Anthony Codet expects to add a fourth plastics processing business in Southern California in 2013, after purchasing his third operation last year.
That would keep the 47-year-old entrepreneur on his business plan to acquire a plastics molding shop about every third year.
Los Angeles-based Gilmore Bank has provided financing for Codet's acquisition of the separate companies he operates in Orange and San Bernardino counties under the so-far informal umbrella identity Unit Industries Group.
Bank funding of about $14 million has allowed Codet to acquire Southern California companies Unit Industries Inc. of Fullerton in May of 2005, Superior Mold Co. of Ontario in September 2007 and Southern California Plastics Co. of Santa Ana in August 2010.
We have a great relationship with the bank, Codet said.
Unit seems to be aggressively growing, said Andrew Adams, vice president of commercial lending.
Codet, a native of France, grew up in Nice and studied electronic and robotic engineering in Lille, graduating with the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor's degree.
He immigrated to the U.S. in 1991, and now holds dual French and U.S. citizenships.
He worked with Arburg as a process engineer and then equipment salesman, and at Toshiba and Demag as a sales manager. During assignments for the equipment manufacturers, Codet said he believes he visited 70 percent of the injection molding facilities across the U.S.
Those visits gave him insights into which vision-automation and quality controls can help make an enterprise successful.
Now, parts of his three businesses use the thermoset, thermoplastic and liquid-silicone-rubber injection molding processes and make molds.
As owner, president and CEO for all three entities, Codet projects total 2011 sales of $15 million, with medical accounting for about 35 percent and aerospace, 30 percent. The firms' 2010 sales of $12.5 million included five months of SCP operations.
A 3,500-square-foot, Class 100,000 clean room being installed now at SCP should be operational in May. Superior and Unit also have Class 100,000 clean rooms.
Codet purchased the Unit Industries operation in Fullerton from John Abouchar, who founded the business in 1973 and is now retired. The 18,000-square-foot facility employs 40, is certified for Department of Defense work and also makes medical components.
Unit runs 35 presses with 5-120 tons of clamping force, including 23 thermoset machines and 12 thermoplastics presses.
Codet acquired the Superior location in Ontario from Alfred and Helga Schmid, now retired. Alfred Schmid established a mold-making shop in 1972 and began injection molding parts in 1975.
Superior Mold focuses on the medical market, employing 58, including five mold makers.
The company has 28 thermoplastic processing presses of 12-250 tons, including 10 all-electrics in the clean room. Codet said he plans to install computer numerically controlled machining capability and convert the 25,000-square-foot Superior plant to make parts for Defense Department motorized surveillance devices. The site is certified under ISO 13485-2003 and ISO 9001:2000.
Ernie Rodriguez sold SCP to Codet and agreed to a five-year employment contract. Ernie has been building molds for 60 years, Codet said.
SCP employs 48 including four mold makers and four CNC machinists, occupies 26,000 square feet and operates 24 thermoplastic presses of 50-550 tons.
The firm caters to the aerospace business, supplying parts for Boeing and Airbus commercial aircraft, Codet noted. Also, SCP does some medical, and we intend to do more, he said.
Codet is active with the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. For the Southern California chapter, he was elected vice president in 2004 and president in 2006. The chapter was merged into SPI's western region in 2007, and Codet became, and continues as, chairman of the western region board.
In January 2010, Codet's business-savvy wife, Liz, came aboard full time, responsibile for human resources and accounting.
Codet observed: Business is coming back from China, particularly short runs and those jobs with raw materials representing 50 percent of the cost.