Molder, mold maker Precimold sold

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Precimold Inc. Jack McDonald, left, with Precimold founder Gunter Weiss.

Longtime owner and founder of technical custom injection molder Precimold Inc. has sold the business to an industry outsider.

Gunter Weiss sold Precimold to Jack McDonald 50 years after he founded the Candiac, Quebec, molder and tool builder. Weiss is keeping his hand in the business with his new chairman title.

McDonald, who until a few years ago was an entrepreneur who ran a distribution business, said in a phone interview that he will use a core-value approach to suffuse and solidify a culture that very much centered on Weiss.

"We will alert all staff to the importance of our part in the safety of products made with our components," McDonald explained. "Quality starts with our operators."

Many of Precimold's molded parts perform critical functions to ensure safe operation where they are applied. This is especially true in automotive, Precimold's main ​ market, and in its growing medical parts business. Bearing cages and tension arms for motors are examples of some tough auto molding jobs Precimold tackles.

McDonald said his job is not learn how to build a mold or shoot plastic.

"I have some of the best guys in the industry to do that and they have been empowered to move the company forward," McDonald said.

"My job is to create a culture that creates purpose for every member of the team and relentlessly drive that message. Our purpose is based on a very simple truth — our parts are important to everyone's health and safety — including our own."

Precimold runs about 20 injection presses with clamping forces up to 300 tons. Most are Engel machines since Weiss wanted to stick to one major supplier to simplify training and to build-in production flexibility. About 75 employees run the molding and tool building shops in a 48,000-square-foot facility. Precimold boasts ISO 9001, TS 16949 and ISO 13485 accreditations and operates class 10,000 and 100,000 clean rooms.

Precimold is sophisticated and big enough to compete with anyone in its sector yet small enough to be a flexible and appreciative partner, McDonald said.

Precimold has already invested more than C$500,000 ($375,000) to upgrade the firm's technology. It has installed a new enterprise resource planning system with extensive production control and data capture. Also new is a Zeiss O-Inspect 543 with Calypso software for product inspections. In the planning stage are replacing sprue pickers and redoing injection press barrels. Projects are aimed to improve energy efficiency and consistency. Next year Precimold will look at buying electric injection presses.

Precimold is experienced in micromolding, insert molding, overmolding and multi-shot molding.

"We will be spending substantially more than that over the next 12 months on a new website, digital marketing and training development, but the major investments will be in mold making and production upgrades," McDonald said.

McDonald finalized the purchase Nov. 1, but decided to only recently announce the changeover after Weiss spent months educating McDonald in the ways of plastics and his company's fit in the industry. He did not disclose terms of the purchase.

Weiss founded the business that eventually evolved into Precimold in 1966 as a tool shop, building on his master mold maker training in Germany. After seven years he added injection molding and in 1979 he named the business Precimold.

McDonald hired three people from a previous business. Susan Raywood is a new vice president, Kathy Kerr joins as chief financial officer and Pierre Cameron comes on board as vice president of sales.

McDonald declined to provide sales figures for Precimold.

"I have been open to selling Precimold for the past 10 years but I was waiting for the right fit," Weiss explained.

"I am not sure I will still be working at 83 the way Gunter did, but I hope I have half his energy and drive," McDonald said.

New Precimold owner Jack McDonald, left, and Gunter Weiss.