Nypro Inc. expanded its in-mold decorating capabilities by acquiring 20 percent of Profile Plastics Inc. of Chanhassen, Minn.
Profile Plastics is a custom injection molder with expertise in three-dimensional, in-mold decorating, or applique molding, involving insertion of rigid plastic overlays into a mold. Nypro claimed the process has advantages over other in-mold technologies, such as foil, including better opacity, lower cost, durability, better bonding and ability to back-light decorations.
Nypro did not disclose terms of the purchase, announced Nov. 8. It said it has an option to buy as much as 50 percent of Profile's stock in the future.
Profile Plastics has nine injection presses with clamping forces of 44-165 tons at plants in Chanhassen and Jackson, Wis. Loren Johansen and Tim Flanagan established the company in 1994. Most of the firm's $3 million in annual sales is work involving in-mold decorating, Flanagan said in a telephone interview.
Randy Barko, Nypro's vice president of marketing and business development, said his company has pioneered other types of in-mold decorating, and it will add three-dimenstional technology to its facilities around the world.
Flanagan said Profile Plastics' in-mold appliques can resemble film-type decorations, but the insert has a noticeable thickness. Motorola Inc.'s mobile-telephone keypad with engraved numbers is an example of what the technology can do.
Nypro spokesman Al Cotton said telecommunications, automotive dashboards and a range of other applications can capitalize on the technology's potential. Nypro plants in China and Atlanta already do a lot of in-mold decorating, he said from his firm's head office in Clinton, Mass.
Profile Plastics also can help speed up product introductions for Nypro customers in the Minneapolis area, Nypro said. Nypro's other closest plant to Chanhassen is in Chicago, but Nypro facilities around the world ship parts to customers in the Twin Cities area, Cotton said.
Nypro said its 29 molding operations in 12 countries generated sales of $730 million for the year ended June 30.