Two mold makers have combined efforts to serve the blow molding market.
Hawkeye Preferred Tooling Group, located in Charles City, Iowa, is the result of the merger of Hawkeye Mold & Design and Preferred Tooling LLC, officials said Oct. 13 at the Society of Plastics' Engineers Annual Blow Molders Conference in Chicago.
In May, Hawkeye purchased the assets of Preferred Tooling. The company was owned by industry veteran Gerald Hobson, who decided to retire in June.
The owners of Hawkeye Preferred — Andrew Hobson and Aaron Hickle, both from Preferred Tooling, and Steve Stirling, an owner of Hawkeye Mold — have been working to integrate the two firms.
“The companies have been very well integrated,” Andrew Hobson said. “All the employees really have come together.”
The new firm employs 14.
The companies complement each other in terms of capabilities, he said. Each company specialized in custom mold building, but had different customer bases and served completely different end markets.
Hawkeye wanted to add to its sales and engineering and increase its technological capabilities. Preferred Tooling wanted more space and the capability to make bigger molds.
The merged company recently has added custom wire-electric-discharge machining and computer-numerical-control capabilities. Its current focus is on secondary fixtures and automation, and combining that with in-mold finishing technology.
The firm also is pursuing more automotive business, said officials, who are seeing a boost in business from European carmakers.