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Fenner buys American Industrial Plastics

By: Bill Bregar

August 10, 2012

HUMBLE, TEXAS (Aug. 10, 1:15 p.m. ET) — Fenner Advanced Sealing Technologies, part of Hessle, England, reinforced polymer specialist Fenner plc, has purchased American Industrial Plastics Inc., a firm that does precision machining of engineering resins and fluoropolymers.

American Industrial Plastics, based in Daytona Beach, Fla., does computer numerically controlled machining of high-end plastics — and only plastics — for medical, aerospace and defense, and oil and gas drilling markets. Many of the parts are reinforced, such as carbon-fiber filled polyetheretherketone, for critical medical applications.

The fact that American Industrial Plastics does only plastics means there can be no metal cross-contamination, an important feature for its highly technical applications, company officials say on the AIP website.

Humble-based Fenner Advanced Sealing Technologies (known as Fast Group-Houston) announced the acquisition Aug. 9. Terms were not disclosed.

Fast has related operations that fit well with American Industrial Plastics, said Fast Group-Houston President Leonard Casey. Fast’s EGC Plastics division uses a number of types of processing, including compression and injection molding, transfer molding, ram and melt extrusion, calendaring and machining. It makes products out of engineering resins and fluoropolymers for markets such as oilfields, fluid handling, medical, aerospace and semiconductors. Another unit, CDI Seals, makes seals for many of those same markets.

“The capabilities of the team at AIP expand our current offerings and give us an even stronger presence in our key markets,” Casey said in a news release announcing the deal.

American Industrial Plastics’ website lists some exotic machining applications, using very expensive types of plastics. In medical, AIP parts include surgical instruments, implants of PEEK Optima medical-grade compounds, and surgical targeting fixtures. Aerospace components go on missiles, aircraft, satellites and the space shuttle. Energy applications include specialized parts for oil and gas drilling.