Six principals at Pentrust invested their personal dollars in the new venture. Tom Stadtmueller will leave Pentrus to serve as CEO of TW Automation.
"We're putting a bit of our money where our mouth is in that we're making an investment in what was a privately held company," Stadtmueller said. "My day-to-day job will be to grow this company and run it as an investment. We're not a private equity group. But our guys have a lot of experience with companies like Case Co., Hallmark, Cargill, General Electric and those types of things, so we bring an extensive amount of experience to the deal."
Stadtmuelle said the robotics industry has seen 30-40% growth in the last few years. "We're seeing a tremendous amount of manufacturing business coming back to the United States, that was previously sent overseas," Stadtmueller said. "It's creating big demand to automate today, particularly with welders. It's difficult finding experienced welders today, so as companies are trying to add capacity, they're turning to automation or robotics to do that."