API Motion Controls has always been a leader in the market for motion control products. With the acquisition of its parent, American Precision Industries, by Danaher Corporation earlier this year, this Buffalo, N.Y.-based manufacturer’s position in the market has grown even stronger.
This merger combines two motion control products leaders with powerhouse sales results. American Precision has annual sales of $235 million, and publicly traded Danaher logged net sales of nearly $3.2 billion in 1999. Although both API and Danaher market products in other categories besides motion control, Danaher’s president and chief executive officer, George Sherman, specifically cited API’s motion control business as a prime reason for consummating this deal.
“API’s technology and products are highly complementary to our existing motion business, and greatly enhance our ability to provide motion control solutions to a wider customer base,” Sherman said when the acquisition was announced. It’s no wonder, then, that Danaher paid approximately $250 million for API.
API speaks of itself as a “motion solutions” provider. Its motion control products — which include motors, drives and controls, feedback devices and power transmission devices — can be found in a variety of applications, including medical equipment, packaging and semiconductors. “We offer innovative products and application knowledge our customers need for their most demanding applications challenges,” the company says. “From miniature autoclavable surgical hand-tool motors to networked drives and brushless motors for factory automation, API Motion stands alone with the broadest range of motion control products.”
Typical of the products API offers are its optical encoders, which can be used in a broad range of applications. The company’s E9 series miniature optical encoders provides high-performance feedback in a small size, making it ideal for position and speed sensing in small machines and actuators. The E15S series gives high performance at low cost, positioning it as an ideal choice for precision motor control in servo and step motors.
Bigger on the Web
The news at API isn’t confined to mergers and products. The company is also taking steps to present itself as an online motion control solutions provider. API recently redesigned its Web site, adding features to make it an even more interactive site for its customers.
The site, www.apimotion.com, does more than simply list API’s product offerings and contact information. It now includes pages relating motion solutions and technologies to specific end uses in the company’s customer base of medical, packaging and semiconductor manufacturers. Its sales support page allows customers to place orders, check on the status of orders, find distributors in the customers’ areas and order product catalogs. The application support feature gives access to API’s ftp site, which has information helping customers to solve their applications challenges. From the technical library section, customers can view and download manuals, application notes and white papers on API’s products and technologies.
Describing the work on the reconfigures site, API President Richard S. Warzala says, “We swept the slate clean, started from scratch and built the best, truly useful Web site we possibly could.” Warzala adds that the site is also a work in progress. “We’re not yet finished with our Web site and, in fact, we never will be. We intend to make this site much more than the typical business-to-business site, which most often is a static repetition of company brochures. Instead, we’ll be continually adding new features, technical content and interactive areas to keep (customers) up to date on API Motion, and to have some unique and just plain cool features in store.”
Read All About It
But API isn’t confining itself to selling online. Recently, the company unveiled two new catalogs for specific customer segments. It introduced its new Turbo Servo® and Turbo Stepper® high-torque motor series of products in a catalog with complete design specifications. These Turbo series, by the way, offer rugged open-lam design providing twice the torque of similar-size convention servo and step motors.
Also just off the presses is API’s “newest and best market segment catalog yet,” as the company describes it. The medical motion control catalog is devoted to the medical device and system industry, and is “jammed packed” with API’s medical motion control products, application examples and technology discussions.
It’s clear that, with the Danaher merger, new products and its constantly reinvented Web site, API Motion Controls is nowhere near resting on its laurels. If any company can be described as “on the go,” it’s this one.