Capturing the companys attention following press coverage of its expansion into Asia and silicone molding capabilities, medical molder APEC (Anura Plastics Engineering Corp.; Baldwin Park, CA) has been purchased by industrial seal-and-gasket maker Freudenberg-NOK (Plymouth, MI). Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but according to an APEC source, the acquisition will not affect APECs current staff, and the company will remain focused on the medical market.
APEC expanded into Asia in 2007, launching a molding and assembly partnership with Asia Optical Industries (AOI) Ltd. in Shenzhen (see MPW September 2007 World Tour for an initial report.). The company reports that since its March 2007 opening, the 35,000-sq-ft site has grown to include 45 employees and four customers, including some medical business. The site still operates three Toyo all-electric injection molding machines in a clean room environment, but it plans to add three more presses within the next three months.
In addition to the new Shenzhen site, APECs flagship Californian operation covers 72,000-sq-ft, including a Class 100,000 clean room. Freudenberg-NOK will retain Anura Welikala, APEC cofounder along with Wolfgang Buehler, as manager of the California and China sites, while Buehler will be retained by Freudenberg-NOK in what it calls a strategic leadership role.
Freudenberg-NOK, which is a joint venture between Germanys Freudenberg and Japans NOK, describes itself as the largest producer of elastomeric seals in the world, but starting in 2004, with the purchase of Jenline followed by the 2006 acquisition of Helix Medical, the company has been diversifying its customer base into the medical market.[email protected]