Extrusion, meet injection molding. With a handshake, two big players in the fields are melding their expertise.
Profile extrusion major Pexco LLC is diversifying into custom injection molding by acquiring the Minneapolis-based operation of Spectrum Plastics Inc.
Pexco announced the deal Sept. 4, the same day Spectrum said it has renamed its Ansonia, Conn., business NPI Medical to identify its core business of medical molding.
Pexco's vice president of business development, Matthew Robida, called the Spectrum molding operation "a solid business with great customers and strong engineering." The plant processes "complex materials that feature prominently within some of Pexco's strategic markets," Robida said via email.
The Spectrum name will continue with the 160-employee Minnesota business under Pexco's ownership. The molding plant features two medical-grade clean rooms, about 40 injection molding presses from 12 to 600 tons, assembly and packaging services in a 105,000-square-foot building.
Pexco, based in Alpharetta, Ga., acquired the molding operation from former owner Minneapolis-based Spell Capital Partners LLC, which also owns NPI Medical. In May, Spell sold off its rapid prototyping business, Protogenic Inc. of Westminster, Colo., to injection molder Tenere Inc.
"Prior to the Minnesota sale, we spun out Ansonia because we wanted to keep it," Spell Managing Director Steve Jones said in a telephone interview. "It then transitioned to be more dedicated to medical markets."
For Pexco, the acquisition is a slight strategic shift but it allows the company to be more receptive to broader material opportunities, Pexco CEO Neil Shillingford said in a news release.
However, Pexco's business has been "specialty plastics conversion," Shillingford said.
Robida added that the company is familiar with many of the resins that Spectrum molds — although these are extrusion not injection grades. New to Plexco are implantable and bioabsorbable plastics used in Spectrum's medical sales.
About half of the Minnesota business' sales are in medical markets for goods like implantable surgical devices and fixtures. It also specializes in complex engineering resins for defense and aerospace products. The business has exploited successfully material conversions to performance plastics.
The acquisition is Pexco's second major deal this summer. In July it bought Scandia Plastics Inc., a specialty custom extruder in Plaistow, N.H. Pexco does about $200 million in sales from nine extrusion plants, according to Plastics News estimates. Earlier this year, the company sold its extruded sheet business and assets to Plaskolite Inc. and closed its Columbia, S.C., plant.
Pexco owner Odyssey Investment Partners LLC of New York also owns Peninsula Packaging Co., a thermoformer based in Exeter, Colo.
NPI will continue operating in its 66,000-square-foot plant in Ansonia, where it employs 85. In addition to molding it boasts production cells to speed prototypes to production. The company is experienced in liquid silicone rubber molding.
NPI recently completed its second Class 7 clean room and expanded its full-service toolroom and the company plans to add more production equipment, NPI sales director Terry Gleason said in a phone interview. About 75 percent of the Ansonia plant's sales are in medical markets for products in laboratory use, surgical devices and disposables.
NPI sales amount to about $15 million to $20 million per year.
"Speed to market is critical to our customers' success and we have all of the internal capabilities to meet their needs," said NPI Medical President Randy Ahlm. NPI Medical's legal name is Ansonia Holdings LLC. The company formerly ran a prototype operation in Brewster, N.Y., but moved those assets to Ansonia in January.