Infinite Group Inc., the parent of Express Tool Inc., is expanding its presence in the mold-making field by acquiring two companies and forming a third.
The parent firm is combining the operations into the Infinite Plastics Group, to help injection molders bring products to market faster.
In April, the publicly traded company paid about $1.5 million to acquire Osley & Whitney Inc., a 49-year-old injection mold-building business in Westfield, Mass. It also purchased, for an undisclosed price, Materials & Manufacturing Technologies Inc., a West Kingston, R.I., metallurgical firm with a new patent on zirconium diboride materials used in advanced production tooling.
Infinite formed a third company, Express Pattern in Buffalo Grove, Ill., specializing in rapid prototyping services.
These three join Express Tool of Warwick, R.I, a manufacturer of rapid tooling, to create Infinite Plastics Group.
``Our whole plan is to bring mold making into the 21st century in a way that's different than anything before,'' said Clifford G. Brockmyre II, president and chief executive officer of Infinite Group Inc.
He said the firms fit together, noting, ``We can now improve the materials used in making mold inserts, we can make these mold inserts for injection molders, we can design high-thermal management systems for other mold makers, and we can provide rapid prototyping that incorporates the newest technical developments.''
Brockmyre said in a telephone interview that it took five years and nearly $3 million to develop Express Tool.
``At the same time, it was quite evident [that] to produce cores and cavities, we needed a good mold company.''
Osley & Whitney operates a 21,500-square-foot facility and employs 54. It serves automotive, automotive aftermarket, consumer, sporting goods and office machine industries. John T. Monaghan will continue as president of the company, Roger Poirier, as vice president of sales and engineering, and Roger Beauregard, vice president of manufacturing.
Express Tool is led by President Tom McDonald and Paul Jacobs, director of research and development.
Brockmyre said that Express Tool's proprietary mold fabrication and conformal cooling technologies complement O&W's mold-building expertise.
Another key piece to the puzzle, according to Brockmyre, is Brent Stucker, co-founder of Materials & Manufacturing Technologies and a materials science specialist. He is looking to develop the mold-making technology, especially in the area of his company's patent.
Express Pattern will be headed by Tom Mueller and Dave Flynn, who founded Prototype Express, a rapid prototyping service bureau, in 1989. The recently opened, five-person company will begin by focusing on the metal-casting industry.
Infinite Plastics Group is one of two major material processing groups in the Infinite family. The other is Infinite Laser Group. Combined, the two groups employ about 165.