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About Us

Positech building located in Laurens Iowa

Positech Corporation began with its predecessor, Mefferd Industries, Inc., a company founded by Paul Mefferd, to manufacture hydraulic cylinders in 1951.

For many years, the company was a manufacturing facility only, selling its product line of hydraulic cylinders and rotary manifolds to another Iowa company for resale. That relationship has ended, and only Positech is still selling the rotary manifolds on a direct basis.

In 1975, Mefferd Industries, Inc. was purchased by Tom Mefferd through a merger. The name was changed to Positech Corporation in 1980.

In 1977, Positech first designed and sold the Taurus Positioning Arm, a hydraulic manipulator. In 1984, the company secured the licensing rights to a German pneumatic manipulator. For a time, Positech simply imported and sold the German equipment. Responding to market demands for equipment with greater capacity and higher safety standards, Positech designed its own line of pneumatic manipulators in early 1986. The relationship with the German company ended in 1989.

In 1989, Columbus McKinnon Corporation of Amherst, New York, a manufacturer of crane, hoists, and links, purchased Positech Corporation. The transaction resulted in a buyout of the company’s public shareholders and the creation of Positech as a wholly owned subsidiary of Columbus McKinnon Corporation.

In 1996, Columbus McKinnon Corporation purchased Conco. Conco was its own division of Columbus McKinnon Corporation until January 1, 1999.

In 1999, Conco became a part of the Positech Division.

In 2004, American Handling Systems, Inc., a corporation started by the Positech management team purchased Positech from Columbus McKinnon Corporation.

In 2005, American Handling Systems, Inc. purchased Coleman Equipment, Inc.

Positech combines custom-designed tooling and lifting devices such as manipulators, hoist, and pneumatic balancers to reduce ergonomic related injuries and improve process handling. The company uses a team problem-solving approach for applications including: Aerospace, Agriculture, Appliances, Automotive, Chemical, Construction, Electronic, Food & Beverage, Furniture, HVAC, Metal Fabrication, Metal Production, Mining, Paper, and Tires.

The company sells through commissioned manufacturer’s representatives in both the United States and abroad. It has been both a government contractor and a sub-contractor.

Positech Corporation has approximately 60,000 square feet of manufacturing and office facilities in Laurens, Iowa.

Positech Corporation is a Quality System Registered company. ISO 9001:2015/Q9001-2015 Certificate QSR-498. They are classified as SIC-3526 and NAICS-333923. Currently, Positech is under the National Federation of Independent Business trade association.

If you are interested in purchasing a Positech industrial manipulator, or want to learn more, please call 800-831-6026 or 712-841-4548 or send us an e-mail at

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