A Putnam, Conn., custom injection molding operation has ambitions to acquire a compatible business or product line after surviving a former owner's April bankruptcy filing. ``We could take on a lot more business,'' said Donn L. Hartley, vice president and general manager of Putnam Precision Molding Inc. His August mailing of acquisition criteria to some 750 investment bankers, business brokers and consultants is generating dozens of phone, fax and mail responses.
`We're using 40 percent of our capacity now,'' Hartley said in a telephone interview. ``The plan has been to expand,'' with acquisition seen as a faster route than relying on internal growth. The plant runs three shifts and employs 80, but ``we have idle capacity,'' he said.
In April, following legal and financial complications reported in Plastics News on May 29, entrepreneur Roland Toutant formed Putnam Precision to buy the custom molding operation of Danco Plastock Inc. Danco turned the keys over to Toutant and Beacon Business Credit, two secured creditors that foreclosed reluctantly on the molder.
Toutant owns some 16 businesses, including water well and environmental drillers and auto dealerships.
Toutant had been leasing a 60,000-square-foot plant to Danco and held a first lien on its equipment. Putnam Precision, which now occupies the plant and operates the equipment, bought the inventory from Beacon, a Boston commercial fi-nance firm.
As the owner of what remains of Danco, Hartley is gathering receivables, fending off a lien from Glynwed International plc of Birmingham, England, and liquidating the shell under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. A Sept. 29 hearing is scheduled before a bankruptcy trustee in Hartford, Conn.
Now, Toutant encourages Hartley's efforts to fill the Putnam Precision plant or buy an additional molding business elsewhere.
Putnam Precision operates 27 injection molding presses, including five Nisseis with 88-500 tons of clamping force, an 85-ton Van Dorn and two 40-ton Arburgs.
``We're upgrading what we have,'' Hartley said.
Using advanced tool designs and process control, the firm molds polyamide/imide thermoplastic stripper, or picker, fingers for office copier and printer manufacturers; precision parts for instrumentation; passenger arm rests, seat tables and trim pieces for commercial aircraft; and a variety of parts for other industries.
Office products accounted for more than 30 percent of the $6.6 million in sales for the 12 months prior to Danco Plastock's demise.
Development projects entering production soon should push annual sales ``well beyond $7 million,'' Hartley said.