LODI, Calif. (Aug. 31, 2012)—Holz Rubber Co. has made two acquisitions to significantly expand its rubber product manufacturing and molding operations.
In separate transactions, the company purchased Caliber Industries Inc. of Gladstone, Mich., and some assets of AirBoss of America Corp.'s Industrial Division. Financial details were not disclosed.
Along with gaining greater technical expertise and key personnel, Holz will add injection and compression presses and other essential equipment necessary to fill customer needs, according to a company spokeswoman.
“These acquisitions were a logical step in our desire to better serve our customers and build our technical bench strength for the future,” said Holz President David Smith.
Holz is a major producer of expansion joints for various applications across North America and a molder of a wide variety of custom products. The firm said it made the purchases to expand its custom molding division by increasing its capacity and capabilities while improving its delivery speed.
Caliber, a manufacturer of rubber molded products with capabilities to handle all facets of production, is being moved to Holz's 145,000-sq.-ft. plant located on seven acres in Lodi, the spokeswoman said.
Included in the relocation are Caliber's extensive lines of molding equipment.
“We are moving 17 additional presses, both compression and injection, along with other support and manufacturing equipment,” she said.
At least some Caliber personnel are transferring to Lodi from Gladstone. However, the spokeswoman said, at this point “we are not clear on the number of employees” who will make the move. The acquired company's plant in Gladstone ultimately will be closed, she indicated.
“As a result of the acquisition, we will add both human and production capacity and capabilities,” she said. “This will strengthen our team and position us well in the future.”
After that move is complete, Holz will transfer the assets—primarily presses and molds—it purchased from AirBoss to its California facility.
The spokeswoman said the Lodi plant will not need to be expanded because Holz was able to create adequate space—in part by dumping old, unneeded equipment—to handle the additional machinery and employees.
AirBoss sold the assets to Holz because they aren't part of the company's core operation that include its large rubber compounding business and rubber product manufacturing segment that produces goods for the defense, transportation and industrial markets.
The injection presses and molds Holz purchased from AirBoss were picked up by the Newmarket, Ontario-based company when it bought Controlled Rubber Products Inc. of South Haven, Mich., in 1994, according to AirBoss President and CEO Robert L. Hagerman.
They were used to produce solid loader tires, a business AirBoss sold to former employee Robert Gilkenson in May 2005. AirBoss continued to supply rubber segments to the business, called SolidBoss Worldwide Inc., for a number of years.
Completing the acquisitions is a key strategic move for Holz because, in addition to adding to its capabilities and capacity, it allows the company to serve a wider variety of businesses and industries, the firm said.
Combining the firm's existing compression molding equipment with the acquired injection molding presses, the company can mold rubber into nearly any desired form and compete on a global basis, it said.
Founded in 1935, Holz provides a full range of manufacturing services and a broad selection of elastomers to a variety of businesses in the mining, agriculture, oil and gas, aerospace/defense, material handling, food processing, power generation, pollution control, wastewater treatment and the HVAC industries.
Its in-plant capabilities range from compound development and the design and machining of production tooling to curing and strict quality control.
“As we fully integrate Caliber through the rest of the year,” the spokeswoman said, “we will expand our capabilities by adding injection capabilities to continue serving our expanding industrial markets.”