Continuing its rapid expansion, TriQuest Precision Plastics plans in early 1998 to construct a new facility in Canada and open an expanded operation in Mexico.
The privately held custom injection molding and contract manufacturing firm took management control of Amptech Corp. of Calgary, Alberta, and Phoenix International SA de CV of Guadalajara, Mexico, in July 1996 and bought the businesses from shareholders Nov. 22. Amptech had been negotiating to acquire Phoenix.
TriQuest also has shifted a long working relationship with Synergy Systems Inc. of Redmond, Wash., to management control and soon will acquire the business.
Each location adds to the firm's geographic and technology reach, according to Brent Stumbaugh, president and chief executive officer.
TriQuest employs 1,300 and operates 113 injection molding machines with clamping forces of 28-950 tons at facilities in its headquarters city of Vancouver, Wash., and divisions in Calgary and Guadalajara.
Stumbaugh has pursued a diversification and acquisition strategy that is a long way from the firm's 1964 beginning as the captive molding division of Wilsonville, Ore.-based Tektronix Inc. The computer and peripheral manufacturer spun off the division in 1987 to employees, who sold it to a group of Vancouver business leaders in 1992.
The main Vancouver division employs 384, and the molding specialties division, 16, to make small products. Together, the units operate 50 presses. The division received ISO 9002 registration in 1993.
TriQuest principally has grown by taking over managerial roles at, and eventually acquiring, other molding operations.
Contract manufacturer Amptech, now TriQuest Calgary, employs 330, operates 25 fully automated injection molding presses and occupies a 79,000-square-foot facility under the direction of Geoff Shorten, general manager.
The Calgary operations were ISO 9001 certified in 1994. The new facility will enlarge molding and assembly capabilities and provide a bigger tool shop. Telephone housing assembly lines supply the unit's largest customer, Northern Telecom.
The Canadian site and Colcoat Co. Ltd. of Tokyo operate joint venture Coltech Optronics, a supplier of optical-quality lenses, backlight diffusers and two-shot molding with operations in Calgary.
Phoenix International, now TriQuest Guadalajara, employs 550, operates 38 presses and expects to add 40 more presses once operations begin in a new, 90,000-square-foot facility during 1998's first quarter. Phoenix, formed in an old Wang Computer plant, injection molds electronic parts and makes electromechanical assemblies.
Already, TriQuest refers to Synergy as its prototyping division and is creating space within Synergy to accommodate the relocation of Amptech's ABK Tech operation to Redmond from Calgary.
ABK is exclusive licensee for technology developed by TTK Kunststoff Technologie GmbH of Munich, Germany. As an alternative to injection molding, the K-box process cuts, bends and glues flat polystyrene, ABS or acrylic sheet to make short production runs of housings or enclosures. Synergy will introduce the technology to the western United States.
Synergy occupies 12,000 square feet in Redmond and 6,000 square feet in Vancouver and uses stereolithography, selective laser sintering, machining and cast urethane prototyping technologies as well as rapid tooling for injection molding.
Separately, TriQuest tapped into Midwest mold-making resources to open a new, 10,500-square-foot tool shop July 1 in Brainerd, Minn., to support the Vancouver, Calgary and Guadalajara sites.
Steven Wagner, formerly tooling manager for McKechnie Plastic Components in Minneapolis, was named general manager and tooling director for the new division, TriQuest Precision Tooling. The unit now has 13 workers, and eventually plans to employ 30.