Owner Revolution Inc., or ORI, has acquired Blue Wave Ultrasonics, a Davenport-based manufacturer of ultrasonic cleaning systems, as the latest addition to its group of Iowa companies.
The acquisition, finalized last week, unites Blue Wave with ORI, a holding company based in Adair, Iowa. With facilities in both Adair and Atlantic, Iowa, ORI has four wholly owned subsidiaries: Schafer Systems, Connect-A-Dock, The Plastics Professionals and Schafer Solutions.
Blue Wave is a 70-year-old manufacturer with its headquarters/manufacturing plant at 960 S. Rolff St. in west Davenport. Details of the sale were not disclosed.
"We are on a journey to build a diverse portfolio of manufacturing businesses that have demonstrated success in their particular markets," Don Hudak, ORI's president and CEO, said in a news release.
In an interview Monday, Blue Wave President Jeff Hancock said that by combining with ORI, Blue Wave can continue its own growth and expansion. "We've been a great, little, profitable company, that's why they were interested in us," he said. "We're looking for them to help us grow."
Now as part of the ORI family, he hopes Blue Wave can double its 20-person operation and expand its reach to more customers over time. "We have more customer demand than we can support right now," Hancock said.
Serving customers around the globe, he said its main market is North America. Blue Wave has between $4 million and $5 million in sales annually.
Hancock, who will remain on as company president, said Blue Wave will retain its identity, brand and Davenport operation. "Now we will have additional support from the corporate end," he said. The company plans to hire additional engineers in the near term.
"ORI is employee-owned, so we are now part of that employee stock ownership plan," he said, adding the change will make his employees feel an ownership as well as help attract new talent. The company employs engineers, manufacturing staff and support staff.
Blue Wave traces a rich history of manufacturing ultrasonic cleaning systems for industry and health care. It serves customers in a number of manufacturing industries including automotive, aerospace, hospital/surgical, molds/tooling, textiles, medical devices, pharmaceutical, electronics/semiconductor, and marine, heavy duty and off-road equipment.
Ultrasonic Cleaning involves the use of high-frequency sound waves to intricately remove contaminants from parts immersed in aqueous media. Contaminants can include dirt, oil, grease, buffing/polishing compounds and mold release agents. Materials that can be cleaned include metals, glass, ceramics and plastics.
Hancock said the systems "are used on anything that needs to be very, very clean for the next step (in manufacturing)."
Founded in 1986, ORI became employee-owned in 1999. Its four other companies have a combined 300,000 square feet of manufacturing and office space and employ about 100 people. Blue Waves is its first Quad-City company.
Schafer Systems is a leading manufacturer of lottery ticket dispensers and promotional displays worldwide. Connect-A-Dock sells floating modular dock and personal watercraft float systems in the worldwide marine industry. The Plastics Professionals produce molded plastic products and Schafer Solutions provides plastic displays, dispensers and products and solutions to meet customers' special needs.
ORI's Hudak added "Our acquisition of Blue Wave Ultrasonics, Inc. helps us achieve our goal of acquiring manufacturing businesses that have achieved dominant position in niche markets."