TALLMADGE — Work will continue at a local factory following its purchase by a global firm based in Canada, company officials say.

AXYZ International, a leading global manufacturer of CNC router systems and CNC knife systems based in Burlington, Ontario, has announced the acquisition of WARDJet, a Tallmadge firm that manufactures water jet cutting machines and offers custom water jet solutions to a variety of industries, according to AXYZ’s press release.

AXYZ (pronounced ack-zees) President Alf Zeuner, who will oversee the combined company as president, says, "AXYZ believes in providing localized sales and service support through our own offices. This ensures fast and reliable customer service. We want to bring this same value to WARDJet’s customers." Due to innovative and specialized manufacturing capabilities and advancing technology, "people are excited about creating a new future together," he adds. Both firms have become industry leaders by offering customized products tailored to the specific needs of the end user.

WARDJet products will continue to be made in the USA at its Ohio facility and will now be supported by AXYZ’s global network of sales and support offices. Founder Richard Ward will retain the title of WARDJet president and says he is looking forward to the next steps for the business he founded 23 years ago.

"All of the manufacturing will continue here. It’s pretty much business as usual," said WARDJet spokesman Wayne Silasi from his office at 180 South Ave. in Tallmadge. "There is a little bit of integration going on but right now everything stays in Tallmadge, Ohio." WARDJet has 88 employees, Silasi added. 

The transaction allows AXYZ to retain "all of the existing infrastructure in both Ohio and Canada because the product lines are so different," Ward reports. With close to 100 WARDJet employees joining the firm, AXYZ International will now employ around 250 people globally.

"We will have a much larger footprint in the (water jet) industry overnight," says Ward, noting that the far-reaching network, as well as a strong chemistry with AXYZ, convinced him this was the best way to grow the company. Silasi said the purchase price was not going to be disclosed because AXYZ and WARDJet are privately held companies.

The synergy between the two companies makes the WARDJet move to join AXYZ International a logical one, the release states. For some potential clients a water jet cutting system may be the best option for the materials to be cut, while for others CNC router or knife technology is the preference.

AXYZ International was founded in 1991 and now has 13 owned-and-operated offices in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, India and Poland, with plans to open additional offices. Like WARDJet, it sells and services end user customers without a middleman.

Water jet technology "is very complementary to what we are doing," says Zeuner, who adds the two company’s core values, built around maintaining promises made to customers and developing talented, loyal and long-term employees also made the acquisition ideal for both parties. 

"You have to embrace change to be on the right side of history, and this change is a natural one. WARDJet’s vision and our vision could not be more closely aligned," adds Zeuner.

Reporter Steve Wiandt, can be reached at 330-541-9420, swiandt@recordpub.com or @SteveWiandt_RPC.