Prototek (2)

CORE Industrial Partners, a Chicago-based private equity firm, announced the acquisition of Hayes Manufacturing Services, Inc., a rapid prototyping manufacturer of precision-machined plastic and metal components, by CORE portfolio company Prototek Sheetmetal Fabrication LLC. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Headquartered in Silicon Valley, Hayes offers rapid prototyping and low-volume precision machining services for a blue-chip customer base primarily in the medical, aerospace, robotics and electronics end markets.  Founded in 1991, Hayes has nearly three decades of experience working closely with customers to manufacture products meeting the most stringent dimensional and aesthetic requirements, including tolerances as tight as one ten-thousands of an inch.  Hayes holds a variety of certifications and compliance designations, including ISO 9001, ITAR, FDA and CDPH.

John May, Managing Partner and Founder of CORE, said, “Our investment in Hayes is a great example of our continuing interest in building market leaders in the industrial sector that can benefit from CORE’s resources and expertise to enhance their growth and strategic position. We are very pleased to complete this strategic acquisition and look forward to working collaboratively with the Hayes and Prototek teams.”

Matthew Hayes, President and Founder of Hayes said, “On behalf of myself and all Hayes employees, we are very excited to join the Prototek team.  Both Hayes and Prototek are widely recognized for our outstanding customer service, and we are excited to leverage our complementary capabilities, customer bases and geographic footprints to accelerate the growth of the combined businesses.”

Matthew Puglisi, Partner of CORE, said, “Hayes’ consultative customer service approach and leading technical capabilities have engendered a recurring, loyal customer base that values the Company’s accessibility, flexibility and insight regarding everything from materials to manufacturability.  The acquisition of Hayes serves as a representative example of our intention to build a leading rapid prototyping service provider, in part, through highly complementary acquisitions.”

Monroe Capital LLC provided financing for the acquisition. Winston & Strawn LLP provided legal representation to CORE and Prototek in the transaction.

Prototek moved to a new location at 244 Burnham Intervale Road, Contoocook, NH to a 40,000 square foot building. This has allowed the addition of a new sheetmetal manufacturing cell, larger plating room, 1,100 square foot stereolithography laboratory, more stock material for faster turnaround, and much more! This new, larger building has improved every aspect of Prototek. But, even that wasn't enough! There's another 2,500 sq. ft. addition going up by the hardware and shipping department! Now with all the space they could need, Prototek filled its new floorspace with state of the art machines to aid in the rapid production of precision sheet metal fabrication, rapid machining, and stereolithography.

In the stereolithography lab, Prototek has added two Viper Si 2s, which are the most accurate SLA machines, holding a tolerance of about .003"! They also have a full workbench for cleaning the polymer like parts, and two post curing apparatuses for further hardening of the parts. On the opposite side of the room is a Z510 3D printer, which produces 3D colored parts, and a 60 watt laser engraver for masking and gasketing prototypes and for thin plastic parts that can't be cut on the 40,000 watt lasers. It is also capable of engraving crisp, clear logos and text into black anodized and painted parts, or etch black images or text with CerMark spray. This will spray on tan, then wherever the laser hits, will turn permanant black, being resistant to all chemical reactions. Then the tan residue just gets washed off. This looks great and is much more accurate than silk screening, leaving perfectly crisp black text.

With the ability to have a whole paint shop, powder coating shop, and plating room under one roof, Prototek can process custom sheet metal parts and precision machined prototypes with a finish in a single day in most cases. This translates to cost savings for the customer, where there's no need to send customer's parts elsewhere, and maintaining Prototek's standard of quality is overseen and supervised the whole way through production.

A lot of organization and planning went into the setup of the building. Jobs from customers come in the front office, and precisely flow down the length of the building, first being programmed, then laser cut or punched, then deburred, bent, formed, hardware inserted, welded, painted, powdercoated or plated, then engraved, part marked or silkscreened, then the whole part gets a final inspection, and the parts gets wrapped up and go out the door. All employees are cross trained very well, where basically anybody in the shop can run any machine or task. This allows for perfect manipulation of the focus of attention, so each day and every hour it's possible to move parts along in the most efficient manner possible. This, again, increases productivity and decreases turn times, which has been Prototek's niche in the rapid prototype sheet metal and machine business since 1987.

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