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Our History

Our Journey - Celebrating 20 Years of Excellence

Classic Automation, a trailblazing provider of refurbished and surplus industrial automation and control equipment, proudly commemorates its remarkable 20-year journey in 2023. The company's evolution over two decades is a testament to the unwavering dedication and relentless efforts of its exceptional team.

Classic Automation was founded in 2003 by Fritz Ruebeck, a visionary who identified a critical gap in the market for high-quality refurbished and replacement automation equipment. Fritz, having previously served as the global vice president of Product Service for control systems and instrumentation at ABB, recognized that many automation users were being coerced into unnecessary upgrades due to obsolescence fears. This realization led him to establish Classic Automation, initially a one-man business operating out of his Webster, NY home.



Despite modest beginnings, Fritz's business model, centered around a website offering parts for existing control systems, quickly gained traction. Classic Automation's commitment to excellence and reliability soon earned it a reputation for providing cost-effective automation parts and repairs.

In 2006, the company's rapid growth led to the acquisition of a 15,000 square foot building in Rochester, NY, marking a significant milestone. Under Fritz's astute leadership, the company continued to thrive and eventually moved to its present headquarters in Webster, NY, in 2013. By 2019, a substantial warehouse addition expanded the facility to 53,000 square feet, to accommodate the storage and the growing number of parts inventory.

In 2023, Classic Automation is on its next phase of growth with a new testing area to accommodate more system-specific testing fixtures and a growing team of dedicated technical professionals.

Since 2003 Classic Automation has consistently expanded its product lines and customer base. The company has been recognized multiple times as one of Rochester's Top 100 Companies, a testament to its sustained growth and impact. Today, Classic Automation boasts one of the industry's most extensive selections of manufacturers and industrial automation equipment, including programmable logic controllers (PLCs), human-machine interfaces (HMIs), DCSs, panel controllers, industrial PCs, and variable frequency drives (VFDs).

Fritz Ruebeck, the company's founder, expressed his pride in the journey, stating, "I am incredibly proud of what we have achieved over the past 20 years. Our success is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our employees, as well as the loyalty of our customers. We are grateful for their support and look forward to continuing to provide high-quality parts and repairs for many years to come."

Classic Automation is a trusted partner for some of the world's leading manufacturers and system integrators. Through refurbishing and repairing parts, we extend the lifecycle of existing systems, contributing to a more sustainable future by reducing the need for manufacturing and materials. With customers in over 110 countries, Classic Automation is well-prepared for continued success.

As Classic Automation celebrates its 20th anniversary, the company remains steadfast in upholding its founding principles of quality, reliability, and exceptional customer service, encapsulated in its motto: "We help keep the world's production running." With a dedicated team of over 65 employees and a proven track record of success, the company is poised to continue its growth and make an even more substantial impact in the automation industry.

Employees in the warehouse expansion | Classic Automation

Our History