Two Alaska-based companies plan to combine their Portland, Ore.-area plastics operations in a reflection of the Northwest's excess injection molding capacity. The Vancouver, Wash., operation of TriQuest Precision Plastics will move about 30 miles to Puget Plastics Corp.'s Tualatin, Ore., plant, according to a June 7 letter of intent.
The combination will create the region's largest injection molder with annual sales of about $40 million, Puget President Dale Behm said in a telephone interview. Each facility has been operating at about 50 percent of its capacity.
While some customers buy from both, each plant has a "different book of business," Behm said.
The proposed merger would not impact other TriQuest or Puget operations.
Puget's parent firm, Arctic Slope Regional Corp. of Barrow, Alaska, and TriQuest parent Sealaska Corp. of Juneau, Alaska, announced the move in a June 8 news release.
The consolidation occurs in the wake of Hewlett-Packard Co.'s 1998 relocation of molding work to Singapore and Mexico. Last year, Tech Group Inc. closed a site in Tigard, Ore., and Industrial Molding Corp. Plastics shut a Tualatin facility. Others molders in the region include SPM Inc., Nypro Inc. and Fleck Co.
A Puget-TriQuest definitive agreement, expected by mid-summer, will include the formation of a limited-liability company, according to the news release. The new firm has yet to be named.
Jerry McMurry, Puget vice president of business development, is designated to become general manager of the new entity.
TriQuest in Vancouver employs about 200 and would vacate a leased, 110,000-square-foot facility.
In May, TriQuest received certification for a newly installed, Class 100,000 clean room that cost about $300,000. Operations in the 3,000-square-foot clean room began in March using five existing robot-equipped injection molding machines of 55-110 tons. Behm said the clean-room operations will be relocated to Tualatin.
TriQuest operates other plants in Zapopan and Apodaca, Mexico; Seattle; and Baxter, Minn., and reported 1999 sales of $91 million. TriQuest lost money in 1999, according to Sealaska's annual report.
Puget in Tualatin employs about 185 and operates 33 injection molding presses. Puget has other molding operations in Guadalajara, Mexico, and a also operates within a Solectron Corp. plant in Newark, Calif. Puget reported 1999 sales of $45 million.
Sealaska purchased control of TriQuest in 1997, and Arctic Slope acquired Puget in 1995.
Sealaska reported 1999 sales of $176.1 million, and Arctic Slope had 1998 sales of $887.5 million. Both operate under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971.