Broadening its reach, MSI Mold Builders Inc. has purchased a South Carolina tool shop from the family of its recently deceased founder.
MSI, based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, closed May 17 on its acquisition of Sagittarius Mold Inc. of Mauldin, S.C., a custom maker of injection molds.
Sagittarius President Norm Hervey died suddenly a week before the sale was completed. He had suffered complications from pulmonary fibrosis, said MSI President Roger Klouda. Hervey owned the company for more than 25 years before deciding to sell it this winter.
MSI plans to use the 22,000-square-foot building - the third location for the Iowa mold maker - for tool production, service and warranty work, Klouda said. The facility's 17 employees will remain at the tool shop, renamed MSI Mold Builders Southeast Inc.
``We have a collection of strong customers in the southeast United States,'' said Klouda, whose company designs and builds injection, reinforced injection, structural foam and blow molds. ``Having a facility close by will ease both the cost and time involved for them. We want to make it as easy as possible to buy from us.''
Before the purchase, MSI had 108 employees at plants in Cedar Rapids and Bentonville, Ark. Roger Olson will relocate from the Bentonville plant to manage the South Carolina facility, located near Greenville.
The acquisition comes during a downturn for the tooling market. But MSI expects to continue its growth and achieve record annual sales in the range of $18 million to $20 million, Klouda said. He credited the company's renewed focus on cutting delivery times.
``All mold shops are not going south,'' he said. ``We found it's cheaper to build molds in eight weeks than in 12 weeks. Everybody wins, and it has kept our business very strong.''
The former Sagittarius plant makes injection molds for machines with clamping forces as high as 1,200 tons, Klouda said. The company's customers serve such industries as lawn and garden, automotive and computer and business machines.