Thermo-Serv plans to bring Epstein Design Inc.'s beverageware injection molding into its Dallas plant from offshore molders. Thermo-Serv acquired Epstein Designs of Sausalito, Calif., for undisclosed terms May 31. Ep-stein has molders in Taiwan and China molding its plastic beverageware items, but Thermo-Serv's recent capital investments in molding equipment and robots make it cost-competitive with offshore firms, according to Robert Vertes, Thermo-Serv's vice president of marketing.
Thermo-Serv's 12 injection presses can handle the extra work, Vertes said in a telephone interview.
When Epstein's existing inventories run out, Thermo-Serv will begin molding for the Christmas season.
Vertes said his company injection molds polystyrene and styrene acrylonitrile cups, tumblers and mugs. Ver-sions for hot liquids like coffee are two-piece, sonic-welded products. It also makes platters, bowls, ice buckets and other serving items. It decorates its product line with a six-station screen printer. It sells to promotional companies, coffer retailers, mass merchandisers and drug store chains.
The Epstein purchase will help Thermo-Serv boost its presence in department stores, as well as in gift and casual furniture markets. Epstein supplies these markets with plastic, ceramic and mela-mine tableware for indoor and outdoor use.
Vertes said Thermo-Serv will continue to import ceramic and melamine goods from offshore producers. It has no plan to send plastics molding offshore, but Epstein's connections will make it easy to do so if offshore production costs become lower than Dallas' in the future. Matthew and Monique Epstein will manage a Thermo-Serv office in Sausalito and help design Thermo-Serv products.
Vertes would not disclose sales for Thermo-Serv, a private company established in 1952, or Epstein Designs.