Lincoln Electric Holdings Inc. has started the new year with a continuation of the expansion strategy that characterized its 2012 record: the Cleveland-based developer and manufacturer of arc welding equipment acquired a privately held manufacturer of automated systems and tooling for automotive and metal fabricators, Tennessee Rand Inc.

The cost of the takeover was not announced. The purchased company has had annual sales of approximately $35 million, according to Lincoln Electric.

Tennessee Rand, a Chattanooga operation, provides engineering, machining, and integrated robotic systems for manufacturing operations. It describes itself as a “full-service automation integrator,” with expertise in advanced welding system design, high-quality weld fixtures, robotic integration, process automation, and on-going service and support to automotive and metal fabrication shops. It has a 100,000-sq. ft. manufacturing plant, with service, support and sales offices in Canada.

"Tennessee Rand strengthens our already strong position as a market leader in welding automation in North America," stated Lincoln Electric CEO Christopher L. Mapes. In addition to arc welding equipment, Lincoln Electric designs and manufactures robotic arc-welding systems, and plasma and oxy-fuel cutting equipment. It also supplies an extensive selection of consumable products for welding and fabricating, and its recent acquisitions have added a variety of specialized process capabilities for the various manufacturing markets where its welding technologies are in use.

Mapes said Tennessee Rand brings “extensive tool design, system building, and machining capabilities that will enable Lincoln to further expand its welding automation business. It is a nice complement to our recent acquisition of Wayne Trail Technologies.”

"Lincoln's market strength and worldwide reach enable Tennessee Rand to expand its business and support customers with global deployment strategies," stated president Don Peters, of Tennessee Rand.