Manufacturing Inc. and its subsidiary, Aladco. Bell is the daughter of Edward Horn Jr., who owned the company before her. Horn’s father, Edward Horn Sr. started the company in 1953.

Edward Horn Jr. will remain the company’s chief engineer and will continue working on automation solutions with customers.

No terms of the transaction were disclosed. Aladdin Engineering and its Aladco subsidiary have about 20 employees.

Aladdin designs and builds custom machinery and automation systems for the automotive, small engine and related markets, Bell said, and the company is working now to further diversify its customers.

“We’re also getting into some of the energy manufacturers. They need some of the high precision systems we make,” she said.

Bell, who has worked in both companies since 1992, said the company’s business partners were crucial in making the ownership and management transition smooth.

“The assistance received from our accountant, attorney and banking partner resulted in a seamless change and enabled us to stay focused on serving our customers,” she said.

Spee-Dee enters new market with rotary filling machine

Sturtevant-based Spee-Dee Packaging Machinery Inc. recently introduced its new rotary filling machine, designed to fill containers with spices, non-dairy creamers, coffee and cornstarch into containers at 100 to 400 units per minute.

“Spee-Dee continues to maintain its leadership position within the packaging machinery marketplace by being the first manufacturer to develop an entirely servo driven rotary system,” said James P. Navin, president.

Because the new rotary filling machine uses servos, it eliminates mechanical adjustments to timing screws, turret stars and auger fillers.

“The system stores turret/timing screw position when the unit is shut down and automatically re-homes after an e-stop condition when the system is re-started,” said Timm Johnson, vice president of sales and marketing. “Servo technology also promotes enhanced performance of the unit’s no container/no fill feature because it enables the auger to stop more quickly.”




Actuant posts earnings increase in second quarter

Business continued to improve in the second quarter for Butler-based Actuant Corp.

The company posted earnings of $7.2 million for the second quarter of the fiscal year, up 71 percent compared to earnings from continuing operations of $4.2 million in the second quarter of 2009.

The company said its operating profit margins (excluding restructuring costs) improved to 9.1 percent compared to 5.6 percent in the prior year second quarter

However the company’s net sales were flat, increasing only slightly from $293.8 million in the second quarter of 2009 to $294.2 million in the second quarter of 2010.

“Actuant continues to execute on our key priorities,” said Robert C. Arzbaecher, chairman and CEO of Actuant. “During the seasonally weak second quarter, we experienced sequentially higher sales in a number of key end markets and generated earnings significantly ahead of last year. Overall, we are optimistic that global industrial activity and the corresponding demand for our products and services will continue to improve through the remainder of the year.”

Actuant projects full year sales in the range of $1.225-1.250 billion, Arzbaecher said. Third quarter sales are expected to be in the range of $310-320 million.

“We are encouraged by the improving trends in many of our end markets, especially those served by our early cycle businesses,” Arzbaecher said. “Our Energy segment, which was the last to feel the brunt of the economic slowdown, has seen year-over-year core sales percentage declines in the low-to-mid teens in each of the last three quarters. While we expect to see sequential core sales improvement over the next few quarters in the Energy segment, it will be modestly less than in our prior guidance. This is being offset by improvements in other segments. Overall, we expect improving sales trends in all four (of the company’s) segments during the back half of fiscal 2010, which will be partially muted by the unfavorable impact of recent U.S. dollar strengthening. From an earnings standpoint, our investors should see strong second half year-over-year growth, the combined benefit of higher sales and a reduced cost structure.”

Arzbaecher also said that Actuant is, “actively pursuing several modest-sized tuck-in acquisition opportunities.”


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