Henry DeRocher founded his custom injection molding business relatively late in life, when he was 60. That was 20 years ago.
Now DeRocher is turning over Automation Plastics Corp. to his general manager, Harry Smith. But DeRocher doesn't plan to retire.
``I'm going to stay and watch the shop a little bit to see how it's progressing,'' he said.
Having DeRocher stick around to ensure the Aurora, Ohio, company continues to grow also allows the banks to rest a little easier, DeRocher added. But DeRocher believes there is nothing to worry about with Smith at the helm.
``He was brought in here to take over,'' DeRocher said.
DeRocher sold the company to Smith on April 8. Terms were not disclosed.
DeRocher founded the company along with Joseph Previte, who left the company about 15 years ago, Smith said. During the years, the business was built to make molds and produce precision parts.
As DeRocher got older, some customers began to worry about what would happen if he became ill. So, DeRocher decided it was time to consider the alternatives and chose his 80th year to hand the reins to someone else. But he has no plans to retire just yet because he is in good health.
Smith said Automation Plastics likely will have to expand its current facility to increase production nearly 50 percent by the end of the year.
Currently, the company operates 25 injection molding presses with clamping forces from 75-700 tons. The company reported sales of $5.4 million for the fiscal year ended June 30, 1998.
Smith said the company's sales have grown about 10-12 percent in each of the past five years, and he expects that growth rate to continue.