G&F Precision Molding Inc., a custom injection molder with two plants in Massachusetts, is buying a tooling manufacturer in Maine that has been one of its key suppliers.
The acquired company, Form Tech Tool & Mold Inc., was founded in 1990 and has seven employees at its Biddeford, Maine, headquarters. Terms of the deal, which closed Oct. 20, were not disclosed.
"Form Tech has been one of our suppliers for 12 years. We're very familiar with their team, their culture, and most important the quality of the molds they build," Nirav Patel, vice president of Fiskdale, Mass.-based G&F Precision Molding, said in a telephone interview.
Patel said adding in-house toolmaking will help G&F's medical customers that are focused on quickly getting new products to market.
"Time is a limiting factor in speed to market. Tooling plays a big role in that requirement, nobody has time to wait for injection molds to be built. They want components," Patel said. "With Form Tech, we can somewhat control our supply chain."
Liquid silicone rubber is an important specialty for both companies. G&F has a plant in Danvers, Mass., that molds LSR — the former Urethane Processing Corp. of America, which G&F bought in 2007. G&F's Fiskdale plant molds thermoplastics.
Form Tech makes tooling for both LSR and thermoplastic components.
Under the new ownership, the tooling arm will be renamed Form Tech Mold and Engineering. It will stay in Biddeford under the leadership of Michael Lamontagne, who was its founder and a former owner.
Form Tech will continue to serve other molders, and G&F will continue to source molds from other toolmakers, Patel said.
"We want to grow Form Tech. And we will continue to need other strategic mold suppliers. We can't do everything at Form Tech," Patel said. G&F will invest in the Form Tech operations, starting with hiring a mold designer who will start in November.
G&F was founded in 1963. President and CEO John J. Argitis is the majority owner, and Patel owns a minority stake in the company. Its specialties include design for manufacturability, prototyping and value-add operations including pad printing, ultrasonic welding, bonding and testing.
Patel said G&F has invested heavily in new molding equipment, mold technologies and automation.
"A good customer for us is someone willing to invest in a good quality mold, and to have good communication with us," Patel said. "Nobody remembers what they paid for a mold, but they will remember if they had a quality problem.
"We don't want to compete with a low-quality mold, but we will compete at the unit cost level, because we will highly automate it," Patel said. "Part of this acquisition is to make sure we have a tooling source that is fulfilling this desire, so we can prioritize projects, especially for our strategic customers."
Both G&F and Form Tech have remained open throughout the pandemic. Prior to the acquisition, G&F had 160 employees and annual sales of about $20 million.