Our Process division makes pumps of various technologies that move chemicals, water, waste water, petroleum, food and other fluids. Manufacturers and
processors in the food and beverage, dairy, pharmaceutical, cosmetic, oil and gas, electronics, waste water, mining and ceramics industries use these pumps. This division makes environmental monitoring and remediation equipment that is used to
conduct ground water sampling and ground water remediation, and for landfill liquid and gas management.
In 2014, we acquired the stock of Alco Valves
Group. Alco Valves Group is based in the United Kingdom and manufactures high pressure valves used in the oil and natural gas industry. Subsequent to the 2014 fiscal year-end, we acquired High Pressure Equipment (HiP) company with facilities in the
United States and the United Kingdom. HiP manufactures valves, fittings and other flow control equipment for use in ultra-high pressure environments such as the oil and natural gas industry. Also subsequent to the 2014 fiscal year-end, we purchased
the White Knight Fluid Handling business, which is based in the United States and makes pumps that are used in a variety of chemical applications.
The Contractor segment
generated approximately 31 percent of our Companys 2014 total sales. Through this segment, we offer sprayers that apply paint to walls and other structures. We offer several models of professional grade handheld paint sprayers. We also make
sprayers that apply texture to walls and ceilings, and sprayers that apply highly viscous coatings to roofs. Contractor equipment also includes sprayers that apply markings on roads, parking lots, fields, bike paths, crosswalks and floors.
This segments end users are primarily professional painters in the construction and maintenance industries, tradesmen and do-it-yourselfers. Contractor
products are marketed and sold in all major geographic areas. We continue to add distributors throughout the world that specialize in the sale of Contractor products. Throughout the world, we are pursuing a broad strategy of converting contractors
accustomed to manually applying paint and other coatings by brush-and-roller to spray technology.
Our Contractor products are distributed primarily
through distributor outlets whose main products are paint and other coatings. Contractor products are also sold through general equipment distributors outside of North America. Certain sprayers and accessories are distributed globally through the
home center channel.
The Lubrication segment represented approximately 10 percent of our Companys sales during 2014. The bulk of the Lubrication segments sales comes
from North America.
Through the Lubrication segment, we offer equipment for use in vehicle servicing. We supply pumps, hose reels, meters, valves and
accessories for use by fast oil change facilities, service garages, fleet service centers, automobile dealerships, auto parts stores, truck builders and heavy equipment service centers.
We offer systems, components and accessories for the automatic lubrication of industrial and commercial equipment, compressors, turbines and on- and off-road
vehicles. We offer products that automatically lubricate bearings, gears and generators, and products that evacuate and dispense lubricants. Industries served include gas transmission and petrochemical, pulp and paper, mining and construction,
agricultural equipment, food and beverage, material handling, metal manufacturing, wind energy and oil and gas exploration.
The primary materials and components in our products are steel of various alloys, sizes and hardness; specialty stainless steel and aluminum bar stock, tubing
and castings; tungsten carbide; electric and gas motors; injection molded plastics; sheet metal; forgings; powdered metal; hoses; and electronic components. The materials and components that we use are generally adequately available through multiple
sources of supply. To manage cost, we source significant amounts of materials and components from outside the United States, primarily in the Asia Pacific region.
In 2014, our raw material and purchased component availability was strong, and our costs were fairly stable. We experienced price decreases in copper and
rubber commodities, but had some significant increases in stainless steel, aluminum, plastics and chrome.
We endeavor to address fluctuations in the
price and availability of various materials and components through adjustable surcharges and credits, close management of current suppliers, price negotiations and an intensive search for new suppliers. We have performed risk assessments of our key
suppliers, and we factor the risks identified into our commodity plans.