Sister tooling companies Asmat Inc. and Papago Plastics Inc. have merged their operations at Asmat's facility in Rochester, N.Y., shutting down Papago's separate building 10 miles away.
The companies, both owned by Rochester-based Foster Group LLC, will combine their experience in prototype and production tooling for injection molding, Asmat sales manager James Andolina said Dec. 31.
The companies will retain their separate names but work under common management, Andolina said. Papago primarily is known as a maker of aluminum prototype and low-volume injection molds, while Asmat specializes in multicavity production molds for several markets, including automotive, medical, electronics and consumer products.
But the companies, both of equal size, sometimes competed with each other for similar projects, Andolina said. With the new arrangement, completed Dec. 30, the companies will share work and offer complete prototype-to-production tooling, he said.
``The distinctions between the companies wasn't really there at all times,'' Andolina said. ``We decided to create a new union and bring in all work to one location. We can better utilize our people, our software and our equipment to do more and larger projects.''
Papago shifted its 15-18 employees to Asmat's 17,000-square-foot facility and moved about six computer numerically controlled machining centers and other equipment from its existing site in Rochester, Andolina said.
Together, the companies will have about 35 employees and a dozen CNC machining centers at the Asmat site, he said. The firms each recorded about $3.5 million in sales for 2002, Andolina added.
Former Papago owner David Bank owns the former Papago building. It had been leased to Foster Group after the holding company purchased Papago in 1998. Other Papago equipment will be sold, Andolina said.
Foster Group also owns injection molder Westplex Industries Corp. of Manchester, N.Y., which will remain separate from Asmat and Papago. Several injection presses were moved from the Asmat facility to Westplex several years ago, clearing room for the Papago move, Andolina said.