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Numerous plastics angles in the 2014 Manufacturing Leadership Awards

By: Don Loepp

March 21, 2014

Plastics Blog readers will recognize a ton of familiar names in the list of 2014 Manufacturing Leadership Award Winners.

Frost & Sullivan announced the winners this week. There are 100 manufacturing companies and individuals on the list, so at the risk of missing a few, here are the ones with plastics connections that I spotted:

• Susan Lewis, Houston-area operations director at Dow Chemical Co., won a next-generation leadership award.

• Rapid Prototype and Manufacturing LLC, an offshoot of Avon Lake, Ohio-based molder Thogus Products Co., won an award for customer value leadership.

Micro Mold Co. Inc., an Erie, Pa.-based toolmaker, was honored for engineering and production technology leadership. Micro Mold is a sister company to injection molder Plastikos Inc., a former Plastics News Processor of the Year winner. Micro Mold and Plastikos also were just named to Plastics News' Best Places to Work list for 2014.

Protoplast Inc., an injection molder and toolmaker in Cobourg, Ontario, also was honored for engineering and production technology leadership. Protoplast was just a finalist for our Processor of the Year award, and the company received a Plastics News Excellence Award for employee relations.

• Dow Chemical Co.'s Engineering and Manufacturing Innovation efforts also was picked in the engineering and production technology leadership category. And the Midland, Mich.-based plastics resin supplier's Operational Excellence and Reliability Technologies Development efforts were honored for operational leadership.

Poly-Cast Plastics (Suzhou) Co. Ltd., an injection molder in Suzhou, China, was honored for enterprise technology leadership. The operation is owned by three U.S. injection molders: Brookings, S.D.-based Falcon Plastics Inc.; Tigand, Ore.-based Poly-Cast Inc.; and Corry, Pa.-based Viking Plastics.

• The Reshoring Initiative was honored for industry advocacy. Not really a plastics institution, I know, but Harry Moser's group has plenty of support from North American plastics companies. Moser just spoke at the 2014 Plastics News Executive Forum ["Reshoring gives a boost to US manufacturers"].

• Likewise, GE Appliances isn't exactly a plastics company, but the company does have a Plastics Center of Excellence at its massive factory in Louisville, Ky., so we'll take credit for this winner too. GE Appliances was honored for operational leadership.

Plastic Molding Technology Inc., an El Paso, Texas, injection molder, also was honored for operational leadership and sustainability leadership. Charles E. Sholtis, a well known figure in plastics circles, is CEO of the 40-year-old company.

• Greif Embalagens Industriais do Brasil was honored for sustainability leadership. The unit of Delaware, Ohio-based Greif Inc. was picked for a plastics innovation: sustainable and stackable multilayer jerry cans molded with polyethylene resin derived from sugarcane.

Quite an impressive list of manufacturing leadership, and it's great to see the plastics industry so well represented — with both large and small companies getting a moment in the spotlight. Congratulations to all.