Injection molder EuroPlast Ltd. has rebranded as 4GK Plastics and is phasing out production of caps and closures.
The Endeavor, Wis.-based company also hired Michael Mundt as general manager and Doug Baril as engineering sales manager. Both have decades of experience in the Wisconsin molding community.
A shift in strategy to custom injection molding is the latest change for the company, which has been owned by James Grafft since 2015.
"[Grafft] has given [President] Paul Bechwar and me control to perform the restructuring to build our new team. As with all his companies, he continues to provide strong financial support and guidance during the restructuring and significant change in focus," Mundt said in an email response to questions from Plastics News.
"That focus for 4GK is going back to what the team knows best, custom injection molding," Mundt said.
Grafft also owns Certified Parts Corp., which supplies plastic and metal aftermarket parts for small engines and recreational equipment. Grafft founded that company in 1976 to make hard-to-find parts for out-of-production vehicles such as snowmobiles, personal watercraft and go-karts.
The name 4GK comes from Grafft's four adult children and stands for "4 Grafft Kids." The new name is part of his legacy planning, Mundt said.
"While the younger generation is not involved in the day-to-day operations [at 4GK], they have a vested interest in growing the injection molding business, as 4GK is a critical vendor to the other CPC companies that they manage," Mundt said.
4GK plans to mold a wide variety of custom molded parts for multiple industries, including greenhouse, plumbing, electrical, sports and recreational, lawn and garden, medical and high-performance gasoline engine parts. The company has 15 presses ranging in size from 20-650 tons of clamping force.
Asked what sort of customer is a good fit for 4GK, Mundt said: "A good customer understands the value we bring to their company and is a partnership through the entire project. The way the business model is set up, we can handle high volume/low volume and added value, which includes sonic welding, heat staking, pad printing, and in press hand loaded inserts."
As EuroPlast, the company's main business was a proprietary line of sports caps and closures that it had purchased from Berry Plastics.
"While the company [EuroPlast] produced caps, closures and custom products over the past few years, the attempt to serve two distinctly different markets was very challenging," Mundt said. "This challenge, together with listening to the previous customer's feedback, made it clear that we needed to change direction to succeed."
Mundt said the exit from the cap and closure business will be complete in the next 90 days.
The company has remained open during the COVID-19 pandemic, but production staffing has been reduced to five people to serve some essential customers.
"We are making efficient use of the extra time building the team for a strong rebound. In addition to our excellent facility, we have added great industry experts as team members who are led by James Grafft as CEO and Paul Bechwar as president. We are moving forward responsibly but quickly," he said.
The company also continues to own a facility in Westfield, Wis., but it is not currently in production.
"We still own the Westfield facility and are not in a hurry to make a decision. We are open to using that facility for Kanban or subassembly for customers after we complete the sale of the closures business."
Mundt said 4GK has the tools to succeed, including high-speed machines for projects that need high volumes, electric machines for close-tolerance jobs and standard machines for cost-effective projects.
"Obviously, the pandemic has presented a number of challenges. However, there is an opportunity to build trust and the highest level of service one customer at a time. 4GK has the tools to be successful even in this challenging time," he said.