Polymer Technologies purchase signals changing trends in toolmaking

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CLIFTON, N.J. (Feb. 3, 12:15 p.m. ET) — Injection molder Polymer Technologies Inc. has acquired injection molding toolmaker Polmold Tool Inc., adding new capabilities in tooling that will allow PTI to bring increased understanding and capabilities in mold-making in-house.

The acquisition also shows the shift in attitude toward tooling during the past 10 years, said Polymer Technologies President Neal Goldenberg.

“We were all lured [to sourcing molds from low-cost countries] with promises of dirt-cheap tooling with record delivery, but what’s happening is we’ve seen that these were promises never panned out,” he said.

“If you think about the way we use technology today, it’s wonderful, but there’s still something you can’t capture unless you’re sitting across the table from each other and can really share information.

“Everyone is on the same page in a way that can’t happen when one of the players is 4,000 miles away.”

The acquisition will help family-owned PTI produce better and more-efficient parts for highly engineered parts in the aerospace and medical industries.

“We’re in the fortunate position of having worked with [Polmold] extensively in the past,” Goldenberg said in a Feb. 3 telephone interview. “They know our clients, they know the materials we use, they know the demands on those parts.”

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

PTI is based in Clifton, N.J., and has 24 injection molding machines ranging in size from 38-650 tons. It has 71 employees and offers metal injection molding in addition to its plastics operations. Polmold of Wallington, N.J., has six experienced mold makers and full production equipment. Polmold founder Henry Marzec will remain with the business as general manager.

The molder had some limited mold production and maintenance ability previously, but had “stuck to its knitting” in molding in the past, Goldenberg said. Adding experienced tooling capabilities will allow the company to vertically integrate.

To succeed with highly complex tools and parts, Goldenberg said, molders had to either have a very strong relationship with an outside tool shop or look at bringing that knowledge inside.

The Polmold tooling group, in addition to working with PTI, will continue its relationship with other existing customers, Marzec said.

“We can also offer a new value proposition,” he said. “Through utilization of PTI’s injection molding expertise, we can prototype and troubleshoot these tools prior to being shipped to the client. This will significantly reduce the de-bugging time … and increase our client’s speed-to-market.”