Custom extruder Teel Plastics Inc. has been rewarded for its recent growth and quality and efficiency improvements by being named Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year Award.
Teel doubled its net income in three years as it upgraded operations and took on a range of new business, President Tom Thompson said in a phone interview. Growth spurred the company to expand its workforce and institute new training programs. Last year it hired more than 50 new personnel, bringing its roster up to about 255, and it continues hiring more this year.
Thompson said his firm's attention to detail led it to upgrade its laboratory so it can pinpoint resin properties crucial to tight tolerance jobs in medical, health care and cosmetics markets. The firm has four chemists on staff and an in-house compounding operation to tailor properties for specialty jobs. Teel uses a range of commodity and engineering resins and its bigger-than-average technical staff is key to getting the materials formulas right for its breadth of products.
“It is important for us to get a good idea of the properties of materials coming in and for finished products,” Thompson said.
Teel runs 27 extrusion lines and compounds and processes materials as diverse as PVC, polyolefins, nylon and polyetherether ketone. Other markets for the custom profile, pipe and tubing extruder include water management, oil and gas and automotive.
Business association Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce chooses the annual award winners in conjunction with local accounting and law firms. Judges also gave high marks to Teel for its project management process, dedication to lean manufacturing and its reputation for exceptional custom products.
Thompson said the Smith family-owned business benefits from the owners' guidance, support and involvement in the company.
“They are a critical part of our success,” Thompson said.