Roughly two years after its original owner retired, Maloney Tool & Plastics is growing aggressively under new ownership.
The mold builder and injection molder located near Meadville, Pa., now owned by a group called RHKG Holdings Inc., supplies automotive, medical, appliance and electronics end markets. The company has invested roughly $2 million during the past two years in new equipment and training programs in an effort to modernize and improve efficiency in both its tooling and molding divisions. Adding several new clients in 2015, the company logged a 50 percent sales increase over its previous year.
“The business had been successful for a number of years, but as [the original owner] cruised toward retirement, the mindset I think probably changed significantly,” said CEO Paul Huber. “What I saw in the business was some great opportunities for expansion and growth of the business that we already had, but also certainly into some new product areas to get the business into more of a diversified area where we weren't so heavily dependent on the auto industry.”
The company recently added its sixth new injection molding press — among recent additions are a 110 ton Arburg E-Drive horizontal injection press and an 85 ton Toshiba with an 18 millimeter barrel. The tool shop recently installed a Mitsubishi Electric model EA12V EDM sinker and new grinding equipment. The company is selecting new equipment with an eye on improving efficiency and reducing dependence on human labor, Huber said, especially on the injection molding side. The company also launched a new ERP system in January, first in molding and then to be rolled out in tooling.
“We're looking at diversification and we're also looking at automation, and that's really going to be key,” said Chuck Johnston, plastics operations manager. “We're looking to leverage technology to remove labor, and that's really going to be our goal over the next 12 to 18 months.”
In addition to equipment upgrades, Maloney has worked to diversify its automotive business and is looking to grow other end markets. Medical and consumer products are currently a small portion of the company's business, and Huber is expecting growth in those areas.
“We've done precision mold build and precision molding pretty much forever here, so our expertise really needs to get translated into these other industries,” said Barry Stainbrook, operations manager.
Maloney reported revenues of around 9 to 10 million in the last year, a roughly 50 percent increase over the previous year. The company plans to expand its injection molding operations into a new local location this year to increase capacity.
Among its other developments, Maloney is emphasizing training for its employees. The company added around 10 new jobs last year, Huber said, and currently employs about 60 between its two divisions.
Like much of the industry, Maloney is working to promote relationships with local schools to help ensure a pipeline of available workers. The company recently launched a new apprenticeship program, with currently one participant, and a second expected in the second quarter of 2016. Huber says the company is already seeing benefits from these efforts, and it's helping more experienced staff share their knowledge with the next generation.
“The only thing you can do when you need more people is you either steal them from someone else, or you grow them,” Huber said. “And we think it's wiser for us to grow them rather than try to steal them from somebody else, because if you steal them from somebody else, you've got to change the culture of where they came from. So we're creating a culture here that I think is conducive to making these folks feel like they're part of the business and they have a stake in the business.”