Bosch Rexroth celebrates 40 years of business in the U.S., names VP of automation sales

November 6, 2007

Bosch Rexroth Corp., Hoffman Estates, Ill., marked 40 years of operation in the U.S. with a celebration in September at the company's industrial hydraulics facility in Bethlehem, Pa. Current and retired employees, senior management, and business partners began the event&$8212;the first in a series at Rexroth locations across the country—to mark the 40th anniversary of the company's founding in Easton, Pa., in 1967.

The event included the showing of a company historical video narrated by President and CEO Berend Bracht, as well as a presentation of service awards to employees who marked 30 or more years of service with the company. The anniversary theme was "40 years of success–40 years of Rexroth in the USA."

The company launched its U.S. operations in 1967 as the Rexroth Corp., the U.S. arm of G.L. Rexroth GmbH, a German manufacturer of industrial products. Starting with three employees and a small sales office in Easton, the company has expanded to dozens of locations across the U.S., including three manufacturing facilities, five customizing facilities, 17 sales offices, and nearly 3,300 employees in the Americas.

During its first decade, Rexroth focused on industrial hydraulics and built a nationwide network of distributors. In 1976 the company was acquired by German manufacturer Mannesmann AG, becoming Mannesmann Rexroth. During the late 1970s and the 1980s, the company expanded into mobile hydraulics, pneumatics, linear motion, assembly technology, and electric drives and controls. In 2001 Mannesmann Rexroth merged with Bosch Automation Technology to become Bosch Rexroth Corp., part of the Robert Bosch Group of companies.

Past company projects include upgrading the Panama Canal locks with new hydraulic systems; providing hydraulic technology for two tunnel-boring machines that drilled eight-mile subway tunnels under the Santa Monica Mountains in Los Angeles; creation of a 20,000-HP drive that powered a 10,000-ton open die forge at Bethlehem Steel; converting Hershey®'s packaging machines from mechanical to all-electric; and providing drive and control technology for movies such as "Spider Man," "Master & Commander," "Titanic," "Jurassic Park," "The Perfect Storm," "Independence Day," and "Men in Black."

The company recently announced a staff appointment, naming Jeff Blackman as vice president of automation sales. He is responsible for the linear motion and assembly technologies, electric drives and controls, and pneumatics groups, as well as the semiconductor and medical market segments in the U.S. Blackman reports to Berend Bracht, president and CEO of Bosch Rexroth Corp.

Blackman started his career with Bosch Automation Technology in 1980 as a service and sales engineer. In 2001 he was named executive vice president and managing director of sales and marketing for Bosch Rexroth China Ltd., Hong Kong and Shanghai. He has a degree in electrical engineering from Portsmouth University, Hampshire, England.

The company supplies components and systems for industrial and factory automation and mobile functions. Applications include machine tools, printing and converting, semiconductor, heavy industry, automotive body and assembly, and medical.