The new owners of structural foam molder DeKalb Molded Plastics Co. plan to stay the course in the firm's core markets.
Two of DeKalb's managers bought the Butler, Ind., molder Sept. 3 from JSJ Corp., a diversified manufacturer based in Grand Haven, Mich., for undisclosed terms. JSJ sold the business because it did not fit with its injection molding operations, said Ed Ozark, JSJ's executive vice president and treasurer.
``It's a big opportunity for us,'' said Jeff Rodgers, DeKalb president since 1990 and one of the new owners. He and Rick Walters, vice president of operations, plan to expand sales to the materials-handling market, as well as to the business machine, recreation and medical industries.
Rodgers predicted DeKalb will log more than $10 million in sales next year, following a decline while JSJ was entertaining purchase offers for the business. DeKalb churns out foam molded parts as big as 100 pounds on four low-pressure presses with clamping forces to 400 tons. It also runs two conventional injection molding machines in the 80,000-square-foot Butler facility.
JSJ formed DeKalb in 1979 as a spin-off from its conventional injection molding operations. Ozark said DeKalb ``is a fine company'' but doesn't fit the automotive and appliance markets of its other injection molding firms, Michigan Plastic Products Co. of Grand Haven, Mich., and Federal Molding Co. of Sanford, N.C. Privately held JSJ has 10 divisions and joint ventures, including printing operations and offshore businesses in China and Spain.
Rodgers and Walters were among the first to bid for DeKalb and after a 20-month wait were rewarded for their patience. Rodgers said DeKalb's 80 employees were relieved the company was bought by managers they have worked with for years.