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Clare Goldsberry

June 30, 2016

4 Min Read
Prism Plastics’ acquisition of Tech Molded Plastics called a ‘combination of equals’

Prism Plastics (Chesterfield Township, MI), a high-precision plastic product company, has acquired Tech Molded Plastics Inc. (Meadville, PA), a full-service injection molding company specializing in tight-tolerance, precision molding and the manufacture of production injection molds. Prism is a portfolio company of Altus Capital Partners (Wilton, CT), which specializes in U.S.-based middle-market manufacturing companies.

Founded in 1973, Tech Molded Plastics focuses on precision injection molded components for the automotive, medical, consumer, electronics and aerospace industries. Tech Molded Plastics currently operates 37 injection molding presses ranging from 33 to 440 tons. Through the acquisition, Prism Plastics effectively doubles its size in terms of sales, and gives the organization immediate access to a proven and sophisticated team of professionals while adding in-house mold building capabilities.

“We’re confident that this acquisition will prove to be mutually beneficial in helping both organizations accomplish more together than they could have separately,” said Tech Molded Plastics CEO Scott Hanaway. “Prism Plastics has a strong reputation throughout the industry and we couldn’t think of a better company to align ourselves with moving forward.”

Prism Plastics President Rod Bricker, who is also one of Prism’s co-founders, said in his announcement, “Prism Plastics continues to experience a strong and steady growth trajectory fueled by our commitment to the Prism Way—an operational mindset geared toward lean manufacturing processes, automated technologies and embedded quality control measures that result in best-in-class standards of quality for our clients at every touch point. In acquiring Tech Molded Plastics, we recognized a strategic opportunity with a company that shares our philosophies regarding manufacturing, business, family and culture to further expand our capabilities and capacity to fuel future growth.”

A year ago, during an interview with PlasticsToday, Jeff Ignatowski, Director of Sales and Marketing, noted that Prism was looking to expand into other vehicle components, including opportunities for metal-to-plastic conversion, drive train, under hood, fuel system components and more. The goal was to add a fourth facility and, at the time, Prism was in the early stages of discussing where that plant might be located.

In an interview regarding the purchase of Tech Molded Plastics, Ignatowski noted that the acquisition turned out to be Prism’s next expansion, rather than a greenfield build. Bricker confirmed that statement: “We had planned to do something like a greenfield, but this opportunity came along to acquire Tech Molded Plastics, which was a good [one] for both companies.”

In commenting on the synergies between Prism and Tech Molded Plastics, Bricker pointed first and foremost at the team of people that contribute to the success of the companies. “Both have good groups of people that been in the plastics business for many years, and have extensive knowledge and experience. That’s one of the biggest synergies,” he stated. “This is two solid companies coming together—a combination of equals. We’ve made two great companies into a greater one.”

Tech Molded Plastics’ CEO Scott Hanaway affirmed that position. “We’ve got a diversified customer base, which brings a broader diversification for both companies, including some packaging and aerospace products. We’re strong in the automotive market, experienced in designing and building difficult, multi-cavity molds and offer moldmaking and design engineering in-house along with an apprentice program, which adds to the overall capabilities of the combined companies.”

Bricker agreed. “Prism doesn’t do in-house moldmaking, so that adds to our capabilities,” he said. “As Scott suggested, the overall customer base will be broader, and we have expertise in the same type of tough parts—critical mechanical products.”

Going forward, Prism will continue to look at areas of diversification in different markets. In addition to the unique markets that Tech Molded Plastics brings, Bricker emphasized that the company will continue to diversify into other industries and develop customers in other markets, with each company continuing to support the other. “We now have a larger portfolio of services and expanded capabilities to offer all our customers,” Bricker commented.

In addition to Tech Molded Plastics, Prism operates three other facilities including two in Michigan and one on the Mexico border in Harlingen, Texas. However, Bricker noted that Prism will be “cautiously looking at other opportunities,” always taking into account if it makes sense for the company’s overall strategy. The company currently ships more than a half-billion parts annually from its facilities in the United States.

Bricker added that while Mexico certainly offers business opportunities, “so far, with the types of products we make, we’ve stayed within U.S. borders. But as opportunities arise with customers, we’re always willing to talk about their needs. With the high level of automation in our plants, it doesn’t make sense at this point to put facilities in Mexico.”

About the Author(s)

Clare Goldsberry

Until she retired in September 2021, Clare Goldsberry reported on the plastics industry for more than 30 years. In addition to the 10,000+ articles she has written, by her own estimation, she is the author of several books, including The Business of Injection Molding: How to succeed as a custom molder and Purchasing Injection Molds: A buyers guide. Goldsberry is a member of the Plastics Pioneers Association. She reflected on her long career in "Time to Say Good-Bye."

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