Saint Clair Systems, Inc. Acquires Norcross Corporation

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Purchase Combines Over 100 Years of Viscosity Control Experience

Typical Lean Assembly Cell at Saint Clair Systems

We have been controlling viscosity using temperature since 1990. They have been supplying viscosity measurement and control systems since the 1930’s.

Michigan based Saint Clair Systems, Inc. announced that they have purchased the assets of Norcross Corporation, the Massachusetts based viscosity control company. Saint Clair Systems President C. Robert Gladstone stated that he believes the combination of technology and experience shared by the two companies provides additional opportunities for serving existing customers and a significant opportunity to expand into additional markets.

“We had worked with Norcross on a few projects in the past and always thought that they would make a good business partner for us,” said Gladstone. “When the opportunity to make them a part of our company came up, it was a relatively easy decision.” Gladstone talked quite a bit about the similarities in culture that would make the transition easier and the initial meeting with Robert Norcross, President of Norcross Corporation. “Bob and Mike Bonner, my partner and our VP of Engineering and Technology got into a technical discussion and I just sat and watched,” said Gladstone. “I could tell that they both approached everything from the same mindset. Give me a problem and I will solve it. They love the challenge. That ‘engineering’ thought process is pervasive in both of our companies.”

Gladstone believes that Mr. Norcross had a similar feeling. “When you are selling a family business that has your name on it, it’s not just business. There has to be an emotional component to it,” suggested Gladstone. “I think that Bob feels we will be good stewards not just of the business but of the Norcross name. There is over 75 years of goodwill that the Norcross’ have built up and we plan to continue with the same integrity and solution-based focus.”

According to Gladstone, the similarities go beyond culture. “We have been controlling viscosity using temperature since 1990. They have been supplying viscosity measurement and control systems since the 1930’s. Each is effective and appropriate for different environments and processes, but the opportunity to combine those technologies will improve and expand the solutions we are able to provide.”

While the similarities will make the addition of Norcross easier, it is the differences between the two that made the combination more attractive to Gladstone. “Norcross has a large international sales network. While we have been increasing our international sales, most have been handled directly from here in Michigan. With the addition of the Norcross global sales and service network, we will be able to focus more of our energy outside of the US immediately.” Gladstone also pointed at the differences in operational efficiency. “We embraced the concepts of lean manufacturing in 2008 and have been continuously improving our operational efficiency ever since. We have been recognized by the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center as a Michigan Success Story and we regularly give tours to other companies interested in improving their operations.    We can take much of what we have learned and apply it to the Norcross operation to improve on what is already relatively well run. This will help make our solutions even more cost effective.”

Saint Clair Systems, Inc. is the global leader in point of application temperature and viscosity control equipment. Founded in 1990, their solutions can be found in a variety of industries including automotive, coil coating, industrial finishing, furniture and food and beverage.

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Sarah Ledford-Chesnutt
Saint Clair Systems

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