Summa Industries and entrepreneurial process engineer David Frye are collaborating on a new proprietary injection molding process.
The process is intended to help Summa's electrical components segment reduce lead times, allow flexibility in materials and dramatically improve quality. Frye consulted with Summa to develop the process.
Summa subsidiary Plastron Industries Inc. will be the first to use the process, at a 30,000-square-foot facility in Pharr, Texas. Plastron bought the site in January from Frye for about $1 million. Frye bought about 5 percent of Plastron's stock and will provide long-term technical services.
Plastron, based in Bensenville, Ill., plans to invest about $4 million for new automated systems and, in March, begin operations at the plant in the cross-border area of McAllen, Texas, and Reynosa, Mexico.
Torrance-based Summa makes magnetic winding cores, known as bobbins, for manufacturers of electrical and electronic devices using transformers, motors, relays and switches. The firm reported profit of $830,000 on sales of $25.9 million for the first fiscal quarter, ended Nov. 30.
Frye owns 3D Plastics of Longview, Texas, a developer of blow molding technology. He previously owned injection molder Supreme Plastics Inc., which included the same Pharr plant and one in Gladewater, Texas. United Plastics Group Inc. acquired Supreme Plastics in June 2000 and closed both facilities in late 2001.
Separately, Summa said Jan. 20 that it purchased certain assets of R.M. Wade & Co.'s micro-irrigation division for about $2 million. Summa agreed to supply products to Wade for leach mining applications and operate the Wade injection molding and extrusion facility in Fresno, Calif. The acquired assets include the Pepco brand of products for commercial landscape irrigation and transitional rights to the Wade Rain brand of products for agricultural irrigation.
Summa said it expects the acquisition to add about $5 million in sales to its irrigation segment, which makes fittings, tubing, valves, filters and accessories.