Recently formed thermoset specialist Cornerstone Composites Inc. has entered the legacy business of reel-to-reel tape components.
Cornerstone, created by the merger of Wisconsin Thermoset Molding Inc. and Rose Polymer Composites LLC, bought the goodwill and technology of AcroReels and is molding components for a storage medium that persists in the era of digitization.
The AcroReels acquisition in April launched Cornerstone into molding phenolic resin into hubs used in commercial and institutional tape deck reels. Like proponents of vinyl records, some commercial tape deck users are sticking with the technology when everything around them is converting to compact discs and other electronic storage systems. They might like the different “feel” of analog magnetic tape and the ease of editing through tape splicing.
“We like the reel hub business because it is highly engineered,” explained Andy Stroh, Cornerstone vice president of sales, in a phone interview. The company now molds precise hubs that fit stamped aluminum flanges to make reels to hold PET recording tape about 1 to 2 inches wide. Such tapes are still used in high-end audio recording studios, to record movies and to store data for governments that don't want to transcribe all their historical data to a new medium such as compact discs.