Catching up on awards, VIP visits and a new blog

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Let's catch up on some bloggable news today from Pereles Bros. Inc., Paragon Films Inc., Chroma Corp., Plastics Group of America and Uponor Inc.

Pereles Bros., a Milwaukee-based injection molder, gets a shout for winning a Central City Business Award from The Business Journal, a weekly newspaper in my favorite Midwest city. Pereles was honored in the Medium Company category. The awards recognize entrepreneurs and commercial businesses whose contributions toward growth, expansion and prosperity are making a difference in Milwaukee’s central city and others across the region.

Pereles Bros. partners with the state’s Transitional Jobs Program to create financial security for Milwaukee families and is currently engaged in training local neighborhood participants for long-term employment.  The company also supports the Silver Spring Neighborhood Center; serves on the board of directors for the Havenswood Economic Development Corporation; and sits on the advisory board for the School of Career and Technical Education.

”We are honored to receive an award that recognizes our ongoing commitment to our community,” said company President Ted Muccio. "Our focus will continue to be on community outreach, the growth and advancement of our locally sourced employees and our partnerships with local organizations that share our same philosophies. ”

Pereles Bros. serves a range of industries including medical, foodservice, house wares, automotive aftermarket, electrical, power tools and lawn & garden.

Paragon Films makes the blog today for starting a blog of its own, called ParagonU. The site is devoted to news and information about stretch film, and it's been updated pretty regularly since launching a few weeks ago. Welcome to blogland, Paragon.

Chroma, a McHenry, Ill.-based compounder, is in the news for winning a McHenry County Business Champion Award during the McHenry County Economic Development Corp.'s recent annual dinner. Chroma was recognized for growth and innovation.

The 45-year-old company added 13 pieces of equipment over the last two years to activate a quicker turn around and implement shorter lead times on its growing small-order business segment. President and CEO Tom Bolger also said the company's green technology has allowed it to reduce its carbon footprint.

Chroma employs 115.

Plastics Group of America earns a headline for hosting a visit from U.S. Sen. Jack Reed.

Reed visited TPG's Woonsocket, R.I., plant on March 26, plus he checked up on the progress of the compounder's restoration of the former Jules Desurmont Mill complex.

The visit also included a look at TPG's new multi-million dollar extruder. Company President Bob Lebeaux hosted the visit.

Last but definitely not least, Uponor gets a tip of the hat for being named 2013 Manufacturer of the Year in the large-company category by the Manufacturers Alliance, an association providing peer-to-peer training, education and resources that allow Midwest manufacturing companies to continuously grow, improve and stay competitive.

The Manufacturers Alliance chose Uponor due to several lean and operational efficiencies the company had experienced in the past year, including:

  • Improving Overall Equipment Efficiency (OEE) by 7.8%
  • Decreasing Non-value Added (NVA) by 19%
  • Decreasing scrap rate by 9%
  • Decreasing Variable Production Cost (VPC) by 6.3%
  • Improving lacquer lines changeover from three and a half hours to 10 minutes
  • Improving pipe recoil changeover from 45 minutes to two minutes
  • Best year for reducing severity and frequency of accidents
  • Sharing lean processes with office personnel, resulting in a new product catalog lean process that reduced production costs by 21% and production time from 207 days to 30 days.

Uponor is an extruder of plumbing, fire safety, and radiant heating and cooling systems.