Custom molder and mold maker G&L Tool of Rahway, N.J., has closed its doors after 31 years in business. A Dec. 14 auction was held in which the company sold off the toolroom machinery, and molding and auxiliary equipment. The firm had 13 presses. G&L Tool was started by Gayton and Anne Lucchi, who said they want to retire from molding and mold making. The Lucchis will retain another business, Americore, which they created to sell a proprietary core plug, a 3-inch, round, HDPE molded device used to support the ends of fiberboard tubes on which PE sheet and film are rolled.
Anne Lucchi said in a recent telephone interview that customers can continue to call the current number listed until Feb. 28. After that, she said they are not sure whether the office will be in their home or in another leased space. The Lucchis have several proprietary products they will keep. The molds are being placed with another custom molder for production of the products, including the core plugs.
The core plugs were at the center of a controversy several years ago when Poly-Guard Inc. of Williamstown, Mass., filed suit against G&L to prevent the company from making and selling the products that were similar to Poly-Guard's. G&L had been injection molding Poly-Guard's products and drop shipping them to Poly-Guard's customers.
A judge denied Poly-Guard's petition on the grounds that Poly-Guard had no written confidentiality agreement with Lucchi, and that Lawrence Levin, Poly-Guard's president, exercised an ``insufficient amount of protection'' concerning his customer list.
When contacted for comment on G&L's closing, Levin said that he has gotten some of his former customers back that began buying product from Lucchi.
``Custom molders should do what they do best and be forewarned that if they stray off the path and attempt to knock-off their customers, they may meet the same fate as my former molder,'' Levin said. ``Unless one is completely dedicated to marketing a molded product, it is unlikely that they will succeed in reinventing themselves in the market arena.''
Levin said using a custom molder is a necessity for someone such as himself with a dozen or so molds, but there has to be an element of trust between the parties. He continues to use a custom molder to mold his core plugs.
The Lucchis owed several suppliers when they closed the business, including Gold Mark Plastics, a resin distributor/broker in New Hyde Park, N.Y.
Dave Weir, sales manager for Gold Mark, said that company is a creditor of G&L's.
``However, we won't know until later this week if we'll be able to recover any money,'' said Weir. ``We're hoping to get our money back. We were promised [by Gayton Lucchi] that we'd get our money back after the auction.''
Weir said he has a lawyer determining how to recoup what is owed on the account.