Evans Machinery – 50 Years Of History and Development

R.M. Evans Company, Inc. was started by Ralph Evans in 1966 in Glendale, Arizona and has been a leading manufacturer in the post-forming and panel-laminating industry ever since. Along with Ralph Evans, the other principals responsible for bringing the company to fruition were Loren Cherry, Ron Congrove, and Al Fritz.

The initial product that gave Evans its start was a machine designed to manufacture fully formed kitchen and bathroom countertops, using High Pressure Laminates. The original “EZY-FORM” 100 Series Post Forming machine bent and bonded the thin decorative laminate over a wooden core from the nose to the rear backsplash in one piece, up to 12 feet long. This opened up the design and manufacturing of other machines for fabricators in this industry, such as gluing, indexing, and bonding machines, as well as saws and routers.

In 1968, the company was purchased by Royal Industries of California and became Evans Division of Royal Industries. The factory remained at the same location and expanded its operation. Soon after, a wood molding mill was added to support the countertop manufacturing business. Solid and finger jointed softwood molding used in the fabrication of high pressure laminate countertops were made and shipped from this new operation.

With success in the countertop machinery line, the company decided to venture into machinery for the cabinets and case good industry. Evans introduced drilling and assembly machinery to manufacture cabinet face frames using wood screws. This was so innovative that Evans applied and held a patent for this process for many years. This led to the manufacturing and sale of the specialized screws for the assembly of face frames.

Other examples of machinery manufactured for the cabinet and case good fabricators were the end panel multi-dado machine and a gang ripsaw, which won a Challenger Award in the woodworking machinery industry. Panel laminating and paper laminating lines were also introduced at this point.

The company once again changed ownership in 1977 when it was purchased by Rotork LTD, which was headquartered in Bath, England. Evans Rotork opened its sales to woodworking machinery distributors; not only for national sales, but also for international sales.

Machinery was sold in North, Central and South America.  It then expanded to European countries, as far as Poland, Hungary and Turkey.  The distribution network moved machinery into the Soviet Union, China, Middle East, Pacific Rim countries, Australia and New Zealand.

In 1990, Evans Rotork LTD was purchased by Robert (Bob) Perez and Gilbert (Gil) Elias and became Evans Machinery Incorporated (commonly known as EMI). Under the leadership of Bob and Gil, the company continued to expand its line of machinery. In 2005, Evans Machinery collaborated with Boise Cascade to develop a custom optimizing saw used in the home building industry. This partnership lasted several years and led to further collaborations with companies outside the countertop and laminating industries.

In January of 2013, Danny Elias took over ownership to carry on the Evans tradition. While looking for other manufacturers who offered complimentary machinery to the Evans line of equipment, Danny formed a relationship with Barnett Manufacturing. In the fall of 2014, Barnett Manufacturing purchased the rights and assets of Evans Machinery and moved the manufacturing of the Evans product line to Holland, MI.