Windsor, Ontario-based Cavalier Tool & Manufacturing Ltd. has purchased Mold Services International Inc. of nearby Oldcastle, Ontario, to increase its production capacity and technology to go after bigger projects.
Founded in 1997, MSI manufactures injection and compression molds at a 22,000-square-foot facility for the automotive and other markets.
Cavalier officials said the MSI plant will increase its capacity in gun drilling, electrical discharge machining, plate milling, large roughing, large five-axis equipment and toolmaking. The added capabilities are facets of the business "we usually outsource," Cavalier President Brian Bendig said in a news release.
Founded in 1975, Cavalier Tool has been focused on mid- to large-size molds.
"We're a machine shop that can build everything under one roof, but as we continue to grow, we're exceeding that capacity," Bendig said. "This also allows us to fulfill volume opportunities that we couldn't offer earlier due to limited capacity."
Bendig also said he is "clearly impressed" by MSI's bottom line and it will continue to operate as a standalone business.
"Our intention is not to go in and pull the place apart," Bendig said. "We want the business to run as it is. It's profitable. It stands on its own two legs. It runs the way it runs now. We want to learn that and understand that."
MSI was started by Jim Damphouse and Mark LeBoeuf. Damphouse, who is also MSI's general manager, said the long-term partnership in place with Cavalier made the sale easy to finalize. He described his top priority as taking care of employees and customers.
"It was crucial that we partner with someone who can appreciate and carry on our legacy of over two decades in business," Damphouse said in the release. "Cavalier provides that comfort and we are excited to see how much can be achieved in joining forces."
At a time when many mold makers are struggling, Cavalier is building on its momentum from 2020. Company officials point to a mid-2020 survey conducted by Michigan-based consulting firm Harbour Results Inc. that found 35 percent of tool shops and 47 percent of production shops are either struggling or concerned about the future.
The survey also said, overall, mold makers forecast a 25 percent drop in revenue from their original 2020 estimates.
Bendig said in the release that Cavalier is bucking the trend because he doesn't buy into doomsday predictions and prefers to focus on diversity and mindset.
Cavalier also has a "secret sauce" of people, process and equipment, added Tim Galbraith, Cavalier sales manager and longtime board member of Canadian Association of Mold Makers.
"We reinvest back into the business," Galbraith said.
Going forward, Cavalier and MSI will focus on nonautomotive markets where they have found success, according to the release. The MSI website mentions lawn furniture and shows a plastic Adirondack chair.
Cavalier Tool's website says it serves the recreational, consumer, agriculture and heavy-truck industries in addition to automotive. The company had 140 employees before the acquisition to build tools from 250- to 4,000-ton presses and produce more than 200 molds a year.
With more than $35 million in annual sales, Cavalier Tool holds the No. 29 spot in Plastics News' latest ranking of North American mold makers.
The acquisition brings two great companies under one corporate umbrella, according to Stephen MacKenzie, president and CEO of the Windsor-Essex Economic Development Corp.
"Cavalier's accomplishments in the midst of a pandemic and a general industry slowdown have been impressive," MacKenzie said, referring to how the company stepped up on two projects to manufacture components for wall-mounted hand sanitizer stations.
"It is an incredibly innovative and successful company as well as a great corporate citizen. We are fortunate to have them as part of our advanced manufacturing ecosystem here in Windsor-Essex," MacKenzie said.