CHICAGO — D-M-E Co. is backing up parent company Milacron Inc.'s commitment to expand in the plastics industry, by acquiring Master Unit Die Products Inc., a leading North American manufacturer of quick-change mold bases.
``Traditionally, we've had quick-change for die sets and [Master Unit Die] has had quick-change for mold bases,'' D-M-E President Jerry Lirette said in an interview at Plastics USA, held Oct. 6-8 in Chicago. ``This acquisition allows us to pull all of that together.''
Master Unit Die of Greenville, Mich., employs 125 and posted sales of more than $10 million last year. D-M-E, based in Madison Heights, Mich., did not disclose the cost of the acquisition.
Master Unit Die offers three frame and insert-unit product lines, a quick-change adapter frame for normal mold bases and also provides a line of related components and accessories.
The acquisition strengthens D-M-E's position in quick-change insert mold bases, which primarily are used by injection molders to achieve quicker production changeovers, lower mold-change labor expenses and lower tooling costs for multiple-mold programs.
Master Unit Die will retain its own name, sales representatives and customer-service organizations.
Although there was some overlap and competition between D-M-E and Master Unit Die, Lirette said the two firms have had a good relationship for several years.
Lirette added that the move is a strategic step in Milacron's expansion into the plastics industry.
``Milacron is looking at its different business units and saying, `What acquisitions out there make sense for you?''' he said. ``D-M-E traditionally hasn't been involved in acquisitions, but that's changing since Milacron has the wherewithal to allow us to grow externally and internally.''