Three executives intend to prove that a textile firm and plastics know-how can marry to create an injection molding presence.
Sapona Plastics LLC began operations last month in Seagrove, N.C., after purchasing the assets of Asheboro Precision Plastics Inc., doing business as Wade Technical Molding.
The new company is a joint venture between former owners of medical molder Mid-State Plastics and Sapona Manufacturing Co. Inc., a textile firm from Cedar Falls, N.C., that began business in 1836. Sapona Manufacturing's involvement is strictly financial, officials said.
Wade Technical Molding had filed for Chapter 11 protection from creditors in 2003; in April, the case was converted to Chapter 7. Sapona Plastics will focus on producing parts for medical, housewares and consumer markets.
``[Wade] was shut down on a Friday night and we reopened it on a Monday morning,'' said Dick Mack, vice president of sales and marketing for Sapona Plastics. ``We just saw an opportunity here. It's a great plant, basically new. Some of the business that Wade had, we just continued. So we'll add onto it through internal growth and small acquisitions.''
The 53,000-square-foot manufacturing site is owned by Jack Lail, who started Mid-State Plastics Inc. in 1971. Lail leased the site to Wade Technical Molding.
The site is equipped with 10 Van Dorn HT presses with clamping forces of 120-730 tons, five assembly machines and 45 employees. The Lail name is known throughout the region, as is the Sapona name. Jack Lail's son Dean served as senior vice president of operations at Mid-State Plastics and as president of Sapona Manufacturing Co. Inc. Now, Jack Lail is chief executive officer of Sapona Plastics and Dean Lail will serve as president.
``We know how to run the business,'' Mack said in a May 19 telephone interview. ``We like the business. And the same people are back.''