Investing In Ceramics: Gasbarre Products—An Expansive Pressing Operation
Gasbarre Products began in Falls Creek, Pa., with 9500 square feet of manufacturing and office space. As the particulate materials industry grew, so did the company. In March 1981, Gasbarre moved into a new facility in DuBois, Pa., where it is located today. Currently, Gasbarre has over 60,000 square feet of manufacturing space with the addition of a new building dedicated to rebuilds and larger tonnage presses.
The Sinterite Furnace DivisionIn the spring of 1989, the company expanded its product line with the acquisition of Area Electric & Fabricating, located in St. Marys, Pa., and later changed the name to Sinterite Furnace Division of Gasbarre Products, Inc. Sinterite is a designer and manufacturer of continuous belt furnaces for sintering, steam treating, annealing, heat treating and brazing. Pusher furnaces manufactured by Sinterite for temperatures above 3000∞F are licensed with C. I. Hayes, Inc. Sinterite also manufactures auxiliary equipment, such as the VersaCool Systems for sinter hardening and Accelerated DeLube Systems for in-line process enhancements. Fabrication work, such as replacement muffles and retorts, and powder handling equipment is also an important part of Sinterite’s product line. Over 50,000 square feet of manufacturing space is available at this facility.
Other AcquisitionsIn 1997, Gasbarre expanded again with the purchase of McKee Carbide Tool Co., Olanta, Pa. Started in 1975 as a precision machine and tool shop, the company operates in an 18,000-square-foot manufacturing facility and primarily caters to the electronics and tantalum capacitor market. Precision grinding of powder metal components is a portion of McKee’s business.
As part of Gasbarre’s strategic plan to serve the particulate materials industry, PTX-Pentronix, Inc. was purchased in 1999. In operation since 1966, PTX-Pentronix manufactures a line of small tonnage, high-speed, high-precision powder compacting presses and a line of robotic parts loaders. In addition, PTX has ownership in SIMAC Ltd. of Rugby, England, and distributes SIMAC’s line of dry bag isostatic presses in North America. PTX operates out of a 15,000-square-foot facility in Lincoln Park, Mich.
Gasbarre Products’ most recent acquisition was that of Best Press Corp. of Castle Hayne, N.C., a designer and manufacturer of a complete line of small to large tonnage hydraulic CNC powder compaction presses. This purchase gives Gasbarre a complete line of compacting presses, providing the company with mechanical, hydraulic, or isostatic pressing; low (4 tons) to high (1200 tons) pressing tonnages; and conventional or high speed pressing capabilities. It also enables Gasbarre to provide equipment to all powder compacting industries, such as powder metallurgy, ceramics, carbides, plastics and others.