Roth Industries Inc. has purchased Fralo Plastech Manufacturing LLC, in a deal announced April 3 that links two pioneering blow molders of extra-large tanks.
Roth bought Fralo from Francis Lombardi II for undisclosed terms. Lombardi has left the business.
Fralo of Syracuse, N.Y., has made a name for itself by molding giant septic tanks on one of world's largest multilayer extrusion blow molding machines, a Rikutec-brand unit from Germany. Standing 45 feet high and 60 feet wide, the machine can pump out more than 4,400 pounds of polyethylene an hour. Fralo also runs a second, smaller Rikutec machine with a 150-pound shot.
Roth Industries also molds big parts - PE inner liners for residential heating oil tanks - at its factory in Watertown, N.Y., about 70 miles north of Syracuse. Roth also uses a Rikutec machine, a smaller one than the machine at Fralo.
The plastic liners then are surrounded by a steel outer shell.
Jochen Drewniok, Roth Industries chief executive officer, said both plants in Syracuse and Watertown will remain open, and the Fralo business will be renamed Roth Global Plastics Inc.
``The two production sites can cooperate in many things,'' Drewniok said.
The Syracuse and Watertown plants together employ 55 and generate sales of more than $25 million, Drewniok said. Roth said it will retain all Fralo sales management and manufacturers' representatives.
Both companies are fairly young industrial blow molders.
Roth Industries Inc., based in North Kingstown, R.I., is a unit of Roth Industries GmbH & Co. KG of Buchenau, Germany, which extrudes cross-linked PE pipe for under-floor heating, household plumbing and snow and ice melting systems.
In 2005, the company invested $10 million to start the Watertown plant, its first North American plant. Roth bought a 20,000-square-foot building and expanded it by 9,000 square feet.
Roth's most common oil tank size is 275 gallons, for residential use.
Roth and Fralo both knew about each other, but had no business relationship before the deal, Drewniok said.
Roth Industries wants to use the plastic tanks to get into storage tanks for biodiesel and other biofuels, he said.
Fralo leases 100,000 square feet of space at an industrial park in a former General Motors Corp. Inland Fisher Guide auto parts plant.
Fralo's four-layer blow molded tanks come with a 100-year design life, and a 50-year warranty.
``The blow molding technology was selected when Fralo was founded, largely due to the multilayer capability and a lot of flexibility of the materials you can use,'' said Joseph Brown, Fralo's vice president of sales and marketing.
``And for production capacity, it's five or six times faster than an equivalent [rotomolded] tank of a similar size.''
According to Fralo's Web site, the big machine can mold a 1,500-gallon septic tank, weighing 650 pounds, in just 11½ minutes.