AMA Plastics Inc. has strengthened its management structure, received recognition for entrepreneurship, achieved quality improvements and added three injection molding presses.
During 2014, the custom injection molder in Riverside, Calif., went through a process of “reorganizing our team and aligning resources to support our growing business needs,” CEO Mark Atchison said in a message to employees.
Michael Engler joined AMA in January in the new position of vice president of operations. Cheryl Buhler remains as president.
AMA promoted Ken Pravitz to director of engineering with responsibilities for program management, process engineering and tooling engineering.
AMA hired a process engineering manager who is a Master Molder II, a human resource manager, a customer service manager a process engineer and a customer service representative.
Previously, Engler was at the Greensboro, N.C., plant of TE Connectivity Ltd. as senior manager of operations for the Americas region and global center-of-excellence leader. Engler is a certified Six Sigma Black Belt professional.
RJG Inc. of Traverse City, Mich., certifies Pravitz as a Master Molder III. He has trained 12 AMA employees for Master Molder I certifications. Thirty AMA technicians have experience with RJG training programs.
During 2014, AMA added three new Toyo all-electric presses: two with clamping forces of 200 tons in February and one of 400 tons in August. AMA ordered another 200-ton Toyo in early November and anticipates having it operational in January.
Including 84 Toyos, seven Toshibas and two Arburgs, AMA operates 93 injection molding presses with clamping forces ranging from 35-720 tons.
“We plan on adding four new all electric presses in the next year,” Engler said.
In sustainability, AMA recycled more than 1.2 million pounds of plastics scrap in 2013. Based on the first 10 months, AMA projects full-year 2014 recycling will reach 1.65 million pounds.
In recent marketing successes, AMA added two new customers in the consumer electronics industry, one in the medical market and another in the appliance industry.
AMA recorded sales of $56 million for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31.
“We project exceeding $60 million in the current fiscal year,” Buhler said.
In July, AMA increased the employee ownership of the business to 49.9 percent from 33 percent. Atchison retains 50.1 percent. In December 2008, AMA started the employee stock ownership plan, which enables employees to obtain an equity interest.
AMA employs more than 500 including some working through an onsite temporary employment agency.
As of Nov. 17, AMA had gone 1,801 days without a lost-time accident.
In March 2011, AMA moved operations about 18 miles to Riverside from Corona, Calif., after modifying a 150,000-square-foot warehouse to include 15,000 square feet of office space and a 6,000-square-foot clean room. The Class 100,000 clean room has a capacity for 18 molding machines, now uses 17 and is exploring ways to expand that capability.
On Nov. 13, an independent judging panel recognized Atchison as winner in the contract manufacturing category of an entrepreneurship competition. The Inland Empire Center for Entrepreneurship at California State University, San Bernardino, presented the Spirit of the Entrepreneur Awards in nine categories at a black tie dinner in Riverside with 760 persons in attendance.
“We had 130 nominees this year,” said Mike Stull, IECE director and award program founder.
In another competition, AMA won the 2014 IQMS manufacturing success award in the company-initiative category. AMA conducted “an enterprise application analysis to reinvigorate its use of the software, redeploy underutilized modules and maximize its use of EnterpriseIQ for impressive results.”
IQMS of Paso Robles, Calif., announced the recognition Oct. 7 during the enterprise-resource-planning software firm's user group meeting in Las Vegas. An external panel of industry experts, analysts and consultants judged entries in the competition.
AMA began using IQMS software in 2005 and, with the supplier, started an EnterpriseIQ application audit self-assessment in January 2014. “We put together a plan to improve on every single area” of operations, Buhler said.
Over six months, AMA invested about $90,000 in implementing ERP system upgrades and training programs. AMA calculates related savings of more than $286,000 reducing expenses largely for premium freight, vendor lot population efficiency, scheduling implementation and scanner efficiency.
Now, AMA uses all IQMS modules for manufacturing, inventory, production and sales functions and eight of IQMS' 18 enhancement modules.