Nypro Inc. has acquired certain assets of Advance Dial Co. in Chihuahua, Mexico, and Elmhurst, Ill. Terms were not disclosed.
Brian Jones, president of Clinton, Mass.-based Nypro, announced the acquisitions July 16. Holding company Anderson Enterprises of Rockford, Ill., owns Advance Dial, known as Adco, which primarily has molded cellular telephone handsets.
The Chihuahua deal involves injection molding, assembly, painting and toolroom assets.
The Mexico facility, now Nypro Chihuahua, employs 250 and operates 40 presses with clamping forces of 50-400 tons. It also does mold repair and some mold building there.
Nypro has an option for additional space beyond the leased 80,000 square feet.
The Chihuahua location is Nypro's third injection molding operation in Mexico following sites built in Monterrey in 2000 and acquired in Guadalajara in 2001. Nypro has an assembly operation in Tijuana.
The acquisition gives Nypro a critical mass in Mexico and possible status as the country's leading custom injection molder with a total of more than 120 presses, according to Sam Landol, president of Nypro Latin America.
Nypro has at least a half-dozen global customers that need injection molding and manufacturing services in the Chihuahua area.
``I think it is an important attribute in this industry to have a footprint that is in the same places as the major [original equipment manufacturers],'' Landol said by telephone. ``As we look at our customer set, most are in Monterrey, Chihuahua and Guadalajara.''
At one time, Adco was growing rapidly as an important supplier of cellular telephone handsets to Motorola Inc. and Telefon AB LM Ericsson, but Adco was unable to satisfy the customers' desires for an Asian production source.
Adco lacked a global footprint and had no way to sustain itself when business left North America.
Motorola's only North American production facility for mobile phones is in Chihuahua.
Major cell-phone OEMs such as Nokia Oyj, Motorola and Ericsson have sought production in low-cost locations. That requirement has favored global suppliers at the expense of Adco and others with stricter capital limitations.
In complementing Nypro's customers, ``we see cellular phone manufacturing in perhaps three parts of the world: Mexico, China and Brazil,'' Landol said. Nypro and others also have Eastern European sites supplying cell-phone makers.
In addition, Nypro is ``interested in penetrating the automotive market in Chihuahua as well as Monterrey,'' Landol said. Nypro has an ``ongoing expansion effort for Mexico and all of Latin America.''
The telecommunications connection carries through to the Illinois acquisition.
Nypro acquired certain assets in a leased 44,500-square-foot Elmhurst facility and established a new joint venture, Nypro Applications Development Center, retaining 80 percent ownership.
Two employees hold 20 percent: Richard Ritter Jr., general manager, was Adco vice president of manufacturing; John Packwood was Adco director of operations and will have operational and engineering responsibilities with Nypro.
``Adco has been a competitor of ours from time to time,'' Randy Barko, Nypro vice president of marketing and business development, said by telephone. ``We had an ongoing dialogue with them for three or four years'' before officially concluding the acquisitions July 1 for Elmhurst and July 12 for Chihuahua.
The technical center in Elmhurst will focus on early supply involvement and short-run and initial limited production supporting global business opportunities, Barko said.
``We will utilize other Nypro facilities around the world to support the customer base,'' Barko said. ``One of the reasons Chicago became appealing was because of the customer base served elsewhere.''
Adco had developed capabilities for product design, custom high-precision thermoplastic injection molding and contract assembly.
Capabilities with horizontal and vertical injection molding machines have included automated injection, multishot, thin wall, insert, decoupled and in-mold decoration.
Adco has used Moldflow simulation analysis software and created direct links between design engineering and tool-building functions.
Nypro will retain sufficient molding capability for its development purposes, Barko said. Initially, that might involve 13 injection presses of 30-400 tons.
The site in the Chicago western suburb of Elmhurst employs 65 and increases Nypro's presence in the metropolitan area.
Custom molder Nypro Chicago Inc. and a tenant, high-production tool house NyproMold Chicago Inc., are in nearby Gurnee, Ill. In addition, Radius Chicago LLC set up a product development shop in Chicago in October as an extension of Nypro-owned Radius Product Development Inc. in Clinton.
Both the Chihuahua and Elmhurst facilities are ISO 9002 and QS 9000 registered.
Adco was formed in 1958 to supply custom dials to the radio industry.
Anderson Enterprises purchased Adco in 1988 through its venture capital arm, Spring Creek Partners. Anderson interests funded Adco's growth eventually to four domestic facilities and one in Mexico.
Adco retains a second Elmhurst location and Summit Coating Technologies Inc. in Phoenix. The fourth domestic facility, in South Florida near Motorola, was closed a couple of years ago.
Other than telecommunications, Adco work has focused on the automotive, electrical and medical markets.
For the fiscal year ended Dec. 26, Adco had estimated sales of $70 million, down from $80 million in the previous year. The transactions did not involve contract service provider Anderson Packaging Inc. of Rockford or Summit, a vacuum metalizer and spray coater that Anderson purchased in 1998 and operates as an Adco unit.
With the additions, Nypro employs more than 9,000, operates about 1,000 injection molding machines and does contract manufacturing at 31 plant locations in 12 countries.
Nypro anticipated reporting sales of about $725 million for the fiscal year ended June 30.