Tessy adds mold making, automation with acquisitions

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After buying one of its automation suppliers, NuTec Tooling Systems Inc. in Meadville, Pa., Tessy Plastics Corp. has followed up by picking up a mold maker in nearby Erie, Pa., Custom Tool & Design Inc.

Tessy is a custom injection molder and contract manufacturer in Skaneateles, near Syracuse, N.Y. The company employs 1,020 in the central New York region.

NuTec will remain in Meadville, where it employs 57, Tessy officials said. Custom Tool & Design employs about 18 making injection molds.

Tessy also employs 275 in a molding factory in Lynchburg, Va. Tessy generates annual sales ​ of about $350 million, according to Judson Vann, vice president of sales and marketing.

Terms for both deals were not disclosed. Plastics News reported on the NuTec acquisition on March 21, but company officials initially were not available to confirm the details of that deal.

NuTec has supplied machinery for the past 15 years to Tessy, which makes underarm-deodorant packaging and medical disposables and does custom injection molding. Tessy President Roland Beck said the custom automation company was attractive for an acquisition.

"We've worked together and developed a lot of new technologies with them, and they've built a lot of our sophisticated pieces of automation," he said in an interview. "And we were to the point where our automation needs are growing so much so that we were looking to buy an automation house."

NuTec "had the technology we were looking for," Beck said. NuTec designs and builds factory automation and industrial robotics, including beside-the-press systems that interface with injection molding presses and molds.

"Certainly in medical, they have a lot of really unique abilities that wanted to capitalize on," he said.

Beck said Tessy's business is split about 50-50 between consumer products and medical, which has been growing.

Beck said Tessy plans to continue to use other custom automation firms. Also, NuTec will still be able to do work for other customers, he said.

Custom Tool & Design in Erie brings mold making to Tessy, cutting lead times. Beck said Tessy currently has a tool shop in each of its manufacturing facilities, mostly used for mold repairs and revisions.

Joe Raffa, Tessy's vice president and general manager, said the two acquisitions on northwestern Pennsylvania, and strong relations with other suppliers, is a key for the company.

"The last 15 years, we've had double-digit growth, so that's how we will be able to maintain the level of business we've been able to do with other suppliers, even though we acquired a tool shop and an automation house," Raffa said.

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