Investor John Prikkel has bought a controlling interest in Fusion Graphics Inc., a developer of in-mold labeling technology based in Englewood, Ohio.
Prikkel, who also owns manufacturing firm Liteflex LLC of Englewood, acquired a 51 percent stake in Fusion for an undisclosed price. Fusion founders Bob Freund, Chuck Norman and Debra Hanby will remain with the company and own the minority stake.
Fusion's testing equipment and eight full-time employees will relocate to the Liteflex site, which comprises several buildings a few miles away from the Fusion office. Products made by Liteflex include fiberglass springs used in Corvette vehicles. The firm also works in thermoset plastics, thermoset rubber and composites.
The two companies previously worked together when films made by Fusion were used on Corvette springs made by Liteflex, Freund said in a March 7 phone interview.
``This is a good way for us to take the next step with the company,'' Freund said. ``We'll now look to expand our film products.''
Privately held Fusion does not release sales data.
Fusion produces porous films based on a proprietary polymer. The films can adhere - without an adhesive - to surfaces made of polypropylene and other plastics. The labels then are used on containers for a number of markets including pharmaceuticals, health and cosmetics, consumer goods, recreational and sporting goods, and industrial products.
Typically, Fusion develops and tests the labels before sending them out for mass production, Freund said. The nature of the material allows the label to fuse with the product, resulting in a label that won't peel or crack and can't be removed.
The labels are unaffected by external factors such as gasoline, dishwashers or rough handling. As a result, any security markings, safety messages or product aesthetics - including high-quality color graphics - will remain intact, Freund said. Imbedded data can be included in the labels to allow manufacturers to track their products.
In a news release, Prikkel said Fusion's technology offers security and anti-counterfeiting measures.
``Beyond the security aspects, there are compelling reasons for plastics processors of all kinds to consider this technology, including better branding opportunities and permanent identification of their products.''
Freund and Norman have worked together for almost 30 years, developing and licensing numerous products in a variety of industries.
``Once we get a company up and running, we let someone else license it and produce the products,'' Freund said. ``And then it's on to the next project.''
Fusion was founded in the mid-1990s. Its customers include West Pharmaceutical Services Inc. in Lionville, Pa., and Sandjam'R Inc., a maker of surfing-related products in Cape Cod, Mass.