Kaufman Engineered Systems

Kaufman Engineered Systems was one of the first companies to distribute robotic automation equipment in the 1990s when the technology first hit the market. The pioneering company continues to build on its reputation as a technical solutions expert for industrial clients. “We are trying to build that awareness and create that stigma because we are a leader,” owner and Vice President Nick Kaufman says. 

The Waterville, Ohio-based company began in 1946 as a designer and manufacturer of heat treat furnaces and shrink ovens. The shrink wrap business evolved over time from shrinking to applying film and stretching it, which was more economical. 

“As that evolution came, we were one of the pioneers in stretch wrap equipment,” Kaufman notes. “That was in the late ’60s/early ’70s and our niche through the ’90s was focusing on not just stretch wrap equipment, but also the end-of-line system automation solutions for customers.”

Kaufman Engineered Systems has become an international leader in robotic palletization, depalletization, stretch wrap systems, conveyor systems, robotic case packing and custom engineered solutions. Today, the company has a reputation for its single-source convenience, responsive service and unmatched equipment performance. “The majority of our growth has been because of our robotic automation involvement,” Kaufman says. “We hold a unique position in the United States and abroad that under one roof we have those capabilities and still perform the core business we grew up with.”

The robotic automation business was slow to gain momentum outside of the automotive industry in the beginning because companies were cautious and did not have the people to support the technology. Basically, people were scared of it, Kaufman says. 

“Palletizer companies didn’t want to go and start buying robots and integrating them because of fear it would take away from their core business,” he explains. “What happened five to seven years in, customers were not only attracted to the robot for the cool factor, but also accepted the robots because of proven applications where they could be applied based on cost justification and efficiency success.”

As customers began installing automation lines, they saw the technology was easy to install, performed well and was reliable. “They got over the fear factor of how to support it,” Kaufman says. “Over the past 10 years, there has been a curve that’s just going up. Robotics had a slight dip when the recession hit, but that was mostly due to a huge crash in the automotive industry, which still probably leads the overall supply of robotics in the country.” 

Evaluating the Need

Kaufman Engineered Systems provides its services to the paper, container, food, beverage, industrial and personal care industries, Kaufman says. The company is looking to break into the pharmaceutical industry and create solutions that will win it business. 

“We are very focused on the customer, and in our business the technology and solution sell,” he says. “That’s the No. 1 item that is offered. Being able to evaluate the need and create that technical solution at the right price – that’s what we are very good at. We have all these pieces under one roof and are very good at technical solutions.” 

Thanks to its expertise, the company has retained customers for years, some even for the entire 69 years it has been in business. It develops these long-term relationships through good service from start to finish and even after installation. “We are attentive and if there are problems we do our best to quickly cure that,” Kaufman says. “We step up to the plate and don’t leave them high and dry. Even if it hurts, we don’t leave that customer. We do everything we can to make them 100 percent satisfied.” 

Kaufman Engineered Systems’ customers are Fortune 100 companies primarily located in the United States, but it does provide service and installation to companies in Mexico and South America. When customers purchase a machine, its technicians travel to the company’s location, install the line automation and get it running. 

Kaufman Engineered Systems trains its customers’ operators, maintenance and technicians to achieve maximum efficiency using line automation. “Our customers are putting in automation to remove labor and become more efficient in their business,” Kaufman explains. “We put in a system and achieve at least 98 percent uptime efficiency. Many of our systems are achieving an end-result over 99 percent and the complexity of the system has something to do with that.” 

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