Thursday, March 23, 2023
March 23, 2023

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Columbia Machine buys Bikle Manufacturing of Maryland

Vancouver company will be better able to serve its customers on East Coast

By , Columbian Business Editor

Vancouver-based Columbia Machine Inc. has acquired the assets of Bikle Manufacturing Inc. of Smithsburg, Md., Columbia announced Thursday. Terms were not disclosed.

Bikle Manufacturing is a big-board mold maker and repair services provider with customers in the Northeast. Columbia Machine has hired Bikle employees, allowing the business to carry on without missing a day of operation or a customer commitment. A recent news story about Bikle says it has 7 to 10 employees.

Columbia Machine intends to grow the business as a regional support center for mold repair, East Coast manufacturing services and as a parts depot for Columbia customers in the region, Columbia said in a news release.

“Our customers have been asking us to provide mold repair capabilities and regional parts support on the East Coast. We have been searching for the ideal location, capabilities and people to bring this to fruition for a couple years,” Columbia CEO Rick Goode said in the release. “Moving into the Bikle facility, acquiring the assets and hiring the employees ensures our ability to meet customer demand quickly and efficiently.”

“Our markets require us to be diverse, efficient and available,” said Kevin Gilchrist, director of mold sales and engineering. “Bikle’s location, mold repair expertise and nearly 50 years of manufacturing experience gives us an optimum position in supporting our East Coast customers and expanding our North America coverage.”

“This is a great opportunity for the Bikle family,” Joanie Gerber, Bikle Manufacturing president, said in the release. “Our business was established in 1971 by my grandfather to be a quality supplier of equipment and manufacturing services. My grandmother and I are very happy to see the business carry on under Columbia. We all see the growth potential, and it allows us to continue to grow our skilled workforce and capabilities.”

The acquisition of Bikle Manufacturing continues Columbia’s strategic vision to grow the business and better support customers regionally, the company said in a news release. The Maryland facility gives Columbia full-service mold and parts capabilities.

With mold repair capabilities in Vancouver and now Smithsburg, Md., Columbia will be able to stock standard molds, carry out mold repairs and be a regional hub to offer new molds around the world, the company says in the release.

The Northeast facility complements Columbia’s other North America service centers in Vancouver, Ontario, Calif., Orlando, Fla., and Mississauga, Canada.

Thursday’s announcement follows another by Columbia in February about purchasing manufacturing partner Vibramolde of Brazil. Columbia, which has customers in more than 100 countries, said it was also investing in a larger manufacturing and service facility at Vibramolde.

Columbian Business Editor