Mold maker Roembke Manufacturing & Design Inc. has acquired the assets of Design Facts Inc., an automation company in Fort Wayne, Ind., for an undisclosed price.
With the acquisition, which closed earlier this year, Roembke gained seven employees and all of Design Facts' equipment for designing, building, and integrating automation solutions, President Greg Roembke said. The company now employs 60 and is considering hiring five more this year.
The new equipment will help Roembke control the quality of the products it supplies to all of its customers, as well as manage the timing of production so that product delivery times meet customer requirements, Roembke said.
"Increasing our capability to design and integrate automation solutions will allow Roembke to service our customers with higher quality products," he said. "We can provide a complete molding cell with automation, as well as all necessary automation after molding."
The executive added that examples of automation the firm may offer include cameras for post-molding inspection or assembly stations. The mold maker supplies tooling for a variety of press makers, and it designs and builds the majority of components for all of its products.
The growing trend toward automation in the rubber industry has caused Roembke Manufacturing to search for ways to be more efficient and cost-effective, especially because its customers in Asia are adding automation solutions, Roembke said.
Roembke Manufacturing, based in Ossian, Ind., serves the medical, health care, automotive, lifestyle, aerospace and consumer markets, and the majority of its business is in the medical and health care industries. Liquid silicone rubber molding within the medical segment is a big business Roembke Manufacturing has developed since it began branching out into medical in the late 1990s.
Roembke said the company saw the largest growth in orders last year from the electronics market, with medical orders continuing to show steady growth, as well. He declined to disclose sales.
Although he wouldn't discuss capacity, Roembke said his company has a capacity advantage over smaller ones, which must subcontract work out to other shops. In fact, Roembke Manufacturing's ever-growing capacity has the company looking at the possibility of expanding its 64,000-square-foot building in Ossian, he said.
The company has taken on more turnkey projects in recent years, and those projects "are getting more complicated," Roembke said. Hence, expanding the company's automation capabilities help ensure consistency across product lines.
"The molds we build are typically purchased for higher-end products with tight tolerances," he said.