Updated: Holding firm Westfall Technik Inc. acquired AMA Plastics Inc. of Riverside, Calif., on April 13. Terms were not disclosed.
The purchase more than doubles Westfall Technik's volume of injection molding machines as the firm continues its aggressive Southwest expansion in plastics processing, design, prototyping and toolmaking.
AMA Plastics operates 95 presses with clamping forces of 35-720 tons including 16 machines in an expandable ISO Class 8 clean room with the potential for assembly functions.
Other AMA capabilities include multi-component and vertical molding, a quality control laboratory and a white room.
Currently, AMA is upgrading its injection molding and quality assurance equipment.
The 2017 Plastics News listing of injection molders ranked AMA Plastics in 114th place with estimated sales of $61.5 million.
Westfall Technik Managing Partner Rick Shaffer in Chandler, Ariz., said AMA's track record provides complementary capabilities and increased scale to those companies it has acquired since the holding company was incorporated in Delaware in September.
Westfall Technik purchased Fairway Injection Molds Inc. of Walnut Creek, Calif., and Integrity Mold Inc. of Tempe, Ariz., on Oct. 18; 10 Day Parts Inc., formerly Advanced Technology Inc., of Corona, Calif., and Elfy's Inc. of Hayward, Calif., on Feb. 9; and AMS Plastics Inc. of El Cajon, Calif., and AMS's maquiladora Operaciones de Clase Mundial SA de CV of Tijuana, Mexico, on March 16.
Those businesses operate more than 65 injection molding machines with clamping forces of 35-1,000 tons.
Shaffer said acquisition of the AMA facility gives Westfall Technik the size and scale it requires to execute larger medical and packaging applications already in the holding company's pipeline.
AMA Plastics CEO Mark Atchison was the processor's principal owner prior to the sale, and in 2008 he created an employee stock ownership plan that held a major stake in the business. AMA has about 435 permanent and temporary employees. Atchison owned 50.1 percent, and the ESOP participants owned 49.9 percent.
“I saw that the transition trying to be a larger company is quite a strain and a battle,” Atchison said in a telephone interview. “You can't grow fast enough for the good of the organization.”
Mark's father and uncle, SPM Inc. veterans Joe and Jim Atchison, respectively, established the business in 1971 initially as MoldTronics Inc. in Anaheim, Calif.
They adopted the AMA acronym in 1975 when Howard Mullin joined to create Atchison-Mullin-Atchison. Joe Atchison died in November 2008 at age 77, and Jim Atchison died in January 2011 at age 75.
Mark Atchison, who joined the business at age 19, led an employee group buying the business in 1993. He is retiring from AMA after 43 years, but he signed a consulting contract to work with Westfall Technik on special projects.
The current AMA core team continues to manage the business in Riverside, and the company's identity remains the same, Shaffer said.
Atchison said the transition “makes me feel good” and that he is glad “these people have a job going forward.” Many of the employees have 30-40 years of experience with AMA.
For many years, AMA leased space in Corona until acquiring a commercial building on 6.6 acres 20 miles away in Riverside, investing in infrastructure, technical improvements and new equipment and relocating operations in March 2011.
Including a mezzanine, the current facility has 165,000 square feet for operations.
On the rooftop, a contractor installed 3,576 solar panels that became operational Jan. 1, 2016, and can supply a total of more than 1.2 megawatts of AMA's power requirements.
AMA was a finalist for 2013 Plastics News Processor of the Year.
Westfall Technik will occupy Booth W230-34 at NPE2018 in Orlando, Fla.