Category Archives: Plastics Manufacturing

How can DeKALB help with plastic injection needs?

Transcript: DeKALB Molded Plastics is a custom molder of injection plastic products. We specifically do structural foam, gas assist. You may have an idea and you’ll have a basic concept and we are able to produce the entire product for you. You bring us your idea and we’ll take it from concept to finish production. We will assist you with design. We will connect you with the tool shops. We will provide those services. We will launch your product for you, and then we will be your producer. You still will own the tool. It’ll be your product, but we will be your manufacturing arm.

What custom molded solutions can DeKalb Plastics deliver?

Transcript: We’ve had several things that customers have come to us and they have an issue. One in particular that the tank I spoke of earlier or the toilet in the basement, that particular tank, they were having trouble with leaks and stuff like that. After we were molding for a little bit, they came back and asked us what do you put in your plastic that’s different from the other guys. I don’t know what the guys put in, but we just put in what we said we were going to put it. Pay attention to quality and we understand that the general basics of the application so we know what’s our limit that we can do here and we’re not violating that. It’s about integrity.

Continuous Improvement for Operational Excellence

Operational-ExcellenceTo best serve our customers, DeKALB Molded Plastics fosters an environment that is focused on continuous improvement and forward momentum. Customers rely on our operational excellence, which is the development and implementation of innovative operating systems with a defined process, to achieve established goals and objectives.

Customers demand excellence and precision; therefore we promote a positive company culture and support all behavioral actions that result in a successful completion of goals.

Employees are encouraged to provide suggestions for improvement along with the implementation of solutions, which result in time and cost savings for our customers.

Quality is our Foundation

In order to ensure the continual delivery of high-quality products for our customers, we are ISO 9001 certified and diligently follow a quality system manual. The manual provides a roadmap for the activities, procedures and interactions utilized in:

  • Management processes
  • Support processes
  • Core flow processes
  • Verification processes

In addition to standard quality criteria, DeKALB partners with each customer to develop criteria based on the requirements and expectations of their specific project. This is supported with written procedures, quality forms, work instructions and photos.

Innovation that Excels 

While DeKALB relies on an internal system that demands operational excellence and emphasizes quality, it is crucial to support our initiatives with superior technologies, equipment and/or system management programs. These investments ultimately result in speed-to-market initiatives, quality assurance and cost savings for each customer project completed.

An example of this is our recent investment in a new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, a process management software, that allows our team to use a system of integrated applications to manage the business and automate back office functions. The ERP software integrates all facets of an operation, including product planning, development, manufacturing processes, sales and marketing. DeKALB’s ERP is geared toward plastic manufacturing and has proved to be an efficient operating tool to drive opportunities for new partnerships and continued growth.

As we look to the future, we recognize that continuous improvement is essential to our growth strategies. By learning new skills and broadening our horizons, DeKALB provides resources for personal and professional development. We trust our team to be prepared with a solutions-oriented perspective as complex projects and challenging customer demands arise.

By: Diane Fogle, Production Scheduler / Inventory Control Coordinator

DeKALB Molded Plastics’ Virtual Home

As our culture continues to become more virtually and electronically connected, DeKALB Molded Plastics wants to ensure all visitors have a positive experience while on our company website. Whether you are sitting at a desktop computer or using a tablet at a business meeting, you will find the information you need quickly and easily.

While DeKALB places emphasis on the newest technologies and equipment for structural plastics inside our facility; continuous improvement and excellence applies to our virtual presence as well. We know our website is your first source of information for discovering how our expertise in the structural plastics’ industry can benefit you.

Therefore, we want all visitors to feel just as welcome on the DeKALB website as they would walking through our front door. The following updates have been implemented to make that possible:

  1. New Design – The new design complements our ever-evolving brand identity, which is centered upon superior customer service and quality products!
  2. New Pictures – We couldn’t think of a better way to showcase our company culture and overall capabilities than by simply showing you!
  3. Simpler Navigation – You want information quickly and efficiently; we put the most relevant information on the front page so you don’t have to click around!
  4. Responsive Design – Now wherever you are, we are! We want you to have the best access to our website no matter what device you are using.
  5. Updated Descriptions – Our website has been re-written to ensure you understand our core capabilities and products better.

While nothing compares to meeting with you in person, we hope the website makes you feel welcome and that you visit often. To get to know the team at DeKALB even better, make sure to connect with us on LinkedIn, Twitter and/or Facebook!

What is Special Material Handling?

Transcription:  One of the target markets for DeKalb Molded Plastics is specialty material handling. We do pallets. We do containers. But really we do things that are specific to an application. It may be a metal product. It may be a medical product, but it has to be handled and protected really well and that’s what we do really, really well. A lot of people do pallets, a lot of people do the big containers, but we will specialize. Special totes, things protect and keep these things safe.

DeKALB Molded Plastics featured in Manufacturing Today

The summer issue of Manufacturing Today highlights DeKALB Molded Plastics’ commitment to strategy and investments which support not only the manufacturing process but also employees.

An excerpt of the article:

Founded in 1979, DeKalb Molded Plastics has spent more than 34 years building its reputation in the structural foam industry. A custom structural foam molder, DeKalb specializes in structural foam injection molding and gas assist molding, and large, multi-nozzle plastic products.

DeKalb was one of the first ISO 9002-certified structural plastics molders in the United States. Among the company’s services are in-house post mold painting; plastic decorating capabilities; kitting and assembly requirements for programs for single standalone products; or complex, multicomponent, multi-operation programs.

Read the entire article about DeKALB Molded Plastics.

DeKALB finalist for PlasticsNews Processor of the Year

AKRON, OHIO (Jan. 7, 4:20 p.m. ET) — Three custom molders — injection molders Hoffer Plastics Corp. and Rodon Group LLC and DeKalb Molded Plastics Co., which does both structural foam and injection — are the finalists for Plastics News’  Processor of the Year Award.

A team of judges from the PN editorial department in Akron picked the finalists.

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Benefits of Converting Metal, Concrete and Wood to Plastic

The conversion of metal, concrete and wood components to plastic have delivered significant, and in many cases unmatched cost savings.

Most materials have a set of properties and characteristics that are commonly known for their current design and use. The primary consideration for a possible plastic material in any application is the effect of “normal” operating conditions. Characteristics of plastics are offered in a wide range to suit your needs for tensile strength, heat tolerance, and chemical resistance with over 70,000 resins available. Various fillers and additives allow flexibility in most plastic resins to meet specific criteria.

Things to consider in plastic selection:

  • Temperature requirements-what environment will the plastic be exposed to?
  • Can plastics reduce the steps required to make a product?
  • What are the dimensional requirements?
  • Will the part require physical characteristics for heat or electricity conduction?
  • Does the part come in contact or have exposure to chemicals? What kind?
  • Investment in tooling

The primary benefits of plastic are:

  • Weight reduction
  • Strength to weight ratio
  • Lower cost
  • Reduce the number of components in an assembly
  • Incorporate recyclable materials
  • Can be integrated with other materials
  • Reduce manufacturing scrap costs

DeKalb Molded Plastics offers expertise in plastic product design, material selection, molding, finishing and decorating that provides the solution to your product needs.

New Market Expansion in Plastics Manufacturing

To better understand our fit and penetrate new markets, DeKALB Molded Plastics sent representatives to several industry trade shows. As an innovative, evolving company, our marketing department is investigating segments where we have a sustainable fit to determine where we can add more value and develop long term relationships.

For many years we have been successful delivering high quality, competitive products in Medical segments. Hence, we are investing to broaden our value proposition in this growing area. We attended the industry’s premier tradeshow, Medical Design and Manufacturing: Midwest and West Coast. There, we confirmed our best fit to add the most value is in the design and manufacturing of medical housings or casings for large medical equipment. Our current success supplying housings for dialysis machines prepares us well to meet expectations of large equipment manufacturers. Other medical applications we are experienced in manufacturing include bone density machines and MRI equipment.

Other tradeshows attended were the CFSA (Casket and Funeral Supply Association), G2E (Global Gaming Show), and AWEA (American Wind Energy Association Expo). The renewed global focus of caring for the environment has generated the increased need to convert metal to plastic in basic staple segments of Death Care, Entertainment & Energy. We will utilize our proven experience to help these industries accomplish their goals cost effectively and contribute to all of our environmental goals.

The pressure to manage and reduce costs has recently impacted even these recession resistant industries. Our extensive experience and proven track record reducing part weights, converting materials and commercializing innovative applications will definitely benefit these basic life staple industries in the process of restructuring in the new global economy. Darryl Warren, New Business Development Lead at DeKALB Molded Plastics states, “We will flawlessly execute our long term, sustainable marketing strategy to deliver the best value to our customers. Our investments will continue to grow life-necessary market segments and contribute successful results in good and recessionary times”. This strategy will work well to ensure this structural foam manufacturer will be delivering value for another 30 years, plus!

Surviving the Recession

DeKALB Molded Plastics celebrated their 30th Anniversary of business in the Structural Plastics industry in 2009. Much has changed over those 30 years — from the structural foam products they first produced to the techniques they now employ to run the business. From products such as the first swimming pool panel, to the computer housings, and now on to the complex medical cabinetry—DeKALB has maintained their primary focus of “providing customer satisfaction that is unequaled in the Structural Plastics Industry”. Over the past 30 years, however, more has changed than just a few machines and the products DeKALB creates. DeKALB has become an ever-changing company in the midst of economic crises, and meeting the needs of its customers.

The president of the company, Rick Walters, said that DeKALB Molded Plastics has been through downturns in the economy before and they have learned how to manage through the tough times. They “know how to plan when business gets tight”, but this time they were going to have to “anticipate even less” in order to stay ahead of the recession curve. To ensure survival for both DeKALB and their customers, lower costs and higher value of services had to be made available.

Recognizing that this recession was going to touch virtually all companies, DeKALB knew their customers would be implementing some of the same financial strategies they would be forced to consider. Cutting inventories, staff, and general expenses would be the norm. But rather than “hunker down”, DeKALB chose to be proactive. They knew they would have to provide options and solutions to help their customers weather the storm. They chose to take customer service to a new level.

DeKALB decided to be aggressive, to invest and grow; positioning to support their valued customers and to prepare for the return of the better economy. First, a new Sales Team was established. Amy Aleshire, Sales Administrator, was promoted to oversee all existing accounts. She works closely to better understand each customer’s needs, for today and the future. A new position was added to focus on new business opportunities. Darryl Warren, New Business Development Lead, was hired. His mission is to find new and non-traditional applications for the future. A marketing initiative was launched. SMP of Milwaukee, led by Teresa Schell, is helping share the DeKALB message with those looking for a plastics solution partner.

Understanding that to meet their customer’s needs DeKALB had to be better every day, they partnered with Harbour Results Inc. to lead and train them in Lean Continuous Improvement techniques. At DeKALB, they are learning how to cut back on all forms of waste, make their products more environmentally friendly, and shift their overall focus even more towards serving their customers. Over the next few years, DeKALB will expand further into their local and global communities, to help people learn that plastics can be a safe and efficient product for thousands of different uses.