Plynetics and Prototype Express Merger Announcement

From: Frost Prioleau (
Date: Thu Jun 20 1996 - 23:31:42 EEST

Move Creates Nation's Largest Provider of Rapid Prototyping/Rapid Tooling Services

SAN LEANDRO, CALIFORNIA and SCHAUMBURG, ILLINOIS, June 20, 1996 --Plynetics Corp. of San Leandro (CA) and Prototype Express Inc. of Schaumburg (IL) announced today that the two companies will merge. The merger will create the nation's largest-capacity provider of rapid prototyping and rapid tooling services, and result in higher levels of service to existing and new customers.

The rapid prototyping and tooling processes employed by the companies allow them to produce prototype plastic and metal parts and tooling directly from customer-supplied CAD (computer-aided design) data in a fraction of the time required by conventional processes. These services help customers shorten product development cycles and design better products while reducing tool rework costs. Industries served by the companies include automotive, consumer electronics, medical, aerospace, metal casting and consumer products.

The new company, which will continue to operate under the names of Plynetics and Prototype Express for the near future, will offer customers nationwide an expanded range of integrated rapid prototyping and rapid tooling services including stereolithography, selective laser sintering, computer numerically controlled machining, urethane casting and prototype injection molding from rapidly produced tools. According to management, customers of both Plynetics and Prototype Express will benefit from the new organization's enhanced expertise, increased capacity and ability to offer the most advanced technologies and the shortest leadtimes in the industry.

"Plynetics and Prototype Express are both key players in the industry, with excellent reputations for high quality products and services," says Frost Prioleau, founder and president of Plynetics. "The companies share a common goal of providing customers with the best, most timely solutions to their rapid prototyping and tooling needs. This merger gives us the resources to provide customers with even better solutions and service."

The merger gives Plynetics/Prototype Express the largest capacity of any service provider in the rapid prototyping industry, with combined resources including 20 rapid prototyping systems, 7 CNC machining centers, and 6 injection molding machines for prototype injection molding. Combined production space totals 61,000 square feet, including Plynetics' 23,000 square feet of capacity in San Leandro, Plynetics' new 12,000-square-foot facility near Portland, Oregon and Prototype Express' new 28,000-square-foot facility in Chicago. The combined employee count of the two companies is 135.

"By pooling our capacity, we create a synergy that directly benefits customers," says Dave Flynn, principal of Prototype Express. "Customers of Plynetics will gain increased access to secondary applications including urethane casting, investment casting patterns and die casting patterns. Customers of Prototype Express will benefit from additional capacity in rapid tooling for injection molding."

The merger brings together some of the most experienced members of the rapid prototyping/rapid tooling industry. Plynetics and Prototype Express, both founded in 1989, were among the first rapid prototyping service providers in the country. Frost Prioleau, founder and president of Plynetics, and Dave Flynn and Tom Mueller, founders of Prototype Express, have been actively involved in the development of the industy. Prioleau and Flynn have both served as chairmen of the SLA users group, and have served on the RP board of advisors. All three have actively participated in industry conferences.

In 1995 the combined revenues of Plynetics and Prototype Express were $11.1 million. Combined revenues for 1996 are expected to exceed $20 million, and management anticipates significant growth over the next few years.

In merging the companies, Plynetics and Prototype Express will maintain their existing management, operations and sales staffs, and management expects employment to grow sharply as the company continues to add new services, capacity and customers.

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