Manufacturing Today - Spring 2010 - (Page 104)

First American Plastic Molding Enterprise / HQ: South Beloit, Ill. / Employees: 85 / Specialty: Custom injection molding Bill Bartlett, president: “What we market is our manufacturing capabilities and how we do business.” first american plastics manufactures plastic components for clients such as mcdonald’s and pepsico. Go with the Flow first american plastics is riding out the economic downturn by remaining lean. by fernie tiflis At the industry’s apex, there were about 10,000 plastic molding companies in the United States, according to First American Plastic Molding Enterprise President Bill Bartlett. However, by the end of 2009, that number was down to 6,000. The substantial decrease happened in the past two years, but the number has been gradually diminishing for the past five to seven years, he adds. And although many companies have moved their full-time production overseas, South Beloit, Ill.-based First American Plastic chooses to ride 104 SPRING 2010 out the storm at home. “A lot of companies are upset about [the market changes], but we view it as a global economy,” Bartlett says. “We are going to be in a global economy – something that constantly changes – for a long time, so we have to figure out how to adapt to it instead of fighting it.” For example, instead of moving its production overseas to offset costs, First American Plastics offers its customers the option to have their molds built in China. “Our customers know about it, and we oversee their produc- tion,” Bartlett notes. “We recognized that we still need tooling shops in the United States that we can count on, but we also work hard to embrace the global aspect of the business.” To ensure quality, the company maintains constant communication with its tooling partners in China. “Our customers come to us with a concept, and we work with [our partners] to design and build molds, and we oversee everything,” Bartlett says, adding that First American Plastics has two companies it works with in China. A Systematic Approach First American Plastics manufactures a variety of plastic components, such as knives, forks and spoons for McDonald’s out of its Ocean Springs, Miss., facility, and valves for Pepsi soda

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Manufacturing Today - Spring 2010

Manufacturing Today - Spring 2010
Global Strategies
Cost Concerns
Growth Opportunities
Continuous Improvement
Business Value
Juanita’s Foods
Les Plats du Chef
Gardner Denver
Smeal Fire Apparatus Co.
Club Car Inc.
Parkson Corp.
MKS Instruments Inc.
Amity Technology
Co-Operative Industries
Corbi Plastics
Elyria/Hodge Foundries Co.
Inteplast Group Ltd.
Willbanks Metals
Zotos International Inc.
Akron Foundry Co.
Alo North America
Bosal International
First American Plastic Molding Enterprise
MAC Equipment
Mayville Engineering Co. Inc.
Kurtz Bros. Inc.
Aesco Electronics
Code 3 Inc.
Columbia Marking Tools
Euro-Rite Cabinets
Fampec Technology LLC
Faubion Associates Inc.
Ginsey Industries Inc.
Imagineering Finishing Technologies
Imperial Woodworks Inc.
Innovative Lighting
Liburdi Dimetrics
MTC Transformers
Plastiques GPR
S.A. Robotics
Sunrise Windows
Positran Manufacturing Inc.
Manufacturing Tomorrow

Manufacturing Today - Spring 2010