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From left to right: Robby Bond, operations manager at Bond Fluidaire; Bob Bond, president of Bond Fluidaire; Chris Bond, vice president of Bond Fluidaire; and Exotic Automation & Supply President Tom Marino. From left to right: Robby Bond, operations manager at Bond Fluidaire; Bob Bond, president of Bond Fluidaire; Chris Bond, vice president of Bond Fluidaire; and Exotic Automation & Supply President Tom Marino. COURTESY PHOTO

Bond Fluidaire sells to SE Michigan-based Exotic Automation & Supply

BY Monday, October 31, 2022 03:19pm

GRAND RAPIDS — Family-owned Bond Fluidaire Inc., a distributor of pneumatic and hydraulic hardware, components and systems, has sold to a southeast Michigan automation supply company. 

The sale to Exotic Automation & Supply comes after Grand Rapids-based Bond Fluidaire has experienced “strong growth” over the last few years, company President Bob Bond said in a statement, calling the sale “a testament to the success of our company and the power of our incredible team.”

Bond Fluidaire operates from four locations in Michigan, including in Grand Rapids, Traverse City and St. Joseph. Founded in 1968, the company serves as a distributor of Parker Hannifin’s fluid power, pneumatic and hydraulic components and 80/20’s aluminum framing that’s used in manufacturing cells and a range of applications. 

“Our Dad started Bond Fluidaire with the vision of it becoming the company it is today,” Vice President Chris Bond said in a statement. “We could not be more excited to take the next step in our journey with Exotic Automation & Supply.”

Based in New Hudson, Exotic Automation & Supply also is a distributor of Parker Hannifin components. The company has 13 locations in Michigan and Indiana. 

The addition of Bond Fluidaire complements Exotic’s capabilities in hydraulic, fluid connector, pneumatic and electromechanical products. 

“Having known Bob & Chris Bond for years, I’ve seen their vision, values, and dedication to their business,” Exotic Automation & Supply President Tom Marino said in a statement. “Together we will quickly accelerate growth and value to customers.”

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. 

The acquisition comes amid a period of record growth for the automation sector. According to the Ann Arbor-based Association for Advancing Automation, robot sales hit a record for three straight quarters as of the midyear. In the second quarter, automation firms sold 12,305 robots, 59 percent of which went to customers in the automotive industry with additional strong sales in the food and consumer goods sectors, the trade association reported. 

Robot unit sales in the second quarter were up 25 percent compared to the same period a year earlier, and rose 6 percent from the first quarter of this year. 

The Association for Advancing Automation estimates that the sales amounted to $585 million in revenue, the second-highest quarter on record after the first quarter of 2022, when sales hit $646 million.

“While automotive entities have long been the frontrunner in deploying robotics and automation, the last few years have seen food & consumer goods, life sciences and other industries grow at even higher rates,” Association for Advancing Automation President Jeff Burnstein said in a statement.

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