Thermoset composites molder Kurz-Kasch Inc. has purchased two automotive product lines from MacLean Vehicle Systems LLC - thrust washers for automatic transmissions and a heat shield for spare ties.
Kurz-Kasch will transfer the work from the MacLean Molded Components plant in Wheeling, Ill., to the Kurz-Kasch thermoset molding factory in Wilmington, Ohio. Scott Henricks, former Maclean Vehicle Systems plant manager, has joined Kurz-Kasch and will direct the relocation of the work.
Terms of the deal, announced Sept. 19, were not disclosed.
George Kochanowski, chief executive officer of Kurz-Kasch, said the Wilmington plant currently molds thermoset components for the electrical and aerospace markets. The deal with MacLean marks a big move into automotive parts for the Wilmington plant, he said.
A thrust washer is a key part of an automatic transmission that transmits the torque from the engine to the axle. The part also has to absorb vibration and be highly durable.
``We're buying assets and all the things we need to do to produce the phenolic composites components of automatic transmissions,'' Kochanowski said.
The other product line Kurz-Kasch acquired is a heat shield for spare tires that hangs on the underside of trucks, vans and other vehicles. The shield, made by bulk molding compound, separates the tire from the exhaust system.
Kochanowski said BMC outperforms its competitor, heat shields made from thermoplastics, because it is very durable in all temperatures and driving conditions.
The Wilmington plant now employs about 150. Kochanowski said the new work will mean additional employment there, but he declined to give specific job numbers.
Dayton, Ohio-based Kurz-Kasch was founded in 1916 as one of the early molders of Bakelite. Today, the company remains a major thermoset molder and maker of highly engineered electromagnetic components for industries like diesel engines for heavy trucks, electrical distribution and aerospace.
Products include solenoids, overmolded bobbin coils, parts for electric motors, phenolic pistons and stators that regulate electronic fuel injection and fuel pump systems.
Kurz-Kasch has four U.S. plants, in Wilmington and Newcomerstown, Ohio; Wabash, Ind., and South Boston, Va., plus a plant in Jaguariúna, Brazil. The Wilmington plant is dedicated to thermoset molding, but all the shops do some molding. The other factories also do coil winding, machining, encapsulation and other processes.
Kurz-Kasch is under new ownership this year. Monomoy Capital Partners LP, a $280 million New York private equity fund that invests in small, middle-market companies, bought the firm Feb. 28 from Dover Electronics Inc.