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Gloucester Engineering buys Future Design

By: Michael Lauzon

March 6, 2012

GLOUCESTER, MASS. (March 6, 4 p.m. ET) — Extrusion major Gloucester Engineering Co. Inc. has expanded its technology base with the acquisition of blown film specialist Future Design Inc. of Mississauga, Ontario.

Gloucester announced the acquisition March 6 but did not disclose terms of the deal. Gloucester Engineering President Carl Johnson said Future Design will operate as a stand-alone company.

“They are specialists in bubble management,” Johnson said in a telephone interview. “Their technology will be additive to ours.”

Among Future Design’s familiar products are Saturn and Perfect Balance air rings, SES evacuation systems, Escort collapsing frames and Little Giant narrow web and laboratory lines.

The firm’s Saturn air rings are Future Design’s best known accomplishments, said Future Design founder Robert Krycki in a telephone interview.

The Saturn technology controls air flow and cooling and was originally offered as a retrofit option. Over the years Future Designs began selling its Saturn air rings to other original equipment manufacturers. Although it didn’t sell rings directly to Gloucester Engineering, Future Design helped design air rings for the company, according to Krycki. Johnson said Future Design will continue to sell air rings to other OEMs.

“We hope their OEM relationships will continue,” Johnson stressed.

Precise bubble management gives a processor more throughput, flexibility and gauge control, Johnson explained. Future Design’s technology has extended from two lips to three-lip designs with automation for better control. The Saturn 7 series goes up to 100-inch dies, a territory Krycki claims Future Design dominates globally.

“Over the past 34 years, Future Design has produced innovative and successful products that advance the competitiveness and return on investment for blown film producers around the world,” notes Gloucester Engineering CEO Mark Steele in a news release. “As a result, Future Design has built lasting relationships with its valued customers.”

Robert Krycki will continue to support the Future Design business and Gloucester Engineering for a year with the title founder. The 68-year-olf plastics veteran said as he got close to retirement he decided a new owner was needed to help take the firm to a higher level.

Gloucester’s experience and financial backing will provide added sources of creativity, financial capacity, distribution and service network to continue our growth and innovation,” Krycki said in a news release.

Gloucester Engineering based in Gloucester, Mass., is a leader in plastics extrusion systems for sophisticated blown and cast films, sheet and foam extrusion, bag making and extrusion coating. It is owned by private equity firm Blue Wolf Capital Fund II LP of New York.

Gloucester Engineering and Future Design each will exhibit separately at NPE2012 in Orlando, officials said. Gloucester will be in booth 3343, and Future Design is in 5444.