Butler, Wis. — Molded Rubber & Plastics Corp. certainly has been on the offensive during the last five years.
The firm has made two key acquisitions and expanded its Butler headquarters to strengthen both its geographic footprint and manufacturing capabilities. It operates three main niches: silicone molding and extrusion, molding of organic rubber materials, and thermoplastics molding with the medical market being its primary business.
"It's about expanding our offerings and talent base to service our customers," President and CEO Greg Riemer said. "We wanted to grow in some of these regional markets to be closer to our existing customers as well as penetrate customers in those regions, but we also wanted to gain talent and expertise, which we certainly did in New Hampshire when we bought (Johnson Precision). That's helped the whole organization, improved our capabilities and allowed us to continue growing."
The first move occurred in 2012, acquiring Largo, Fla.-based LSR molder ETI Inc., and in 2014 the firm expanded its headquarters. Riemer said that deal brought MRPC more experience in the LSR molding area and an attractive regional facility.
Its Butler facility now has plenty of room to add new business after its 2014 expansion. Riemer said the firm has some potential work in the pipeline. The project brought the firm several more injection molding machines to improve process control capabilities and the quality of molded components.
"Space isn't really a constraint at this point," Riemer said. "As older product lines reach end of life, we'll convert those spaces into new work cells and build out new clean rooms if we have to. We have plenty of real estate on our campus now. If we need to expand, we'll continue to do that."
Most recently, MRPC added Hudson, N.H.-headquartered injection molder Johnson Precision to its portfolio in April 2016. The firm brought MRPC in-house injection mold making capabilities and a Class 8 facility, its seventh company-wide clean room.
Riemer described the New England area as very attractive for medical device manufacturing.
"Our desire was to have a local facility on the East Coast to expand in the medical market," he said. "With the capability that they have on the plastics side, it just increased the depth of our plastics equipment and competency."
Medical is by far MRPC's biggest industry, accounting for about 80 percent of its business. But the firm also does work in the aerospace, food service and electrical markets. Going forward, the firm will be targeting a mix of growth opportunities on both the organic and acquisition fronts.
A big part of the firm's business is bonding similar materials together. Riemer said a focus will be expanding technologies to help support that business.
"We're continuing to promote what we feel are unique niche offerings," he said. "A very diverse set of raw material offerings as far as integrating the different raw materials — silicone, plastic, extrusion capabilities — and provide sub-assemblies, or in some cases finished assemblies, to our customers."