Global Zero LP, a new kid on the block in videocassette manufacturing, and Shape Inc., a company that's been around the block in the same market, announced June 13 that they will team up to form Shape Global Technology. Terms were not announced.
Shape claims to be the largest manufacturer of videocassettes in the United States not owned by a replicator company - some firms, such as Sony Corp., have captive molding operations to make cassettes.
Global Zero, which recently located to a new, 40,000-square-foot facility on 25 acres in Sanford, Maine, began shipping its newly designed cassettes in 1993 and has doubled the number of units sold every year since, said L. Joseph Wischerath, chief executive officer. Global Zero declined to provide sales figures.
Though the firm had 12 injection molding presses, until recently it ran only six. With the other presses on line, Global Zero can make 120,000 cassettes per day.
Global Zero entered a tough market but captured share by offering a videocassette made from polypropylene instead of the traditional polystyrene, and redesigning the cassette from 30 components to six.
``We're the only cassette manufacturer in the world that does not utilize the JVC patents,'' Wischerath said. ``As a result, our customers don't have to pay a royalty.''
Global Zero has 10 patents covering 191 claims. It recently received two addi-tional patents covering several aspects of molding PP cassettes with living hinges. The company's cassettes also are 30 percent lighter than traditional units, and come in a range of colors.
Many of Global Zero's customers use the cassettes for training tapes and direct-mail advertising for products such as weight-training equipment.
Cassettes come only in 60-minute playback, but the company is developing a 120-minute playback tape to be released in early 1996.
Shape Inc., headquartered in Biddeford, Maine, claims it is the largest independent manufacturer of the standard black videocassettes in the United States and Canada. The company has production plants in Biddeford and Kennebunk, Maine, and Dadeville, Ala.
Shape also makes audio cassettes, compact disc jewel cases, digital audio tape cartridges and other computer products. The company was 32nd in Plastics News' 1995 ranking of North American injection molders with sales of $100 million in the fiscal year ended May 1, 1994. It also has 173 injection presses.
``The combined forces of Shape and Global Zero will provide the superior quality and technological prowess of a U.S.-made product to increase our penetration in a market dominated by a labor-intensive, foreign-made product,'' said Thomas R. Parkinson, Shape's president and chief executive officer.
Parkinson will serve as president and chief executive officer of the newly formed company. Wischerath will be executive vice president.
The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of July. Combined, Shape Global Technology will employ more than 1,100, and have more than 800,000 square feet of manufacturing, warehouse and office space.