Woonsocket, R.I.-based American Cord & Webbing Co., a maker of textile webbing and plastic hardware, acquired Advantage Plastic Products, an injection molder in Concord, N.H., to expand its processing capabilities and capacity and to house its plastic manufacturing division.
Terms of the deal, which closed Jan. 1, 2020, and was announced June 17, weren't disclosed.
APP spokesman Alex Krauss told Plastics News in an email that all APP management, employees and the previous owners have stayed on board with the new entity, which now operates as ACW Plastic Products Inc. doing business as Advantage Plastic Products.
"This is a strategic acquisition that resulted in moving the plastic manufacturing division from ACW to Advantage Plastic Products in New Hampshire as they are better experienced and knowledgeable in this area.," Krauss said.
Founded in 1917, ACW is a fourth-generation family owned business serving customers in the military, industrial and commercial markets with products like injection molded plastic hardware and buckles as well as textile webbing made of various materials, such as nylon for harnesses, Kevlar for protective clothing and elastic for furniture.
ACW had been looking for a strategic partner to expand its knowledge of injection molding; continue growing its buckle closure line, which now includes products for military equipment and commercial uses, including luggage and backpacks; and to go after new business.
At the same time, ACW needed to create more space in its 50,000 square-foot facility in Woonsocket for its textile weaving division, which also is growing.
ACW officials contacted APP, which opened in 1997 and is an engineering-driven company that could meet both its needs.
APP serves many of the same industries as well as the medical, electronics and environmental markets. The APP facility also has room for all of ACW's injection molding and molding equipment, which should all be moved to Concord by June 30.
In the end, machines will range in size from 35-310 tons, according to Krauss.
He said APP was a sought-after partner because of its experience with large variations in material types, colors, machine types, machine sizes, custom quality control measures, data management, and production efficiency, which bring down costs for customers.
"Their experience in molding, in addition to being a three-shift operation, will enable us to increase efficiency," Krauss said. "It will also allow us to meet customer production demands when large quantities are needed in short periods of time. This will be advantageous when going after larger business opportunities."
In addition, Krauss said APP's internal engineering expertise and in house tool room will expedite mold making designs and troubleshooting mold issues.
However, the acquisition was about more than processing capabilities, Krauss added.
"APP utilizes IQMS, which is specifically designed for injection molding," he said. "This was a big plus as it has the capability of tracking costs and real-time production results, which would not have been possible previously. Overall, it enables us to be more transparent with management in regards to financial results and production tracking."
The combination of APP and ACW creates a larger, stronger and more diverse company that will afford more opportunities to employees, customers and suppliers, according to Krauss.
"I know a driving force for growth in the future will be because the textile and plastic business are separated," he said. "This will allow expertise and focus in their respective areas, which will lower costs, and offer more and better solutions to new and existing customers."