Cinpres Gas Injection Ltd. has acquired patented technologies from its competitor, Alliance Gas Systems Inc., covering gas- and water-assisted molding.
The deal ends the Alliance Gas name in the gas-assisted marketplace. Alliance no longer will offer its systems and accessories to molders.
Terms were not disclosed for the deal, announced Oct. 8.
Alliance principles Ron Thomas and Steven VanHoeck will retain their building in Chesterfield, Mich., where they will run a development center for new projects for gas- and water-assisted molding and tooling. The operation will be called Fluid Assisted Molding & Engineering, or Fame.
Cinpres will install one of its water-assisted controllers at Fame - which has five injection molding machines - for production, mold trials and demonstrations.
Gas-assisted molding makes hollow parts by injecting gas into a mold, pushing the plastic out against the mold walls. Water-assisted molding uses water. People in the trade use the term ``fluid-assisted'' molding because gas also acts as a ``fluid.''
The key patents for both companies cover how to get excess melted plastic out of the mold after the plastic is displaced by the gas or water. Alliance calls its process the Backspill method. Cinpres calls its method Plastic Expulsion Process, or PEP.
The move comes four months after Alliance and Cinpres announced a patent cross-licensing agreement May 21 - a rare strategy of cooperating instead of legal saber-rattling, which is more common in the rough-and-tumble world of gas-assist technology.
Cinpres is based in Middlewich, England. Its U.S. headquarters is in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Fame will work with Cinpres on new projects and act as a consultant to machinery makers and processors. VanHoeck said Fame also is developing its own proprietary products.
Cinpres said it will add Alliance technology and patents to its own licensing packages and equipment sales.