Tom Duffey began his professional business career in 1980 at Engineered Products, an organization of manufacturers' representatives that he started with his father, selling mechanical components such as investment castings, die castings, metal stampings and plastics. He has been in that business for the past 28 years.
In 1986, Duffey returned to school, and graduated in June 1988 from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management with a Master's degree in management.
In 1989 he and two other partners started Plastic Components Inc. (www.plasticcomponents.com). The Germantown, Wis., company has grown from its original three injection presses and 10,000 square feet to 42 small-tonnage Toyo and Nissei presses and about 44,000 square feet. The firm, which reported sales of $12.3 million in 2008, stresses complete process automation as its manufacturing model, with a robot on every press. As such, it employs only 50 people. Still, the company has produced well over 1 billion small and medium-sized injection molded parts since its inception.
In 1995, he started a third company, Automated Wire Products Inc., which makes ground compression springs primarily for the hydraulics industry.
Duffey, a 1979 graduate of the University of Notre Dame, currently also is board president of the Indianapolis-based Manufacturers Association for Plastics Processors (www.mappinc.com) trade association that until recently was known as the Mid-America Plastics Partners.