Matrix Inc. is boosting its injection molding capabilities substantially by acquiring the assets of Atco Plastics Inc. of Plainville, Mass.
Atco was purchased for an undisclosed price Feb. 8 by Matrix's parent, Precision Engineered Products Inc. Atco's assets and many of its employees, including former owner and President Ralph Schlenker, will join Matrix at its East Providence, R.I., location.
``They've been around about as long as we have, and their culture is the same: `Do it right the first time,' '' said Matrix President John Harker, in a telephone interview.
Harker said Matrix boosted its space by 20,000 square feet, to 65,000 square feet, in the past few months to accommodate the Atco machinery. Matrix had 37 injection molding machines before the merger and is assessing how many of Atco's 28 machines to add.
Matrix runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week and has 70 employees. Most of its work is in the automotive, electronics and fiberoptic/optoelectronic industries. It also does micromolding for the medical industry and has found a niche in water filtration.
Matrix was founded in 1964. Precision Engineered Products bought it in 2003.
Schlenker, 60, has owned Atco since January 1983. He expects a lot of synergies between the two companies. Since they are only about 15 miles apart, many of Atco's 18 employees will continue to work for Matrix.
Schlenker said he plans to continue working for Matrix. Harker said Schlenker's expertise is a benefit of the merger.
Schlenker said Atco did industrial and medical work, as well as some consumer products. He said that the jobs were almost exclusively with engineered resins. He said Atco had a long history, starting in 1954 when Peter Armirotto founded Armirotto Tool Co., a mold-making business. Atco turned to injection molding back in the 1960s.
Schlenker said he bought Van Buren Inc. later the same year that he bought Atco, and he consolidated both companies in Plainville. Now, he said that by consolidating with a larger company, the firms will be more competitive.
Precision Engineered Products, which is headquartered in Attleboro, Mass., has operating units in the United States, Mexico and China. Besides Matrix, it has divisions engaged in precision metal stamping and electrical contacts (Brainin and Wauconda Tool & Engineering), surface finishing technologies (General Metal Finishing) and clad and specialty metal alloys (Polymetalurgical).