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N.R. Murphy Ltd. marks 75 years with new ownership

Industrial air quality manufacturer keeps it in the family as Helder Armas takes over as president.


After 75 years in Business, Norman R. Murphy (right) passes the torch to his son-in-law, Helder Armas.

CAMBRIDGE, Ont. – After 75 years in the industrial air-quality business, N.R. Murphy Ltd. has passed the torch to new owners, but it’s keeping company that serves the North American market in the family.

Former sales manager Helder Armas has taken over as the new president of the Cambridge, Ont.-based company, which manufactures dust collectors, fans, and similar equipment for workplaces in many sectors. Armas is also now a co-owner with his wife, Lori Armas, who is the daughter of Norman R. Murphy, the company’s previous owner and its namesake.

“It is an honour to take over a business that has a highly esteemed reputation for dedicated customer service and uncompromising quality,” Armas said. “This is a legacy that I plan to carry on.”

N.R. Murphy has always been a family-owned company. It began in 1943 when William Murphy managed Preston Price Air Conditioning.

“I couldn’t be happier keeping my 75-year-old business in the family,” said Norman Murphy.

The company expects a smooth transition into the new ownership, as it continues to use the same management team, systems and facility.

This transition comes as N.R. Murphy observes its 75th anniversary, with more than 14,000 dust-collection systems installed across Canada.

The N.R. Murphy story began in 1943, when William Murphy managed, then later purchased Preston Price Air Conditioning, a company that shared his high-quality standards. In 1948, he renamed the company Murphy Sheet Metal and switched the focus to supplying and installing dust-collection equipment.

As the firm continued to grow and expand its customer base, Robert Murphy took it over in 1956, and his son, Norman R. Murphy, became vice-president when the company moved to its present location at 430 Franklin Boulevard six years later.

In 1966, Norm Murphy bought the company from his father, and it became N.R. Murphy Ltd.

In 1972, N. R. Murphy Ltd. partnered with Rodgers Machinery, an American company, and formed Murphy-Rodgers Inc. in Los Angeles, Calif. Murphy-Rodgers Inc. manufactured products based on N.R. Murphy’s designs and concepts for the US Market, and N.R. Murphy Ltd. manufactured dust-collection products for the Canadian and export markets.

The partnership lasted until the closure of Murphy-Rodgers Inc. in 2010, yet N.R. Murphy has kept its American customer base.

With Helder and Lori Armas in charge, N.R. Murphy expects its solid reputation to continue for another 75 years.

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