PE-backed Eckhart acquires Auto Craft

LFM Capital portfolio company Eckhart Inc has acquired Algonac, Michigan-based Auto Craft, a maker of specialized ergonomic assembly line tools and equipment. No financial terms were disclosed.


LANSING, MI – AUGUST 22, 2016 – Eckhart, Inc. announced today that it has acquired Auto Craft Tool & Die, Inc. (“Auto Craft”) and 3 D Sales, Inc. (“3D Sales”). Eckhart, a designer and manufacturer of specialized ergonomic assembly line tools and equipment, has been a portfolio company of Nashville-based LFM Capital since 2015. Auto Craft is Eckhart’s first acquisition.

Auto Craft, founded in 1958 and headquartered in Algonac, Michigan with additional facilities in Marine City, Michigan, provides advanced industrial material handling systems and specialized tooling for the largest industrial manufacturers in the world. Auto Craft’s products include door and instrument panel carriers and automatic guided carts that safely and efficiently transport material in factory environments. Auto Craft is also well regarded for its patented work brake systems that optimize the ergonomics and safety of line operators exposed to rotating assembly processes. Auto Craft serves a loyal and blue-chip customer base of leading industrial original equipment manufacturers (“OEMs”) that include Boeing, Honda, Toyota, Johnson Controls, Carrier, Whirlpool, Nissan, Kawasaki, Ford, Chrysler, and General Motors. Auto Craft is a 2016 Honda Performance Excellence Award recipient.
3D Sales, founded in 1991, is a distributor of industrial ergonomic and work cell construction components. The 3D Sales application engineers work with companies to make custom kitting carts and operator workstations using brands such as 80/20 aluminum extrusion, Len & Jerry’s Modular Components, U.S. Mats, and many others.

Auto Craft Co-Owner David DuVernay commented, “Having been a part of this company since I was 10 years old, it is with great pride that we recognize the significant contributions our family and our employees have made to American manufacturing. To see a company my father started in 1958 grow into what Auto Craft is today reinforces the commitment our skilled workforce has made to our customers through multiple generations. My brother Michael and I were looking for a strong business partner that would be a good steward of our family legacy and the families who will depend on the future success of the company going forward. We chose to partner with LFM Capital and the Eckhart team because of their direct knowledge and experience in our business, their operational focus on continuous process improvement best practices, and their overall commitment to our employees, customers, and American manufacturing.”

Eckhart President & CEO Andy Storm said, “We are excited to bring a broader suite of controls, robotics, and automation-based solutions to our customers. As manufacturers invest heavily in technology to increase product quality and achieve efficiencies in their factories, Auto Craft’s advanced material handling and tooling solutions will afford customers a one-stop, turn-key manufacturing systems supplier and eliminate the waste and overhead costs OEMs absorb coordinating with multiple vendors. Our collective team is now able to take on larger systems integration for customers while continuing to deliver the highest level of quality and service in the industry.”

About Eckhart, Inc.
Founded in 1974 and based in Lansing, Michigan, Eckhart, Inc. (“Eckhart”) is an established market leader in the design and manufacture of advanced industrial solutions that enhance the quality of life. Eckhart offers a wide range of custom engineered turn-key solutions that include multi-cell assembly processes, material handling and conveyance systems, collaborative robots, automated lift assists, torque reaction devices, quality checking fixtures, error-proofing inspection equipment and multi-operator workstations that improve workplace safety, increase manufacturing productivity and enhance product quality. Eckhart serves an established and loyal, blue-chip customer base of leading automotive and industrial original equipment manufacturers (“OEMs”), including General Electric, Ford, Tesla, Faraday & Future, GM, John Deere, Bradford White and Caterpillar. For additional information, please visit

About LFM Capital
LFM Capital is a Nashville-based private equity firm focused on private lower middle-market U.S. manufacturing and industrial services companies with outstanding growth prospects. LFM currently manages a $110 million private equity fund that targets lead or control investments in market-leading niche manufacturing and industrial services companies with enterprise values in the range of $15 million to $75 million. The LFM team is led by experienced and successful Fortune 50 global executive managers and private equity professionals who bring decades of management leadership, operating best practices, exceptional professional recruiting networks, and a successful track record in lower middle-market investing. LFM partners with management teams to drive business value through a combination of manufacturing and operations excellence, world-class executive management, and targeted growth and expansion strategies.

For additional information, please visit