Flambeau Corp. is teaming up with a Michigan-based injection molder to create a minority-owned joint venture to produce both injection and blow molded parts for the auto industry.
Twin Rivers Technologies LLC will expand the offerings of Baraboo, Wis.-based Flambeau, while also giving its majority owner, Black River Plastics of Port Huron, Mich., opportunities to grow and expand, Flambeau President Bill Flint said in a May 18 telephone interview.
"We want to be able to sit down with our customers and say, `Here's our lunchbox of products,'" Flint said. "We've got injection molding, we've got blow molding, we've got a variety of locations. Now we've got a minority joint venture."
Flambeau sought a partner for a venture for more than two years, Flint said. Black River — owned by Faye Caballero, who was born and raised in the Philippines — had the right combination of a quality company and operating style, Flint said.
"It always came down to the personality, finding someone who really wanted to be in the business," he said. "[Caballero] is a hands-on manager who will be right in the middle of everything. She's on the shop floor, she's in the sales calls. She's the kind of management we look for in our own people."
Caballero purchased the 60-employee Black River in January 2000. The operation has 10 injection molding presses on site and room to expand. It will continue operating independently even as Twin Rivers seeks out new business.
"This joint venture will enable [Black River and Flambeau] to pursue programs that each company alone would have found difficult to capture," Caballero said.
Twin Rivers will launch with injection molding — putting underutilized Black River presses to work — and will lease space and equipment from existing Flambeau operations in Baraboo; Sun Prairie, Wis.; and Madison, Ga. As it grows, the company is likely to add blow molding operations in Port Huron, Flint said.