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Dickten Masch acquires Nyloncraft

By: Rhoda Miel

September 7, 2012

NASHOTAH, WIS. (Sept. 7, 2:25 p.m. ET) — Dickten Masch Plastics LLC has purchased fellow molder Nyloncraft Inc. and will look to build on both companies’ engineering-plastics experience to replace metal components in the transportation industry.

Nyloncraft, based in Mishawaka, Ind., will retain its name, organization, operations and management team as part of the deal announced Sept. 7. Terms were not disclosed.

At the same time, Nashotah, Wis.-based Dickten Masch can look at opportunities to integrate technologies from both companies within a wider manufacturing footprint in the Midwest and expand offerings in Monterrey, Mexico.

Key elements of the joint operation are still being implemented, said Doreen Lettau, DMP vice president of market and business development, but it is clear there are benefits for both firms by joining forces.

“There is still a lot of stamping and die-casting parts [in automotive] and there is a lot that we can still convert and identify both under the hood and in structural parts,” she said in a telephone interview.

Dickten Masch has manufacturing in Nashotah; Ankeny, Iowa; and Monterrey. The company acquired the Monterrey plant in 2011 from UPG Inc.

Private investment group Patmian LLC bought Dickten Masch in 2010 with plans to build the company through regional expansions.

The injection molder focuses on functional plastics with both thermoset and thermoplastic production and works in a variety of industries including medical, hand tools, electrical and small-engine products. Its automotive products take in a variety of under-the-hood parts such as rocker covers, structural brackets and grilles.

Nyloncraft has production in Mishawaka and Jonesville, Mich., and has insert molding, gas-assist molding and overmolding but has also developed a specialty in injection compression molding — with structural plastics that can replace steel for car door carriers and seat backs.

Nyloncraft’s proprietary vacuum boost systems are used by engine makers to enhance vehicle braking and fuel systems by carefully adding an air boost to the system. The boost systems are important to automakers and commercial truck makers that need to reduce the size of engines without sacrificing performance.

The company has had the boost system in production for some time, but recently expanded the line to further tap into automakers’ requirements, said Nyloncraft President Jim Krzyzewski.

“What we’ve done is to take it to a new level,” he said.

The two companies jointly will have more than 800 employees and generate combined annual sales of about $175 million.

The firms will look at the best way to integrate their technologies within the other’s plants, Lettau said. An early shift is likely to provide manufacturing of Nyloncraft’s products in Mexico to existing Nyloncraft customers in the area, she said, which will allow the group better access to grow in the region.

“The customers, that’s one of the first things they’re jumping on, asking, ‘How soon can you be there?’ ” Krzyzewski said. “Existing product lines will probably stay where they’re at, but for future products, that’s where this cooperation will really be able to show itself.”