Parkway Products LLC has expanded the injection molding side of its business by acquisition.
Parkway announced Aug. 28 that it bought LMR Plastics, a Greeneville, Tenn., custom molder, for undisclosed terms. The deal gives Parkway its eighth production operation in North America, and its fifth in the Southeast.
"It's a good cultural match," explained Parkway CEO Al Ridilla in a phone interview. "We try to run our business with respect and care, and those are LMR's values as well."
Both companies are service-driven and strive for operational excellence, Ridilla said.
The Greeneville operation's location in-fills Parkway's geographic coverage in the Southeastern United States. It also boosts Parkway's available press clamp force to 1,750 tons and adds in-mold labeling to the firm's tool kit.
Parkway now has 207 injection molding machines. About 200 of its 500 employees are involved in injection molding. It now does injection molding in Seneca, S.C.; Greeneville, Tenn.; Fort Collins, Colo; Marietta, Ga. where it operates two molding plants; and Saltillo, Mexico. The acquisition lifts Parkway's injection molding sales "to well north of $100 million," Ridilla said.
"This combination offers LMR and Parkway customers more manufacturing options and improved solutions to maintain and grow their market-leading positions," Ridilla said.
In addition to conventional thermoplastic molding, Parkway molds high-performance polymers, does compression molding and other thermoset processes, magnesium thixomolding, laser etching and painting.
"We can come to a customer with a group of processing options," noted Ridilla from Parkway's Florence, Ky., headquarters.
Parkway's customer list does not overlap LMR's list, Ridilla said. Parkway sells into energy and infrastructure markets, as well as into aerospace and defense, technology, automotive, healthcare and industrial sectors. LMR's key markets include filtration, lawn care, automotive, dental and telecommunications.
Ridilla said both companies mainly use Toshiba injection presses and they will be able to share best molding practices using the machines. LMR operates a full tool shop, although both firms outsource when it makes sense.
Parkway's origins date to 1946 but it got into plastic molding in 1957. Through several acquisitions and internal growth it expanded its geographic reach and technology base. Private equity Capital Partners of Norwalk, Conn., acquired a majority interest in Parkway in 2015.
LMR invested in higher press tonnages several years ago. It was owned by Leonard Industries Manufacturing LLC, which will continue in its other businesses of contract manufacturing and manufacturing services such as packaging and distribution.
"We were looking at where the business should go, should it be expansion or acquisition," LMR President Bob Leonard said in a phone interview. "We started talking to Parkway and found their culture fits ours."
Leonard joins Parkway in a consulting role.