DUSSELDORF, GERMANY — U.S. mold components manufacturer Progressive Components is one of three partners investing to help New Zealand hot-runner maker Mastip Technology Ltd. expand its factory to broaden its product line.
The unspecified investment — from partners Progressive Components of Wauconda, Ill.; Hales Tool & Die Supplies Ltd. in Braeside, Australia; and Lugand Industries in Oyonnax, France — will give Mastip the money to likely enlarge its nozzle-making plant in New Zealand and make fully equipped systems by manufacturing complete hot halfs.
The partners have yet to decide on specific expansion plans, said Glenn Starkey, president of Progressive, in an interview at the K'98 show in Dusseldorf. But the deal will give the partners a ``significant percentage'' of Mastip, and each partner will get a seat on Mastip's board, he said. That will double the board size to six.
``The idea is to have a global network — we needed international connections,'' said Pascal Henry, sales director of Lugand, which makes steel plates, injector pins and other supplies for mold makers.
Mastip, based in Auckland, is not among the larger manufacturers of hot runners worldwide, but the partners said it has 60 percent of the Australian market and is strong in India and South America.
``You are going to see us emerge as a complete systems supplier over the next couple of years,'' said Bob Fill, Mastip's founder and managing director. He said he will remain the largest shareholder.
More mold makers want bolt-on systems from one manufacturer because delivery times are getting shorter, Starkey said.
The partners have been beefing up their technical-support staff during the last year in anticipation of the investment, which was completed at an Oct. 20 board meeting in France, Starkey said. The three firms all have been distributors of Mastip equipment, and will be responsible for sales and service in their countries.
All four firms are privately held, although Progressive said it has about $14 million in annual sales and Lugand said it has about $80 million.
Mastip, established in 1981, would not disclose sales. But Fill said the firm is aiming for a tenfold increase in sales in several years.