BUTLER, Wis.—Molded Rubber and Plastic Corp. has purchased custom silicone molder ETI Inc. to expand its production operation and mark a new stage of growth for the firm.
The medical device molder and extruder made the acquisition “to bring our customers even more horsepower in liquid silicone molding” and add a second manufacturing location, said MRPC President Greg Riemer. Financial details weren't disclosed.
ETI, founded in 1987, will become a division of MRPC, he said, and its production facility in Largo, Fla., will operate as MRPC's southern U.S. hub. MRPC's Butler factories will be its northern hub.
No major changes are planned at ETI, according to Riemer. The firm's work force of about 25—including ETI General Manager Jim Smith—will remain at the Largo plant.
“We purchased the company with the intention to grow the business in that location in addition to growing our operation in Butler,” he said.
Riemer said MRPC is strong financially and was looking to grow regionally. Purchasing ETI made sense because the Southeast is the home of numerous medical product companies. “It opens some new roads for us,” he said.
Zeroing in on medical
With capabilities for silicone, rubber and plastic molding, MRPC primarily makes medical product components, although it also produces goods for the food service, electronics and aeronautics industries. “But our direction in the last few years has been medical devices,” Riemer said.
ETI focuses on silicone and specializes in custom liquid injection molding. It also primarily works with numerous companies in the medical industry, but does make components for firms in the consumer, aerospace and electrical industries.
The two companies fit well together and complement each other, Riemer said.
One big difference is that MRPC specializes in clean room molding with a focus on silicone molding, two-material molding and micromolding. MRPC has five state-of-the-art clean rooms ranging from Class 10,000 to 100,000 at two facilities on its 85,000-sq.-ft., three-plant campus in Butler. About 50,000 square feet is used for clean room manufacturing.
ETI doesn't have a clean room presently. But that probably will change down the road as the business expands, the executive said. “It's our intention to make investments there and add a clean room and production equipment.” He indicated the firm could add another 10-20 employees in the next two years.
The purchase, the first the 91-year-old company has made since the 1980s, “adds tremendous value to MRPC, starting with the people, who we are excited to add to our expert team,” according to Riemer.
Adding ETI allows the company to continue to meet increased demand for silicone molding, two-material molding, micro molding, medical rubber and thermoplastic molding, he said. While ETI primarily works with silicone, it eventually will add other capabilities, he said.
Smith said that together the two companies bring “enhanced capabilities and versatility to our customers.” Pairing the two firms, “with our shared commitment to excellence and complementary skill sets, creates a strategic advantage and elevates the national profile of both companies.”
The acquisition is the second major move MRPC, which employs about 120, has made in a little more than two months. In early February, it completed construction of a 2,000-sq.-ft., Class 100,000 clean room at one of its plants in Butler.
The clean room allows the company to increase its liquid injection molding capabilities “and remain in the forefront of molding innovation,” according to Riemer.
He said the firm will use the clean room to continue expanding its two-material overmolding capabilities using liquid silicone.
MRPC has over the past few years moved into manufacturing more multimaterial components and subassembly work, Riemer said. The company isn't in a position yet to do fully finished device manufacturing or assembly because it isn't Food and Drug Administration-registered, but that is an area it wants to pursue when it finds the right opportunity with the right partner, he said.