Auxiliary equipment maker Universal Dynamics Inc. has purchased Autoload Inc., which makes injection press hoppers that act as materials-handling systems.
Una-Dyn of Woodbridge, Va., announced the acquisition June 14. Terms were not disclosed.
Tom Martin, Autoload project manager, said Una-Dyn will expand the line, starting with a small compressed-air dryer, called Autodry, that fits with the loaders atop the molding machine.
Una-Dyn will move Autoload from its plant in Smithville, Mo., to a facility in Woodbridge that will be at a separate location from Una-Dyn's main factory. Martin said the move should be completed in 30-60 days.
Peter May III and Dan Harnish, the two partners who founded Autoload in 1988, will not be involved with Autoload after the move to Virginia, May said in a telephone interview June 18.
May said Autoload changed the industry by replacing large materials-handling systems with miniature units that deliver only a small amount of resin in just-in-time fashion.
The partners started Autoload 11 years ago out of necessity. They owned an injection molding company in Carlsbad, Calif., called Plastics Engineering & Development Inc. May wanted a small loader that could fit inside a low-ceiling plant. After seeking ready-made equipment, the company decided to build its own.
``We originally built 25 for our own in-house use. We also gave three away to friends,'' May said.
He sold the molding company in 1989, but continued to build the Autoload as a sideline.
``We ended up selling a gazillion of them,'' May said.
None of Autoload's six employees in Missouri will make the move to Virginia, according to both companies.
Una-Dyn President Donald Rainville said the Autoload purchase ``is part of our plan to dominate the small-machine market with new dryers, loaders and blending products.''