Hamlet, N.C. — A company that injection molds more than 11 billion parts a year and has a 99 percent on-time delivery rate is doing customer relations right.
In 2018, Plastek Industries Inc. took customer service to a new level, working to reduce its carbon footprint on behalf of its blue-chip consumer product customers.
For the effort, Erie, Pa.-based Plastek is the winner of the 2018 Plastics News Excellence Award for customer relations.
This year the Plastics News judges visited Plastek's Hamlet plant, a highly automated factory devoted to a single customer. The 49 presses are all high speed, high cavitation, and unmanned automated guide vehicles buzz around the plant, delivering molded parts to the machines.
Julie Macpherson, quality manager at the plant, said worker training is a constant focus.
"Our customers, the expectation is zero defects," Macpherson said. "Training is a lot of hands-on on the floor."
Aaron Doehrel, general manager, said training in Hamlet extends to the college level, just as it does at the company's headquarters in Erie, Pa.
"We do a lot of things with RCC [Richmond Community College], as far as training. We pay people to go to be trained. I don't know of too many companies that do that," Doehrel said.
Plastek has many Fortune 500 customers, including Procter & Gamble Co., Unilever, Revlon Inc. and Church & Dwight Co. Inc. The molder and mold maker specializes in personal care products, including deodorant sticks, caps, cosmetic containers and other thin-wall parts.
According to the company, the normal scrap rate in the sector is between 3-5 percent. But it has been able to achieve a 2.5 percent rate thanks to increased use of automation and manufacturing integration and intelligence systems on all of its molding machines.