Engineered Plastic Components Inc. is building its Southeastern U.S. operations with the acquisition of the Anderson, S.C., operations of Alfmeier, Friedrichs & Rath LLC.
The purchase includes real estate and the entire operation, according to Reza Kargarzadeh, president and CEO of EPC. He said EPC is retaining the majority of 92 staff members and is taking steps to enlarge the facility.
The Anderson operation has 23 injection molding machines ranging from 50 to 500 tons.
“We are looking at adding 60,000 square feet to Anderson and that will double the size of the current facility,” said Kargarzadeh, noting that the hope is that the expansion will be completed by July.
This will be the 15th facility for EPC, which is based in Grinnell, Iowa. The company expects sales to be close to $250 million in 2016 and does about 65 percent of its work for Tier 1 and Tier 2 automotive clients, according to Kargarzadeh.
EPC has 420 molding machines that range up to 3,300 tons. The company also does other processes including blow molding, cast skin and urethane foam. It has about 1,600 employees.
Kargarzadeh said EPC is experiencing strong growth in the Southeastern United States and last year started an $8 million expansion, adding 50,000 square feet to its Leeds, Ala., facility. That plant had been 78,000 square feet.
The Leeds plant was bolstered by the addition of many large tonnage machines, including two 3,000 ton, a 2,000, two 1,500, two 900 and two 700 ton presses. Some were moved from other plants but they also include new JSW all-electric machines.
Kargarzadeh said 2016 is shaping up to be a year that EPC adds to its total number of plants. He said the company is looking at Texas and Florida, as well as sites in mid-Mexico.
He said Stout Risius Ross Inc. introduced EPC to the Anderson facility. SRR served as the exclusive financial advisor to AF&R in the transaction.
AFR remains in operation. Markus Farrenkopf, president of Alfmeir, Friedrichs and Rath, said in an emailed statement that “AF&R has and continues to mold all components needed to produce our assemblies.”
The company continues to operate 23 injection molding presses at its headquarters and production plant in Greenville, S.C., and seven at its Monterrey, Mexico, facility. It also has a sales and project management office in Troy, Mich.
AF&R designs and manufactures fuel tank, seating and under the hood valves and assembles for automotive applications.
Farrenkopf said the Anderson facility molds similar products to its other facilities but individual components only and to customer's designs and specifications, not AF&R designs.
“I and the owners of Alfmeier, Friedrichs & Rath sincerely appreciate the efforts, dedication and support of the Anderson team over the past five years and wish them nothing but success under the direction and leadership of EPC,” he said.
The Anderson facility was formerly owned by Friedrichs & Rath Inc., which combined with three facilities owned by Alfmeier Corp. in 2010.