An executive with experience in the medical molding industry has acquired the assets of plastic pipe fittings maker Cal Am Manufacturing Inc. of Pacoima. Terms were not disclosed.
Through a newly formed entity, Bob Arnold purchased the injection molding business May 18 from the heirs of Sid Aitken. Aitken established Cal Am in 1978 and died in 2001. He was influential in developing the market for PVC piping.
A son, Tim Aitken, has run the business since 2001 and serves now as vice president of sales.
``My father had a longtime association in the utility markets,'' including water service, electrical distribution and sewer lines, Aitken said. Cal Am focused on niche markets below the volumes of interest to major manufacturers and ``could do custom proprietary molding and effectively and efficiently service smaller markets,'' he said.
While retaining staff and initially maintaining the status quo, Arnold plans to improve equipment, upgrade the 17,000-square-foot plant and install more formal manufacturing systems. Cal Am has presses with clamping forces of 40-350 tons and an in-house capability to manufacture molds.
Cal Am operates through distributors and original equipment manufacturers with proprietary products in distinctly different end markets for electrical and fiber-optical conduit spacers and plugs and irrigation fittings. Polystyrene and some PVC are used primarily for the electrical products; and, mostly high-impact PS and polyethylene - 70 percent high density and 30 percent low density - go into the irrigation products.
About 60 percent of Cal Am's sales are in 11 U.S. states in the West, with the rest elsewhere in the country, Central America, South America and the Middle East. The company would not disclose its annual sales.
For 12 years, Arnold was with Molecular BioProducts Inc., a highly automated San Diego injection molder of filtered pipette tips for research laboratories. He was president in July 2004, when he left to go into business for himself.
For the acquisition, Arnold, 38, formed Stratus Manufacturing Inc. now doing business as Cal Am Manufacturing. He runs the operation as president.
Mentor Group, an investment banking firm in La Palma, Calif., represented the seller and, over five months, worked with both parties in brokering the transaction.