Detroit company buys Benzie shops, retains workers

BENZIE CO. – A Detroit-area company has purchased HW Jencks, a privately-held, family-run machine shop with two Benzie County locations, Frankfort and Benzonia, keeping all of the approximately 25 employees.

Troy-based Ross Controls, an international manufacturer of pneumatic valves, control systems and safety products for the fluid power industry, also purchased HW Jencks' parent company, Detroit Coil Co. (DECCO). As a result, the company is now called ROSS DECCO Co.

"(Ross Controls) is a long-standing customer, going back to the 1940s," former owner David Jencks said. "And although they are headquartered in the Detroit area, the intent is to keep both facilities here in Benzie County, so it's about the best outcome we could've hoped for."

HW Jencks' Frankfort shop opened in 1958 and the Benzonia shop in 1962.

"The employees seem very positive with the commitment Ross Controls is making," says independent consultant Don Eichberger, who has an office at the Frankfort shop.

Ross was established in 1921 and has manufacturing plants in Madison Heights and Lavonis, GA. Ross Controls provides global distribution and marketing through its other business units in South America, Europe, Asia and India, in-house sales and marketing teams and through a global network of more than 140 distributors. This brings an expanded resource base and provides access to larger, worldwide markets.

"Ross is a solutions-driven company with a global reputation for producing high quality products for increased customer productivity," said company representative Claude Mencotti. BN