By: Roger Renstrom
June 12, 2014
Strategy consulting and research firm Frost & Sullivan named Plastic Molding Technology Inc. of El Paso, Texas, as the winner of a major manufacturer of the year award.
“The award is a tribute to the progress of the plastics industry and our employees who help us be one of the premier manufacturers,” Charles A. Sholtis, PMT owner and CEO, said in an interview.
The judging panel for Frost & Sullivan’s manufacturing leadership community recognized PMT as the manufacturer of the year in the competition’s small/medium category for companies with sales of less than $1 billion. PMT has 100 non-union employees, occupies 60,000 square feet including a tool-repair shop and projects 2014 sales of $16 million.
Sholtis said that PMT used internal resources in developing its highly detailed entry for the competition.
Frost & Sullivan cited two PMT transformational projects: a comprehensive lean continuous improvement initiative and a multi-dimensional, integrated sustainability program.
PMT says it began focusing on sustainable solutions in 2010 and continues to implement programs. The projects produce ongoing savings and contributed to PMT achieving record profit last year, Sholtis said.
Among the efforts, a proprietary hard-wired Shopwatch programmable logic controller automatically monitors machine run time and shuts off the pump motor of a press left unattended or in a standby mode.
An internally developed control system reduces idling time of PMT’s 40 plastic regrind machines and cut their energy consumption by 95 percent.
As part of an enterprise resource planning system from IQMS Inc. of Paso Robles, Calif., customized software captures data acquisition, archiving and collection of molding machine parameters.
A $150,000 system from Stanley Group’s Vidmar unit in Allentown, Pa., stores customer-owned molds, uses an IQMS link to track their locations and saves about 780 man-hours per year through shorter retrieval times.
PMT is accredited under ISO/TS 16949 and ISO 9001 and is pursuing certification under ISO 13485.
As of June 11, PMT’s operations had gone 1,409 days without a lost-workday accident.
PMT operates more than 56 horizontal injection molding presses of 45-390 tons, primarily from Toshiba, Nissei and Milacron, and seven vertical insert molding machines of 40-150 tons, mostly from Engel, Autojector, Nissei and Battenfeld. Thirty-one presses are energy-saving all-electric machines, and the remaining units are hydraulic.
PMT uses insert molding for about 35 percent of its plastics processing and conventional molding for the remainder. Precision parts, largely for Tier 1 and Tier 2 automotive suppliers, include gears, bushings, lamp sockets, knobs and wire harness and fuse components.
Other end markets involve electrical and electronic components, medical devices and consumer appliances.
The CEO’s father, Charles E. Sholtis, founded the business in 1973 in Connecticut and retired last year.
From 2001-2004, the custom molder moved its operations in stages to El Paso from Seymour, Conn., to accommodate some key customers wanting PMT closer to their maquiladora assembly plants in Mexico.
In an earlier recognition, PMT received the Plastics News Excellence Award for customer relations. The award was presented in March 2013 during the newspaper’s Executive Forum.
Mountain View, Calif.-based privately owned Frost & Sullivan presented its transformation of manufacturing awards to PMT and, in the category for firms with annual sales exceeding $1 billion, Boeing Co. of Chicago, during a June 5 ceremony in Palm Beach, Fla.
Boeing’s recognition related to its ThreatNavigator system, which taps into global data feeds and can provide a real-time situational operating picture with visual analytics. The system protects Boeing’s supply chain and employees.
Frost & Sullivan named two manufacturing leaders of the year: Dean Bartles, executive director of the consortium Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute of Chicago for his advocacy of education, and Susan Lewis of Dow Chemical Co. of Midland, Mich., for her promotion of environmental health and safety.
Frost & Sullivan’s first-ever manufacturing leadership lifetime achievement award posthumously recognized Richard E. Dauch, co-founder and chairman of American Axle & Manufacturing Inc. of Detroit. Dauch died in August.