WARREN, OHIO — Bloom Industries is thinking big.
The Warren-based injection molder has been upgrading its machines to ever-growing tonnages and ever-widening clamp strokes. And a new plant acquisition may be in the works as well.
The privately held company, a division of Pacal Molded Plastics, also of Warren, has ordered a new 880-ton ``super'' Van Dorn Demag press for delivery in June to complement another unit it bought in September. The ``supers'' have a mold clearance distance that matches much larger machines. A 1,500-ton Cincinnati Milacron press will be delivered in July.
All told, the company will have spent $4.7 million for upgrades to presses, equipment and storage space since 1994, according to company owner Ted Bloom.
``Bloom Industries is looking to expand its customer base by giving its customers new equipment, bulk storage and warehouse space,'' Bloom said. ``We are taking a gamble, but we feel it will pay off.''
Previous expansions already have paid off for the company.
Bloom bought Pacal Molded Plastics in 1985 from the estate of his father, who started Pacal in 1963. When the then-23-year-old Bloom purchased the company, it was an injection molder with six small-tonnage presses and its own tool and die shop.
Pacal grew into a 25-press shop by 1990, but all of the machines were in the 200- to 500-ton range. Bloom created the Bloom Industries division in 1994 to purchase and operate used, large-tonnage machines. Recently Bloom decided to start buying new machines to reduce maintenance overhead, he said.
The company made each of the purchases without taking on debt, Bloom said. When cash flow figures seemed right, Bloom bought another machine. Now the company has eight large-tonnage machines — with two more on the way — to go with Pacal's 26 smaller presses.
Bloom's customers include consumer goods makers and carmakers and suppliers.
Bloom, who has a sales staff of one, including himself, hustles to keep the machines busy and his customers, who include consumer goods and automotive companies, happy.
``If [customers] have a problem, you get your butt out there and take care of the problem,'' he said. ``And it's me who goes. I want them to know Ted Bloom personally. I'll go get dirty with them. Whatever it takes to do, I'll do it.''
``Getting dirty'' isn't new to Bloom. He grew up around injection molding machines, and by his teens was helping his father install them in their shop. Bloom and a crew of his workers even built the early additions to his plant space, although he hired a contractor to build the plant for his larger machines.
Having tool and die capability is another selling point for his company, Bloom said. He can sell molds for a discount as long as he knows he can make money doing the actual molding. Another selling point is his resin-handling system.
Bloom has installed 60,000-pound silos with auger feeders at each of his presses. That way a company contracting for a particular machine can buy and supply its own resins.
``Customers have the option to buy their own materials at the price they want to pay for them,'' he said. ``I don't want to make money off material. I want to make money on molding.''
Bloom's major selling point is price.
While Bloom has plenty of room to grow on his rural, 18-acre Ohio property, he has been looking for other opportunities further afield.
``I'm looking to buy a company on the West Coast,'' he said.
He has a particular California company in mind, but would not disclose its identity.
Bloom, who declined to give annual sales figures, said he has enjoyed growing his company from its roots as a backyard enterprise to a manufacturing facility that has more than 160 employees and 100,000 square feet under roof.
``As long as I'm having fun, there's no limit to how much
the company can grow,'' Bloom said.