Two longtime executives at medical plastics firm Polymer Conversions Inc., including former President Ben Harp, have bought a small injection molding company near Buffalo, N.Y., with plans to grow.
Harp and Tom Rybicki purchased PM Plastics Inc. in Orchard Park, N.Y., a custom injection molding firm active in markets like first responder equipment, sports and recreation, construction and industrial applications.
Terms of the March 4 acquisition were not disclosed.
In an interview, they said they were approached by the previous owners, Mark and Julie Zybert, and saw an opportunity to run their own company.
"I hate to use this, but I'm going to: It's the American dream," Harp said. "It's fun to work with customers and make things in the United States. Now we have an opportunity to enhance the team and grow."
Both were longtime executives at Polymer Conversions, which was sold in 2020 to Medbio LLC, a medical manufacturing firm based in Grand Rapids, Mich. Protective Industries Inc. bought Medbio in 2021.
Rybicki had been the director of operations at Polymer Conversions, which is also in Orchard Park, outside Buffalo, since 2005, and Harp had been president since 2003. Both remained with the new owner Medbio early this year.
Harp is also a past president of the trade group the Manufacturers Association for Plastics Processors, based in Indianapolis.
PM Plastics employs 18 people and operates 24 hours a day, five days a week, with 22 injection molding machines ranging from 55 tons to 550 tons clamping force.
Harp said it plans to add automation, additional technology and up to 10 employees in the next year.
"Our plan is to continue to enhance PM Plastics' technical capabilities," he said. "We're looking to really deploy automation."
Harp said they see opportunities for their small company with the current struggles in manufacturing supply chains. He said large consumer product companies look at the war in Ukraine or disruptions in Asian economies as reasons to have sourcing closer to the U.S. consumer market.
"Everyone knows today's supply chains are extremely fragile and tight," he said. "It has OEMs concerned about how to protect their supply chains and we see that giving us additional opportunities."
The company makes products in a range of markets, Harp said, including equipment for fire trucks and ambulances and recreational sports like fishing and hunting.
Some of its most recognizable work may be the molding of discs and barrels it does for flying disc game company Kan Jam, whose playsets are sold in retailers nationwide.
The Buffalo Business Journal, citing local real estate records, reported that a company affiliated with the new owners paid $1.3 million for PM's 39,000-square-foot manufacturing operations.
PM was founded by Mark Zybert and Paul Sparks.