ANAHEIM, CALIF. — Triple S Plastics Inc. plans to further boost its rapid prototyping capabilities and, for the moment, is adjusting to a volume loss resulting from the bankruptcy filing of major customer McCulloch Corp. on Jan. 12.
Vicksburg, Mich.-based Triple S makes tools, molds parts and performs assembly operations. The firm is working to expand the Dynacept Co. unit in Bedford Hills, N.Y., that it acquired in June.
Triple S has added equipment at the rapid prototyper and is evaluating how best to enlarge the facility and bring in more machines for stereolithography and specialized model making and machining, Daniel Canavan said in a Jan. 27 interview at Triple S's booth at the Medical Design & Manufacturing West '99 exposition in Anaheim.
Dynacept had 1997 sales of $3.5 million. Triple S had sales of $67.4 million for the year ended March 31.
``Because of the Dynacept connection, we can take a project from the rapid prototype tooling stage — everything right from very earliest concepts — right through mold manufacturing, injection molding, assembly and finishing and do it geographically across the United States,'' said Canavan, Triple S chairman and, since 1986, chief executive officer.
Triple S has other plants in Tucson, Ariz.; Georgetown, Texas; and Battle Creek, Mich.
The publicly traded company's principal markets include telecommunications, 30-35 percent of sales; consumer products, 25-30 percent; and health care, 15-20 percent.
The firm also supplies the computer industry and, with less than 5 percent of sales, the automotive market, mostly with third- or fourth-tier companies with which Triple S has had long relationships, Canavan said.
The McCulloch bankruptcy filing ``has taken a big chunk of our business away'' and opened up capacity in the Tucson plant, he said.
At one time, McCulloch accounted for about 70 percent of Triple S work in Tucson.
``Probably in the last six months, it's more like 30 percent at that plant,'' Canavan said. Triple S did not do McCulloch work at its other locations.
Triple S molded and shipped products to McCulloch's Tucson plant ``right across the street from us'' and also to another McCulloch facility in Hermosillo, Mexico.
``We made products for all of their string trimmers and leaf blowers and chain saws,'' Canavan said. ``Last year in December, we completely built all the tooling for a brand new string trimmer for them.'' McCulloch aimed to revolutionize the string trimmer industry.
McCulloch officials had a Jan. 29 date with U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Tucson and are working to create a reorganization plan under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.