Harris & Bruno International
Boasting 75 years of Precision Machine Mastery
An innovative global leader, Harris & Bruno marks the industry standard with decades of automated excellence
The print industry is a dynamic space where precision meets ingenuity and the industry continues to evolve with only the best companies adapting and thriving along with it.
While always cognizant of the need to offer second-to-none customer service, successful companies in the sector must also seamlessly master cutting-edge technologies, and embrace sustainability, all the while delivering high-quality print solutions.
Ideally positioned at the intersection of tradition and transformation, Harris & Bruno is showing the world that it can not only meet industry demands but also set new standards of excellence.
Headquartered in Roseville, California, boasting a long history of peak performance, the company is setting the stage for continued advancements within a landscape that demands consistency as much as it does creativity.
A Local Start to Global Gains
2023 holds a special significance, officially marking the seventy-fifth year of business for Harris & Bruno International.
With such a long-standing position, the company has been recognized as a major industry backbone, designing and building support machinery used by the digital, offset, and flexographic print sectors. Most of its solutions allow end-users and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to apply overcoating on printed material or substrate preparation before printing.
Before evolving into the global giant it is today, Harris & Bruno International began as a humble partnership in 1948, established between Mel Harris and Louis Bruno.
At that time, when it was just the Harris & Bruno Machine company, the printing industry was considerably more localized, and the majority of the work done occurred in the San Francisco Bay area. Because printing solutions were localized, this determined that printing challenges had to be as well.
Chief Executive Officer and son of Louis Bruno, Nick Bruno explains, “In my dad’s day, there weren’t a lot of avenues to get machinery rebuilt. The world was a much larger place back then… so, [we] filled a need to provide that equipment because even getting things out of the Midwest or East Coast seemed a long way back then.”
Although its initial focus was on equipment production and repair, its position as a key provider of printing solutions in the West gave the company the momentum it needed to springboard into wider avenues of service.
A Mission of Company Expansion and Preservation
Over time, as coast-to-coast businesses became more interconnected and reliant upon a blend of services, Harris & Bruno landed itself in the comfortable niche of making automated coating machines for companies located in all corners of the printing industry.
These machines focused on reducing labor costs and errors while increasing overall output, and the results were so outstanding that, to this very day, automated machinery is still the niche that the company serves.
While Harris & Bruno was able to narrow down what type of solution it provided, its success meant the exact opposite when it came to where it provided those solutions.
The company was able to expand to the point of taking over just about every portion of its product’s creation process and expand beyond American shorelines.
“We have 130–140 [employees],” Bruno begins. “We do everything from electrical and mechanical engineering to machining and fabrication.”
“We have our sales service and admin support; we do all of that in the US in two locations. We also have an office in Stuttgart, Germany, and one in Japan for sales and service,” he adds.
Additionally, in certain parts of the world where Harris & Bruno have yet to establish a home base, like China, Australia, and certain parts of Europe, the company still manages to make its presence known through the use of distributors.
However, despite the expansion of its influence to a global scale, Harris & Bruno still ensures that it preserves certain guidelines, ethics, and aspects of its culture that date back to its founding.
Two very important principles that the company encourages all employees–at all levels–to abide by are to provide exemplary service and to always take care of the customers.
As a product, Harris & Bruno isn’t a cheap option; however, their pricing is more than justified by the high level of quality and personable service that they provide.
Chief Operations Officer Jim Riga expands on this concept, saying, “We’re very proud to be an American manufacturer in a very competitive world. We strive to treat our employees well, have a positive culture, and deliver a top-notch product to our customers.”
Because the company provides very robust, high-quality automated machinery, when there are issues, supporting customers becomes a top priority to get them back on track.
These principles are deeply ingrained at Harris & Bruno, and it’s quite evident as the company is widely known for its very responsive support system, which consistently sends employees out to support end-users in the field.
The Hidden Avenues of the Print Industry
When it comes to such a long-standing industry, to the untrained eye and mind, it can sometimes seem as if the print industry has lost its momentum and fizzled out, especially in the increasingly digital environment we live in today.
However, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. On the contrary, the print industry has adapted in a multitude of ways to meet the changing needs of its technologically advancing market.
It’s just that the ways it has expanded have occurred internally rather than externally, and Harris & Bruno have been quick to find opportunities and go where the market needs it to go.
“In a lot of ways, [print] is smaller than it used to be, but it’s also a lot more specialized,” Bruno explains, “and for the printers that are in the specialty market, the margins are better.”
For example, four years ago, the company partnered with Hewlett-Packard on a project that involved Harris & Bruno becoming its go-to coating solution for inkjet printed products, where coating would be applied to embellish or protect the ink.
Most know HP as the desktop printing company. However, Harris & Bruno–through its exploratory practices of networking and attending key trade shows–became privy to the fact that HP also has a massive presence selling commercial and industrial printing devices.
According to Bruno, this ultra-specialized avenue of the industry has “been a successful project and has become the largest segment of our business today. We’re proud of that.”
The bottom line is that the printing landscape is doing just fine, and human nature will keep it that way. People have a certain innate love for physical aesthetics–we love to touch nice packages and love things with great graphics and visual appeal.
No matter how advanced technology becomes, beautiful print quality will always engage us at the most natural levels of our psychology, and companies like Harris & Bruno will be first in line to provide high-quality services that check those boxes as well.
Innovating Through Adversity and Beyond
Despite its knack for expertly navigating its market, when global challenges surface, not even Harris & Bruno are immune to the effects. However, that does not mean that they suffer the same consequences that younger, less experienced companies might face.
In 2021 and 2022, when the aftereffects of the pandemic and the start of the Ukraine invasion catalyzed the global supply chain crisis, like many companies, Harris & Bruno was hit hard.
It wasn’t able to secure the components it needed for its products, and lead times in certain areas had gotten significantly misaligned with the company’s expectations. Still, the company preserved and soon realized that it needed to do more than just recover from the effects of the crisis; it needed to outpace them.
“We [had] people in engineering working on next-generation products,” Bruno says, alluding to the company’s decision to use innovation as the most optimal recovery method to combat such harsh economic conditions.
Riga further expands on the fact that doing business despite this still wasn’t an easy solution, saying, “We did persevere through it, but it was painful… but since then… the expectation of lead times is aligned now. So, it’s not as big a topic as it was a year ago.”
As the conditions that inspired the company’s dive into next-generation technology faded, the results of that dive persisted, as Harris & Bruno was able to resume its regular focus on reducing and refining the labor process to the same strong degree it had before.
However, its results were strong enough to fuel another round of expansion, as the company had recently built a new facility in Idaho to increase its service area and optimize its trade routes.
Additionally, thanks to the developmental engineering it invested in, next year, Harris & Bruno will be publicly debuting new product lines designed with lean manufacturing in mind, as well as a new prototype that it’s been working on–both items are expected to completely disrupt the industry.
Taking all of this into consideration, it’s clear why, for a better part of the century, Harris & Bruno have been leading their industry.
The company has the veteran-like experience as well as the trailblazer mindset needed to not only remain relevant to the market but redefine the concept of market relevancy as a whole.
This is something that will surely be made evident as they continue to unveil their latest game-changing products.
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AT A GLANCE
Harris & Bruno International
What: Leading Printing-based company excelling in the design and building of support machinery used by the digital, offset, and flexographic print sectors
Where: Roseville, California, USA
Flodraulic Group Inc. – flodraulic.com
Innovation Applied™ FLODRAULIC is a multi-dimensional fluid power company with expertise in an unparalleled number of technologies, markets, and geographies. Innovation and creative value-add is our calling card, customized turnkey solutions is what we deliver. An international distributor with local customer support, we have inventory, engineering, assembly and sales facilities across North America and Europe. It is the mission of FLODRAULIC to be a global leader in motion control technologies by bringing the best people, the best products, and the best solutions to our customers. We are committed to exceeding our customer’s expectations by providing quality products, delivered on time, and followed-up with exceptional after-sales service.