One year removed from its purchase of Mold-Masters, plastics processing machinery supplier Milacron has announced another huge acquisition in the injection technology space, acquiring coinjection innovator Kortec. Combined, the moves give Milacron (Batavia, Ohio) reach and influence into the barrier PET packaging space long dominated by Husky Injection Molding Systems (Bolton, Ont.), with both companies offering capabilities in machines, molds, and hot runners.
Milacron CEO Tom Goeke described in a release the joining of Mold-Masters’ IRIS barrier technology with Kortec’s as creating “the widest co-injection solutions capability in the plastics industry.”
Asked whether this acquisition and the Mold-Masters deal reflect an intention by Milacron to target the packaging market, specifically PET, Michael Ellis, Milacron's director of global marketing and communications said coinjection has reach beyond packaging.
"Coinjected barrier technology offers a number of customer benefits, namely longer shelf life for products currently packaged in standard plastic operations," Ellis said. "We feel that this not only applies to packaging applications but also the medical market as well--blood tubes for example. There are also opportunities to use coinjection technology with various filler applications in consumer products and even automotive."
Kortec (Rowley, Mass.) was co-founded in 1996 by Paul Swenson, one of the founders of hot runner innovator Kona Corp. in 1978. Swenson worked at Kona from 1978 to 1995, serving as its president for the last five years. Kona joined with Eurotool to become Dynisco Hot Runners in 1998, before changing its name to Synventive in 2001. During that time, Swenson’s concepts for multi-layer nozzles, which served as the founding technology for Kortec, earned two U.S. patents.
Husky had worked closely with Kortec over the years given their overlapping interests, and in 2007, the Canadian company launched “Kortec-ready” HyPET PET preform systems, which could be more easily upgraded to multilayer preform processing.
Milacron stated in a release that customers can purchase a fully integrated Kortec system, or choose to retrofit a co-injection melt distribution and control module to their existing equipment. In recent years, Kortec had moved beyond barrier bottles into other container shapes, granting barrier properties to injection molded plastics that targeted cans, tin, glass and thermoforming in markets such as shelf-stable thin-wall packaging, beverage packaging, pet foods, single serve coffee and medical parts.
In March 2012, Milacron was acquired by CCMP Capital Advisors LLC from Avenue Capital Group, and since that time it has been aggressive on the acquisition front. More recently, the company has created buzz due to its booth size at next year’s NPE 2015, staking out 24,000-sq-ft of space in Orlando.