Who is LA-CO Industries?
La-Co Industries is a family owned and operated company based out of Elk Grove Village, IL. The company is widely known for its Markal Paint Markers, but has widen its product line to include thread sealants, soldering fluxes, specialty chemicals, various marking products for both industrial and livestock purposes, and other various products. The need for these niche products has led to the development of four brands within La-Co Industries: La-co (plumbing), Markal (marking), Tempil (temperature indication) and All-Weather (livestock).
Dr. Lester Aronberg founded La-Co Industries as the Lake Chemical Company in 1934. The Chicago based chemist built the company around the Stick-o-Paint. This was Dr. Aronberg’s solution to making industrial manufacturing marking neater and more efficient. This revolutionary product took paint and reformulated it into a handheld stick. The Stick-o-Paint would eventually evolve into the Markal B Paintstik and would lead to the expansion of the company.
By the 1940s, the Painstik was being used in the World War II efforts and La-Co was continuing to put out new products and product lines. Plumbing products and chemicals were now being produced under the La-Co Brand. The first product in this line was the Pipetite Stik, which put thread compound in stick form. During this time Dr. Aronberg created several more varieties of Paintstik for any niche market that asked. One of those markets spawned the final brand for La-Co Industries. The All-Weather brand began in 1945 with the All-Weather Paintstik designed for livestock marking.
The company continued to grow and bring new products to the market in the plumbing and marking categories. In 1950, the company introduced La-Co Regular Flux, which was the first water-soluble, all-weather flux. The company continued to put out industry changing products and in 1971 La-Co did it again with Slic-tite. This thread sealant revolutionized the plumbing industry by putting polytetrafluoroethylene or PTFE in the sealant. This allowed the pipes to be easily screwed together.
As the La-Co plumbing brand of the company grew, so did the Markal marking brand. In 1987, Markal went outside of the solid stick paint model and started producing a liquid paint marker called the Valve Action Paint Marker. This paint marker quickly became a top selling product, as it was very popular in the automobile industry, as well as several others.
In 1999, the plumbing brand introduced the heat barrier spray Cool Gel to help reduce fires while soldering and brazing. The most recent product introduction was the 2008 release of the Pro-line HP which was designed as a quick drying alternative to the Valve Action Paint marker.
A number of things were happening outside the manufacturing plant and chemistry lab as well. In 1980, La-Co received the “Counterman’s Pledge” plaque because of the company’s continued support of the plumbing industry. As the company continued to grow and expand, they outgrew several buildings in downtown Chicago, and in 1994 left the city of their current home in Elk Grove Village, IL. In 2007, La-Co launched their biggest national promotion, Pick-up and Win. This promotion awarded the randomly selected buyers of La-Co products with prizes and one grand prize winner walked away with a new Ford F-150 truck. More recently, La-Co Industries celebrated a milestone, celebrating their 75th Anniversary in 2009. Also in 2009, the company became an international company with the acquisition of Intrama SAS in Blyes, France.
Throughout the years, Dr. Aronberg was honored in many ways. The Lester Aronberg foundation was founded. The foundation went on to establish several scholarships in the 1980s, including the Lester Aronberg Memorial Student Aid Endowment Fund and the Lester Aronberg Foundation Student Aid Endowment Fund for the Perach Program. In 1979, the Foundation also created the Lester Aronberg Chair in Applied Chemistry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel.
In November of 2009 La-Co Industries Delaware, a wholly owned subsidiary of La-Co Industries acquired majority ownership of Intrama S.A.S. Based out of Blyes, France, Intrama is a leading manufacture and distributor of industrial marking products. The companies have built a cross distribution relationship for over several years, as the companies marking brands have worked well together. This also allowed La-Co Industries to expand the overseas presence of the company and allowed them to utilize Intrama’s overseas facility.
In January 2013, LA-CO Industries acquired Tempil® from ITW. The Tempil brand has been a leader in temperature indication technologies for nearly 76 years. Tempil was able to bring their expertise in developing innovative, customer-driven solutions for temperature measurement to LA-CO and helped to create new growth opportunities in the industrial and welding channels.
International Presence and Expansion
Continued success over the years has lead LA-CO Industries, Inc to expand their presence throughout the world. With distribution in Central and South America, Asia, Middle East, Europe, and Africa and totaling over 50 countries, LA-CO is continually working to expand their reach to as many markets as possible. Through new market entry and new product development, LA-CO Industries is working to expand the company and increase opportunities for growth and development of the LA-CO, Markal, and ALL-WEATHER brands. With the acquisition of Intrama S.A.S. in Blyes, France, LA-CO Industries gained access to overseas facilities. These facilities will help the company to grow their brands as world leaders.
LA-CO Industries just celebrated 85 years in business and are excited for continued success and growth!