Manitowoc, Wis. — When you walk in the front door at Redline Plastics, the first thing you see is a large sign that says "Redline Cultural Behavior #7. Don't be a jackass."
That's one of 14 of the company's self-described "outrageous cultural behaviors" that emphasize honesty and good communication.
"There's a lot of golden rule or core messages here that speaks to everybody in the organization," President Nick Murray said.
Are they working? The company has been a Plastics News Best Place to Work for three years in a row, and this year finished in second place.
Redline Plastics is also a 2022 Processor of the Year finalist — proof that it excels at more than employee relations — and winner of the PN Excellence Award for Employee Relations.
Other areas of strength include community relations, financial performance, technological innovation and quality.
You might say that Redline Plastics is both the oldest and youngest 2022 Processor of the Year finalist. The company dates back to 1922 as Dow Canvas, a maker of products for the tent and awning industry.
But it didn't move into plastics until 2016, when it purchased Premier Plastics Inc. and renamed itself Redline Plastics.
"We took a step back a couple of years ago and decided to define ourselves not by the markets that we serve, because they're very diverse, but by the capabilities that we have in house. So we do rotational molding, vacuum forming, cut-and-sew, and some fiberglass-reinforced plastics," Murray said.
In 2018, the company sold its DowCo Inc. marine division to Patrick Industries Inc. and kept the plastics business, as well as its powersports-centered cut-and-sew operations. At the time, but plastics unit was based in a 25,000-square-foot facility.
"That gave us the opportunity to build something that was catered toward our manufacturing capabilities," which ended up being the current plant on the western edge of Manitowoc. "We had our first machine spinning in December 2019 before we had the four walls up."