Superior Air Handling Corp., an employee-owned sheet metal contractor in Clearfield, Utah, has been purchased by the Harris Cos. Terms were not disclosed.

Based in St. Paul, Minn., Harris is a large mechanical contractor specializing in the design and installation of piping, plumbing and HVACR systems.

Harris President and CEO Greg Hosch said acquiring Superior is one more piece of the company’s strategy to grow by acquisition. The purchase will grow Harris revenues by $30 million to $50 million per year, he said, and represents a significant strengthening of their brand in the target markets of the West, Southwest and Midwest.

Founded as a family-owned operation in 1948, the same year as Harris, Superior has been a union-shop traveling contractor since the 1970s, explained President Robert Huey. Beginning with general contractors in California, Superior has worked on projects in the nuclear power, high-rise, semiconductor, sports-facility, and health care industries.

It has developed a system for engineering, labeling and shipping ductwork from Clearfield, Utah, to all parts of the county.

“The key to our system,” Huey said, “starts in our engineering department. We create shop drawings by numbering every piece of ductwork that will be installed on a job. This system also allows tracking all pieces through fabrication and shipping. All shipments are provided with a detailed bill of lading, which allows project teams on the jobsite to plan more efficiently. The result is that even on the most complex, high-tech project, our work can be assembled in the field like an erector set.”

An employee-owned company since 1997, Superior recently came up against demanding new bonding requirements, says Huey, which urged them to seek a partner like Harris with bonding capabilities and “substantial net worth.”

As part of the Harris Cos., Superior now also has access to Harris’s piping and controls expertise, which opens up whole new markets, company officials added.