A number of significant firms burst into this year's ranking of North American injection molders, and a handful of others - - notably Mack Molding Co. Inc. and the newly created SPM Inc. - charged up the chart as a result of acquisitions, mergers and internal growth. This annual ranking is Plastics News' biggest yet, with data on 533 companies, an increase of more than 12 percent from a year ago. This year's chart, starting on Page 31, includes information on 134 firms we've never ranked before, including four in the upper stratum - No. 16, Lescoa/Leslie Metal Arts Co. Inc.; No. 19, Kantus Corp.; No. 21, Advanced Anchor Products Inc.; and No. 33, Bailey Corp.
Troy, Mich.-based LDM Technologies leapt to No. 5 from No. 12 last year, when it was ranked under the name of one of its divisions, Arrow Molded Plastics Inc., on the basis of our sales estimate for the firm. LDM provided data this year and said its fiscal 1994 injection molding sales of $350 million reflect the inclusion not only of Arrow Molded Plastics, but also of Como Plastics Inc. and Arrow Molded Plastics of Canada (known as Knapp Plastics L.P. before LDM bought it in November 1993).
LDM also acquired two auto-motive dashboard production lines from Windsor Plastic Products Ltd. late last year.
Among the other fast movers, Mack Molding's jump from No. 33 in 1994 to No. 14 this year reflects largely the booming computer business and Mack's September 1993 acquisition of Sun Microsystems Inc.'s manufacturing operations for electronic mass-storage devices. The deal has Mack doing a much larger amount of value-added contract molding and assembly.
No. 15, SPM Inc., was born earlier this year out of the marriage of Bace Manufacturing Inc. (No. 89 last year) and Dynacast Inc. (No. 99 last year). Bace's former SPM units already had been growing quickly, adding plants last year in Houston and Calgary, Alberta.
Donnelly Corp., meanwhile, reported fiscal 1994 sales of $300 million, lifting it four spots to No. 6 this year. Though Donnelly is growing, its rise is attributed largely to the fact that it includ-ed all relevant injection molding sales this year, whereas it failed to do so last year.
A couple of firms advanced because they provided numbers to us this year, whereas we had estimated them in the past. Apart from LDM, most notable is the closely held Becker Group Inc., which climbed four spots to No. 4 this year, on the basis of its reported $375 million in injection molding sales. That figure is significantly higher than our estimate for the firm last year.
Because of all these changes, a number of companies posted much higher sales in 1994 compared with the year before, yet still saw their position in the ranking slide.
Nypro Inc., for example, tumbled from No. 9 to No. 11, despite a 13 percent increase in fiscal 1994 sales, to nearly $198 million.
Some firms, however, had much greater things to worry about.
Component Technology Corp., which ranked No. 87 last year with reported sales of nearly $40 million, officially turned out the lights at its Erie, Pa., head-quarters March 28, after its major creditor, General Electric Capital Corp. pulled the plug on the money-losing operation in October.