Kickstart: M&A players taking more interest in tooling

Good tooling is key to making good parts. Without the right steel in the right place, with the right texture and the right injection and cooling lines, molders cannot make quality parts.Historically, the tools are made by a wide range of small shops, each one doing maybe $25 million to $50 million in business each year, with a few dozen skilled employees.That is changing, though. Companies like Concours Technologies and Westfall Technik have been growing through a series of acquisitions, developing platforms able to reach more customers in more places with more capabilities.Now add to that list of companies on the hunt for toolmakers.Adler formed in late 2020 in Omaha, Neb., and just purchased Shorts Tool & Mfg. Inc. of Saegertown, Pa., as part of its plan to build a network of tooling companies.”We will continue to focus on finding companies in the mold making space which compliment our current capabilities,” CEO Philipp Gruner said. “We believe that each company that joins the Adler team will bring with it not only a new set of customers but more importantly skills and know-how, which can only improve our company as a whole.” Add-on acquisitions also are part of a strategy for a new company formed by investors looking to tap into the money going into “staycation” home improvements.Two private investment firms, Kaho Partners LLC and Nassaut Point Investors LLC, have created . Chicago-based Premiere combines Recycled Plastics Industries LLC of Green Bay, Wis., and Highwood USA LLC of Hometown, Pa.RPI creates high-end Plastic lumber that is then turned into furniture by companies such as Highwood. And that furniture isn’t just basic lawn chairs you replace at the end of the summer. Highwood’s Adirondack chairs start at $300. A full set to place around the campfire is nearly $3,000.The new company is set up to take full advantage of what Premier Chairman Max Katzenstein terms a shift to “superior, longer-lasting synthetic products.” Composites are helping scientists get better information on hurricanes, which should help them forecast storm movements and hopefully pinpoint needed preparations for future storms.Earlier this year, Saildrone Inc., based in Alameda, Calif., launched a series of autonomous drones attached to specially designed composite platforms that look kind of like a beefed-up surfboard. The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration project hit a motherlode of information when one of the five drones — with the rather unromantic name of Saildrone Explorer SD 1045 — was positioned perfectly to get a close look at Hurricane Sam in the Atlantic Ocean.While Sam is a massive Category 4 hurricane, it has remained out at sea, which is a good thing because Sam has 50-foot waves and winds of more than 120 mph, Saildrone officials said.You can even check out a as the drone rode those waves.”Saildrone is going where no research vessel has ever ventured, sailing right into the eye of the hurricane, gathering data that will transform our understanding of these powerful storms,” said Richard Jenkins, Saildrone founder and CEO. “After conquering the Arctic and the Southern Ocean, hurricanes were the last frontier for Saildrone survivability. We are proud to have engineered a vehicle capable of operating in the most extreme weather conditions on earth.”  Do you have an opinion about this story? Do you have some thoughts you’d like to share with our readers? Plastics News would love to hear from you. Email your letter to Editor at Please enter a valid email address.Please enter your email address.Please verify captcha.Please select at least one newsletter to subscribe. Staying current is easy with Plastics News delivered straight to your inbox, free of charge. Subscribe to Plastics News Plastics News covers the business of the global plastics industry. We report news, gather data and deliver timely information that provides our readers with a competitive advantage.Customer Service:

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