Omaha, Neb.-based Adler Industrial Solutions Inc. has purchased a second company in Pennsylvania, Rapid Mold Solutions Inc. in Erie, five months after buying Shorts Tool & Mfg. Inc. in Saegertown.
The new deal gives Adler expanded scale and broader capabilities in western Pennsylvania, which company officials describe as critical geography for toolmaking talent and American manufacturing.
Rapid Mold has been manufacturing close-tolerance and multicavity plastic injection molds and ancillary products since 1999. The company started as a prototype tooling house for automakers and grew to serve the electrical, medical device and consumer products markets in addition to some metal products industries.
Adler acquired everything — the business and the real estate, Adler founder and CEO Philipp Gruner said in an email.
Terms were not disclosed.
Rapid Mold founders Damian Kuzmin and Scott Borstorff will continue to run the acquired 15,000-square-foot operation, Gruner said.
"They did not want to retire but wanted partners to help them take the business to the next level," he added.
To that end, the 15 employees will be retained and others will be hired.
"We'd like to get the headcount closer to 20 people," Gruner said.
Rapid Mold's engineers, manufacturing capabilities and location just 30 miles from Shorts made it an attractive investment.
"Shorts can do rapid prototyping, but Rapid Mold really specializes in it," Gruner said. "Having the sampling and short production run capabilities are in demand by our customers. We can now offer a broader solution for Shorts' customers as well. Rapid Mold can also do physically larger projects than Shorts can do, which is benefiting our mutual customers already. Both companies are already seeing the benefits of working together."
Adler officials are forming a network of companies with complementary capabilities, launched earlier this year. They made their first acquisition in May but didn't announce it until October, with Shorts, a manufacturer of close-tolerance, multicavity plastic injection molds and ancillary products primarily for the medical, consumer goods, aerospace and industrial end markets.
Adler acquired all of Shorts, except for the real estate, and retained the 21 employees. Machinery investments aimed at growing with customers are underway with $700,000 spent after the transaction closed and another $1 million planned for the near term.
Rapid Mold is an excellent follow-up acquisition and a third deal is in the works, according to Gruner.
"We wanted, and continue to want, additional scale in western Pennsylvania," he said.
As a part of Adler, Rapid Mold will benefit from corporate functions and improved software tools in addition to machinery investments. The new owners also have experience in the metering industry for the side of Rapid Mold's business that produces injection molds for electricity meters. Gruner owned and operated a supplier of electromechanical relays called KG Technologies Inc. then sold it in May 2015.
Kuzmin and Borstorff said they see the acquisition as a pathway forward for Rapid Mold.
"Scott and I wanted a partner that is committed to our workforce and that will help us take Rapid Mold to the next level," Kuzmin said in a news release.
Borstorff pointed to the investments and management expertise that Rapid Mold will gain.
"This will allow us to focus on what we do best and most enjoy, which I know will help unlock the company's full potential," Borstorff said in the release.