From the 1940's to today, ITW Gema continues to lead the world in powder coating technology.
Pioneer and inventor of the electrostatic process, Harold Ransburg.
Early paint lines utilized Ransburg's patented electrostatic applicators.
ITW Gema AG in St.Gallen, Switzerland
ITW Gema in Indianapolis, USA
The first U.S. patent for the electrostatic painting process was awarded to Harold Ransburg in the late 1940's. Electrostatic spray painting was an immediate success as manufacturers quickly perceived the substantial materials savings that could be achieved. With the addition of manufacturing and research operations in Europe and Japan, Ransburg expanded on a global level over the next 20 years. The steady growth was complemented by an increasing reputation for innovative and effective technology.
By 1960 European companies were examining powder as an alternative to traditional liquid finishing. British leaders Volstatic Ltd. pioneered powder coating technology by adapting electrostatic principles to powder application. In Switzerland Gema AG experimented with converting Ransburg's liquid technology to spraying powder. Both Gema and Volstatic rapidly became leaders, providing the new electrostatic powder spray guns to the European markets. By the beginning of the 1980's, the Swiss had already proven success in the North American market through their distributor Interrad, and Volstatic had begun to look to the United States for expansion opportunities. Volstatic initiated American operations in 1980 with an office in Florence, Kentucky. In 1981, Gema was acquired by the Ransburg Corporation.
North American powder use grew exponentially in the 1980's. Ransburg Electrostatic Equipment changed its name to Ransburg-Gema in 1987 to more accurately reflect its total finishing capability. A year later, U.S. division Volstatic, Inc. bought out its U.K. parent company, Volstatic Ltd. Ransburg-Gema and Volstatic, Inc. experienced continued expansion as the American powder market grew; both companies opened new testing laboratory facilities in California. The Ransburg Corporation was acquired by Chicago-based Illinois Tool Works Inc. in 1989, and Ransburg-Gema became the nucleus of a new finishing group within the ITW organization. In 1990 Volstatic, Inc. negotiated an acquisition agreement with the DeVilbiss Company of Toledo, Ohio, but before any major steps were taken, ITW purchased DeVilbiss, including the newly acquired Volstatic. The four new ITW subsidiaries-Ransburg-Gema, DeVilbiss and Volstatic-had been completely merged by the end of 1990.
The final product of this merger is the ITW Finishing Systems and Products group, comprised of several independent business units with similar attributes from the three original companies and others that have been added since. Gema combines the powder division of Ransburg-Gema with the Volstatic company and is dedicated exclusively to the industrial powder market. This combination has resulted in a company that offers the broadest range of technology of any powder equipment supplier in the industry.
By utilizing only the strongest elements in each product line, Gema has built an impressive selection of powder coating equipment, representing the best technology in application, recovery and control currently available to the powder coating market. That is why ITW Gema is truly Superior By All Measures.