Over its tenure in the precision-molded silicone industry, IRP Medical Inc. has had a scout's eye for adding businesses that enhance operational knowledge, increase customers or offer a production technique that IRP previously did not possess.
It is not often, however, that a company is added as a foundational platform under the auspices of the IRP Group.
That changed Dec. 22, when San Clemente, Calif.-based IRP Medical acquired KDL Precision Molding Corp., solidifying its portfolio for tight-threshold, liquid silicone and high consistency rubber molded products. KDL joins MikronPMP Aerospace and Abba Roller in the group, with the medical firm leading the way.
Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
"We look forward to welcoming KDL to the IRP Group of companies," said Rod Trujillo, founder and CEO of IRP Group. "Through our diligence, it became clear that the rubber products made by the engineering team at KDL fit the IRP Group's mission of critical-to-function parts."
Based just outside Los Angeles in Pacoima, Calif., KDL has three buildings that cover 19,600 square feet. The company will add 40 people to IRP's work force, which has been increasing by between 25 and 40 people per year throughout the last five years, according to IRP.
IRP will continue to do business as KDL Precision Molding, retaining the company's 30-year brand name.
KDL founder and President David Wyckoff and partner Ben Bensal decided nearly a year ago to transition into retirement, and began searching for a suitor that would help the company grow — and continue its legacy of service in the custom-molded silicone world.
"Ben and I were interested in finding a company that shared in the criticality of engineering as well as continuing with the development of our personnel that has been instrumental to our success," Wyckoff said. "Through the process of multiple suitors, we toured the IRP Group facilities and realized that IRP Group is similar in our values, selection of critical engineered parts and most important our philosophy toward our employees."
Both Wyckoff and Bensal will continue as consultants for a year as KDL is integrated, said Trey Atkins, general manager and operating partner at IRP Medical.
"They were most interested in a partner to continue their business legacy that will further grow and support their customer base and employees," Atkins said. "They have a good core mix of critical-to-function businesses."
According to Atkins, KDL's markets break down as 35 percent oil and gas; 25 percent medical; 20 percent aerospace; and 20 percent industrial, all of which complement IRP's existing customer base.
While the similarities are many — both companies deal almost exclusively in high consistency and liquid silicone molded rubber products — it was their differences that drew the companies together.
IRP will support KDL's medical customer base through its clean rooms and production space, and IRP's aerospace and industrial divisions can assist KDL in tool fabrication, compound development and key machining operations, Atkins said.
"And KDL provides other unique capabilities for us in the area of LSR transfer molding, rubber-to-metal bonding, assembly and packaging," Atkins said.
IRP has three clean rooms, including a 40,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art space; an ISO 8 clean room (10,800 square feet) for injection molding and QA; and an ISO 7 room (12,800 square feet) for inspections and secondary operations.
The company is known for employing challenging engineering in its custom parts, used in industries where parts must be formed to tight thresholds and perfection is a requirement. IRP also offers tooling for silicone molding.
According to IRP, LSR many times is the first material of choice for custom silicone molders for its excellent compliance to biomedical regulatory requirements for contact with body fluids, skin and blood, and for its use as an inert implantable inside the body. In addition, LSRs often are used in high-volume component production.
HCRs typical applications are in electrical and aerospace connectors and interfacial seals, items which require air tightness in harsh environments.
IRP now has about 220 employees across its group platform, with four facilities in Southern California, including one each for medical, aerospace, coating and laminating, and engineering and automation. It has an annual growth rate of about 23 percent over the last five years.
"Together we will continue with IRP Group's vision of critical-to-function companies producing elastomeric parts that are challenging and cement our relationship within our desired OEM engineering community," Trujillo said.