Our mission at ROSS is given to us by our customers every day. Our employee owners are at the HEART of manufacturing, solving problems from concept to completion with a knack for invention. In this way, ROSS adds VALUE to businesses by building SUPERIOR mixing and process solutions for great products worldwide. We foster RELATIONSHIPS through world-class customer SERVICE. Striving to be the world LEADER in Mixing & Blending Technology, we not only imagine possibilities-we CREATE them.
Two young brothers, John, a baker and Charles, a mechanic, become partners in two businesses, side by side in a small building in Rochester, New York. The Ross brothers operate a bakery and build grain mills. They prosper for 20 years until the Civil War divides the brothers. Years later, Charles returns to the shop. John lays buried on a hillside in Virginia.
To eliminate the cost of shipping French burrstones from New York harbor to Rochester, Charles moves his company to Brooklyn. He has great success building stone mills and soon after, the enterprise starts offering various other types of milling machinery.
Ross introduces the first models of Three Roll Mills, offering them to the paint and ink industry. These roller mills provided some advantages over the stone mill including increased production and easier cleaning. The early factory in Brooklyn begins manufacturing mixing machinery for paints, inks and chocolate pastes.
As the national economy expands, the milling and mixing business grows rapidly. Charles Ross builds a larger plant in Brooklyn.
On January 18, 1900, the company is incorporated under the name Charles Ross & Son Company, with both Charles Ross and his son Charles G. Ross as stockholders. In April that year, Charles Ross dies, and his son assumes the position of president.
Charles G. Ross moves the factory to another part of Brooklyn which was fast becoming a paint center in those days. Ross designs and builds mills for nearby thriving paint companies. The chemical and pharmaceutical also become extensive markets for mills and mixers. Stimulated by the growing automobile industry, producers of lubricants and greases purchase Ross stone mills. The better facilities of the new plant allow Charles Ross & Son Company to serve the growing demand and gather enough momentum to carry them through the 1903 recession and 1907 banking crisis.
Through World War I, the firm is especially active due to government orders for mixers and processing machines used in making smokeless gun powder. Inspired by the technological advances at this time, constant improvement and research lead to various redesigns and increased efficiency of Ross machines. Machine tools enable greater precision and speed. Fixtures, jigs and dies of increasing complexity and variety expedite the manufacturing process and pave the way to improved standardization.
The phenomenal expansion of the chemical industry presents a rapidly growing market for Ross mills and mixers which are steadily becoming recognized by businesses as high quality machines and great investments. The company enlarges its plant and workforce. Soon after, it establishes representatives in San Francisco, Chicago and Detroit. The latter was the center of the automotive industry, a market for large numbers of Ross equipment used in preparing body finishes, lacquers and colors. During this peak production and prosperity, Charles G. Ross runs the company with his sons Mortimer, Charles and Lester.
The stock market crashes and orders decline to almost nil. During the Great Depression, the company is forced to cut down overhead and operates only three days a week. Employees who had been working there for 20 to 30 years are kept onboard and paid out of reserve funds. Ross spends the slow years redesigning and improving its products. It finds ways to economize and decrease manufacturing cost. At the same time, the company increases advertising exposure in trade papers such as American Ink Maker, American Paint Journal, Drug & Cosmetic Magazine, and the Chemical Engineering Catalog.
The American economy demonstrates its abounding resiliency. Ross begins filling orders for the growing cosmetic industry which reflected the changing fashions and tastes of women. Charles G. Ross dies on April 14, 1937 and his eldest son, Mortimer G. Ross becomes company president.
Due to World War II, European demand for Ross products greatly increases.
Ross introduces the world's first change-can Double Planetary Mixer which quickly becomes a popular machine for batching heavy paste paints. It had two sets of prong-like stirrers that rotated on individual axes while revolving around the vessel interior. All the gearing and other moving parts were enclosed in cast iron housings and operated in a continuous oil bath. During mixing, the vessel was fully covered but the operator could view the internals from a lamp-lit inspection window. When the batch is complete, a hydraulic lift raised the driving components and stirrers from the mix can. As the finished product is discharged, another vessel could be placed under the mixer to start a new batch.
This was a revolutionary design that improved upon pony-style mixers which were widely being used at that time. The agitator of the pony mixer consists of vertical blades or fingers oriented off-center of the vessel. The blades rotate from a fixed central axis while the vessel, installed on a turntable, turns in the opposite direction as the agitator. The pony mixer was an open system which made it prone to dusting and cross-contamination. The Double Planetary Mixer eliminated these issues and improved operator safety.
Not long after, the Double Planetary Mixer becomes a familiar machine outside of the paint and coatings industry. Its ability to turnover viscous, sticky or putty-like materials with great efficiency immediately presented obvious processing benefits to adhesive and sealant manufacturers.
Charles L. Ross succeeds Mortimer G. Ross as president upon the latter's death on May 10, 1943. Their other brother Lester K. Ross serves as Vice-President and Treasurer. Years later, Charles' sons Charles K. Ross and Richard Ross take over the company.
Charles K. Ross transfers his interest in the company to his brother Richard who remains president to this day. Under Richard's leadership, a rapid series of growth spurts expanded production to other states and overseas.
Ross moves to Hauppauge, a town on Long Island, New York. The headquarters consisted of administrative and engineering offices, a manufacturing shop and soon after a testing lab where customers could test Ross mixers and blenders prior to purchase. The lab has expanded numerous times in the following decades. Today, the Ross Test & Development Center is the most equipped testing facility in the specialty mixing industry. A typical mixing simulation test utilizes the end user's actual raw materials and the mixer is operated at process conditions as close as possible to actual production. Proof-of-concept demonstrations such as high shear emulsification, particle size reduction, dry blending, vacuum drying, high viscosity mixing and three roll milling are performed routinely.
Ross Metal Fabricators is established in Islip, New York. The fabrication plant later transfers to its present Deer Park, New York location where it continues to manufacture high-quality mix tanks, pressure vessels, kettles and custom-built equipment.
Ross Engineering, Inc. opens in Thunderbolt, Georgia. Operations grow quickly and in 1980, the plant relocates to its current facility in Savannah, Georgia. The largest Ross plant in the USA, Ross Engineering is capable of producing storage tanks, pressure vessels and reactors up to 100,000 gallons or larger. This facility also manufactures large-scale multi-shaft mixers, high shear mixers, vertical blenders and three roll mills.
Ross Mixing Inc. opens in Port St. Lucie, Florida. Today, this facility designs and manufactures various laboratory mixers, all sizes of high speed dispersers, dual-shaft mixers and ribbon blenders. Ross Mixing also houses a multi-million-dollar inventory of new and reconditioned equipment, the largest stock and rental fleet in the specialty mixing industry.
Ross patents a hybrid planetary mixer design equipped with both low and high speed agitators, accomplishing mixing tasks normally done by two or more devices. The novel configuration features a stirrer blade that rotates on its own axis while orbiting the mix vessel, delivering a thorough mixing and kneading action suitable for processing high viscosity mixtures. At the same time, a saw-tooth disperser blade also revolves around the batch while turning on its own axis at tip speeds of around 5,000 ft/min. This high speed blade quickly disperses powders, fibers, pellets and other solids regardless of product rheology. Each agitator is controlled independently allowing the operator to fine-tune flow patterns and shear rates at any point during the mixing cycle. Today, the PowerMix Planetary Disperser is an indispensable tool for hundreds of users in the adhesives, chemical, plastics, composites, coatings, medical and other industries.
James C. Ross, son of Richard Ross, invents the X-Series Inline Ultra-High Shear Mixer, a quantum leap in rotor/stator technology. Turning at tip speeds over 11,000 ft/min, the X-Series rotor consists of concentric rows of intermeshing teeth. Product enters from the center of the stator and moves outward through radial channels in the rotor/stator teeth. The combination of high tip speed and extremely close tolerances between the interlocking channels subjects the product to intense shear in every pass. Adjustable gap settings allow for fine-tuning of shear level and flow rate. The X-Series patent is granted in 1997 and in process lines around the world, the invention readily demonstrates a distinct ability to produce submicron dispersions and emulsions superior to those made in multi-stage rotor/stators and colloid mills. In certain applications, X-Series Mixers replace high pressure homogenizers, delivering comparable size reduction at significantly higher throughputs.
The company establishes its own controls division, Ross Systems & Controls, located in Savannah, Georgia. Ross SysCon is now a leading worldwide supplier of process control systems and automation packages all tailored to customers' exact requirements - from simple start/stop/speed commands to PLC-based recipe driven systems with supervisory control and data acquisition packages.
Ross enters the Chinese market through a joint venture, Nantong Ross Mixing Equipment Co. Ltd. The success of this enterprise pushed Ross to become the world's largest supplier of ribbon blenders. Nantong Ross also produces high shear mixers, vertical blenders and other product lines for the Chinese market.
The company's technical services group completes the development a novel powder induction technology called SLIM which stands for Solids/Liquid Injection Manifold. The SLIM is the most efficient and reliable device available in the market today for dispersing powders into a liquid. It features a specially engineered rotor that creates an intense vacuum which draws solids into the high shear zone of the mix chamber. Challenging powders like fumed silica, gums, thickeners and pigments are dispersed instantly. Proven on process lines around the world, the SLIM routinely cuts process times by 80% or more, eliminating issues like excessive dusting, floating powders, persistent lumps or "fish eyes" and wasted raw materials due to inefficient dispersion.
Ross is granted the patent for the "Delta" rotor/stator of its PreMax Batch Ultra-High Shear Mixer. The Delta rotor runs at higher tip speeds (5,000 ft/min) than a regular high-shear mixer device, creating enhanced levels of mechanical, hydraulic and cavitational shear. In addition, the Delta rotor's unique shape generates a double vortex and intense vigorous flow which quickly draws powders from the batch surface. For most inks and coating applications, the level of pigment dispersion achieved in the PreMax is comparable to one or two passes through a media mill.
A second Ross plant in China, Ross Wuxi Equipment Co. Ltd, opens for business. Wholly-owned by Charles Ross & Son Company, Ross Wuxi enables very strategic growth as many US companies start opening manufacturing facilities in China. Today, Ross Wuxi is the largest Ross plant, serving customers all across Asia, Australia, South America and Europe.
Ross receives another patent for the development of "High Viscosity" (HV) Blades, now the prevalent stirrer design used in Ross Double Planetary Mixers. Featuring a precisely angled helical contour, HV Blades generate a forward and downward mixing action, keeping product within the vessel at all times and preventing the climbing problem sometimes experienced with traditional rectangular stirrers. The HV Blades extend the Double Planetary Mixer's viscosity range to approximately 6 million centipoise, easily handling applications that previously required a more expensive horizontal sigma blade kneader. The rotating helical stirrers pass each other in a slicing motion, which more evenly distributes the resistance of thick, non-flowable materials compared to the vertical flights of rectangular blades. The absence of horizontal crossbars also allows the HV Blades to be lifted very cleanly and easily out of a viscous or dense batch.
Seeing the large potential of the Indian economy, Ross Process Equipment Pvt. Ltd. is established in Pune, India. Also 100%-owned by Charles Ross & Son Company, Ross Process Equipment builds a full range of mixing and blending equipment for customers in India, the Middle East and Africa.
Ross builds a 250,000-sq.ft. state-of-the-art facility in Wuxi, China to accommodate hundreds of large-scale Dual Planetary Dispersers for the lithium battery industry. Ross Wuxi is the number one supplier of mixing equipment to the Chinese battery industry. To date, it has supplied over 2,000 mixers to this market alone. Dual Planetary Dispersers feature four agitators - two planetary stirrers and two high speed shafts - all rotating on their own axes while orbiting the vessel on a common axis. The robust mixing action is ideal for preparing thick slurries and highly-filled pastes with excellent uniformity and dispersion quality.