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Plastics Business 2018 Issue 3

Strategies for Today’s Plastics Processors

Safety Practices on the Plant Floor Driving Growth with Data Setbacks in the Resin Supply Chain Brand Protection for Molders

Official Publication of Manufacturers Association for Plastics Processors


2018 Issue 3




Cover photo courtesy of Plastikos, Inc.


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preview MAPP’s 2018 Benchmarking and Best Practices Conference strategies How Digital Strategies are Driving Plastic Manufacturers’ Growth by Louis Columbus, principal, IQMS Data-Driven Decision Making with Process Quantity Analysis by Scott Walton and Patrick White, Harbour Results outlook Resin Supply Chain Issues: Suppliers Offer Perspectives, Solutions by Dianna Brodine, managing editor, Plastics Business safety Health and Safety in the Plastics Industry: Processors in the Spotlight with Best Practices by Lara Copeland, contributing editor, Plastics Business economic corner Hello Darkness, My Old Friend by Chris Kuehl, managing director, Armada Corporate Intelligence technology Foaming Agents: Impact on Production Efficiency of Custom Closures by Mike Uhrain, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag, and Nick Sotos, iD Additives benchmarking Industry Trends in Mold and Machine Maintenance by Ashley Burleson, membership and analytics manager, MAPP

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focus Brand Protection for Plastics Molders: New Strategies for Anti-Counterfeit Security by Scott R. Sabreen, president, The Sabreen Group, Inc. IMD/IML: Common Performance Considerations and Test Methods by Dave Schoofs, product development, Central Decal Company management If You Don't Know How to Onboard New Employees, You're Not Alone by Pam Butterfield, Success Business Tools

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solutions Hearing Conservation in the Plastics Industry by Katy Ibsen, contributing writer, Plastics Business


booklist Creating Successful Cultures by Dianna Brodine, managing editor, Plastics Business



view from 30 Anderson Technologies Offers Success Coaching to Its Employees by Lara Copeland, contributing editor, Plastics Business

departments viewpoint.....................................6

news.......................................... 58

association................................. 52

supplier directory...................... 62

view from 30


Plastics Business

Strategies for Today’s Plastics Processors

Published by:

Manufacturers Association for Plastics Processors, Inc. (MAPP) 7321 Shadeland Station Way, Suite 285 Indianapolis, IN 46256 phone 317.913.2440 • fax 317.913.2445 www.mappinc.com MAPP Board of Directors President Norm Forest, Dymotek Molding Technologies Vice President/Treasurer Ryan Richey, Precision Plastics, Inc. Second Vice President Tim Capps, Par 4 Plastics Inc. Secretary Alan Rothenbuecher, Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff LLP

MAPP Board Members Mike Benson, Stout Brendan Cahill, PTG Silicones Craig Carrel, Team 1 Plastics, Inc. Glen Fish, Revere Plastics Systems LLC Chris Gedwed, Cosmetic Specialties International Ben Harp, Polymer Conversions Glenn Kornfeld, Asaclean-Sun Plastech Inc. Jim Krause, Microplastics, Inc. Bob MacIntosh, Nicolet Plastics, Inc. Tom Nagler, Natech Plastics, Inc. Samir Patel, Midwest Molding Inc. Missy Rogers, Noble Plastics, Inc. Stacy Shelly, AMCO Polymers Chuck Sholtis, Plastic Molding Technology, Inc. Tom Tredway, Erie Molded Plastics, Inc.

Peterson Publications, Inc. 2150 SW Westport Dr., Suite 101 Topeka, KS 66614 phone 785.271.5801 www.plasticsbusinessmag.com

Editor in Chief Jeff Peterson

Advertising/Sales Janet Dunnichay

Managing Editor Dianna Brodine

Contributing Editors Lara Copeland Katy Ibsen

Art Director Becky Arensdorf Graphic Designer Kelly Adams

Circulation Manager Brenda Schell

www.plasticsbusinessmag.com | 5


No One Silver Bullet, So You Better Have a Great Deal of Ammo! The lyrics from the 1979 song released by KC and the Sunshine Band, “Please Don’t Go,” are ones that recently reverberated in my mind after reading an article published in a local newspaper about why people are leaving their jobs. The article summarized a presentation given by Dany Nelms, president of the Work Institute, who said, “The perception is that people leave their jobs for better pay.” In actuality, interviews with 34,000 people who voluntarily left their jobs in 2017 identified compensation as an item well down the list of reasons for departing. “The truth is people don’t typically leave their job for money,” he continued, but instead are really saying “you don’t pay me enough to put up with (X, Y or Z – just fill in the blank).” This article struck a chord in me because the number one issue facing US plastics processors is recruitment and retention of the workforce, which was again identified as the top issue in MAPP’s 2018 State of the Plastics Industry. In fact, 99 percent of the nearly 200 respondents annotated this workforce issue as hindering their abilities to grow and better compete. Having just returned from MAPP’s summer plant tour benchmarking series at Par 4 Plastics, located in Marion, Kentucky, I think it’s safe to say that the secret to maintaining and growing a quality workforce lies in having a people-centric culture. The sold-out tour event at Par 4 provided attendees with the opportunity to see more than 200,000 square feet of manufacturing space housing nearly 50 molding machines and assembly operations. At the heart of the information exchange, plastics professionals in attendance gave kudos to the Par 4 management team and identified a host of areas where the company was simply performing at the highest level: training, retraining, cross-training, employee onboarding, career development, rewards, incentives, employee engagement and more – all resulting in a best-in-class employee retention rate of more than 98 percent. The Par 4 management team leads daily under the “my customer is the operator” mantra, and this system is backed with a comprehensive incentive program whereby 10 percent of Par 4’s profits are shared with all employees on a quarterly

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basis. As a basis for this bonus system, each manager is responsible for providing direct feedback via written employee evaluations four times per year. Yes, you read that correctly – four times per year. The evaluation process details how the employee added value in terms of quality, downtime and overall productivity, and the bonus is tied to this performance. This accountability is present at all levels in the company. To provide insight from a third party as to how Par 4 is actually achieving this level of employee retention, I returned my attention to the Nelms article, which highlighted the fact that people are leaving their places of employment because employers are failing to provide career development, failing to care about the well-being of their employees, failing to provide new learning opportunities and failing at accommodating the work-life balance desires of their employees. Par 4 is doing all of these things and more, which is why the company is performing so well in the marketplace. At a time in business history when being recognized as the local employer of choice is as critical as getting quality parts to your customers, I am continually reminded that there is no one silver bullet to solve the workforce dilemma. As the benchmarking event at Par 4 underscored, there are many unique ideas that are being used by MAPP members across the US that are enabling our members to become more competitive. More of these will be on display at MAPP’s 16th annual Benchmarking and Best Practices Conference, being held in Indianapolis, Indiana, from October 10 through 12. Learn more about this event on page 8, but rest assured – attendees will leave this event with more silver bullets than they can carry to overcome their business and workforce challenges!

Executive Director, MAPP

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Be Extraordinary The goal of the Benchmarking and Best Practices Conference is to help plastics companies improve their operations and tactics to impact bottom-line profits. The core of this year’s Benchmarking and Best Practices Conference will address leadership, operational best practices, the latest financial benchmarks, sales and marketing, and the impact of employees on the bottom line. With more than 625 plastics professionals expected to meet in Indianapolis, Indiana, on October 10 through 12, the conference staff has created a schedule packed with best practices, leading-edge benchmarks, expert presentations and the best networking opportunities in the industry.



A full schedule can be found at www.mappinc.com/conference. The schedule is subject to change.

Wednesday, Oct. 10 5:30 p.m. Industry Welcome Reception

Thursday, Oct. 11 8 a.m. 8:30 a.m. 9:45 a.m. 10:15 a.m. 11:20 a.m. Noon

Defining Your Why Troy Nix, MAPP executive director Keynote Address The Trust Edge: Driving Business Results through Trust David Horsager, Trust Edge Leadership Institute Networking Break Peer-to-Peer Exchanges Tariffs and Strategies to Deal with Tariffs Networking Lunch OR Lunch and Learn with David Horsager

1:15 p.m. 3:40 p.m. 4:40 p.m. 5 p.m.

(ticket-only event) 2018 BC Lab (Part 1) The Brilliance of Resilience Alan Hobson, Climb Back Inc. MAPP Annual Meeting Members’ Choice Reception

Friday, Oct. 12 8 a.m. 2018 BC Lab (Part 2) 9:40 a.m. Health Care – Leading Your Own Reform Efforts to Eliminate Traditional Cost Increases 10:40 a.m. Transformational Leadership Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal (retired) 11:40 a.m. What’s Next?

Main photos credit: Creative Technology Corp. Hotel photo credit: Indianapolis Marriott Downtown

New: The BC LAB The BC LAB is composed of a series of parallel presentation sessions or learning tracks. The BC LAB is designed to equip attendees with indispensable insights, advice and tools to achieve their missioncritical priorities of today and build the successful organizations of tomorrow. Below are the functional areas for the 2018 Benchmarking and Best Practices Conference LAB. These are subject to change. n Human Resources n Operations n Sales and Marketing n Executive Stakeholders n Senior Leaders

Oct. 10-12, 2018

Indianapolis, Indiana

Speakers DAVID HORSAGER Trust Edge Leadership Institute

Indianapolis Marriott Downtown

David Horsager, MA, CSP, is the CEO of Trust Edge Leadership Institute, national bestselling author of “The Trust Edge,” inventor of the Enterprise Trust Index™ and director of one of the nation’s foremost trust studies, The Trust Outlook™. Horsager has delivered life-changing presentations on six continents, with audiences ranging from FedEx, Toyota and global governments to the New York Yankees and the Department of Homeland Security. ALAN HOBSON Climb Back Inc. Alan Hobson was a member of three self-guided, self-organized and corporately sponsored $500,000 expeditions to the world’s tallest peak, Mount Everest. His first expedition missed the summit by 3,000 vertical feet and his second by just two city blocks. Finally, on his third expedition, Hobson and almost half his team made it safely to and from the top of the world. But Mount Everest was not his toughest climb. Three years after standing on the highest physical point on Earth, he was diagnosed with a very aggressive blood cancer – acute leukemia – and given less than a year to live. GEN. STANLEY A. MCCHRYSTAL (RETIRED) Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal is a one-of-a-kind commander with a remarkable record of achievement in the military and a dynamic, powerful speaker. McChrystal impresses audiences with field-tested leadership lessons, stressing a uniquely inclusive model that focuses on building teams capable of relentlessly pursuing results. When old systems fall short, he believes true leaders must look for ways to innovate and change. Citing stories from his career, McChrystal reveals a four-star management strategy, concentrating on openness, teamwork and forward-thinking.


Thank you to this year’s key sponsors: To register, visit www.mappinc.com/conference.



How Digital Strategies are Driving Plastics Manufacturers’ Growth by Louis Columbus, principal, IQMS


lastics manufacturing is increasingly becoming a digitally driven business in which analytics, mobile apps, quality management and real-time monitoring are pivotal technologies in enabling faster growth. This evolution was highlighted in a survey of 151 North American manufacturers conducted by IQMS and TechValidate in May 2018, which provides insights into how these technologies are enabling more profitable revenue growth while reducing costs and time-tomarket, and improving quality.

at gaining insights into the market and their own operations that competitors miss. They’re also excellent at translating realtime monitoring and analytics insights into solid operations performance, all contributing to faster revenue growth. This article examines the technologies that plastics manufacturers report they are using to improve their operations and decisionmaking, as well as the implications for other manufacturing firms in the industry.

Notably, 27 percent of the respondents are high-growth plastics manufacturers that are attaining 10 percent or greater revenue growth per year. What most differentiates these high-performing plastics manufacturers is their ability to assimilate analytics, business intelligence (BI), mobility – including mobile enterprise resource planning (ERP) access – and advanced manufacturing intelligence into their daily operations. As a group, they excel

The majority of plastics manufacturers are looking to analytics and BI applications to gain the insights they need to improve the performance of every aspect of their operations. Among respondents, 73 percent consider analytics and BI applications essential for increasing production capacity with better resource planning. Additionally, 68 percent are combining these technologies with real-time monitoring to anticipate problem

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A majority use analytics and business intelligence

areas better and address them faster. Meanwhile, two areas where manufacturers are making the greatest impact with analytics and BI are in maintaining and improving product quality by continually compared finished goods to quality standards (63 percent) and improving demand forecasting from channels (63 percent). The survey also found that plastics manufacturers leading their industries in analytics and BI adoption are moving beyond using these applications for reporting and historical analysis. These early adopters are discovering new ways to use predictive analytics based on broader data aggregation than their industry counterparts. Leading-edge manufacturers are piloting and launching Hadoop applications to streamline every phase of production, including quality assurance and maintenance, repair and overhaul. The greater a manufacturer’s maturity in working with large-scale data sets and using analytics to predict machinery performance, supply chain risk and stability, and plant productivity, the more competitive time-to-market and cost advantages the business has. The graphic on page 10 quantifies the importance of analytics and BI to plastics manufacturers today.

The demand for data quality is driving mobile ERP access

The majority of manufacturers, 80 percent, say they have adopted mobile access as part of their ERP platform to improve data quality.

Comparing those manufacturers with the compliance and quality management methods they use today yielded interesting results. Most notably, 67 percent of respondents rely on mobile ERP platforms that also support analytics and BI apps to stay in compliance with federal and regulatory requirements. Moreover, manufacturers in the most regulated industries rely on their mobile ERP platforms, analytics, and BI apps to provide predictive alerts of when specific machines will potentially fall out of compliance, using a combination of original equipment effectiveness (OEE) and advanced algorithms that predict meantime between failures (MTBF) and potential slowdowns before they happen. A core component of data quality is the accuracy of supplier data, with 56 percent of manufacturers relying on mobile ERP platforms to aggregate, analyze and provide real-time updates on supplier quality management performance. Plastics manufacturers that supply the aerospace and defense (A&D) industry rely on the combination of mobile ERP platforms, analytics, BI, compliance and quality management apps to know their contributions to good cost of quality. They also concentrate on how they can contribute to keeping the costs of poor quality (COPQ) low for the Tier 1 A&D manufacturers they serve. page 12 u

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STRATEGIES t page 11 The survey also revealed that the highest performing plastics manufacturers concentrate on reducing the time it takes to get back to customers, sales teams, partners and resellers by letting every member of the production team access real-time production data from their mobile devices and tablets. Looking for a speed advantage vs. competitors, many companies are making an abbreviated series of status updates available directly to the field. The graphic on page 11 quantifies the importance of mobile ERP access.

Real-time monitoring improves manufacturers’ businesses

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The majority of manufacturers today have adopted the basics of real-time monitoring, with many of them using light sticks, programmable logic controllers (PLCs) and material handling technologies, including barcodes, to monitor production. Among survey respondents, 80 percent said that real-time monitoring is improving their businesses, with the companies growing 10 percent a year or more being early adopters of advanced realtime monitoring technologies, RFID tags and Internet of Things (IoT) sensors. More than half of plastics manufacturers (52 percent) rely on real-time monitoring to improve scheduling accuracy, and survey respondents across all industries are gaining multiple benefits from it. These include attaining better levels of inventory control (48 percent), improving production plan performance (40 percent) and gaining greater flexibility in managing production lines (29 percent). Looking ahead, 72 percent of all manufacturers say that streamlining and making inventory reconciliation more efficient is the most important future benefit of real-time monitoring. And, 69 percent say real-time monitoring will enable greater accuracy tracking of their most important supply chain, production, service and aftermarket support metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs). All told, high-performance plastics manufacturers rely on realtime monitoring for the combined benefits of better scheduling accuracy of orders, improving process quality and making inventory reconciliation more efficient.

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Across all industries, manufacturers commonly rely on several different quality management techniques, with tracking scrap by type and cause being the most popular. Among plastics manufacturers, 64 percent specifically rely primarily on an analysis of scrap by type or cause as their primary quality management metric. Meanwhile, 59 percent analyze return material authorizations (RMAs) on a consistent basis, and 53 percent utilize non-compliance/corrective action (NC/CA) to reach and stay at the quality levels they need.

Supplier quality management continues to gain momentum across the entire manufacturing industry, and many of the survey respondents are suppliers themselves. Looking at all manufacturers in the survey, 42 percent are monitoring inbound quality levels today. When the plastics manufacturers growing at 10 percent or higher per year are analyzed, their adoption of supplier inbound quality management increases to 59 percent. The 27 percent of manufacturers growing at 10 percent or more per year are more likely to track yield rates by machine (38 percent), have an engineering change order process in place and use it (37 percent) and rely on OEE (35 percent). The graphic on this page compares all methods currently used by manufacturers to measure and manage product quality. Among all manufacturers, 54 percent say OEE is extremely or very important to their future production performance, and 46 percent say the same about tracking OEE in real time. This figure increases slightly for high-growth plastics manufacturers, with 62 percent saying OEE is extremely or very important for their future production performance. Comparing OEE adoption across industries and factoring in those plastics manufacturers growing 10 percent or faster per year finds that the most advanced businesses rely on real-time monitoring to improve machine-level performance first with OEE. The fastest growing manufacturers are doing this by reflex today; analytics and BI use are part of their DNA, and their operations reflect it.

Implications for plastics manufacturers

Plastics manufacturers growing 10 percent or more per year are setting an example of how to successfully integrate multiple technologies to fuel future growth. Three of the most important lessons we can take from these innovators are as follows: • Orchestrating real-monitoring monitoring as a data source to improve every aspect of production monitoring and ongoing operations management is a must-have. Add in the ability to gain competitive insights using analytics and BI apps, and the implications of greater speed, scale and effectiveness are clear. Fast-growing plastics manufacturers know how to turn data and insights into action quickly, and their cultures resonate with those core values, making them part of their DNA over time. • Finding new ways to continually improve sourcing, production and service process workflows to earn customer loyalty is a hallmark of the fastest growing plastics manufacturers. As a group, they are able to gain seven percent to 10 percent more production scheduling flexibility, giving them the opportunity to do more shortrun production as well. They also are exceptionally good at launching new products and services, and they credit their sales and marketing teams for fueling growth. • Taking a deliberate, focused strategy to combining quality, manufacturing operations and machine-level metrics – all capitalizing on an accurate stream of data generated from page 14 u

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STRATEGIES t page 13 real-time monitoring – opens new growth opportunities. A secret of success for the highest growing plastics manufacturers is how deliberate they are in the analytics and metrics they choose to measure themselves. One CEO said that the metrics they choose today will be the company they are tomorrow. Those are wise words from a manufacturer that is growing 15 percent annually and has won product quality awards from its top customers.


It is clear from the survey that the highest-performing plastics manufacturers take a deliberate approach to orchestrating all available technologies to enable faster growth. They rely on analytics, BI and real-time monitoring to provide higher production quality, allow more short-run production flexibility and earn more customer referrals than last year. Moreover, these manufacturers are going beyond reporting and using analytics and BI to plan and predict the probability of future events and make the most of new opportunities. Real-time monitoring now is a core aspect of any growing plastics manufacturing operation. Additionally, the highest

You take packaging seriously. So we take it personally. 14 | plastics business • 2018 Issue 3

performing plastics manufacturers are combining mobile ERP access with analytics, BI and quality management. Not only do they get a 360-degree view of each plant floor; they also keep customers, sales teams, distributors and service partners informed with the highest quality data possible. As a result, they are able to alleviate slowdowns, maximize customer satisfaction and quickly move on new opportunities for growth. n Louis Columbus is currently serving as Principal, IQMS. His academic background includes an MBA from Pepperdine University and the Strategic Marketing Management and Digital Marketing Programs at Stanford University Graduate School of Business. Columbus also teaches MBA courses in international business, global competitive strategies, international market research, strategic planning and market research. He currently is a member of the faculty at Webster University and has taught at California State University, Fullerton: University of California, Irvine, and Marymount University. More information: 714.865.5878, LColumbus@iqms.com or www.iqms.com

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Data-Driven Decision Making with Process Quantity Analysis by Scott Walton and Patrick White, Harbour Results


early every manufacturing company collects data; however, all too often, these data either are not analyzed to the fullest extent or are reviewed in silos. The truth is, your facility’s data actually tells a story. The key is looking hard enough to uncover the right information that will lead to improvement.

To effectively use data to make sound business decisions, companies need to leverage tools and strategies proven to be best practices in manufacturing. Regardless of a company’s size, tactics can be leveraged to assist in collecting and analyzing the right data. Our recommendation is to start by building a master Process Quantity (PQ) Analysis file. PQ Analysis is a lean manufacturing tool designed to identify issues throughout a manufacturing facility. It utilizes existing data to conduct specific analysis and determine gaps and opportunities. By clearly understanding the problem and using data to validate the issue, a company can determine the correct course of action to improve the business. To implement a PQ Analysis, shop leadership must start by collecting raw data of part-by-part performance. The specific type of data included in the analysis will vary by company, but the foundation remains the same. The first set of data points focuses on “quantity.” This is the information that will be reviewed (summed) and will uncover performance successes or improvement opportunities. Examples of quantity-side analysis includes part volumes, sales dollars, operating margins and scrap, among others. Once the data and analysis are conducted on the quantity side, the results will inform what should be analyzed on the process side. This includes how a company groups jobs and parts and is frequently organized by categories such as industry, commodity and press tonnage. For example, during a PQ Analysis, a company that looks at its hit rate data across one of its key industries – automotive – could quickly identify those customers that award limited business and hence are potentially using the shop as only a lever for negotiations. This challenge then can be addressed with a strategic solution of more selective quote filters.

Potential pitfalls

A common mistake companies make is collecting and using data that drive the wrong behavior across the organization. For example,

Become Data Driven • Review current data and reports generated from the data. • Ensure the reports are driving behaviors that benefit the business. • Eliminate reports not being used. • Build on the data and reports already being collected based on areas for improvement. • Identify an internal analyst with some operations understanding to support data analytics. • Develop a series of Process Quantity analysis. • Extract a story from the data. • Seek feedback and input internally and externally to act on the data story. a company might exclusively measure sales by revenue per customer. This metric would indicate customers that are generating the highest revenue and encourage salespeople to continue to pursue those customers delivering significant revenue dollars year over year. However, this metric alone does not look at profitability of a customer. So, although a customer might generate high revenue, the projects may be underperforming and even unprofitable. By not measuring profitability alongside revenue, the company does not have all the information needed to improve profitability and, worse yet, risks negatively impacting the bottom line. Other pitfalls include overanalyzing or finding flaws in the data and, therefore, not acting on or believing the story the data are telling. Companies frequently collect data and then spend a significant amount of time analyzing it to determine accuracy, page 18 u

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STRATEGIES t page 15 which oftentimes means working hard to disprove the data. If a company has a sound data collection strategy, the data will be directionally correct, meaning accurate enough to drive action. In short, overanalyzing data can paralyze continuous improvement efforts. Utilizing data-driven decision making is not easy. It takes a great deal of discipline across the leadership team, as well as a strong understanding of the end goal. Taking the time needed to put the correct data collection and analysis process in place is critical for success. As the saying goes, “the squeaky wheel gets the grease” – so it can be difficult to be committed to the process as opposed to addressing an issue that might not provide the biggest return or improve efficiency. The best-in-class datadriven facilities understand how collecting the right data and acting quickly on the critical issues not only drive performance but also allow strong organizational and strategic alignment. Becoming a company that leverages data and analysis within the decision-making process will more quickly and efficiently identify gaps and issues, allowing rapid implementation of change and improvements. Many leading-edge companies have, in fact, adopted a data-driven culture to quantify continuous

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Resin Supply Chain Issues: Suppliers Offer Perspective, Solutions by Dianna Brodine, managing editor, Plastics Business


ncertainty in the resin supply chain is sending ripples through the plastics industry and into end markets. The result has been predictable: price increases for the processor at the time of resin purchase. What are the biggest issues facing the resin industry at the moment, and what can the processor do to alleviate some of the pressure? Plastics Business thanks the following leaders in the resin industry for lending their perspectives to this article: AMCO: Stacy Shelly, Business Director Chase Plastics: Alan Arduini, Vice President, Sales; Adam Paulson, Vice President, Supplier Development; Laura Goik, Operations Manager; and Bob Hoff, Business Process Manager M. Holland Company: Peter Nutley, Vice President of Operations PolySource: Bob Findlen, Director of Sales & Marketing

What are the biggest issues facing the resin supply chain right now?

Paulson: The number one issue is strained supply chains due to a supply/demand imbalance. Coming out of the “Great Recession,” the reinvestment into additional capacity was slowed. The rebound of the global economy has caused demand in many raw materials and thermoplastic resins to outpace the capacity additions. This has caused a very tight supply chain with minimal slack; therefore, any blip (natural disaster, unexpected plant outages, etc.) is immediately felt. Shelly: There are availability issues with many resin families. This year, material availability issues are affecting the supply of PP, PET, Acetal, Nylon 6/6, TPUss and PPS. Findlen: The reason we find ourselves in the Nylon 6/6 situation is that there was concern on the part of major resin suppliers about reinvestment in monomer capacity. It didn’t make sense to make additional investments in monomers because the ROI was not there. But, are there other polymers and monomers where we’ll see the same thing? Where capacity hasn’t kept pace with demand because the profit margins weren’t there in the past? And, there’s still uncertainty with potential tariffs. There’s a tariff war going on. Will that escalate? Will that begin to affect imported resins?

Shelly: Another issue is logistics. There are five to seven truckloads of freight for every driver/semi combination that is available to haul them, according to the Morgan Stanley Freight Index. Certain shipping lanes are seeing an even greater shortage. Less-than-truckload (LTL) service also is being affected. Nutley: A strong economy, combined with trucking regulation and an aging workforce, is creating a significant shift in both service and cost. We are facing an imbalance in the supply and demand of freight services. This situation is causing a deterioration in freight service, as well as increases in freight and labor costs. This imbalance is particularly concerning in the face of new polymer production capacity either coming up to speed and new assets still being turned on.

How does the US transportation infrastructure play into future resin supply concerns?

Shelly: Truck driver shortages, trucking industry regulations and aging of rail systems are significant issues – with no immediate solutions on the horizon. Over 60 percent of truck drivers are above the age of 45. The average age is almost 60. The industry has a turnover rate greater than 95 percent. Today, there are 48,000 current driver openings, and 890,000 additional drivers will be needed by 2025, per the American Trucking Association. The new law requiring Electric Driver Logs (EDL) limits drivers to 14 hours a day of operating time, 10 hours of drive time and then a 10-hour rest period. It is estimated that the new EDL requirement has decreased available driving time per driver by more than 15 percent. Goik: Carriers are dictating the market cost and choosing which loads they will move. The carriers are getting top dollar for their freight moves, while underperforming on delivery expectations. The shortage of drivers and the experience level of those drivers does have an impact on the condition of delivery that our industry is experiencing. The market is dictating that shippers provide more time to transport products, as well as driving freight surcharges and price increases to cover these increased costs throughout the supply chain. page 20 u

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OUTLOOK t page 19 Arduini: Control of “wait times” to pick up or deliver are even more precious to our trucking partners. We have seen an increase in damage and service delays. What used to be easily next day is not always next day. Findlen: Again, it’s supply and demand, and in this case, it has to do with the shortages of truckers. Most recently, Techmer PM has announced a price increase of $0.04/lb. across their resins just based on transportation costs. Adding to that, there’s the uncertainty of whether or not customers get materials within reasonable delivery times. You may be quoted one thing, but the actual result is another.

What should processors – and their customers – be doing to temper some of the supply concerns?

Nutley: Ordering early, increasing the size of orders and expanding delivery windows can go a long way to improving our current cost and service position. Believe it or not, even more basic actions like efficient loading and unloading can go a long way in getting access to limited resources. Hoff: The just-in-time philosophy has the potential to put more customers at risk, and increasing safety stock should be

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20 | plastics business • 2018 Issue 3

considered to alleviate shut-downs. Customers who project an increase in demand in the future should address that as quickly as possible to effectively manage. Shelly: Processors also can help out by providing longer lead time, combining material shipments and providing broader windows to accept deliveries. Trying to avoid material deliveries on Mondays and Fridays, especially at month end, is very beneficial. Arduini: They also need to communicate to their customers the importance of getting alternate materials tested and approved. The value of alternates used to be mostly about cost reduction. Now, it is just as important to have alternate sources of supply in case of supply chain disruption. Lead times are relatively long, and we insulate our customers as much as possible by stocking and forecasting to the supplier. We know that forecasting beyond four weeks is difficult for our customers. Forecasting six weeks and longer is nearly impossible for them. Findlen: The biggest thing is forecasting. Is there a way the processors can get better forecasting from their customer? In a perfect world, if an OEM could provide needs over the next three months, that would cascade throughout the supply chain to bring a higher reliability in deliveries. The distributor could then stock some of the materials in order to alleviate supply issues. Data is out there for past buying trends, and that could be used to bring some form of prediction of future needs.

What can resin suppliers/distributors do to alleviate issues for processors right now?

Nutley: Adding capacity doesn’t mean that we will achieve the service and costs levels we are used to. Finding ways to bring ratability and consistency is perhaps the single best thing we can all do to improve the condition of our supply chain. M. Holland is investing in its transportation and forecasting systems to bring the best data and visibility of our needs to our supply chain partners. Additionally, we continue to develop strategic partnerships in rail, trucking, packaging and warehousing space. Shelly: Amco is continuously adding warehouses and logistics partners to our portfolio. We also are moving material closer to our customers by inventorying material in local warehouses and offering customers the ability to pick up with their own trucks, lowering the dependence on common carriers. Another option can be vendor-managed inventory at the processor’s location, which also reduces the dependence on the trucking industry and can help improve the processor’s working capital. Hoff: As a distributor, we are taking a bigger inventory position whenever possible to protect our customers. This will include

expanding storage capacity to best serve our customers. Continuing to enhance our relationships with carriers and expanding that base with those that provide the best service will assist in meeting customer delivery expectations. When possible, we should consider adding an extra day to the shipping time to effectively manage the cost.

Paulson: Many manufacturers have announced capacity expansions and/or debottlenecking. That said, for several material families, if demand continues, the supply chain may be constrained until 2020-2021 until new capacity comes online.

Findlen: Distributors can help by providing technical resources that support specifying alternative resins. When there’s a material shortage or price increase, customers often want to find a direct offset. But, what we’re trying to do is go back to the specification of the material. Are there other resin possibilities that do not have the same supply issues? It’s not an easy process, and customers need to have more information in their hands on the technical differences in the material. In our recent Nylon 6/6 webinar, we were able to show the different options and point out the questions that need to be asked if customers are considering a switch. We’re willing to help identify a comparison that is apples to oranges, rather than apples to apples.

Arduini: It is difficult to predict exactly what the future situation will be. It is important to be aware and have vision to see changes before they are upon us. The supply chain will constantly be changing and evolving.

In your opinion, what are the long-term solutions to the issues facing the resin supply chain?

Shelly: Reinvestment into the North American resin production infrastructure and logistics are both key in the long term. Short of autonomous trucks, which still are a ways away, the trucking industry must find ways to attract and retain drivers. Increased freight rates and surcharges are trying to support paying higher salaries, but the labor pool still is challenged by the current low unemployment and drug screening requirements. Nutley: There has been a significant investment into the polymer supply chains to compensate for the new production coming up to speed and still yet to start. Continued investment still is one of the top priorities for most supply chain participants in the coming years.

What else is critical for an understanding of the resin supply chain issues facing processors?

Shelly: The effect of tariffs on the resin market still are unclear, but we would suggest companies start asking questions of their suppliers so they do not get caught off guard. There is a significant number of resins included on the tariff lists, though the majority of imported resins do not originate from targeted countries. What will happen to the global supply/demand balance will become clearer as more tariffs take effect. Findlen: We tend to look at resin demand regionally, rather than globally. However, materials are being sold all over the world and, when supply is tight, these major resin suppliers are making their selling decisions globally. With some resins, it is more profitable to supply the Asian community than it is to sell the same material in North America. With limited amounts of resin supply, they’re asking themselves where the more profitable region is located. Paulson: As long as the global economy stays strong, we will likely continue to see raw material price increases. Based on supply and demand, manufacturers will seek higher profits, which also will enable their ability to reinvest back into capacity expansions and R&D. n

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Health and Safety in the Plastics Industry: Processors in the Spotlight with Best Practices by Lara Copeland, contributing editor, Plastics Business


reating a safe work environment takes the effort of every person in a plastics processing facility, whether in the front office or on the production line. Training and awareness are key to keeping safety procedures at the top of the priority list, and the companies profiled in this article have implemented best practices that result in a safer workforce.

6S Program reinforces safety culture

All-Plastics Molding, Inc.’s commitment to health and safety practices is demonstrated through its 6S Program. Modeled after the Lean Certification Competency and Behavior Model, the company utilizes the Green, Bronze, Silver and Gold measurement systems to drive organizational safety practices, continuous improvement and awareness. The Kerrville, Texas, plant is sectioned into 10 zones to optimize workflow and efficiency. Each zone has a zone leader who is responsible for ensuring all 6S practices are followed daily. Team members audit the zones on a weekly basis using audit sheets for logging. The statistics are visually represented on each zone board in the associated area of the manufacturing plant. To keep employees updated, quarterly 6S meetings are held for the designated facility team. The facility team discusses the “newspaper,” a list of what needs to be done within the specified area that would require investment or shut down, and the quarterly safety record and supporting reports if an accident was recorded. Trainings, visual zone boards, safety signs, distribution of monthly narrative and matrixes, as well as staff meetings provide additional facility-wide communication. Standardized work practices – developed by floor leadership to expedite learning, prevent mistakes and create a safer environment – also were put in place.

Plastikos employees have benefited from heightened safety awareness, new equipment precautions and a hazard analysis. Photo courtesy of Plastikos, Inc.

Employees also are recognized for their contributions to improving plant safety through an employee suggestion program. The facility 6S team reviews every suggestion and chooses three top winners per plant on a quarterly and annual basis. These winners receive cash prizes and additional recognition in front of peers at the annual employee appreciation banquet.

Dozuki platform adds structure

Safety walks have been conducted at Automation Plastics Corporation in Aurora, Ohio, for many years, but the Dozuki software platform, adopted in 2016, has transformed Automation's safety walks, making them more effective and efficient. Data and statistics are analyzed and filtered through both Dozuki’s dashboard functionality and downloadable CSV files. It features real-time preservation, organization and presentation of audit findings, providing the ability to adapt and concentrate page 24 u

www.plasticsbusinessmag.com | 23

SAFETY t page 23

the focus of succeeding safety audits based on recent safety incidents identified by analysis of the accumulating audit data. A safety audit checklist has been developed by the company’s own Dozuki authors. The walk through is conducted by two safety audit team members who stop at each injection molding machine, in addition to 20 other locations throughout the facility. Auditors enter findings using the tablet’s touchscreen into Dozuki’s “operator view” feature, which collects and collates data. Each stop, or “step” in Dozuki-ese, contains required and optional fields for data input in the form of checkboxes, picklists, radio buttons, comments and images. All information is instantly saved and accessible on Automation’s Dozuki site. Safety audit team members also can document “good news” with a photo and comment. At the conclusion of the walk, the audit team enters an electronic sign-off into operator view and triggers a notification for a member of the safety steering team to approve the audit in the same manner. The safety steering team meets several times a month, and one of the meetings each month is dedicated to reviewing the most recent safety audit. The results can be reviewed instantly in PDF format. The Dozuki dashboard enables the team to quickly filter and organize the data to understand the trends and concerns. Findings requiring corrective actions or further study are acted upon during the meeting, MWRs are issued and follow-up activities are scheduled. Using Dozuki has resulted in direct labor savings on the safety audits (greater than 50 percent down, from more than six hours per event to about three), reduction of paper use, standardization allowing for a more natural comparison of month-to-month results, better analysis of data and statistics through Dozuki's dashboards and the flexibility of response to focus on succeeding safety audits based on recent safety incidents.

Safety coordinator leads the team

In 2017, Nicolet Plastics, Mountain, Wisconsin, created a safety coordinator position to help with the company's initiative to improve its safety program and culture. The safety coordinator, in addition to the safety team, is responsible for the overall creation, administration, implementation and training of Nicolet's safety policies and procedures. This cross-functional safety team meets once a month to discuss accidents, near misses and safety concerns that were reported and then reviews corrective actions. The team members help with safety projects, training and other facility

24 | plastics business • 2018 Issue 3

MAPP Safety Best Practices Awards Submissions for the 2018 MAPP Safety Best Practices Awards were compiled and sent to the MAPP membership for anonymous voting, and the first, second and third place winners have been announced. In an effort to celebrate, recognize and share best practices from MAPP members in safety, the winners of this year’s award were recognized at the 2018 Environmental, Health & Safety (EHS) Summit.

First Place: All-Plastics Molding, Inc. Second Place: Automation Plastics Corporation Third Place (tie): Nicolet Plastics and Micro Mold Inc./Plastikos, Inc. Finalists:

Special Mention:

Boardman Molded Products CTB Inc. Dymotek Innovative Injection Technologies (I2-Tech) ModROTO Natech Plastics Par 4 Plastics

D&M Plastics Decatur Plastic Products Inc. Plastic Molding Technology Inc. (PMT) Poly Flex Products Revere Plastics Systems LLC Royer Corp. Sapona Plastics Wescon Plastics

updates as needed. In its freshman year, the team closed out 53 action items and brought safety awareness to each department. To encourage and motivate employees to be more proactive in safety, the program has two requirements – to fill out a near miss or safety concern report form and have a corrective action. Employees take pictures to help with understanding the near miss or safety concern and then fill out a form that is reviewed by the supervisor and forwarded to the safety coordinator. The safety coordinator then creates a safety alert – an announcement that is sent to everyone in the organization via email. The safety alerts communicate the nature of the event with a description and photos. Employees who submitted concerns and near misses for the month are recognized at the monthly Nicolet News all-employee meeting. Safety team members went through Training Within IndustryJob Safety (TWI-JS) program – a 10-hour program that teaches employees how to analyze the chain of events leading to an accident or near miss, and how to drill down to root causes. This program also teaches a method for computing the cost of an accident (direct and indirect costs). Furthermore, each employee undergoes safety training, starting on day one of employment. The safety coordinator conducts the safety training and the facility safety tour, using a checklist specifically for new employee safety orientation and based on the new employee’s position. The company also utilizes outside resources to conduct training onsite. For example, in 2017 the company had the local sheriff’s

department come to the facility to conduct ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) training – a set of proactive strategies that increase the chance of survival during an active shooter event – for all employees. Nicolet also had the company that manufactured and installed its overhead cranes conduct refresher training on crane and rigging safety for the crane trainers, maintenance, production support center staff and the safety coordinator. These employees helped restructure the entire crane training program. Nicolet has reduced its OSHA recordable injuries from nine per year in 2015 and 2016, down to four OSHA-recordable injuries in 2017. Furthermore, the company did not have any injuries that resulted in days away from work.

Commitment to hazard analysis

Micro Mold Inc. and sister company Plastikos, Inc., Erie, Pennsylvania, focused on reviewing safety programs in 2017 and conducted a hazard analysis. Safety consultants were brought in to audit the facility, and several new initiatives were created to raise awareness about safety in the facility, add precautions to equipment and make it easier for employees to protect themselves at work. These initiatives resulted in an overall reduction to the company’s incident rate: In 2016, Plastikos’ incident rate was 3.1, and in 2017 it dropped to 1.56.

Examples of safety programs implemented at Plastikos include the following: • A safety shoe program offers a $150 voucher to all employees who are required to wear safety-toe shoes. • Communication for PPE changes were conducted during monthly meetings for all employees. • Lockout/tagout procedures were added to each of the 35 injection molding machines in the same location on each press for quick access and easy use. • For Safety Awareness Month in Pennsylvania, employees were asked to fill out a SafeAtWork Pledge form during the month of June. • Communication for the HazCom updates was covered during a monthly meeting for all employees in Spring 2017. Continuous updates are ongoing, and the Plastikos safety committee meets once a month to discuss safety topics and continuous improvement efforts. • To celebrate the company’s success, pizza parties are held for every 100 days Plastikos has zero recordable accidents. Awareness of near misses also increased. In addition, a complete inventory was taken of more than 300 safety data sheets (SDS) in January 2017. All outdated SDS’s were replaced with current versions. A complete facility inventory check also was taken. Outdated products were removed, and some products were replaced with consumer product grade replacements, where appropriate. Any products missing an SDS were evaluated for their relevancy. The products either were eliminated or an SDS was acquired. n

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Hello Darkness, My Old Friend by Chris Kuehl, managing director, Armada Corporate Intelligence


omehow, I’ve always wanted to connect my musical past to economics. Well, maybe I just decided this minute to make that link, but it seems appropriate to reference this when talking about an economic issue we have not faced in a long time. A cloud has been on the horizon for quite a while, but of late it has started to look a lot more menacing and imminent. We are heading toward an inflationary period of significance, and this is not something that many of us have experienced over the better part of the last two decades – we have been busy contending with a recession and then a very slow recovery from that recession. It would be a good idea to review what inflation actually is, how it is assessed and why it worries economists far more than a recession does. Simply stated, an inflationary period is one in which prices of most everything rise – and generally sharply. These price hikes vary and rarely proceed in lock step: There may be inflation in one sector and even deflation in another but, as the problem worsens, the inflation broadens. The deepest concern among analysts is when there is inflation in the most basic of commodities, as these prices soon course through the entire economy. The rate of inflation is measured by noting the change in pricing from one period to another – an annual rate, monthly or quarterly. The annual measure is generally the most reliable, as it limits the impact of volatility in pricing. There are generally two types of inflation measures – core inflation and real or headline inflation. The measurement of core inflation often drives people nuts, as the economic analysts who do these numbers do not consider the price of fuel and food. These are arguably two of the biggest factors in a given family’s budget, and it doesn’t seem to make any sense at all to not consider the price change. The measure of real (headline) inflation does indeed count both food and fuel. The reason they are not considered as part of the core rate is that these prices are extremely volatile and can change radically within a few weeks. That makes it very hard to make comparisons over a few months or a year. It also is assumed that these price hikes will show up in other ways through the course of the year – higher transportation costs, higher air fares, more expensive restaurant meals and so on. When it comes to driving up prices, the two most important factors are commodity prices and labor. When there is a rise in the price of oil or natural gas, there is a sharp response in utility costs and the price at the pump. Drivers feel it, transportation

26 | plastics business • 2018 Issue 3

Wages did not go up as predicted as those looking for work lacked the skills and training needed. If they did get hired, it was with the understanding they would need to be trained and would not be making much more than minimum wage until they had the needed skills. providers feel it and consumers feel it when they pay more to heat and cool their homes. Industrial metal prices, plastic resins, chemical compounds, lumber and cement are among the many other commodities that form the basic building blocks of the economy. Then, there are wages. For the last year or so, the expectation has been that wages would go up at any minute, as all the conditions were right for such a hike. There is a theory, which has been in place since the 1950s, called the Phillips Curve, that made the connection between low levels of unemployment and higher wages. Naturally enough, it was assumed that when there were fewer people available to hire, the business community would have to pay people more to get them to take the jobs on offer. It also was assumed that companies would poach from one another to get the people they needed – and, that also meant higher wages to lure people to change jobs or higher wages to get people to stay right where they were. Some movement in commodity prices did occur, but not all of them rose as quickly as expected. Commodity prices have been increasing for both natural and artificial reasons. The natural reason is that producers reduced their output when demand faltered, and output has been slow to return to prior levels. The artificial motivation has been the tariff and trade war launched by Donald Trump. This has driven up the price of steel and aluminum, and various threats directed toward the Iranians and others have pushed the oil markets to hike prices. Wages did not go up as predicted, as those looking for work lacked the skills and training needed. If they did get hired, it was

with the understanding they would need to be trained and would not be making much more than minimum wage until they had the needed skills. Businesses have started to give up on finding qualified people and are hiring attitude and assuming the need to do their own training.

Fed Funds Rate now is 2.0% and will likely be at 2.5% by the end of the year. If current thinking prevails, the rate at the end of 2019 will be between 3.0% and 3.5% – but that assumes inflation stays below 2.0% at the core level, and many are suggesting this will be a hard line to hold.

One very important factor we have not talked about yet is the role of the Federal Reserve. The job of the Federal Reserve is to manage monetary policy, which means intervening when there are recessions and inflationary periods. In truth, the central bankers are far better equipped to deal with inflation than they are with recession. The only weapon the Reserve has to goose the economy along is to make money cheaper by lowering interest rates and finding other ways to get banks active. This has been referred to as “pushing a string,” because banks can’t be compelled to loan – they have to want to and, during a recession, they often don’t. Controlling inflation, on the other hand, is far easier. All the Fed has to do is make money harder to get by hiking interest rates and reducing the availability of bank assets, which is accomplished by setting the reserve ratio or changing the interest rates the banks get for depositing money at the Fed.

Our fearless forecast holds that core inflation will climb to at least 3.0% in the next 12 months, and this will provoke the Fed to hike its rates faster than anticipated. We are looking at interest rates between 3.5% and 4.5% by the end of 2019. n Chris Kuehl is managing director of Armada Corporate Intelligence. Founded by Keith Prather and Chris Kuehl in January 2001, Armada began as a competitive intelligence firm, grounded in the discipline of gathering, analyzing and disseminating intelligence. Today, Armada executives function as trusted strategic advisers to business executives, merging fundamental roots in corporate intelligence gathering, economic forecasting and strategy development. Armada focuses on the market forces bearing down on organizations. More information: www.armada-intel.com

In the most general of terms, the Fed is made up of “hawks” and “doves,” but the designations are highly flexible depending on how the data are trending from one month to the next. The hawks want interest rates higher and worry far more about inflation than do the doves, who think the recession threat is the more damaging. Right now, the hawks seem to hold the majority position within the Fed’s Open Market Committee (FOMC) – the body that is charged with setting these rates. The members this year include Jerome Powell as Fed Chair and John Williams as the head of the New York Fed and Vice Chair. They are joined by the other seven permanent members of the Board of Governors and four of the regional bank heads who rotate for annual terms. Right now, there are only three members of the board: There have been some resignations and retirements, and the replacements have not worked through Congress. Of the three, Powell, Randall Quarles and Lael Brainard are swing votes – hawkish on inflation now but shown to be more dovish in the past. The four regional heads that are on the FOMC this year include the very hawkish Loretta Mester from the Cleveland Fed, John Williams from New York, Raphael Bostic from Atlanta and Thomas Barkin from Richmond. The last three named have been both hawk and dove at times but are hawkish now. All this means the Fed will be quick to raise rates to contend with any sort of inflationary threat. Obviously, it has already started with the rate hikes this year and the stated desire to raise them again in September – and, likely in December as well. The assertion is that rates would go up four more times in 2019. The

www.plasticsbusinessmag.com | 27


Foaming Agents: Impact on Production Efficiency of Custom Closures by Mike Uhrain, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag, and Nick Sotos, iD Additives


art lightweighting has become a major trend in plastics. Brand owners are embracing sustainability and ecofriendly initiatives and want to reduce the carbon footprint of their end products. Molders are striving to achieve these goals for their customers by producing lower-weight parts using less plastic, with little or no reduction in part quality. A proven method for reducing part weight is the use of endothermic foaming agents in the molding process. These additives feature heat-absorbing characteristics, which help with cycle-time reduction and have proven to be effective with both commodity and engineering-grade resins. In a recent application, endothermic foaming agents were used in an all-electric molding machine to mold shampoo bottle caps with a living hinge.

Machinery and equipment considerations

When embarking on this project, the principals considered numerous items to best address the goals of molding a quality end product using foaming agents. Fast cycle times are necessary for the molding to be effective, and faster cycle times require faster machines that allow overlapping cycles. Today’s all-electric molding machines are more precise and more energy efficient

Machine Considerations for Foam • Faster cycles require faster machines. • All-electric machines generally more precise and energy-efficient. • Elimination of hold phase lends itself well to cavity balancing via Flow Front Control.

than their hydraulic predecessors, so an all-electric machine was chosen for the project. The specific machine chosen for this study had Flow Front Technology, which allowed for superior balancing of the cavities to ensure equal part weights. This technology works by precisely bringing the screw to a stopped position and allowing the flow front to continue to move forward and naturally equalize the pressure in the cavities before packing out the part (Figure 1). For foaming applications in multi-cavity molds, such technology is important to ensure equal amounts of foam enter each cavity to result in consistent part weights. When considering foam for an application, a number of equipment considerations need to be addressed, including the following: • Part design: geometry, surface finish, fill rate • Application: speed, multi-component, assembly • Production cell concept: new or existing mold, cavitation, resin delivery methods • Mold design: runner system, gating methods, single face, stack, cube • Production cost: cycle-time requirements, energy use, resin, investment, maintenance • Special process requirements: decompressing hot runner, balance cavity pressure • Process stability: reliability, repeatability, process optimization


This particular application focused on a flip-top closure (Figure 2), using the following equipment: Machine: Sumitomo (SHI) Demag SE280EV-AHD C2200 (all-electric machine) Mold: NyproMold 4-cavity single-face prototype mold Material: PP MFI 12 Foaming agent additive: iD Additives 6265 iD Foam 70 MFC

Figure 1. All images courtesy of Sumitomo Demag and iD Additives.

28 | plastics business • 2018 Issue 3

The mold was modified from a two-component to inject as a single component to study the effects of the foaming agent on the living hinge. Objectives for the production of the part included reducing part weight as much as possible and reducing cycle time, while maintaining the aesthetics and part quality/ performance of the closure.

component. The parts were molded without colorants so it would be easier to later observe the effects of the foaming agent. Observation: Quality parts were molded within the spec of the overall dimensions. Test 2. Introduce 1% foam by weight: Foamed parts were molded at the same set-up as the benchmark solid parts in Test 1. Observations: The foam distribution was similar in both part halves. Internal dimensions were slightly smaller than, but almost consistent as, the solid parts.

Figure 2. Flip-top closure

Seven tests conducted

Seven specific tests were run. The following outlines each test procedure with results:

Test 3. Further reduce hold time: Hold time was reduced to 1.8 seconds, 1.2 seconds, 0.4 seconds and 0 seconds (reduced cycle time as well). Observations: Energy consumption per cycle decreased as hold time decreased, but part temperatures increased. The 0.4- and 0-second hold times caused parts to stick to the center of the mold core since it was too hot, but the 1.2-second hold time was optimal. Parts were predictably small. A slight energy savings was noted by reducing the hold time, but more interesting was the reduction in cycle time.

Test 1. Benchmark: Solid parts without foaming agents were molded at the customer-qualified time of 12.3-second cycles for the single

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TECHNOLOGY t page 29

Test 4. Lower temperatures: Reduced barrel temperatures, mold temperatures, and screw RPM. Observations: The maximum part temperature dropped from 174°C to 166°C, and for a 1.8-second hold time, energy consumption per cycle decreased by almost 10%. Even further energy savings could be realized by further optimizing reduced temperatures. Test 5. Increase foam: Additive was increased from 1% to 1.5%. Observations: No further reduction in part weight was noted. There is a physical limit to how much additive can foam for a given wall thickness. Test 6. Check surface quality: Short parts were molded and then parts were molded at increasing injection rates. (Figure 3.) Observations: Foam resulted in excellent surface quality without sink marks, even for really short shots. This shows that the hold phase is not required, since the foam expansion packs out the part. Excellent surface quality was noted for sub-1 second fill times. Splay was not witnessed until the injection rate was reduced down to 27mm/s, which is much slower than injection rates typically used in production for such parts. Part weight was not reduced at increased injection rates for this particular application.


Hypotheses were developed and then tested when using foaming agents in the molding process. Results from the testing showed the following: Hypothesis


Less molded-in stress


Less warp


Reduced hold, cool and cycle times


Reduced cavity pressure (and machine tonnage)

More testing required

Faster injection allows more foaming agent

False (for this wall thickness)

Faster injection leads to better part surface quality


Foaming does not sacrifice physical properties

Confirmed (in hinge area)

In addition, by adding foaming agents to the molding process, financial benefits were realized in the form of material and cycle time savings. • Material savings: 4 percent material cost reduction • Cycle time savings: 15 percent cycle time reduction • Other savings: Less mold and machine wear, less vent cleaning, and less cooling water • One-year savings (assuming 24-cavity production mold running 8,000 hours/56,000 parts per year): Annual material savings of $29,000 and annual production savings of 1,200 hours. To isolate the benefits of foam, the added savings associated with running the mold in a very precise, energy-efficient, all-electric machine were not included in the above figures. n Note: The complete study with results and samples of the molded parts will be available and on display at the iD Additives booth at the MAPP Benchmarking and Best Practices Conference in Indianapolis, Oct. 10-12, 2018.

Figure 3. Short shots

Test 7. Check hinge performance: An industrial CT scanner was used to inspect the distribution of the foam at the hinge and surface. Molded-in stresses were checked with a polarized lens and, per customer procedure, the hinge was opened and closed 200 times. Observations: There were no foam voids in the hinge area. A solid skin of resin on the outer 0.005" of part showed that the foam does not migrate to the part surface. The foamed part had less molded-in stress than the solid part, and there were no hinge failures after flexing, showing that the foam maintains good hinge performance.

30 | plastics business • 2018 Issue 3

Mike Uhrain is Sumitomo Demag’s technical sales manager of packaging for North America and global key account manager. He holds a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Akron in Ohio, has earned a Professional Engineer License and served as a Board Member for the Society of Plastics Engineers Injection Molding Division. Nick Sotos is president of iD Additives, Inc. of La Grange, Illinois, a manufacturer of additives for the plastics industry. iD Additives, Inc. launched in 2005 with a line of foaming agents and has since grown to include UV stabilizers, purging compounds and liquid color and additives.

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Industry Trends in Mold and Machine Maintenance by Ashley Burleson, membership and analytics manager, MAPP


inety-nine percent of plastics companies have a tracking system in place for machine maintenance, according to a recent study conducted by the Manufacturers Association for Plastics Processors (MAPP). Additionally, 90 percent of companies have a system to track mold maintenance in their facilities. The Mold and Machine Maintenance Report, published in late spring 2018 by MAPP, was generated by a survey of United States plastics companies. The report, which includes 32 pages of aggregated data and results from 131 companies located across 28 states, includes inputs from molders of all sizes, processes and capabilities. The data within this report often are presented by company annual sales, number of active tools or number of active machines to allow users to benchmark their organizations against those of similar size and capabilities. While the vast majority of plastics companies have systems in place for tracking mold and machine maintenance, only 66 percent report use of the same system or software for tracking both mold and machine maintenance – meaning many companies are using two separate systems or processes for maintenance activities. The tracking systems, in general, vary across all organizations. For instance, 58 percent of companies use a purchased software, such as IQMS, for the mold maintenance tracking, while approximately 25 percent use a homegrown system, and six percent are relying on manual tracking of maintenance activities. Not surprisingly, mid- to large-sized plastics processors are more likely to utilize a purchased software than their smaller counterparts. Nearly identical trends are seen when examining machine maintenance tracking systems, with 60 percent of organizations using a purchased software and 15 percent manually tracking

34 | plastics business • 2018 Issue 3

machine maintenance activities. Smaller organizations are the most likely to manually track both mold and machine maintenance – and are the most likely to report not tracking machine maintenance. Machine maintenance activities had additional metrics that companies tracked, such as meantime between failures, proactive

vs. reactive time spent by maintenance technicians, technician response time and machine downtime. Only slightly more than 25 percent of processors track meantime between failures, while less than 10 percent track technician response time. Ninety percent of companies track machine downtime, with the practice becoming more common the larger an organization becomes and the more machines a company operates. All companies with more than 50 machines report having a system in place to track downtime. Most commonly, processors rely on the maintenance system to track the machine downtime (32 percent). However, many companies utilize personnel to track downtime. Outside of operators logging downtime, participants report that foremen, supervisors, process engineers and setup techs at various organizations are responsible for tracking downtime, either manually or in their maintenance/ERP software. Having personnel track downtime may be leading to challenges for organizations, however, as enforcing standardized and accurate tracking becomes a barrier. Having strong maintenance tracking in place is necessary as companies are feeling the pressure to maximize machine utilization and avoid unplanned downtime to keep costs low and

Many companies are using two separate systems or processes for maintenance activities. remain competitive. This is why some companies are leaning away from strictly productive maintenance (PM) to predictive maintenance (PdM). Predictive maintenance allows companies to maximize the useful life of parts and minimize both planned and unplanned downtime. Currently, only slightly more than 25 percent of plastics companies have instituted PdM plans at their facilities, while 65 percent continue to rely solely on the PM plans for their molds and machines. In the future, it is likely these numbers will shift as processors look to become as efficient as possible in an industry that continues to become more competitive. n More information or to purchase the full 32-page report: www.mappinc.com

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www.plasticsbusinessmag.com | 35


Brand Protection for Plastics Molders: New Strategies for Anti-Counterfeit Security by Scott R. Sabreen, president, The Sabreen Group, Inc.


ounterfeiting is a worldwide epidemic. Many plastic goods are manufactured in a different region than they are consumed. Products often go through multiple distributors, and it’s difficult to follow the entire lifecycle. Today’s counterfeiters use the same advanced digital and manufacturing technologies as the original brand producer. Some counterfeiters operate entire production plants. Multiple approaches and solutions are needed – i.e., a layered approach works best – and captive and custom plastics molders can deploy an arsenal of new technologies for brand protection and anti-counterfeit security. Costs of counterfeit goods to consumers

The International Chamber of Commerce estimates that in 2015, the value of counterfeit goods globally exceeded $1.7 trillion. That represents more than two percent of the world's total current economic output. With profits, corporate liability and brand reputations at stake, companies are fighting back to protect their brands. Decades of experience and information derived from reputable global sources clearly demonstrate that no single anti-counterfeit technology works best for all products and situations. Multiple approaches and solutions are needed for maximum protection and deterrence.

a) Original

b) Reflected light

c) Transmitted light

Anti-counterfeiting and authentication technologies

Anti-counterfeiting technologies can be classified and explained in different ways. Common defensive strategies include overt, covert, forensic markers, track & trace and tamper evidence. ISO 12931:2012 specifies performance criteria and evaluation methodology for authentication solutions used to establish material good authenticity throughout the entire product life cycle. However, it does not specify how technical solutions achieve these performance criteria. Authentication is generally done through the overt or covert features in the product. Depending upon the importance and value of the product, combining overt and covert features provide layered protection solutions. Overt and covert security authentication are examined in this article. The main difference between the two is that overt technologies can be verified by users (typically visually) who are familiar with the overt technology and have a genuine reference sample of the feature with which to compare the suspect feature on the suspect product. Overt and covert solutions are designed to be applied in such a way that they cannot be reused or removed without being defaced or causing damage to the pack. For this

36 | plastics business • 2018 Issue 3

Figure 1. Optically variable ink with color-shifting effect: a) original clear window under front illumination light, b) view in reflected light and c) view in transmitted light.

reason, an overt device might be incorporated within a tamperevident feature for added security. Overt techniques are clearly visible and do not require detection devices; they are based upon the sensorial capability of the human being. Note: Overt technologies also can be used as covert technologies and vice versa, depending on the complexity of the design. Most of the recent developments in overt and covert technologies have embedded hidden features to make them more difficult to be illegally replicated. Overt technologies include security labels (destructive and non-destructive adhesives), Optical Variable Devices (OVD), 2D and 3D holography, security foils, watermarks, security graphics, color-shifting inks, intaglio printing, laser marking,

fluorescence artifacts, 2D codes (such as QR or data matrix), contact microchips and much more.

transparent, resulting in a clear film with more of a ghost reflective image visible under certain angles of viewing and illumination.

Covert technologies typically require specific equipment to be verified, as the details of the technology are not disclosed. Some covert technologies such as infrared (IR) and ultraviolet (UV) inks, microtext and microscopic tagging are invisible and difficult to detect and replicate without specialist detection equipment. Images printed with UV inks are only visible under a UV light. UV inks are available in different frequencies, thus – depending on the formulation of the ink – the investigators will need to use either a long-wave or short-wave UV source for the printed images or text to become visible. UV inks may fluoresce in a variety of colors, adding to the complexity of this covert feature.

Creation of ultra high-resolution micro/nano images (10-micron and smaller, 62,000 characters/cm2) is one of the important breakthroughs in optical security, using beam-steered lasers. This detail exceeds the resolution available via any other copying, printing or scanning device in industry. Features can be visible to the naked eye, while fine detail can only be viewed using hand-held magnification. The risk of counterfeiting has been greatly reduced by recent advances in the production of micro/ nano images and security patterns that can now be resolved at more than double the previous level.

Covert technologies include taggants, nanoparticles and smartphone authentication; micro/nano printing; hidden imagery; polarization imagery and security inks.

• OVDs can be placed on the surface of products (typically by stamping or rolled laminator process) or under the surface of products (by laminating or injection molding). • OVDs can be metallized (shiny) or transparent (HRI – high refractive index).

Covert technologies, such as taggants, also can be placed onto packaging, with the most effective being completely invisible and only detectable with a special reading device. As with other covert technologies, taggants can only be identified by the brand owner or people they equip with the appropriate knowledge and technology to provide conclusive verification.

Details on OVD use are as follows:

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Two of the newer security technologies of particular interest to plastics molders are OVDs and taggants. Injection molders should work with their customers on brand protection strategies, and these anti-counterfeit methods can be implemented while products are still in the mold.

that’s innovation

Overt technology: optically variable devices

Optical variable devices (OVDs) represent a relatively new security technology. Complex images exhibit various optical effects, depending on the amount of light striking the OVD and the angle at which the OVD is viewed. Sometimes, an illuminating light source is used as an additional security benefit. OVDs cannot be photocopied or scanned, and they cannot be accurately replicated or reproduced. OVDs, similar to holograms, generally involve image flips or transitions, color transformations and monochromatic contrasts. OVDs are typically composed of a transparent film (as the image carrier), plus a reflective backing layer, which is typically a very thin layer of aluminum or copper to produce a feature characteristic hue. Additional security features may be added by the process of partial de-metallization, whereby some of the reflective layer is chemically removed to give an intricate outline to the image, as seen on banknotes. The reflective layer can be so thin as to be

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FOCUS t page 37

• Some OVDs are a combination of metallized and transparent (such as the US passport card). • When laser marking is done on HRI type OVD, the laser passes through the transparent OVD. • When laser marking is done on a metallized OVD, the laser ablates the metallization, creating a unique or personalized OVD. • OVDs can be manufactured to fracture when attempts are made to remove them from the product. This is a tamper-evident feature that helps keep counterfeiters from removing or re-using OVDs. Figure 1 on page 36 demonstrates optically variable inks with color-shifting effects when viewed under reflected and transmitted light conditions. A second example of OVD security, as shown in Figure 2, demonstrates optically variable inks with polarizing effects.

Multiple taggant types are available to deploy and enforce strong and viable brand protection strategies. One of the most significant recent advancements is product authentication using smartphones. Taggants, “micro taggants” and “nano taggants” are uniquely encoded for each customer or product (Figure 3). Particles are microscopic, typically ranging in size from 20 microns to 1,200 microns. Each particle is uniquely encoded, essentially serving as Figure 3. Taggants can a virtual fingerprint. In its most be molded into plastic basic form, the taggant is a unique components and finished numeric code sequence in a goods. multicolored layer format. In more complex form, it provides multiple layers of security through incorporation of several nano-taggant technologies in a single microscopic particle. Verification and detection are done with a variety of inexpensive hand-held readers and scanners (including smartphones). The taggants are available in dry particle form for compounding or as a finished masterbatch. The taggants can be used in a variety of plastic resins and colors, with no change in processing conditions.

Conclusion a) Without tilting

b) Tilted

c) Viewed through polarizing filter

Figure 2. Optically variable inks with polarizing effects: a) without tilting, b) tilted and c) view through a polarizing filter.

Covert technology: taggants

Taggants, originally developed by 3M, can be added into molded plastic components and finished goods. Taggants do not change the color appearance of the plastic and can be used in any color, including transparent plastic. A taggant is one of the strongest protective measures, as few materials can be used within products without changing material properties and functions.

38 | plastics business • 2018 Issue 3

In today’s global economy, when products are under attack through forms of counterfeiting and tampering, authentication technologies play a vital role in protecting brand reputation and the public. With the use of increasingly sophisticated counterfeit methods, criminals continue to advance and profit at the cost of public safety and company revenue. It is essential that plastics molders help their customers to implement overt and covert technologies to ensure that criminals are unable to re-use, copy, or misappropriate products. n Scott R. Sabreen is founder and president of The Sabreen Group, Inc., an engineering company specializing in secondary plastics manufacturing processes – laser marking, surface pretreatments, bonding, decorating and finishing, and product security. Sabreen has been developing pioneering technologies and solving manufacturing problems for more than 30 years. He can be contacted at 972.820.6777 or by visiting www.sabreen. com or www.plasticslasermarking.com.

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IMD/IML: Common Performance Considerations and Test Methods by Dave Schoofs, product development, Central Decal Company


ver the past 30 years, in-mold decorating and labeling has become a common method of providing labeling, signage and user interface on many durable and consumable products. There are a few common benefits to IMD/ IML and in-mold foils, including permanency of the graphic, reduced labor content, simplified supply chain and an overall impact on product design.

Considering why IMD/IML is used, the assumption of permanency and/or improved performance as compared to other decorating methods may not always be accurate. In addition, the IMD/IML performance requirements may not always be defined and/or verified for end use, specifically the colorfastness, durability and the overall adhesion of the IMD/IML to the molded resin. Yes, many companies have developed engineering specifications and include measurable requirements and test methods. Other companies may reference specifications for traditional decorating methods or reference industry/market standards. These may include accelerated weathering, thermal cycle and chemical tests that require no appreciable loss of adhesion, fading, cracking or blistering. When developing a performance specification for IMD/IML, what should one consider?

IMD/IML performance

On a macro level, there are several attributes to evaluate before and after molding. As with any printed graphic, the printing technology, type of pigment and film deposit all affect color retention. In addition, an overprint clear or the face film may provide additional protection to UV degradation, oxidation, chemicals and abrasion. Next consider the adhesion, not only of the IMD/IML to the molding resin but also consider the adhesion of the various layers within the IMD/IML. For IMD/IML, it is recommended to test the inks and coatings before and after molding, as the molding process can affect the performance of the inks and coatings on the IMD/IML.

Evaluating permanency or adhesion

First, it’s always a good idea to review the common IMD/IML constructions.

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With first-surface IMD/IML, the image is printed on the face or “first surface” of the film. There are two variations to this version, with a printed clear or an over laminate. Variation 1: Printed clear

Inks and coatings – printed image Base film of film insert Molded resin Variation 2: Over laminate

Laminate Bonding agent/adhesive Inks and coatings – printed image Base film of film insert Molded resin With second-surface IMD/IML, the image is printed on the back or “second surface” of the film. This type of IMD/ IML is considered very durable, as the inks and coatings are sandwiched between the base film and molding resin.

Base film of insert Inks and coatings – printed image Molded resin

Why does an IMD/IML adhere to the molding resin?

For first-surface IMD/IML, the heat of the molding resin melts the rear surface of the IMD/IML base film and the two materials bond to one another. For second-surface IMD/IML and in-mold foils, a very similar process occurs, and the final printed layer or coating will melt and fuse with the molding resin. In either case, when the resin cools, the two materials are basically fused together. This bond is often described as a chemical/thermal bond, as the two materials have melted together and become one. page 42 u

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Testing and evaluating bonds

When it comes to testing and evaluating adhesion to determine if a permanent bond has been achieved, there are quantitative and subjective test methods. Whichever method is selected, molders should consider testing the adhesion shortly after molding and again after environmental tests. A common subjective test to evaluate the bond is to cut an “X” or a rectangular strip through the IMD/IML insert and slightly into the molded resin. Next, use the end of the knife to attempt to peel the insert from the resin. In the case of a quantitative test, typically a rectangular strip would be cut and the peel value measured. Some companies benchmark and require peel values in the 2.5 to 3.5lbs/inch range, similar to the required peel values for pressure-sensitive adhesives. Consider performing the adhesion test near the gate as well as away from it. Why? Knowing that heat is required to achieve the bond, keep in mind that gate design, part geometry and wall thickness can affect how the resin flows and cools within the tool.

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In addition, test the bond or adhesion of the printed coating to the IMD/IML with either a tape test or traditional cross-hatch test. It is recommended that the test be conducted, at minimum, one to two hours after the molded part is cool to touch and again after accelerated weathering, thermal cycle, chemical or immersion tests are complete. The molding process can affect the IMD/IML.

Test results

Common test results for first-surface printed IMD/IML: • If the IMD/IML does not delaminate with effort or “chips” from the molded resin, then a A common subjective test to evaluate a permanent bond has bond is to cut an “X” through the IMD/ been achieved. IML insert and slightly into the molded • If the IMD/IML resin. Then use a knife to attempt to peel delaminates from the the insert from the resin. Photo courtesy of molded resin with Central Decal. little effort, the resin and IMD/IML may not be compatible or there is an issue related to the resin temperature. • If the IMD/IML does not delaminate near the gate but does delaminate away from the gate, there may be a potential temperature-related issue. • If IMD/IML bubbles after time or thermal cycling, then there are issues related to the IMD/IML compatibility and/ or the molding process. Common test results for second-surface printed IMD/IML are similar to the first-surface test results; however, there are a few added considerations to those listed previously. • If the printed image adheres to the molding resin but peels entirely from the base film, this indicates ink and base film issues. • If the printed image adheres to the base film but peels easily from the molded resin, this indicates a potential compatibility issue. • If IMD/IML bubbles after time or thermal cycling, several issues may be related to the IMD/IML as well as the molding process. The root cause of this failure can be different from the same type of failure for a first-surface IMD/IML. • For metallic coatings and other large pigments, the base film may delaminate from the resin. This condition can

be considered acceptable if metallic coating or pigment is present on the IMD/IML and the resin. Are the test methods and anticipated results the same for a formed as a flat insert? The short answer is yes. Additionally, it is possible to encounter what has been described as a mechanical bond or friction bond whereby the insert is held in place by the geometry of the IMD/ IML and the molded part. There also may be partial adhesion. If a weak bond is present, it may be possible to observe “oil canning” of the insert, where the insert is flexing or moving independent of the molded resin. It is recommended to verify the adhesion in numerous areas of a formed part. Furthermore, it is important to focus evaluations on the areas where the parts are stretched during forming, as the inks and coatings may crack and create a potential failure. Regardless of the application, identify the performance requirements and verify that the IMD/IML meets those performance requirements. Don’t assume; always verify. n

Knowing that heat is required to achieve the bond, keep in mind that gate design, part geometry and wall thickness can affect how the resin flows and cools within the tool. Dave Schoofs has more than 35 years of experience providing durable printed solutions to a wide variety of end markets including automotive, appliance, lawn and garden, marine, sporting goods and handheld electronics applications. His current responsibilities include supporting product development at Central Decal. More information: www.centraldecal.com.

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If You Don’t Know How to Onboard New Employees, You’re Not Alone by Pam Butterfield, Business Success Tools


ere’s the challenge many employers are facing today: Boomers stayed in the workforce longer than anyone expected. As a result, many employers put off any efforts to recruit their replacements, and now those employers have forgotten – or never really knew – how to onboard new workers so they’ll get up to speed and stay.

What that means is that you must have an established, repeatable in-house training program. This will help your employees develop the skills they need to do the job the way you want it done. It will reduce the likelihood of mistakes and rework, while helping new employees learn the procedures that allow them to do it efficiently.

Today, the onboarding process is critical. This is especially true when hiring Millennials who make quick decisions about their workplaces and have no problem leaving if they are unhappy. If a company doesn’t onboard the Boomer’s replacement properly, chances are the replacement will leave. And, by the time the next employee comes along to fill the spot, the Boomer (and his or her institutional knowledge) is long gone. Without that knowledge, the newest hire has a much higher chance of failing.

By the way, “I talk. You learn,” is not training. The ultimate training solution might require you to design and implement a formal apprentice program, and that may be several years away from reality. Start with small steps. How about providing checklists for routine tasks to minimize employee errors and yield more consistent results? Or, create written work instructions for more complicated job tasks? There’s more to effective training than checklists and work instructions, but at least this is a start.

Get really good at developing and retaining your people.

Improving your company’s ability to develop and retain good employees is a process, not an event. Improvements take time and resources. Here are three things successful companies do to help new employees get off to a good start and become confident contributors:


Onboard employees. Imagine this. You’re standing with one foot on a boat and one foot on a dock. If you don’t put both feet on one of the surfaces, as the boat pulls away, you’ll fall into the water. The goal of a well-thought-out onboarding process is to get a new employee to move both feet solidly onto the boat (your company). You want them to be proud of the company they have joined – to feel like they belong and fit in. Successful companies have an onboarding process that fits their size, culture and needs. An Internet search using the term “onboarding new employees” will help you find excellent, free resources to get started with onboarding in your company.


Provide company and job-specific training. Training costs money and takes time. Not training your employees costs even more. Good people do not want to go to work every day and screw up. And Millennials, who seek engagement and development, will quickly sour on their jobs without new challenges.

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Give ongoing feedback. Regular on-the-job “guidance” catches problems before they become huge performance issues. With newer employees, it allows you to provide course corrections, onthe-job training and feedback. If an employee improves, mistakes get nipped in the bud. If the person does not improve, you’ve spotted a potential flaw in your hiring process. This kind of ongoing feedback also is the key to retaining Millennials. They’ve grown up with constant, supportive feedback. You can make fun of that as much as you like, but it’s what they expect. The annual performance review doesn’t cut it with this crowd. They consistently want to know now how they are doing now. Look for ways to provide that feedback if you want to keep them.

Millennial disruption: It’s happening, and it’s not going away.

Millennials (one in three American workers today) are disrupting the way companies find and keep talent. They expect more from companies before they will even interview with them. They expect to be engaged and challenged where they work and to move on when they’ve learned all they can from a job or employer. Employers that are dependent upon this generation for their next round of workers need to stop complaining about these new expectations. They need to learn ways to onboard them quickly

and to get the most out of them for as long as they have them. Employers that learn how to adapt to this disruption will attract and make the best use of this tech-savvy, knowledge-hungry and growth-seeking group of employees. Here’s the mind-bender for many employers: In the past, companies hired people. Today, people are hiring companies. Millennials learn about potential employers before they submit their resumes. They won’t hesitate to withdraw from the selection process if a company is not a fit for them.

The big takeaways

I’ve worked with and worked for small companies that have succeeded in building a strong workforce. These companies have learned how to get, grow and keep employees. What I’ve noticed is it takes time – typically one to three years – for a small company to improve its ability to acquire, develop and retain the right employees. These companies often are reluctant to accept this new reality, and they suffer for it. They kick and scream (“We don’t have time” or “It’ll cost too much”) and push back on the need to invest precious resources in reinventing how they hire and train their people. The time and cost concerns are valid; truly, they are. But, if you plan to remain in business, doing

Employers that are dependent on this generation for their next round of workers need to stop complaining about these new expectations. nothing to improve hiring and managing people is not an option, especially in today’s hunt for scarce talent. Take a good look at your recruiting, onboarding, training and employee engagement processes. Start evolving now to meet the needs of the labor force you’ll need today and tomorrow. Develop repeatable processes that can be used over and over as these restless employees move on. Stop complaining and start learning from them. They may just have something to teach you. n Pam Butterfield is the founder of Business Success Tools, which helps small businesses (1 to 1,000 employees) grow productively and accelerate growth through people and processes. For more information, visit www.BusinessSuccessTools.biz.

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Hearing Conservation in the Plastics Industry Manufacturers Use OSHA’s Hearing Conservation Program to Protect Workers by Katy Ibsen, contributing writer, Plastics Business


ver the past two decades, more attention has been given to the effects of increased noise within the manufacturing environment, which can lead to hearing loss. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), “noise, or unwanted sound, is one of the most pervasive occupational health problems. “Noise-induced hearing loss can be temporary or permanent. Temporary hearing loss results from short-term exposures to noise, with normal hearing returning after period of rest. Generally, prolonged exposure to high noise levels over a period of time gradually causes permanent damage,” as stated in OSHA’s Hearing Conservation booklet no. 3074.

As a result, many plastics manufacturers have put an emphasis on protecting employees by complying with OSHA’s hearing conservation program. The program provides industry-specific requirements to protect an employee’s hearing by monitoring noise exposure, providing audiometric testing, providing hearing protection, conducting training and maintaining recordkeeping of results.

Monitoring noise

To understand a manufacturing facility’s noise exposure, it first must be monitored. American Casting and Manufacturing, a family-owned manufacturer of plastic and metal security seals in Plainview, New York, has maintained an OSHA-compliant hearing conservation program for its production employees for more than 20 years. “Most of our production area is classified as a high-noise area, and all production employees are required to wear hearing protection throughout the day,” says Christian Wenk, managing partner. “We perform annual hearing tests for all employees who work in the high-noise areas, and we perform full-day noise dosimetry to establish the production areas in which employees will require hearing tests.” OSHA defines the standard for harmful noise exposure as at or above 85 decibels, averaged over eight working hours, or an eighthour time-weighted average (TWA). To put that into perspective, a garbage disposal or dishwasher typically generates sound at 80 decibels. A hand-held power tool, belt sander and jigsaw all emit noise at an average of 95 decibels – and, as noise doubles every three decibels, a tool operating at 95 decibels has the potential to be significantly more damaging.

48 | plastics business • 2018 Issue 3

Any employee who is exposed to a level of noise at or above 85 decibels should be evaluated during a typical work situation. If the work situation changes, the evaluation must reoccur to ensure protection is still adequate in relation to the level of noise exposure. To determine the level of exposure, monitoring is conducted by a series of tests, such as the testing that occurs at American Casting and Manufacturing.

Noise level testing

Baseline noise level information can be gathered from documentation provided by the equipment suppliers from which machinery and tools have been purchased. Additional testing will likely be necessary, however, and OSHA recommends three methods, as quoted from Section III, Chapter 5 of the OSHA Technical Manual: • Sound level meters provide instantaneous noise measurements for screening purposes. During an initial walkaround, a sound level meter helps identify areas with elevated noise levels where full-shift noise dosimetry should be performed. • Most sounds are not a pure tone but rather a mix of several frequencies. The frequency of a sound influences the extent to which different materials attenuate that sound. Knowing the component frequencies of the sound can help determine the materials and designs that will provide the greatest noise reduction. Therefore, octave band analyzers can be used to help determine the feasibility of controls for individual noise sources for abatement purposes and to evaluate whether hearing protectors provide adequate protection. • Like a sound level meter, a noise dosimeter can measure sound levels. However, the dosimeter is actually worn by the worker to determine the personal noise dose during the workshift or sampling period. Noise dosimetry is a form of personal sampling, averaging noise exposure over time and reporting results such as a TWA exposure or a percentage of the permissable exposure limit. At American Casting and Manufacturing, noise dosimetry testing is utilized. “Dosimetry testing is performed by having employees wear a noise dosimeter through their shift,” Wenk said. “You receive peak noise values as well as noise ‘dose’ for the full shift. This determines whether the employee is exposed to a level of noise that requires them to have annual hearing tests.” Wenk’s company requires hearing protection for all production employees since much of the facility qualifies as high noise. “Our machine shop, injection molding building and shipping and receiving areas are the exceptions.”

Baseline and annual testing for employees

Audiometric testing specifically monitors an employee’s hearing over time. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) recommends audiometric testing be performed by a Council for Accreditation in Occupational Hearing Conservation (CAOHC)-certified audiometric technician. According to a 2010 recommendation to OSHA, ASHA indicated that, “technicians who are CAOHC-certified have demonstrated their competence in pure-tone audiometry and knowledge of the critical factors that influence the accuracy of audiometric testing programs.” As a result, OSHA recommends using a licensed or certified otolaryngologist, or other physician, to perform audiometric testing for employees exposed to the standard of 85 or more decibels over an eight-hour TWA. Before annual testing is measured among employees, OSHA recommends a baseline audiogram test for each employee page 50 u

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within six months of the employee’s exposure to the standard of 85 or more decibels over an eight-hour TWA. Employees must complete the baseline audiogram within one year of their start date. Results of the baseline dictate what hearing protection is issued and required for each employee. This is considered a benchmark for each employee, and the employer must not only be transparent with the employee of its results, but also will be responsible for keeping it on record. Annual testing, if warranted, tests employees against their baseline audiograms to determine whether they have experienced deterioration in their hearing levels. OSHA states, “it is important to test workers’ hearing annually to identify deterioration in their hearing ability as early as possible. This enables employers to initiate protective follow-up measures before hearing loss progresses.”

compensation insurance rates and other injury- or illness-related costs. As of 2010, noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) was one of the most common occupational injuries and the second most selfreported occupational illness or injury, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. At that time, it was estimated that approximately 22 million American workers were sometimes exposed to high levels of noise on the job. Employer awareness and programs such as OSHA’s Hearing Conservation Program are helping to reduce these statistics and protect workers. n Learn more about OSHA’s Hearing Conservation program or compliance tools: www.osha.gov


In addition to protecting the employee’s hearing, a hearing conservation program also can result in reduced worker’s

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and product names are trademarks or service marks of their respective holders. All rights reserved. Errors and omissions excepted.

50 | plastics business • 2018 Issue 3


2018 Benchmarking and Best Practices Conference to be Held in October Oct. 10-12, 2018 | Indianapolis, Indiana For the 16th year, MAPP is hosting the 2018 Benchmarking and Best Practices Conference – an event tailored specifically for plastics processors across the country. This year, more than 625 plastics professionals will come together for 2½ days of benchmarking, networking, sharing and growth. This year’s theme – Be Extraordinary – will inspire, motivate and educate processors on ways to continuously improve every day! With sessions aimed at nearly every functional area in a plastics organization, companies are encouraged to bring their team for a well-rounded experience. Additionally, MAPP has recently announced its three keynote speakers for the event – which will be a catalyst for a motivational and educational experience: • David Horsager – David Horsager, MA, CSP, is the CEO of Trust Edge Leadership Institute, national bestselling author of The Trust Edge, inventor of the Enterprise Trust Index™ and director of one of the nation’s foremost trust studies: The Trust Outlook™. • Alan Hobson – Alan Hobson was a member of three self-guided, self-organized and corporately sponsored $500,000 expeditions to the world’s tallest peak, Mount Everest. Three years after standing on the highest physical point on Earth, he was diagnosed with the aggressive blood cancer, acute leukemia, and given less than a year to live. • Gen. Stanley McChrystal (ret.) – Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal is a transformational leader with a remarkable record of achievement. He impresses audiences with field-tested leadership lessons, stressing a uniquely inclusive model that focuses on building teams capable of relentlessly pursuing results. Learn more about this event and register at www.mappinc.com/ conference. Safety Award Winners Recognized at 2018 EHS Summit Manufacturing safety professionals came together at the annual Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) Summit on July 1920, 2018, in Columbus, Ohio. During this 1½-day event, MAPP recognized and awarded companies with best practices in safety across the industry with the introduction of the Safety Best Practices Award.

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The Safety Best Practices Award is a peer-driven award. Plastics companies from all over America submitted their best practice in safety, and the finalists were selected and voted on by other plastics professionals. With more than 250 unique votes, MAPP was able to recognize the following organizations: Safety Award Winners: • All-Plastics LLC • Automation Plastics Corporation • Nicolet Plastics • Plastikos Safety Award Finalists: • Boardman Molded Products • CTB Inc. • Dymotek • Innovative Injection Technologies (i2-Tech) • ModROTO • Natech Plastics • Par 4 Plastics All submissions to this year’s award have been compiled and are available to view on the MAPP website. An article with more information on the award winners can be found on page 23. Plastics 2018 Wage and Salary Survey in Process MAPP recently launched its Wage and Salary survey, which will result in a report to be published this summer. For the sixteenth year, MAPP is conducting this keystone study. The study analyzes information on more than 55 job titles specific to the plastics industry, including administrative, production, engineering, maintenance, quality, warehouse, sales and managerial job functions. This report also includes information on operational benchmarks, overtime and pay differentials, insurance, and vacation and paid time off. This survey is designed to allow senior executives and human resources personnel make smarter, more informed decisions when it comes to competitive employee compensation. The Wage and Salary Report will break down compensation information for each job title by both organization size and geographic location. Participants in this survey will receive the end report for free or at a discounted rate this fall. The survey will remain open through Aug. 24, 2018, on www.mappinc. com/events.

New Members Welcomed into the MAPP Network MAPP is proud to welcome the following plastics organizations into the MAPP network: • • • • • • • • • • • • •

BD Custom Manufacturing, Bristol, Indiana Bison Innovative Products, Denver, Colorado Eimo Technologies, Vicksburg, Michigan EirMed, LLC, Menomie, Wisconsin Fast Plastic Parts, Colorado Springs, Colorado Globaltech Plastics LLC, Fife, Washington Hoffer Plastics Corporation, South Elgin, Illinois Ideoplas, Bedford Heights, Ohio Molding Dynamics, Bedford, Ohio MVC Nicholasville, Nicholasville, Kentucky MYCO Plastics, Jacksonville, Texas Nidec Sankyo America Corporation, Shelbyville, Indiana SCP Polymers, Booneville, Mississippi

MAPP invites its members to join MAPP’s staff and board of directors at this event. Visit www.mappinc.com for more information. Mold and Machine Maintenance Report Now Available The 2018 Mold and Machine Maintenance Report now is available for purchase and download. The 2018 Mold and Machine Maintenance Report includes 32 pages dedicated to benchmarking maintenance practices within plastics facilities. The report includes data and information on tracking mold maintenance activities, tool PM personnel, PM timing by tonnage, machine maintenance tracking, maintenance metrics, mold and machine maintenance training and more. For more information, visit www.mappinc.com/resources. n

Educational Outreach Award Entries Due by September 7 The 2018 Educational Outreach Award launched in August for MAPP members across the country. This award celebrates and recognizes organizations that are going above and beyond to find new and unique ways to reach out to young people in their communities. Now in its third year, award winners are voted on by industry peers and receive a check to donate to the organization or program of their choice. Submissions will be accepted through Sept. 7, 2018. To learn more or to submit an entry, visit www.mappinc.com/events. MAPP to Participate in 2018 Plastics Industry Fly-In Sept. 11-12, 2018 | Washington, DC For the third year in a row, MAPP is proud to support and sponsor the Plastics Industry Fly-In. The Plastics Industry FlyIn allows plastics industry professionals the opportunity to show up in Washington, DC, as a group and educate those on Capitol Hill about how plastics help change peoples’ lives for the better. Attendees will have face-to-face meetings with lawmakers and key decision makers, giving them the opportunity to share their real-world stories. These meetings help lawmakers to understand how legislative issues will impact the health and viability of plastics businesses, employees and customers. Additionally, MAPP’s Young Professionals Network will meet the day prior to the Fly-In for an intimate Leadership Development Workshop, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Attendees can expect a dynamic presentation and hands-on learning, along with networking and practical takeaways.

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www.plasticsbusinessmag.com | 53


The View from 30 Feet Business gurus often talk about the view from 30,000 feet – the big picture that provides a look at overall operations. Perhaps, however, the focus should be on the view from 30 feet – a close-up of specific processes and procedures that make an impact now.

Anderson Technologies Offers Success Coaching to Its Employees by Lara Copeland, contributing editor, Plastics Business


uto repairs. Child support. Financial literacy and assistance. Food stamps. Foreclosure. Health and insurance. Home repairs. Housing needs. Transportation needs. Utilities. While the listed items may seem like typical issues many adults face from day to day, they can be confusing and overwhelming for the person enduring any number of them, causing ripple effects in all areas of life – including on the job. Unbeknownst to coworkers and supervisors, employees may face challenges, whether in their professional lives or at home in their personal lives, and these challenges have the potential to dramatically affect an employee’s performance, attitude and engagement at work. Anderson Technologies, based in Grand Haven, Michigan, understands that these issues can cause mental and physical problems for an employee, which can lead to an assumption by management or supervisors that the individual is simply not engaged at work. Wanting to offer nonintrusive support, guidance and counseling to all employees, yet understanding the company was not well equipped with resources or knowledge on how to best help its employees with various life challenges, Anderson acted. “Anderson Technologies has had an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for several years,” explained Director of Finance and Administration Diane Hiles. The EAP is an offsite resource that employees can call confidentially for help, support and guidance for themselves or a family member. However, Anderson noticed employees were not utilizing this resource. “We receive a usage report each quarter, and the usage was always very low – maybe one or two people a quarter out of 85-plus employees were taking advantage of the EAP,” she continued.

54 | plastics business • 2018 Issue 3

Hiles believed onsite help was lacking and that most people felt they could only call the EAP with “bigger” problems, like alcoholism, depression, cancer and suicide. “I don't think they felt they could reach out for the smaller problems,” she added. “I wanted to investigate the possibility of our EAP coming onsite on a regular basis to meet with employees if they were having issues.” Shortly thereafter, Hiles heard about the Employer Resource Network (ERN) and its Success Coach program. ERN success coaches provide long-term coaching, which allows for a holistic approach to providing solutions and creating work and life success for employees. She knew this could make a difference for employees. “We implemented the Success Coach program in the fall of 2014 with full support from our management team,” Hiles said. Anderson's ERN – called TERN-KEYS – comprises eight local companies in the manufacturing, health and hospitality industries with identified common needs, such as retention, training and advancement. These companies share a success coach who comes to each employer site at set times throughout the week and offers assistance with work and life issues to all employees. The average employer cost is comparable to the cost of two employee turnovers. Scott Hillard, the success coach shared by all employers in TERN-KEYS, is at Anderson for four hours once a week, rotating between morning and afternoon to cover all the shifts. Additionally, he is available the remainder of the week via email, text or phone call. To help employees address work/life balance, he finds the root cause of the issue(s) each employee is having and then connects the employee to company, public and

nonprofit resources, managing each case from start to resolution. Hillard can tap into several different resources throughout the community – for example, nonprofits to help with financial issues and counseling for abuse, grief and relationships. He provides essential training to help individuals find solutions to problems that range from car breakdowns to the emotional stress caused by a divorce while also providing help to human resources staff for attendance and performance issues. “Scott sits in our employee break room, which is used by all employees and where many people will just talk with him causally when they are on break,” Hiles explained. “He used to sit in our front conference room and employees would stop by to see him, but he has definitely developed more of a relationship with our team by sitting in the break room and seeing most employees on a regular basis,” she said.

The Anderson Technologies success coach is on site four hours per week to help employees address personal issues that can affect their work performance. Photo courtesy of Anderson Technologies.

This certainly helps to develop trust between Hillard and employees, making them feel more comfortable and helping to break the silence. “Many problems can be embarrassing, and employees don’t really want to share their problems with anyone, even if it is confidential,” Hiles commented. Hillard also is available by appointment, and he utilizes one of the conference rooms to speak confidentially with individuals. If the onsite time does not work for an employee, he is willing to meet offsite as well.

what’s going on at home, and, “that’s the part of the job that I enjoy – knowing that I’m removing that barrier.

“When it comes to the role of success coach, our goal is to help the employee find a road that will lead to success,” Hillard explained. “Our main job when we first meet with an employee is to listen; a lot can be learned just by listening.” From that point, Hillard said he recaps the employee’s needs and starts to work with the individual to formulate a plan of action to put the employee on the right path. “We make sure to assist and guide the employee, not do it for them,” he added.

Hillard works with each employee to create a plan, gives the employee the assignment and makes sure the individual has the ability to do what is needed. “When the employee plays a role in resolving their own needs, they are able to feel a sense of accomplishment when they achieve the results they needed – and they have some of the tools needed to help themselves in the future,” he said.

Being able to come to work, sit down and talk to somebody faceto-face and resolve the issue as a team is something Hillard feels is vitally important and completely different from other programs. “This program removes the barriers, giving it that little extra bit to make sure employees are doing well,” he confirmed. He said the program helps employees to come to work not stressed about

Hillard likened his role to that of a coach on the field or court. “Coaches are there to plan things out, hand out the plays and make sure the plays are executed. Sometimes everything works out and you score on the first play. Other times you need to come up with a new plan to make sure you succeed on the next play. Success coaches are no different.”

In the past 18 months, since Hillard has been sitting in Anderson’s break room, the program has had a definite impact on the employees. “In our year-end report from the success coach for the 2016/2017 year, Scott met with a total of 45 employees from Anderson,” Hiles said. Of those, 32 were self-directed page 56 u

www.plasticsbusinessmag.com | 55

VIEW FROM 30 t page 55

reach outs, 10 were direct by HR or a supervisor, and three were referred by coworkers. “Scott has helped those individuals with roughly 60 different types of services.” Hiles is happy with the results. “I have seen employees make complete changes in their way of living, going from living life day-to-day to coming up with a plan and goal. They are saving money, improving credit scores, going to school and showing interest in additional responsibilities at work.” She also noted the company has avoided potential terminations because of attendance issues by sending an employee to see Hillard. Several Anderson employees have shared testimony about the impact Hillard has had on them and their success at work and in their personal lives. Greg Tucker, an Anderson employee who recently sought help from Hillard, explained, “He comes into the break room dressed in street clothes and talks to us like regular people. We laugh and joke, but in the midst of that we talk about real life situations.” It is the comfortable setting and nonconfrontational attitude that led Tucker to seek guidance when his car was vandalized. “I

Our goal is to help the employee find a road that will lead to success. needed quick cash, and I didn't know where to go, so I confided in Scott,” he said. Hillard put Tucker in touch with a lender that Tucker described as “in the game for me.” When Tucker began making payments on his loan, the credit union put a portion of the money into a private account that couldn’t be touched until a set amount of time had passed – essentially functioning as a savings account for Tucker. “The lender helped me stay focused and set me up on the right path for the future,” he said. “I didn't even know this thing existed, and I wouldn’t have if it wasn’t for Scott.” Anderson Technologies’ purpose is, “To help you achieve new levels of success,” and the Success Coach program is an example of how Anderson does that for its employees. As Tucker says about the company’s president and owner Glenn Anderson, “When he says he wants us to succeed and see us grow, it sounds like he’s really speaking the truth when looking at this success program.” n

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56 | plastics business • 2018 Issue 3




Maguire Releases WXB™ Extrusion Blender Maguire Products, Inc., Aston, Pennsylvania, introduced the WXB™ Weigh Extrusion Blender. It incorporates a gain-in-weight (GIW) weigh bin and a loss-in-weight (LIW) mix chamber in one machine with a Maguire® 4088 controller. While the GIW function precisely weighs batch ingredients as they are dosed sequentially into the weigh bin, the LIW mix chamber makes possible accurate metering of the blend into the processing machine and facilitates control of extrusion and haul-off in accordance with process variables. The tight tolerance achieved by the blender (within +/- 0.1 percent) is a key to conserving raw material. The 4088 controller is designed for communication with other systems in an Industry 4.0 setting. It enables the WXB blender to interface with the Maguire + Syncro™ supervisory system, which provides control of all segments of the production line from a single touchscreen human-machine interface (HMI) control. The Maguire + Syncro brand is the product of a partnership between Maguire and SYNCRO srl. For more information, visit www.maguire.com.

M. Holland Signs Distribution Agreement with Owens Corning M. Holland Company, Northbrook, Illinois, announced it has signed a distribution agreement with Owens Corning, a global leader in the glass fiber reinforced composite industry, to distribute the company’s XSTRAND™ products. Owens Corning’s XSTRAND™ line of products are high-performance composite filaments for 3D printing, a growing market segment in which M. Holland is investing to support client needs. M. Holland will serve as master distributor for the products, managing a network of sub-distributors and directly distributing XSTRAND™ filaments to M. Holland clients in the thermoplastic resin industry in the US and Mexico. For more information, visit www.mholland.com.

58 | plastics business • 2018 Issue 3

Conair Launches New Products Conair, Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania, launched Conair SmartServices™, a new Industry 4.0 platform for plastics processors, and its new portfolio of Viper™ granulators. SmartServices™ combines powerful equipment monitoring and visualization functions with advanced cloud-based data storage and analytics. The Conair SmartServices offering starts with compact wireless machine adapters (WMAs) that are installed in the controls of each piece of auxiliary equipment and a connection to the web-based SmartServices platform. Once enabled, WMAs automatically collect data from each piece of auxiliary equipment and transmit it into the secure, cloud-based SmartServices database where it is processed and stored. The new portfolio of Viper™ granulators comes with standard features that include improved sound insulation, hardened and water-cooled cutting chambers on most models, and bigger screens for increased throughput. From small press-side units to large, central granulators, the new Viper product line includes 14 different models with rotor diameters of 6, 8, 12, 17 and 23" (140, 200, 300, 420 and 570mm), and maximum throughputs from 80lb/hr (36 kg/hr) to 3800lb/hr (1724 kg/ hr). For more information, visit www.conairgroup.com.

WITTMANN BATTENFELD Extends SmartPower Series WITTMANN BATTENFELD, Kottingbrunn, Austria, announced it is extending the SmartPower range up to a clamping force of 400 tons. This extension also includes the multicomponent machines of the SmartPower series, which means that the SmartPower COMBIMOULD will be available with clamping forces ranging from 600 to 400kN. In the SmartPower COMBIMOULD, each injection unit is equipped with its own servo-hydraulic drive. The resulting advantages for users are energy efficiency and independent, parallel operation of all injection aggregates. In this way, the shortest possible cycle times can be achieved, together with low energy consumption. For more information, visit www.wittmann-group.com.

IQMS Adds New Track and Trace Module IQMS, Paso Robles, California, announced a comprehensive Track and Trace module, the latest addition to IQMS’s system, which combines robust manufacturing execution systems (MES) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) software functionality to provide an end-to-end solution for manufacturers. Expanding upon track and trace functionality in the IQMS system, the new module provides manufacturers with the additional data, insights and intelligence they need to easily and accurately provide documentation and product tracking to react and respond to recalls, industry regulations and quality audits. For more information, visit www.iqms.com.

Frigel Unveils HB-Therm® Temperature Control Units Frigel, East Dundee, Illinois, announced the availability of HB-Therm® Temperature Control Units (TCUs) in North America that use water – not synthetic oil – as a heat transfer fluid to cool plastic molds at operating temperatures of 200°C (392°F) to 230°C (446°F). The water HB-Therm TCUs deliver precise cooling while eliminating environmental concerns associated with oil TCUs, which often are used to achieve high operating temperatures. Additionally, water as a heat transfer fluid is an inherently safer option than synthetic oil. With the HB-Therm racking system, users can easily stack multiple units together to deliver precise cooling to as many as eight mold zones and – with an available central control module – for as many as 16 separate zones. For more information, visit www.frigel.com.

Arburg Introduces Allrounder 1120 H Arburg, Lossburg, Germany, introduced the hybrid Allrounder 1120 H. The large machine features a new design and the Gestica control system. The basic specifications include a clamping force of 730 tons (6,500 kN), 44.09" (1,120 millimeter) distance between tie bars and 41.33" (1,050 millimeter) maximum opening stroke, providing more space for larger molds. The hybrid Allrounder 1120 H combines the speed and precision of an electric toggle-type clamping unit during mold movements with hydraulic power and dynamics during injection. The new design facilitates set-up and the work sequences on the machine. Examples include the fold-up steps to the clamping unit and integrated LED light strips that indicate the operating status (machine runs, warning, fault). For more information, visit www.arburg.com.

America Makes and ANSI Publish Version 2.0 of Standardization Roadmap for Additive Manufacturing America Makes, Youngstown, Ohio, and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) announced the publication of their Standardization Roadmap for Additive Manufacturing (Version2.0). Some 320 individuals from 175 public- and privatesector organizations supported the document’s development. The new roadmap describes the current AM standardization landscape and identifies 93 “gaps” – 18 of them high priority – where no published standard or specification currently exists to address a particular industry need. Updates are provided on progress against gaps identified in the earlier version of the roadmap, with many gaps having been substantially revised. A number of new gaps also have been described, many involving polymers. For more information, visit www.ansi.org/amsc. n

www.plasticsbusinessmag.com | 59


Creating Successful Cultures by Dianna Brodine, managing editor, Plastics Busines


his summer, I had the opportunity to participate on a selection committee for a local leadership award. The process included three separate review phases over the space of two months, culminating in a final group meeting where 12 people discussed the final nominees before naming the ultimate list of award honorees.

In many of our (sometimes spirited) discussions, the decision about whether to name the nominee to the final list came down to culture – did the nominee impact the culture of our community in a positive, lasting way? At the upcoming MAPP Benchmarking and Best Practices Conference in October, culture also will be a recurring theme, as many of the most successful organizations have developed a culture in which their employees thrive – and business success follows. In preparation for the event, grab one of these new reads on the subject.

The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups Author: Daniel Coyle Released: Jan. 30, 2018

In The Culture Code, Daniel Coyle goes inside some of the world’s most successful organizations – including the U.S. Navy’s SEAL Team Six, IDEO and the San Antonio Spurs – and reveals what makes them tick. He demystifies the culture-building process by identifying three key skills that generate cohesion and cooperation, and he explains how diverse groups learn to function with a single mind. Coyle offers specific strategies that trigger learning, spark collaboration, build trust and drive positive change. Coyle unearths helpful stories of failure that illustrate what not to do, troubleshoots common pitfalls and shares advice about reforming a toxic culture. Combining leading-edge science, on-the-ground insights from world-class leaders and practical ideas for action, The Culture Code offers a roadmap for creating an environment where innovation flourishes, problems get solved and expectations are exceeded.

Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility Author: Patty McCord Released: Jan. 9, 2018

When it comes to recruiting, motivating and creating great teams, Patty McCord says most companies have it all wrong. McCord helped create the unique and high-performing culture at Netflix, where she was chief talent officer. In Powerful: Building

60 | plastics business • 2018 Issue 3

a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility, McCord advocates practicing radical honesty in the workplace, saying goodbye to employees who don’t fit the company’s emerging needs and motivating with challenging work, not promises, perks and bonus plans. McCord argues that the old standbys of corporate HR – annual performance reviews, retention plans, employee empowerment and engagement programs – often end up being a colossal waste of time and resources. Her road-tested advice, offered with humor and irreverence, provides readers a different path for creating a culture of high performance and profitability.

The Best Team Wins: The New Science of High Performance Author: Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton Released: Feb. 13, 2018

In The Best Team Wins, Gostick and Elton studied more than 850,000 employee engagement surveys to develop their “Five Disciplines of Team Leaders,” explaining how to recognize and motivate different generations to enhance individual engagement; ways to promote healthy discord and spark innovation; and techniques to unify customer focus and build bridges across functions, cultures and distance. They’ve shared these disciplines with their corporate clients and now have distilled their breakthrough findings into a succinct, engaging guide for business leaders everywhere. Gostick and Elton offer practical ways to address the real challenges today’s managers are facing, such as the rise of the Millennials, the increasing speed of change, the growing number of global and virtual teams, and the friction created by working cross-functionally.

Extraordinary Influence: How Great Leaders Bring Out the Best in Others Author: Tim Irwin Released: Feb. 27, 2018

The age-old question for every leader: how do we bring out the best in those we lead? Anyone who has run a company, raised a family, led an army or coached a team struggles to find the key to help others excel and realize their potential. It is surprising how often we resort to criticism vs. an approach that actually results in a better worker and a better person. In most organizations, the methods used to provide feedback to employees, such as performance appraisal or multi-rater feedback systems, in fact, accomplish the exact opposite of what we intend. Science in recent years discovered that affirmation sets in motion huge positive changes in the brain. It releases certain neuro chemicals associated with well-being and higher performance. Amazingly, criticism creates just the opposite neural reaction. Leaders must forever ban the term, “Constructive Criticism.” Brain science tells us that we can establish a connection between the employee’s work and his or her aspirations. This book calls

for a new approach to align workers with an organization’s mission, strategy and goals.

Fusion: How Integrating Brand and Culture Powers the World's Greatest Companies Author: Denise Lee Yohn Released: March 13, 2018

Independently, brand and culture are powerful, unsung business drivers. But, as author Denise Lee Yohn reveals, when you fuse the two together to create an interdependent and mutually-reinforcing relationship between them (what she calls fusion), you create new growth that isn't possible by simply cultivating one or the other alone. Through detailed case studies from some of the world's greatest companies (Sony, Frito-Lay, Oakley, FedEx, Airbnb, Adobe, Salesforce, LinkedIn, etc.), interviews with industry leaders and insights from the author’s 25+ years working with world-class brands, FUSION provides readers with a detailed roadmap for increasing competitiveness, creating measurable value for customers and employees, and future-proofing their businesses. n

www.plasticsbusinessmag.com | 61

SUPPLIER DIRECTORY Additive Manufacturing/ Prototypes

Financial Services



Federated Insurance www.federatedinsurance.com/ drivesafe/speed Page 56

A-1 Tool Corporation www.a1toolcorp.com Page 47

Amco Polymers www.amcopolymers.com Pages 35

B A Die Mold www.badiemold.com Page 46

Chase Plastics www.chaseplastics.com Page 53

Carson Tool & Mold www.carsonmold.com Page 47

M. Holland www.mholland.com Page 14

Concept Molds www.conceptmolds.com Page 46

PolySource www.polysource.net Page 18

Foaming Agents

Ivanhoe Tool & Die Company, Inc. www.ivanhoetool.com Page 47


Frigel www.frigel.com Page 20

iD Additives www.idadditives.com Page 45

Mold Craft www.mold-craft.com Page 47

Novatec www.novatec.com Pages 16, 17, 32, 33

Hot Runners

Operations Consulting

INCOE Corporation www.incoe.com Page 41

Harbour Results, Inc. www.harbourresults.com Page 29

Synventive Molding Solutions www.synventive.com Page 12

Process Monitoring

ProtoCAM www.protocam.com Page 21

Energy Strategy Constellation www.constellation.com Page 50

Equipment/ Auxiliary Suppliers Conair www.conairgroup.com Back cover

Progressive Components www.procomps.com/pins Page 7 Wittmann Battenfeld www.wittmann-group.com Page 25 Yushin America, Inc. www.yushinamerica.com Page 61

Events/Organizations Chinaplas 2019 www.chinaplasonline.com Pages 51 MAPP Benchmarking and Best Practices Conference www.mappinc.com/conference Pages 8, 9, 57

MBS Advisors www.mbsadvisors.com Page 12 Mueller Prost www.muellerprost.com Page 37 Stout www.stoutadvisory.com Page 39

Legal Counsel

IQMS www.iqms.com Page 3

Ice Miller LLP www.icemiller.com Page 42

RJG, Inc. www.rjginc.com/technology/edart Page 22

Marketing Services VIVE – Marketing for Manufacturers www.vive4mfg.com/answers Page 49

MRO Supplies Grainger www.grainger.com Inside back cover

62 | plastics business • 2018 Issue 3

SIGMASOFT Virtual Molding www.virtualmolding.us Page 31 Syscon International www.syscon-intl.com Page 27

Purging Compounds ASACLEAN/Sun Plastech Inc. www.asaclean.com Inside front cover

Paulson Training Programs, Inc. www.paulsontraining.com/skills Page 43

Plastics Business 2018 Issue 3

Strategies for Today’s Plastics Processors

Safety Practices on the Plant Floor Driving Growth with Data Setbacks in the Resin Supply Chain Brand Protection for Molders

Official Publication of Manufacturers Association for Plastics Processors

A guide to this issue's Plastics Business advertisers.

What people

are saying... MAPP’s MRO Program with Grainger ensures we receive the best pricing on all of our supplies. No need to waste extra time and extra effort – just order and save. Grainger gets it done. It’s that simple.” – Jim Krause, Microplastics, Inc.

Grainger offers MAPP members significant discounts off 13 categories, including: • • • •

Motors Safety (people) Electrical Safety footwear

• Power transmission • Safety (facility) • Hand tools

• Material handling • Abrasives • Power tools

• Lubrication • Welding • Machining

Members also receive a discount off all other Grainger catalog and online products, as well as FREE shipping (restrictions apply).

Start saving with


Visit www.mappinc.com Grainger hotline: (888) 326-8605 Other freight charges will be incurred for such services as expedited delivery, air freight, freight collect, sourced orders, export orders, hazardous materials, buyer’s carrier, shipments outside the contiguous U.S. or other special handling by the carrier.




You’re always the go-to guy, the person that everyone turns to. Now, SmartServices™ can make your reputation – and quality of life – even better. Thanks to our web-enabled interface, you’ll have complete control over your plant floor anywhere, any time of the day or night. You’ll be alerted to issues before – not during or after they occur – via text or email.

Conair equipment is designed, built and supported to ensure it will rarely, if ever, be the cause of unintentional production stoppages. If it ever is, we’ll help make things right.

Ready to take it to the next level?






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Plastics Business - Issue 3 2018  

Plastics Business - Issue 3 2018