Nordson Corporation was started in 1954 in Amherst, Ohio, by brothers Eric and Evan Nord. However, the company’s roots trace back to the U.S. Automatic Company, which was started in 1909.
Initially, the U.S. Automatic Company specialized in high-volume, low-cost screw machine parts for the then emerging automotive industry. In 1935, under the direction of Walter G. Nord, the company shifted its production emphasis to lower-volume, high-precision parts that were critical in supporting the United States' defense effort during World War II.
In the years following the war, Mr. Nord, along with his sons Eric and Evan, searched for a proprietary product to serve as a basis for future growth. This product was found in 1954 with the acquisition of patents covering the "hot airless" method of spraying paint and other coating materials. With the patents in hand, Nordson was started as a division of U.S. Automatic Corporation to produce and market airless spray equipment.
In the mid 1960s, Nordson's experience in heated coatings technology led to the development of equipment to apply thermoplastic adhesives, commonly called hot melts, for case sealing, carton manufacturing and product assembly operations. In 1966, the entire U.S. Automatic operation was merged into the subsidiary, Nordson Corporation. Later, the addition of air-atomized spray painting systems, and the incorporation of highly efficient electrostatics in airless, air-atomized and rotary-atomized painting processes, established Nordson as a technological leader in the paint finishing industry.
Beginning in the late 1960s, Nordson pioneered the technology and equipment for applying powder coatings with the development of the compact and efficient cartridge-type recovery/recycle systems. Nordson has continually refined its cartridge-booth technology and is an innovator in all aspects of the powder coating process. Recent advancements include specialized equipment for applying environmentally compatible liquid coatings such as waterborne and super-critical fluid coatings.
In the late 1980s, Nordson began to acquire companies that would strengthen its position as a leader in technology, product quality and customer service. The first was the 1989 purchase of Industriell Coating Aktiebolag, which specialized in Tribo-charged powder spray technology.
Nordson expanded its hot melt adhesive dispensing business with the acquisitions of Meltex in 1989 and Slautterback Corporation in 1992, incorporating the latest technological advancements in heating, dispensing and electronic controls. By acquiring VeriTec Technologies in 1999, a manufacturer of cold-adhesive dispensing equipment, Nordson broadened its abilities to serve a complete range of needs for product assembly, packaging and converting applications worldwide.
In the nonwovens market, in 1998, Nordson acquired J&M Laboratories Inc, a manufacturer of melt-blowing systems used to produce synthetic nonwoven fabrics and adhesive dispensing equipment for the assembly of diapers, medical disposables and feminine hygiene products. The acquisition merged J&M's meltblown and spun-bond technologies with Nordson's existing nonwovens capabilities, creating an integrated network of applications and streamlining service.
In the late 1990s, Nordson focused its acquisition efforts on companies with histories of above-average financial performance that would expand its presence in emerging high-technology markets. From 1996 to 2000, the company made strategic acquisitions in this key segment, adding ultraviolet (UV) curing capabilities from Spectral Technology Group in 1996 and Horizon Lamps Inc. in 1999; gas plasma technologies from Advanced Plasma Systems in 1996 and March Instruments Inc. in 1999 – merged and renamed to March Plasma Systems (2002); and precision dispensing equipment for the electronics, medical and fiber optics industries with the acquisitions of Asymtek in 1996 and EFD Inc. in 2000.
The acquisition in 2004 of W. Puffe Technologies, a manufacturer of hot melt adhesive dispensing systems, expanded Nordson’s existing technology base in adhesive systems, while also providing increased access to European markets. The company restructured its adhesives segment to focus on the core businesses when it divested the Fiber Systems Group in 2006.
Throughout the 2007 fiscal year, Nordson made a number of new acquisitions, beginning with the purchase of Dage Holdings in December 2006. This acquisition entered Nordson into a new line of business – test and measurement. Shortly after the purchase of Dage, Nordson strengthened its position in test and measurement with the acquisition of YESTech Industries (April 2007). Also in April, Nordson announced the acquisition of PICODOSTEC, which specialized in piezoelectric actuation technology.
In 2011, Nordson continued to execute on its acquisition strategy, closing on three transactions. Micromedics Inc. is a leader in single-use dispensing components for applying biomaterials that control bleeding, aid wound healing and support related medical procedures. Value Plastics is a leader in single-use fluid connection components used primarily in critical flow control applications for healthcare and medical device markets. Finally, the acquisition of Verbruggen provides an excellent entry into the rapidly growing flexible packaging market and is a natural complement to our existing leadership position in rigid packaging applications.
Nordson expanded its position in plastic extruding and injection molding with the acquisitions of Xaloy and EDi in 2012.
Over the course of its more than 50 years in business, Nordson Corporation has grown from a local company with sales under $1 million, to a multinational organization with sales of approximately $1 billion. Today, the company has worldwide and direct operations in more than 30 countries.