Dutch toolmaker Brink Group BV has appointed Mike Klestinec, a former owner of Dollins Tool Inc., as managing director of a tool shop and service department that it plans to open in Colorado in the first half of 2023.
Founded in 1963, Brink manufactures injection molds and automated systems for the packaging industry at seven facilities in the Netherlands and sells them through distributors to customers in 70 countries.
Having a U.S. subsidiary will allow Brink to fill a market niche and be closer to new and existing customers that need their molds serviced, Klestinec said in a phone interview.
He will begin his role as managing director of Brink Services USA on Jan. 1, 2023.
"We see a gap in the thin-wall packaging market, primarily in food packaging and pails, and I think we can fill that," Klestinec said.
He pointed to a wide range of end products, including containers for ice cream and dairy goods and horticultural products such as flower planters, paint buckets and pails.
"IML [in-mold labeling] is a large portion of the business, which aligns with the automation side of Brink," Klestinec said.
He has experience in this area. Klestinec and his family are previous owners and shareholders of Dollins Tool in Independence, Mo., which was founded in 1952 and specialized in molds for thin-wall packaging. In 2018, Dollins Tool was sold to Switzerland's Mold & Robotics Group and renamed Muller Technology Missouri Inc.
Klestinec, who had 23 years of experience at Dollins, then became business development manager at Intertech Plastics LLC in Denver. When he transitions to Brink Services USA, his first duties will be overseeing the build-out of a new facility in the Denver area and hiring five to six employees.
"Rather than acquiring an existing business, we chose to take a greenfield approach. We're starting from the ground up," Klestinec said, referring to both the facility and company culture.
"We will utilize the same equipment that Brink has in the Netherlands, which is a huge advantage for us," he also said. "We will be a small team but extremely technical. I've already got my former shop foreman on board. He is as technical as can be when it comes to mold repair."
At Dollins, Klestinec said about 60 percent of the business was mold repair at one point.
"We got to see a lot of molds from mold makers worldwide," he said. "It gave us the ability to look outside the box — not just see how Dollins made a mold, but how others design and manufacture them. We really honed in our mold repair technical skill set, which is much harder to do than building a new tool."
The subsidiary will be founded on a commitment to service, Klestinec said.
"We want to stand out when it comes to service. We want to be attentive. Quality is to be expected, and servicing our customers in a timely manner is what will separate us from the competition," he said.
The tool shop is expected to open around June 1.
Future plans for the subsidiary include extending services to building new stacks to support customer growth and providing both remote and on-site automation service throughout North America.