Baraboo, Wis.-based custom extruder Teel Plastics Inc. is active in industry groups and in its community — and it helps out employees facing hardship.
The combined efforts netted Teel the PN Excellence Award for Industry and Public Service.
Teel manufactures for a very wide range of end markets on the company's 27 extrusion lines, including industrial piping for pressure pipe, oil and gas and communications cable; cores for the film market; flexible PVC medical tubing; conduit; automotive; medical packaging and device components; cosmetics; filtration; food dispensing and industrial equipment.
Teel even recently pioneered the use of nylon 12 for natural gas distribution pipe, which is normally made of high-density polyethylene. Teel President Tom Thompson said that project to replace old steel pipe in Henderson, Ky., marked the first installation of nylon 12 pipe for gas distribution.
All that varied innovation means Teel needs to take leadership positions in standards-writing organizations and trade associations. Those include the Plastics Pipe Institute and PPI's building and construction division, where a Teel executive earned a Member of the Year Award. Teel is also active in the Polypropylene Pressure Pipe Steering Committee, the Society of Plastics Engineers' extrusion and polymer additives divisions and the American Gas Association.
Teel also does compounding and injection molding, making it a complete extrusion company.
On the community service side, Teel encourages employees to donate to local causes they are involved in and ones they feel are important. The company also supports education, schools and vocational colleges.
In 2018, when severe flooding hammered south-central Wisconsin, several Teel employees were affected. Teel helped them with events to raise funds. Contributions from Teel workers, combined with a donation from the Smith family that owned the company, raised more than $9,000.
Employees also helped with cleanup and donated housewares.
Teel Plastics works hard to build the workforce of the future. Teel is active in Wisconsin apprenticeship programs. Last year, five registered apprenticeships and four youth apprentices — juniors and seniors from high school — worked at Teel. The company also employs six journeymen.
And Teel conducts plenty of plant tours. That gives young people a taste of advanced manufacturing.
Earlier this year, Teel had an ownership change. The Smith family sold to private equity group MPE Partners, which is co-headquartered in Cleveland and Boston.