Chicago-based private equity firm Core Industrial Partners has acquired Summit Tooling Inc. and Summit Plastics Inc. of McHenry, Ill., for its portfolio company Fathom.
Fathom provides on-demand manufacturing in 14 processes and six additive manufacturing technologies across its national footprint, which includes about 100 industrial-grade 3D printing machines for mostly plastics but also metal.
The Summit acquisition increases Fathom's in-house tooling capabilities and expands its injection molding capacity, which will help the acquirer answer calls for on-shore injection molding, according to Fathom CEO Ryan Martin.
"We saw really tremendous growth in 2020 across our additive business, CNC machining, injection molding, tooling and urethane casting machining," Martin said. "Many times we had to leverage our supply chain partners for tooling to injection mold parts as our internal capacity and capabilities were limited domestically. We saw this as an opportunity to offer a more comprehensive solution to our customers."
Founded in 1996, Summit operates a 26,000-square-foot facility with more than 30 machines and specializes in small to medium prototype injection molds.
Summit serves long-time customers in the medical and packaging markets with mold making and close-tolerance injection molding.
"Summit plays in the same space of product development, rapid prototyping and bridge production all the way through to low-volume manufacturing," Martin said. "It's an incredible compliment to the existing Fathom business. We saw it an opportunity to add engineering expertise, capacity and a strong customer base.
Founded about 35 years ago, Fathom has more than 200,000 square feet of manufacturing capacity. The latest acquisition gives Fathom six U.S. facilities, including four manufacturing plants, which are in Hartland, Wis.; Oakland, Calif.; and Seattle, in addition to McHenry, Ill. The other facilities are offices.
Fathom also has a manufacturing plant and office in Shenzhen, China.
The Summit deal is Fathom's fourth add-on acquisition since 2018, when the strategy to become a leading digital manufacturing company in North America was adopted.
"We saw an opportunity in the market," Martin said. "We saw a lot of strong regional providers but we didn't see anyone on [a] national scale working with large, innovative, product-driven companies and providing them differentiated engineering and manufacturing solutions."
Summit joins Midwest Composite Technologies, ICOMold and GPI, in addition to Fathom, the portfolio company.
Terms weren't disclosed.
Summit President Dan Martin said it was the right time to sell. He and his wife, Michelle, founded the company 25 years ago.
"We've now reached an inflection point in our growth trajectory, and we believe Fathom is the perfect fit in terms of both culture and customer value proposition to help take Summit to the next level," Dan Martin said in a news release.
He will continue to run the daily operations in McHenry, which is expected to grow, Ryan Martin said.
The deal gives Fathom an opportunity to offer Summit customers its digital manufacturing platform while providing Fathom's existing customer base another domestic option for quick-turn precision tooling and molding.
"We see opportunities for reshoring," Ryan Martin said. "That certainly played a part in the acquisition. We saw tremendous growth in our injection tooling and molding business in 2020. Being able to do more of that domestically will be of value to our customers as it will allow even better access to our tooling engineering expertise, quicker lead times and reduced shipping costs."
Summit's in-house metalworking capabilities include engineering design, sheet metal shearing, punching and bending, roll forming, hardware integration, welding, grinding, polishing, painting and assembly.
In addition, Summit has capabilities to process multishot tooling, bi-injected tooling and insert overmolding in addition to pad printing, hot stamping, ultrasonic welding and assembly.
Matthew Puglisi, a Core partner, said the firm is looking to grow again.
"This acquisition significantly enhances Fathom's domestic injection molding and tooling capabilities, and we'll continue to actively pursue acquisitions, similar to Summit, that simultaneously broaden our customer base, enhance our service offering and deepen our presence in attractive, recession-resistant end markets," Puglisi said.