Custom injection molder Heinke Technology Inc. of Lincoln, Neb., has purchased the assets of another custom molder, Easley Plastics in Richmond, Mo.
The Richmond plant will close, putting about 57 people out of work, and Heinke will open a warehouse in the Kansas City, Mo., area.
Heinke is a subsidiary of Lincoln-based Plastic Cos. Enterprises Inc., which also owns another Lincoln injection molder, Geist Inc., and a bottle blow molder in Brookfield, Mo., Apex Plastics.
Heinke molds medical, pharmaceutical and food packaging. Randy Wooley, PCE director of marketing and sales, said Easley has assets valued at about $2 million.
``Mainly we purchased it for the assets, for the business and for the customer list,'' Wooley said.
The August acquisition gives Heinke customers in the Kansas City area, he said.
Heinke will move just one of Easley's 13 injection molding machines, and sell off the rest, Wooley said.
Privately held PCE acquired its plastics firms at a rate of about one every year. PCE purchased Apex earlier this year.
Sam Featherston, PCE president, said the company is looking for more acquisitions.
``We would like to buy a company about every year from here on out,'' he said.
Featherston said PCE wants to buy a firm within the next year in the Lincoln/Omaha area or the Kansas City area. As it grows, the company plans to continue its focus on Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and South Dakota.
Wooley said Easley's sales were about evenly split between custom and proprietary products. One proprietary product is a large metal bolt overmolded with plastic, for use in agricultural tanks.
Easley employed about 60. Two or three of them will join Heinke in Lincoln when the business is relocated, Wooley said.
Heinke received a 1996 outstanding supplier award from the pharmaceutical company Pharmacia & Upjohn Inc. of Kalamazoo, Mich.