Mold maker R&D/Leverage Co. came to K 2022 under new management that has big plans.
The U.S.-based company was acquired in September by Adler Industrial Solutions Inc., as part of that firm's rollup in the tooling industry, and officials are looking for the K show to help bring that platform to market.
Omaha, Neb.-based Adler was formed in 2021 and has bought three toolmaking companies in the last year, with the purchase of Lee's Summit, Mo.-based R&D being the largest.
The head of Adler said the company wants to keep expanding the platform.
"We are looking to expand our overall capabilities so that we can service large companies that most likely have multiple different types of product lines, and we can service them … under one umbrella," said CEO Philipp Gruner. "Instead of having one mold maker for LSR [liquid silicone rubber], one for 2K [two-component injection molding], one for blow molding, one for custom injection and whatever else they need, they know they go to Adler and qualify Adler."
Besides R&D/Leverage, which also has a mold making factory in the United Kingdom, Adler has made two other purchases. It acquired Shorts Tool & Mfg. Inc. and Rapid Mold Solutions Inc., both in the U.S., and now has about 320 employees.
Gruner, whose family emigrated from what was then West Germany to the United States in 1984, said the company plans to acquire more companies. Outside the U.S. is a definite possibility, he said.
"I think down the road, I would love to have one in Germany, given that I'm from there," he said. "The language barrier would not be an issue."
But market and customer needs drive their acquisition strategy, he said.
Gruner said the company is balancing competing forces.
The strong U.S. dollar hurts American exports, so it helps that the company acquired a U.K. tool shop in the R&D/Leverage purchase and has that to offset the strong dollar.
But there's also been a solid trend toward having more manufacturing in the U.S. to reduce supply chain risks, Gruner said.
"I believe that the onshoring within the United States is going to accelerate," he said. "One thing that COVID has highlighted is the fact that a country can no longer rely on the long supply chains that we've had in the past. The capability to manufacture, especially critical tools, domestically will only accelerate and I think will be here to stay."
We are looking to expand our overall capabilities so that we can service large companies that most likely have multiple different types of product lines, and we can service them … under one umbrella."