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  • 15 Feb 2019

Graymills turns 80

Graymills turns 80

Graymills turns 80 in 2019.

The company was founded in Chicago in 1939 by John Gray and Lloyd Mills as a pump manufacturer for machine tool coolants. Industrial parts cleaning equipment was added in 1944 and in 1953 Graymills started working with the fledgling flexographic industry to create pumps, filters and accessories specifically for converters’ needs.

In 1980, Jerry and Linda Shields purchased the company and the Shields family continues to own Graymills. Daughter Kristen Shields was named president this year and Linda Shields continues as chairman of the company. In 1995 Graymills received a patent on a peristaltic pump designed specifically for flexo and gravure printing applications.

Today, the company operates out of a state-of-the-art 125,000 sq ft manufacturing facility in Broadview, Illinois, a near west suburb of Chicago. From this site, Graymills manufactures for three markets – metalworking pumps, ink pumps and industrial parts washers. Recognizing the company’s growth and quality, in 2015, Graymills was named ‘Illinois Manufacturer of the Year by the Illinois Alliance for Industry and Manufacturing’. It recently introduced the HP Indigo edition parts washer, A-44213-A.

Kristen Shields said: ‘We are so proud to be celebrating our 80th anniversary of continuous operation – something that is quite rare in our industry. Our global success is due in great part to our tenured and loyal employees.

‘Since my family has owned Graymills, we have relied on three core principles that are as relevant now as when we started, developing industry innovation, utilizing the talents of our employees and manufacturing quality equipment.’


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