Bethel, Vt. — Three months after buying a toolmaker and injection molder based in Ireland, GW Plastics Inc. is expanding again in Europe.
The Bethel-based custom injection molder announced Nov. 13 that its newly acquired Avenue Mould Solutions is merging with NeraTek Ltd., an Ireland-based product development firm.
GW said the merger will create a full-service advanced manufacturing facility to meet demand from European medical device and drug delivery customers.
“GW focuses on partnering with Fortune 500-1000 global health care OEMs, and our European customers are no different,” President and CEO Brenan Riehl said in an email to Plastics News, adding applications include surgical instruments, diagnostic applications, and drug delivery devices.
Avenue and NeraTek currently have about 50 employees but a hiring spree is expected.
“We anticipate growing the operation to over 200 associates within 5 years,” Riehl said. “We hope to expand Avenue and NeraTek into a larger facility scalable to over 75,000 square feet next year.”
Riehl said company officials see continued broad-based growth opportunities in all of their health care market segments, which include minimally invasive surgical instruments, high-volume diagnostic components and drug delivery devices.
The merger strengthens GW's capabilities in Europe with an integrated supply chain, including product development, 3D printing, precision tooling, contract molding, and assembly, said Benjamin Bouchard, GW Plastics vice president of international business development, in a news release.
NeraTek also complements GW's U.S.-based product development efforts with additional additive equipment and local services to support multi-national customers, Riehl said.
NeraTek is based in Sligo, Ireland. Des Forde, the company's founder and director, will become commercial director for Avenue — a GW Plastics Company, serving Ireland and greater Europe.
“NeraTek was absorbed into GW Avenue's operation, at which point Des Forde became a full-time employee of Avenue,” Riehl said.
GW bought Avenue Mould Solutions in July. Forde used to work for Avenue Mould.
“These are exciting times and I am really looking forward to working with the Avenue Mould Solutions team once again and being able to contribute to the growth of the company, having previously worked in Avenue from 1999-2008,” Forde said in the release. “The GW Plastics, Avenue, and NeraTek team brings tremendous experience, resources, technology, and infrastructure to our clients who need to support their product design and development from concept to commercialization.”
GW Plastics ranked No. 63 among North American injection molders, according to the most recent Plastics News survey, with sales of $153.2 million. The company has plants in Bethel and Royalton, Vt.; San Antonio, Texas; Tucson, Ariz.; Querétaro, Mexico; and Dongguan, China and Sligo, Ireland
GW Plastics won Plastics News' 2009 Processor of the Year Award and its 2016 Sustained Excellence Award.
Founded in 1988, Avenue Mould Solutions specializes in making high-precision multi-cavity injection molds and medical injection molding.
NeraTek is a product development company with services including product design, project management, 3D printing, 3D scanning, and CAD services.