HOWES CAVE — The largest manufacturer in Schoharie County has been sold to a Massachusetts firm that plans to expand the workforce here.
Kintz Plastics, founded in 1976 by Wynn Kintz of Niskayuna, is now part of Universal Plastics Group of Holyoke. Kintz’s son Allen, who has been running the company since his father developed debilitating health problems, said he will remain with Universal as a sales executive.
Kintz Plastics started with three employees in a 500-square-foot shop and now has 86 people working in an Caverns Road factory encompassing more than 80,000 square feet. They fabricate heavy-gauge thermoformed plastic objects to spec for a variety of customers — some in the medical diagnostic industry, for whom Kintz makes covers and enclosures for medical equipment.
Depending on the complexity of the tools it has to set up, Kintz can start production of a new plastic object within about six to 10 weeks of receiving specifications from the customer, Allen Kintz said.
Because these pieces are typically larger, foreign manufacturers are hard-pressed to compete for this business, he added: “The shipping costs would kill you from China because you’re shipping a lot of air, essentially.”
Another competitive advantage for Kintz is that it has a paint shop and can put a Class A finish on products before shipment.
Universal said it plans to expand the workforce and facility in Schoharie County.
Wynn and Jane Kintz are longtime Niskayuna residents. Their children, Robin and Allen, grew up there and graduated from Niskayuna High School in 1986 and 1990, respectively.
In a news release, Universal President Jay Kumar said: “Universal Plastics’ goal is to build upon the good work that Kintz has done in Schoharie County through job creation and workforce development. We intend to invest in this community and in the good people that are a part of it, as we grow the business.”
Like Kintz, Universal Plastics Group is a family-owned custom plastic fabricator. It consists of three plastics manufacturing businesses: Universal Plastics Corp. (two facilities in Massachusetts and now one in New York dedicated to custom thermoforming); Sajar Plastics (gas assist injection molding, straight injection molding and structural foam molding) based in Middlefield, Ohio; and Premium Plastic Solutions (custom blow molding) based in Latrobe, Pennsylvania.
Allen Kintz worked in publishing for several years out of college before going to work in sales for the family business for more than a decade. In 2011, he left and, with a partner, co-founded Captech Logistics, which operates out of the Rotterdam Industrial Park.
When his father’s health problems worsened, he took leave from Captech and returned to the plastic company. He said he briefly entertained ideas of operating the company himself, but it had run into cash problems — its line of credit was maxed out, and creditors were pressing for payment — so he decided selling the company was the best option for keeping it open and operating.
Kintz and Universal announced the deal Monday. They did not disclose financial terms of the buyout.
Allen Kintz said he will retain his interest in Captech while also doing sales work for Universal.