ArmKel L.L.C. has purchased additional automated latex condom equipment to help it cut costs as its business moves into another growth mode.
The latex and polyurethane condom manufacturer-a venture formed by consumer goods maker Church & Dwight Co. Inc. and private equity group Kelso & Co. L.P.-bought three automated testing machines from Industrial Manufacturing Inc. for an undisclosed amount. The deal follows its purchase of three other testing units from the machinery supplier several months ago, according to Daniel Underwood, vice president of Industrial Manufacturing.
The machines on order and one of those already purchased are Industrial Manufacturing's newest automatic loading and testing condom unit, called Prolon 3. The equipment uses a dry process rather than the more-expensive standard wet process, according to Underwood.
``We expect the first of the three new testing machines by the end of the year,'' said Mohan Kosamia, ArmKel manager of manufacturing technical services. ``They will help us to reduce manufacturing costs considerably.''
The equipment and new efficiencies will put Colonial Heights, Va.-based ArmKel, which makes Trojan-brand condoms, in a better position to boost capacity without increasing costs as sales continue to improve, the executive said.
The manufacturer of personal care consumer products is in a transition period that began when it purchased some of the consumer product assets of Carter-Wallace Inc. in September 2001, Kosamia said at the International Latex Conference.
``The transition has been going smoothly, and while we're growing again, it does take time,'' said Kosamia, who also is a member of ASTM International and a 15-year veteran of the group's Condom Task Force.
Kosamia, who's been with the company for more than 25 years, said while the firm's name has changed over the years, Trojan condoms always have been top quality. ``The product keeps getting better and better,'' he said.
New York-based Carter-Wallace sold its Consumer Products Division, which included its condom line, to ArmKel for $739 million last September. The acquisition gave ArmKel a U.S. personal care business worth nearly $500 million with strong market positions and growth potential in condoms, antiperspirants, depilatories and oral care.