Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 62


Midwest

Dutchland Plastics LLC

sophisticated. "All of our machines
are computer-controlled," Swoger emphasizes. "Many of them are equipped
with a feature called infrared thermometry, which allows us to control
how long a part is kept in the oven or
in the cooling station based on the
temperature of the part rather than
just the time. This is a great feature because it allows us to make much more
consistent products."
	 Dutchland Plastics now operates
more with a process flow than as a
job shop. "We have standard operating procedures for almost everything
we do," Swoger notes. The company
has added new molding machines and
trained its staff extensively, as well as
improved visual management on the
production floor. Dutchland also has
applied lean principles to its manufacturing processes. "These are things
that are really starting to have an impact on the performance of our business," Swoger maintains.
Plastics
has
a
	 Dutchland
170,000-square-foot main manufacturing facility at its headquarters in
Oostburg, Wis., and a satellite facility in
Sherrill, N.Y., that makes products for
one customer located nearby. Such satellite facilities that locate near long-term
customers - of whom Dutchland Plastics
has quite a few - are a possible strategy
for the company in the future.
	 "Most of our customers have been
with us for 10 or more years," Swoger
says. "I think that speaks highly of what
we've been doing. We have added a number of new customers over the last several years, but that is not at the expense of
our more tenured customers."
	 Swoger sees that trend of organic
growth continuing into the future.
"We are contemplating some external
development in addition to the continuation of our internal development,"
he predicts. "That external develop62

ment may take the form of an acquisition, a new facility or both."
	 Dutchland prides itself on being a
technological leader in the rotomolding industry. "We manufacture many
products that few if any competitors
would have the capability of producing," Swoger asserts. "This has been
recognized by the Association of Rotational Molders (ARM) which awarded
Dutchland its Product of the Year and
Conversion of the Year awards for 2014
and 2015."
	 Dutchland Plastics' family atmosphere will continue into the future,
and Swoger attributes the company's
success to its employees. "About half
of our employees have been here for
more than 10 years," he maintains. "We
have a number of employees that have
been here 30 years or longer and an incredible number of employees that are
related to other employees. It is a very
common situation where we have father and son, uncle and nephew or husband and wife working here. Currently
about one-third of our employees are
related to another employee. In my
mind, that speaks volumes about what
we are all about, because if you would
recommend Dutchland Plastics to
your son, daughter or spouse, it's got
to be a pretty good place to work."
	 Swoger attributes the company's
success to those dedicated employees.
"We are most proud of our people," he
says. "Dutchland's motto is, 'known by
our products, powered by our people.'
Our people are the most important
and valuable resource that the company has. Rotomolding requires a very
high level of skill and craftsmanship,
which is dependent upon our people.
We've done a lot of things to help those
people become more productive.
That's been the culture of the company
for almost 50 years, and that culture is
ingrained within the company." mt

manufacturing-today.com MARCH/APRIL 2016

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2/25/16 11:00 AM


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016

Contents
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - Cover1
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - Cover2
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 1
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 2
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - Contents
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Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - Cover3
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