Swiss company Bystronic finds a home in Elgin
By Paul Sullivan For The Courier-News May 28, 2012 3:56PM
A picture of this laser head cutting was tough to get because it’s encased in glass. If you can use it, this is the Bystronic 315 in action.
Updated: July 3, 2012 10:16AM
ELGIN — Bystronic, a machine tool manufacturing company whose website is available in 14 of the world’s major languages, has selected Elgin as its U.S. headquarters for marketing, sales, service and administration.
A Swiss corporation, Bystronic is a leading global supplier of laser cutting, waterjet cutting, press brake systems and system software for industrial applications. One of its $1 million laser cutting machines is capable of 24-hour automated precision cutting parts as small as an infant’s fingernail from 4-inch-thick sheet steel. Many of the company’s manufacturing customers are located within 500 miles of its new Elgin facility.
Elgin Mayor David Kaptain, speaking at Bystronic’s grand opening earlier this month, said Elgin is becoming an international city attracting companies from China, South America and Europe. “We partner with companies,” he said, “and help them get up to speed as soon as possible. We are the most welcoming city in the area. Our future is bright.”
Mike O’Kelley, vice president of Elgin Development Group, a division of the Elgin Chamber of Commerce, described how Bystronic happened to select Elgin: “They were on Long Island and decided to move to the Midwest to be closer to their customers. Bystronic officials had other plans. But Bob St. Aubin, (Bystronic president) used to work for a competitor in Elgin. He got Elgin on the short list.” O’Kelley said Elgin’s proximity to O’Hare International Airport is an important selling point for Bystronic and other firms. “Their customers who may never have been here before can rent a car, get on I-90 and get here quickly and easily.”
The city provided Bystronic with a job incentive grant in a total amount not to exceed $85,000. Also, the city agreed to waive impact fees and building fees up to $85,000. Two three-year memberships in the Bowes Creek Country Club were also part of the incentive package.
From the dais welcoming Bystronic to town, Edward Youdell, president and CEO of the Rockford-based Fabricators and Manufactures Association International, commented on the sound of cutting machines running in the equipment display area. “Some might think it rude to run those machines during this presentation, but I know, to many of you, that’s the sound of money.”