Imperial Plastics Inc. has extended its injection press tonnage with the acquisition of another Minnesota custom molder.
The Lakeville, Minn., firm acquired Engineered Polymers Corp., a large-tonnage and structural foam molder in Mora, Minn. Imperial announced the deal on Sept. 23, the day it completed the purchase. It did not disclose terms.
“As we continued to become closer partners with customers, they asked us to accommodate large parts needs with large tonnage capacity,” Imperial President Norman Oberto said in a phone interview. “Together with EPC's structural foam [technology] we have one-stop shop capability.”
With EPC, Imperial gets injection press capacity up to 3,300 tons plus structural foam machines up to 1,500 tons. Imperial's previous highest tonnage injection press capability was 1,500 tons. With the low end of its press clamp range at 40 tons, the company has an unusually broad molding range, according to Oberto.
EPC brings to its new owner markets for large injection and structural molded panels, housings and other big structures and assemblies. EPC will bolster Imperial's growth in recreational vehicle, agricultural and medical equipment markets. Imperial has also been supplying a range of industrial and consumer sectors with small to medium components.
EPC, founded in 1939, was owned by the brothers Ken and Jeff Fackler, who will assist in the transition to new ownership. Its 410,000-square-foot Mora plant runs 27 injection, structural foam and web molding machines and employs 207.
“EPC has experienced significant growth during the Fackler family's ownership,” Oberto noted in a news release.
The acquisition is Imperial's latest expansion project. Last year it began building a modern molding plant in Mankato, Minn., partly to house the former Rolco Inc. operation Imperial bought and moved from Kasota, Minn. The Mankato factory opened in March 2014. Rolco brought multi-shot molding and in-mold labeling expertise to Imperial. Local government incentives contributed about $1 million in tax-increment financing and loans to the Mankato project.
Imperial now boasts 150 molding machines and 870,000 square feet of manufacturing and distribution space. In addition to the Mora and Mankato sites, its Lakeville headquarters includes two molding plants, a distribution facility and new technical center. It has an assembly operation in West St. Paul, Minn. The technical center includes rapid prototyping and machining technologies. Other skills Imperial offers are insert molding, gas-assisted molding, computer aided design, welding, painting, decorating and tool building,
“These days customers look for complete partners who can do more,” Oberta said from Lakeville.
In 2012, Minneapolis private equity firm Goldner Hawn Johnson & Morrison Inc. invested in an equity stake in Imperial.