This morning, Plastics News announced four companies who are finalists for the 2019 Processor of the Year: Diversified Plastics Inc., Intertech Plastics Inc., MMI Engineered Solutions Inc. and PTI Solutions Inc.
Intertech also was a finalist for the 2018 award.
Editor Don Loepp and reporter Bill Bregar will visit all four companies as part of the judging, but here are a few tidbits on each company to explain why they're finalists:
• Diversified Plastics is owned by employees through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan, and company officials say that gives it an advantage. The ESOP stock price has jumped 72 percent in last three years and revenue per employee went up 12.4 percent.
• Intertech draws talent from the Eaglecrest High School robotics team, which the company sponsors. The first apprentice, a robotics team member named Kevin King, came in his junior year and built vision system that uses two cameras. "Today, Kevin is a full-time automation technician and [we] are paying for his engineering degree."
• MMI scored the highest marks in the employee relations criteria. Management has worked hard to make MMI an "employer of choice" and develop a career path for advancement. Employees have seven "tracks" in leadership, warehouse and technical track, with several job categories in each track.
• Investing in a closed-loop water system with in-house water treatment means that PTI cut water consumption by 40 percent, or 80,500 gallons. For the last three years, the company has invested about $60,000 in lighting upgrades, including automatic shutoff. Even waste oil and lubricants get recycled. By working with the local electric supplier, PTI sends that to a local farm to heat its barns through a 99 percent fuel and waste-efficient furnace.