September 2017 Newsletter

SILIKON Technologies has now achieved a QMS registered to ISO 13485 & ISO 9001!


In July, SILIKON’s Quality Management System (QMS) had its final audit to ISO 13485:2003 standards for medical customers, as well as ISO9001:2008 for customers that do not require the more strict standards or cleanroom procedures.

We hope that these registrations allow our current customers and potential clients to feel comfortable that SILIKON Tech. carries the same focus and passionate commitment to the high quality standards for *critical-to-life ® components and assemblies that our customers expect.

Our Director of Silicone Technologies, Mr. Patrick Meheran, was instrumental in creating the QMS and worked tirelessly to ensure we covered all aspects of our high-quality services, processes and procedures for the NSF audit team and customers alike.

We’ve added another silicone injection molding machine and are quite busy with sampling, production and quoting activity, so if you have an upcoming project that requires, or could be switched to silicone injection molding, get us involved early in your project so that you are assured press-time and attention.(**please note: we do not produce implantable products.)

Congratulations SILIKON Team….what a great accomplishment! We are very proud of your hard work & dedication to take us to the next level.

If you’d like more information on reasons to use silicone in your applications, or on our Silicone Injection Molding capabilities at SILIKON visit: silikontechnologies.com and make sure to connect with us on LinkedIn for SILIKON’s latest updates and industry posts.


“The Early Days of Polymer”


(Part 2 of a series of posts about PCI’s history)

If you missed Part 1 in the series we highly recommend you first go back to the June Newsletter to catch up on the starting details!

So in Part 1, we gave you a quick foundation of Jack & Joan’s background, but let’s take a step backwards for a bit, as we skipped over some fun facts!

While Jack & Joan were still in college and dating, Jack needed a way to pay for tuition so he put an ad in the local paper “Need Sump-Pump Fixed?” so that he could have an extra income to help pay bills. He was good at the hands-on mechanical stuff and in the Western New York area at the time, everyone always needed sump pumps to be fixed. But, here is where the magic started, and how the teamwork began:Jack taught Joan how to disassemble the sump-pumps and lay them out on the workbench so that they could be repaired and re-assembled in an efficient manner. Jack cleaned &fixed them, and then Joan invoiced the work, bringing the job full circle. They didn’t know it at the time, but they had just started their own way of “lean manufacturing”for a small business unit!

(Bringing you a little closer to Part 2 of the story now….)

Later, after they married and while Jack was still working for Thruway Molders, Jack & Joan needed another extra source of income to be able to pay bills and start saving for the future, so Jack actually volunteered to bring extra work home that the company was desperate to catch up on, and they spent extra hours late at night in their basement sorting and hand painting plastic parts while the kids were sleeping. The company had a requirement for computer keys that were molded with the letters and numbers depressed into the key, and Jack and Joan flooded the top of the keys with paint, then wiped the surface clean so that only the depression remained colored. It was nights like that, spent working extra hours that they often toyed with the idea of running their own business so that things could be done more efficiently and be done right the first time.

It was also about this time that Joan decided to go back for more education and take night classes held at a local high school, for bookkeeping and accounting. Once she had completed her course load, Jack was inspired to do the same and decided to go another couple of years to get a 4-year degree. He went to University at Buffalo (UB) and took business law, economics,etc; all the general courses required to get beyond the 2 year associates degree in mechanical technology that he already had from Erie Community College (ECC). After he finished his third year, a funny revelation happened one night while leaving classes to go home. As he walked out of the building,his economics professor slightly behind him, Jack opened the door of his brand new Chevy Malibu and noticed the economics professor getting into his own vehicle. With a shocked and confused shake of his head, Jack questioned that if someone who teaches the benefits of economics and how to get ahead in life is still driving a beat up piece of crap car, then why the heck did he need to get that degree? He figured he must be doing something right to have just afforded a brand new car! Besides, he was much too busy with work and his growing family. So with that, you guessed it, thus ended his 4-year degree pursuit early.

During his last several months of employment, Jack had met a man that was from Injectronic’s home office in Massachusetts; a fellow engineer by trade. This man was responsible for overseeing the liquidation of all assets of the plant and worked with the employees to help ensure they could find some type of employment or easy transition out of the company. During their brief time working together, once again, Jack found himself developing a fast friendship. After learning of Jack & Joan’s new business venture idea, he sat down with the two of them to talk “turkey”. After all, he was responsible for selling off all of the plant’s equipment and office furniture, and here was a prime opportunity to help a new friend in need and ensure he was successful in his own duties at the same time! From Jack’s perspective – why not make an offer to buy some of the machines he had a history with? Besides, he knew the costs for brand new machines would be completely out of the question. So he made a verbal committment to buy 3 “well-used” molding machines, some auxiliary equipment and office furniture/supplies once they had funding in place and everything else lined up. Unbeknownst to them, working together on this deal would be the foundation of many future business dealings. As it turned out, this man remained a long-time friend to the Bertsch’s and opened his own design & engineering firm ‘PreSource Technologies’ several years later. Both companies would help one another to grow their businesses as well as their circle of friends and networking contacts. (** Important to note: his design company would also help Polymer launch into the medical industry, but we’ll cover that further along in the story!)

(Now we can jump back to where we left off at the end of Part 1)

So the decision was final and a startup injection molding company had been the business of choice. Now it was time to choose a lawyer, an accountant, a banker for a loan, a location, the rest of the needed equipment & assets, and people to help run the plant.

They started with the accountant. One day, close to lunchtime, Jack went through that Yellow Page’s section from A to Z and had gotten discouraged because everyone he called was either not available or no one answered the phone; possibly because he was indeed calling around lunchtime…. Jack assumed many people were as hard working as he was and worked through lunch or ate later. Maybe not. It wasn’t until he got to the G’s that he finally got a hold of an actual accountant! Not a secretary or an assistant, a real live accountant that had authority to have a discussion about next steps and availability. The mutual connection was obvious. This man had good character, was a great family man, was incredibly intelligent in his field, and would end up becoming a very close friend to the Bertsch family (where he still remains connected to them over 38 years later and has joined the team as CFO).

So now they had their accountant. He and his brother had a bank and loan officer to recommend that worked with SBA loans, so they set up the appointment. Then came the interview where both Jack & Joan were grilled – How much do you want for the loan? Why do you want it? What business are you starting? Do you have experience in running a business? Why do you think you deserve it? How much are you willing to put up for collateral? What will you do if you fail? Well, their answer to that last question was “We will not fail! Period”.

With the inquisition now over, they had a newly approved small business loan, and it was also about this time that they secured an incredible lawyer who just like the accountant was a great family man, was incredibly knowledgeable in his field and became an integral part of the Bertsch family, the history of the company, and continues to this day to serve as friend, lawyer and family advisor.

Once things were underway with paperwork started, Jack actually chose to hand-carry it to each business to “make things happen” and keep the balls rolling at each location. Back and forth from lawyer, to accountant, to SBA loan officer, to bank, etc. They refused to let it sit in a pile on someone’s desk because they weren’t about to lose the passionate start to securing their family’s future to some paper-pusher that couldn’t connect with their story. The persistence paid off, but there was one final piece. They needed to sit down and decide on a name. Since they’d be ‘converting polymers’ the quick and easy decision landed on “Polymer Conversions, Inc.”, that was then made official by incorporating in December of 1978.

While Jack was busy “making things happen”, Joan was also busy, setting up a temporary office in the house. We’re talking the late 1970’s here as well as a really small space, so just the basics like a desk, a typewriter, a rolodex for contacts, paper files and folders were all that were needed. She started setting up folders for the things she would need to run the administrative part of the company like future HR/employee needs and a list of supplies they’d need to get once in a permanent facility. They were starting from scratch so they would need everything from bathroom supplies, to coffee and kitchen supplies, to janitorial supplies, all the way down to basic desk and office supplies. She also started setting up files on potential vendors & customers, setting up accounting ledger sheets by hand, and working with the accountant to figure out how to budget for the things they needed to run the business. She began opening up accounts and building relationships with local vendors, shipping companies and plastics suppliers so they had things all set and ready to go once they were in their facility.

As Jack began to close the chapter on his employment with Thruway Molders/Injectronics, he still had to find guys to help him in the future plant, as well as find the location they would call their home away from home.  The Buffalo plant they were in was about to close, so why not try and grab some of the close friends he had made that were also about to lose their jobs and already knew the business?  So two of them plus Jack started searching for a building to rent that was close enough to everyone’s home that they could still spend ample time with their families, but that also made sense for plastic products manufacturing.  It didn’t take long, then Violá!  2100 Old Union Rd. in Cheektowaga, NY became the new home base.

This location allowed them to rent half of a metal building that gave them 5,000 square feet, but they still had a long road ahead of them to fully clean and get the facility ready for people and equipment. And by clean, that meant “Bertsch clean”. Every square inch of the plant was washed, scrubbed & vacuumed and as clean as it could possibly be before anything was moved into the building (and as items were transferred in, they were thoroughly washed/wiped down before they were put in place).

They now had their foundational base: accountant, lawyer, loan, building, the first couple employees, equipment & office furniture, and themselves. Soon, the building was full & ready for business. All they needed now was a solid purchase order from a customer!

So how long do you think they had to wait for their first order? Want to know what happened next? Then stay tuned for Part 3 of our series, in next quarter’s newsletter!



medical plastic injection molding

June 2017 Newsletter

Looking for more Industry-related content?


Not getting what you hoped for out of our newsletters?  Then perhaps you would prefer the relevant, medical industry articles we share on our corporate LinkedIn page?   We didn’t want to clog your system with lengthy newsletters or emails, so this became the next best thing.

 

Polymer Conversion’s LinkedIn page posts new content a few times a week, with 75% focused on industry-related articles and the other 25% covering company updates or special attention to one of our many services.  The industry information comes from major medical publications, news from reputable medical portals, various tech articles from world-wide businesses, as well as major news posts that are trending on top social platforms.

So, connect with us – we’d love to hear feedback from you, see what you are interested in, and learn what you share on social media yourself. If after you’ve followed us for a while, you still feel that you aren’t getting what you hoped for, drop us a note through LinkedIn or our website contact form and let us know what interests YOU and what we can do to bring YOU more value.  You can also follow us on Instagram or YouTube, to see some of our latest videos/photos/company updates, as well as fun shares from internal employee events.

medical plastic injection molding

New Technology


Did you know that Polymer Conversions has a roll-style pad printing machine? Check it out here!

An example application: we run an Aerospace multi-component product through a lean assembly work cell where we combine components, ultrasonically weld them together, then immediately feed them through the custom designed & built automatic printer.  As the clear part rotates on the spindle up against the two-part pad, the color is applied in white then red, to place indicator markings around the circumference of the part.  Parts then are dropped onto a specialty conveyor that takes them through a drying tunnel, where they are then packaged in a container resting on an automatic weigh-count scale at the end.

 

What are the advantages of this type of printing?  Precision. We can now print very small cylindrical parts with tighter graphics.  But don’t we already do that with our multi-color 6-station pad printer? Yes, we do, and it’s mostly used for larger cylindrical medical components.

custom medical device molding

June 2017 Newsletter

Part 1 of a series of posts about PCI’s history

How did Polymer Conversions come to be, you ask?

After Jack finished his time with the Navy, he returned to Buffalo, NY and went to Erie Community College where he earned his 2 year degree in Mechanical Technology.  The program back then, had a co-op requirement which prepared the students for the real world by having them work for a company that uses the skills learned in school.  This co-op program introduced him to a company called Thruway Molders, and this is where his experience with thermoplastic injection molding all started.  This is also where Jack met his future wife Joan Daly, while she went to school for a 2 year degree in Medical Office Assisting.

Upon graduating, Jack went back to Thruway Molders for a permanent position as a Tool & Die Designer, and Joan went to work part-time for a pediatrician and part-time at A&P Supermarket until the pediatrician job became full-time.  Once married, they bought their first piece of property in Cheektowaga while having a new home built in West Seneca.  Jack’s mother would then live on the second floor of the property while they rented out the lower; their first real taste of property ownership that would later blossom into a full suite of commercial rental properties later in life.  While Jack learned the injection molding business, Joan wanted a better paying job and left the doctor’s office to work for Worthington Pump & Machinery Corporation, a British born company with which her father was already employed.  While there, she gained valuable experience working in purchasing then bidding up to shipping & receiving.  She didn’t know it yet, but that knowledge would become very useful in the future.

 

Once they started their family, Joan left Worthington to become a stay-at-home mom and Jack continued working his way up through the company, experiencing every job except the head of the company.  At this point, Jack was working as a successful salesman for Thruway, and knew that that was as far up the ladder he could go. With a family of 5 now, he wanted more.  So he decided to leave and spend a few months interviewing to see what else was out there, and to see what he was worth.  After interviewing with companies like IBM & Schick, it became apparent that not only was he worth more than he thought he was, but that if he took a job with a larger corporation his days would be spent in a cubicle and that would ultimately make him miserable.

Medical Contract Manufacturing
Medical Injection Molding

So the family packed up, sold their home and moved to central New York in the Fingers Lakes Region where Jack had accepted a role with another smaller molder, Auburn Plastics. After much negotiation, he was promised that he’d be part of the major decision making team and involved in the building of the new plant, but that’s not exactly how it all played out, and Jack was seriously disheartened going into his second year with the company.

 

Meanwhile, back in Buffalo, a buyout of Thruway Molders had taken place by Injectronics.  With that, came an offer to Jack to move back to Buffalo and re-join the “Thruway Team”.  So back to Cheektowaga, NY the Bertsch family went, where they settled into the two-bedroom lower of their rental property, where Jack & Joan had to turn the living room into their bedroom to accommodate the family.  Cramped, but determined, Jack went back to work and Joan again stayed home with the children.

 

After a little over a month of getting settled back in, Injectronic’s headquarters called and asked to have Jack fly to their home office in Massachusetts.  Intrigued, he packed a bag and left, hoping that this meant bigger and better opportunities in the Buffalo plant – perhaps even an offer to run the show.  Upon arriving in Boston however, Jack was told that they were closing the Buffalo facility and that they wanted him and the family to move to Massachusetts where he would then work in the home office.  Wait, what???  They offered the opportunity to uproot the family and bring them back to Buffalo, only to then close the plant and want them to re-locate a third time, pulling kids out of schools and moving far away from family and friends?  That was it.  That was the last straw that broke the camel’s proverbial back.  Frustrated beyond belief, Jack knew he and Joan had some difficult decisions and conversations ahead of them, so they took a deep breath and decided to put a plan in place to protect their futures.

 

Where will they get their income?  How will they support their family?  How do they satisfy the need for more without continually being uprooted or disappointed?  By starting one’s own company, that’s how!  A concept they joked about here and there out of frustration from being at the mercy of others.

 

After turning down the move and knowing that his days were numbered until the plant closed, Jack did something unconventional for his standards.  Before leaving Thruway Molders for the last time, Jack networked with some colleagues and customers like Fisher Price toys and NCR business machines, to gain some insight on whether they would be willing to support him and his wife starting their own business. He had spent many years building a strong reputation in the industry, so chances were good that he could get the inspiration that they needed for even the smallest bit of good luck. Although he couldn’t get solid commitments, he did receive plenty of positive feedback and support – enough to pull the trigger on a final decision.

 

Ok, so that was easy.  But now comes the hard part.  Where do we get the capital to start a company?  Who else do we need to hire to help?  Where will we locate?  Do we have what it takes to do it all, and do it successfully?  How the heck do we start the process?  After many sleepless nights, cups of coffee and brainstorming sessions, a plan began to take shape.  With Jack’s highly technical skills & knowledge of thermoplastics businesses, and Joan’s sharp financial, management and office skills this really could work!

Want to Learn More?

Then stay tuned for Part 2 of our series that will be in next quarter’s newsletter!



Fireworks bursting

March 2017 Newsletter

Polymer Turns 38!

Polymer Celebrates 38 Years!


38 Year Celebratory drink

March 5th, 2017 marked Polymer Conversion’s 38th anniversary.  Once again we’d like to take the time to thank all of those that have helped make the Bertsch Family’s vision come true. A heart-felt THANK YOU, to our Hardworking Employees – without your daily contributions our successes would not have been possible. We hope that we can continue to keep you as part of our PCI family well into the future.

Cheers to our Valued Customers – We truly hope that we can continue to partner with you for many years to come!  We are honored that you have chosen us to be an integral part of your team.

Thank you Suppliers – For your continued service and assistance in helping us achieve our customers’ needs.

To our local community – we are humbled by the love you all show to our many families.  Allowing us the opportunity to give back and contribute towards making our area the high-tech community it can be is important to us.  We look forward to helping our area grow and prosper, and are excited to see what the future holds.


Master Mold Team

Bravo on a perfect score!


RJG E-Dart

Did you know that all of Polymer’s Molding Process Engineers not only are degreed engineers, but also certified Master Molders, and have passed RJG’s rigorous 2-week course?

RJG is well-known in our industry for providing training for process personnel to understand & perform scientific molding techniques. Enrollees get a hands-on format, either at the RJG facility or in their own plant, and learn how to fine-tune process control for robust, repeatable & reproducible processing of plastic components. Although our team has a firm grasp on tight-tolerance processing going into the training (and have all aced the course with perfect scores, except one with a 98%), we still like to send them so they learn how others process & see what other process control systems are like.

Each of our process engineers work on our customers’ process/product validations, perform equipment validations & help with software validations, dial-in currently approved production runs for the machine & tool’s highest performance, help with internal audits, assist project engineers with new programs, and assist QA with product disposition.

We want to take this time to congratulate our most recent certified Master Molder, Nat (Nathaniel) Hintz, on his PERFECT score, and say how proud we are of ALL of our process techs & process engineers for the outstanding work they perform on our customers’ behalf, on a daily basis.


Welcome, New Customer!

On behalf of babies everywhere, your device rocks!


Medi-Pals supplied samples

Polymer is honored to work with new customer Medi-Pals that produces infant drug delivery systems used by parents, and more recently, pediatric nurses in NICU hospital wings. This innovative product was created by a husband & wife team that had first-hand experience watching nutrition & medicines being administered to their daughter that was born 3 months early.  This creative design helps to engage and calm the infant, while keeping them from spitting the medicine back out, ensuring that they get the proper dosage.

No parent wants to see fear in their child’s eyes.  Heck, even as adults we cringe at the sight of syringes, even when they’re needleless.  The unique split design of the nipple allows medicine to direct into the cheeks, avoiding the taste buds and eliminating the automatic gag reflex that happens with ordinary syringe dispensers that push medicine to the back of the throat.

“The Medi-Pals kid-friendly, disposable medication dispensers feel familiar, are easy to use and provide safe, accurate dosing.”  For more information on this latex & BPA-free product, visit: http://www.medi-pals.com/index.php

On behalf of the Polymer Team, “Thank You” for choosing us as your partner, and “Welcome” to the PCI Family!


Website Facelifts

It’s Makeover Time...


Site-Under-Construction

We lean out our business processes, so why not lean out our marketing and advertising strategies, right?  Everyone knows that as technology and business climates change, so must the way we look at things.  As businesses shift towards paperless goals and digital processes, strategies must also shift to maintain a high level of relevancy to the market.

The month of March will be busy with the re-building of the websites behind the seen, and once we are ready to go live, we will make announcements on our LinkedIn corporate pages for both companies.  Make sure to follow us and connect with our teammates so that you can see the latest news and technology from the Polymer & SILIKON teams!


Next Issue Topics

…You’ll just have to wait until next quarter to find out!



PCI December Newsletter

December 2016 Newsletter

PCI’s 2017 Holiday Shutdown Dates

Polymer Conversions used to have a long, mandatory shutdown during the summer and at the end of every calendar year so that we could perform extensive preventative maintenance procedures on our equipment and facility.

In an effort to better serve our customers, we’ve changed that to specific days throughout the year so there were fewer interruptions to customer production and deliveries.

In 2017, we have scheduled Polymer to be closed on the following days:

(Please adjust your purchase order due dates and shipments accordingly)
Monday, Feb. 20th – Misc.
Friday, April 14th – Good Friday
Monday, May 29th – Memorial Day
Monday, July 3rd – Independence Day
Tuesday, July 4th – Independence Day
Monday, Sept. 4th – Labor Day
Monday, Oct. 9th – Misc.
Thursday, Nov. 23rd – Thanksgiving
Friday, Nov. 24th – Thanksgiving
Monday, Dec. 25th – Christmas
Tuesday, Dec. 26th – Christmas

 

“THERE’S AN OIL FOR THAT!”

Medical Injection Molding

If you have ever enjoyed the scent of a rose, you’ve experienced the aromatic qualities of essential oils. These naturally occurring, volatile aromatic compounds are found in the seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers, and other parts of plants. Essential oils protect plants and play a role in plant pollination. The physical and chemical properties of the volatile aromatic compounds that compose essential oils allow them to quickly move through the air and directly interact with the olfactory sensors in the nose. Such unique properties make essential oils ideal for applications inclusion in aromatherapy – using these compounds from plants to help maintain a healthy mind and body – as well as other applications.

Essential oils can be used for a wide range of emotional and physical wellness applications. They can be used as single essential oils or in complex essential oil blends depending on user experience and desired benefit.” (Info from: https://doterra.com/US/en/whatis-an-essential-oil) doTERRA, “meaning Gift of the Earth”, has 100% pure, therapeutic essential oils that are made in high quality factories from plants specifically cultivated in prime growing regions all over the globe. Their company not only makes one of the best lines of oils & natural health products, but also gives back to the communities that are contracted to help them.

Why is Polymer getting involved with doTERRA essential oils? I myself (Wendy Bertsch) have personally experienced the great benefits from using many of the oils aromatically, internally and topically. If you think about it, EO’s go all the way back to Biblical times with the gifts of Gold, Frankincense & Myrrh offered to baby Jesus by the three Wise Men. That’s because in their purest forms, the two oils were just as valuable as the precious metal. So Polymer bought an ultrasonic diffuser, oils, and other products, and now uses them in the front offices. Not only does it smell great, but moods are uplifted, stress seems
to be lessened, people seem more creative and energetic, and I no longer hear staff coughing or blowing their noses. (Click here for a great video testimonial from a hospital).

I regret that I didn’t poll people prior to using them at work – I really believe we would have demonstrated similar results. The best part – there are NO TOXINS in their products and there are tons of therapeutic benefits from inhaling the different oils and using their natural products on the skin. We still have some products to try, and the long Buffalo winter sure will be the best test of cold & flu season and the cabin fever that often comes by the end of February.

If we experience additional benefits we may even decide to add diffusers in other non-production areas of the plant to see if others can benefit as well.

 

Medical Molding

HARD TO BELIEVE 2016 IS OVER

Wow, what a crazy year 2016 turned out to be! Terrorist attacks, life-threatening weather events, “goings-on” in North Korea/Russia/China, the Zika virus, the loss of many police officers’ lives, an influx of immigrants, the Iran nuclear deal, and of course who would forget to mention that once in a lifetime Presidential election cycle?

While the news/media generally focuses on sensationalism, let us not forget about those that never made the headlines: those working hard to save lives in devastated areas around the world and in our own country, those who volunteer giving a helping hand to others in desperate need, those that give everything they’ve got to create the next generation of technology to save and make lives better, and last but not least those that give their lives to protect our freedoms & liberty.

As we reflect on the closing of 2016, the Polymer Team is incredibly thankful for all of the continued relationships we’ve been blessed to keep, all of the wonderful new partnerships that have just begun, and look forward to working hard for new opportunities to come to fruition in the near future.

We’d like to take this time to say “Thank You” for trusting our team to provide the critical-to-life components, assemblies, devices and services that help make a difference in the world. Peoples’ lives depend on us to do things right the first time, and to continually build worldclass quality into every process and service we provide.

As we continue to provide exceptional levels of quality & service to our customers, we hope that you will continue to walk side-by-side with us on our journey. It is only by lifting each other up through challenge, that we together may enjoy the spoils of victory.

 

growth strateges

What will the New Year Bring?

A new year often brings new challenges, new victories, new technology, new growth, new customers, and new employees. Sounds daunting, but Polymer Conversions & SILIKON Technologies are ready for the tasks at hand.

We have room to grow, room to improve and room to create. We will continue looking into new processes and services as we investigate ways to better serve our customers. We will also continue working with and perfecting the rapid 3D Printed Tooling cavities for our customers’ prototyping needs, and have also started working with Metal Laser Sintering in tooling.

Eyes on Growth: Polymer is making a big push to increase business by filling some current open press time and by adding several new customers.

If you’re still deciding whether to throw a project our way, please consider that 2017 will be incredibly busy for us, so those that secure due dates and available press time with solid purchase orders will get first priorities from our team. As always, we’ll do our best to be as flexible as possible with any additional projects.

Timing is of the essence, so if you’re looking to beat your competitor(s) to market, get us involved as early in the process as possible!

Want to know more about 2017’s activities? You’ll just have to stay tuned to find out! Remember to follow both Polymer’s & SILIKON’s LinkedIn company pages for the flurry of activity coming in 2017.

 

Silicone Molding Update

silicon molding updates

We are happy to announce that SILIKON is now ISO13485 compliant and will have our official certification in early 2017 from the NSF registrar. We’ll have a strong start to 2017 with new business secured from current medical device customers, and will continue to pursue new opportunities to keep the pipeline full and help SILIKON slowly grow.

Don’t forget to follow SILIKON’s LinkedIn company page…. There will be lots of activity to post in 2017!


Customer Portfolio Evaluations

September 2016 Newsletter

SMALL CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS

Creating Efficiencies, Sometimes Requires Major Change

In an effort to stay technologically advanced and at the forefront of the plastics injection molding industry, you might notice a few projects as you tour through our building over the next few years. Right now we’ve been working on shifting part of our tool room, to make a new hallway that will allow mold tables  to move from the tool room to the new clean room area more efficiently. Teammates no longer have to go out of their way through the Secondary department. They will now have a straight path through their own room, reducing move time and easing the physical stress put on their backs pushing heavy mold tables.

We already completed an additional level to our warehouse racks, making room for new customer growth and taking  full advantage of vertical space. As always, we have the safety of our employees, customers, guests and sub-contractors in mind, so we apologize in advance if any of our updates cause an inconvenience during your walk-throughs.

SMALL CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS

Customer Portfolio Evaluations

Customer Portfolio Evaluations

As is the case in all normal business operations, contract manufacturing companies must be able to evaluate both their suppliers and their customers to ensure they have the appropriate portfolio mix to be successful. In addition to our supplier performance initiatives, Polymer Conversions must consider the following:

Industry Mix: to stay true to the complexity, precision, and critical-to- lifeTM aspects of the areas we excel  in, Polymer made moves to drop automotive work in 2016, and as of this summer no longer services that industry. We took care in making sure that our customers’ molds transitioned seamlessly and carefully, and gave them enough time to place transitional stock orders and make plans with other molders. We have always done our best to provide long- term security and service to all of our customers. Rest assured that if we choose to review other non-medical work, that we will always lead with honesty, integrity, respect, and open communication well in advance (with the utmost sensitivity in regards to industry eyes & ears).

Risk Mitigation: a few of the many questions we need to ask ourselves: Do all of our customers have healthy business models & portfolios themselves? Do they seek to excel & grow in their industries? Where do they fare against their competitors? As for product life cycle management: Where do our customers’ parts fall? Do they have the capital to thrive, create new product lines and pay for quality performance from their suppliers? We must also consider: Do they work hard together with the Polymer team towards a long-term, win-win relationship? Do they treat their own people well? Is our world-class reputation well protected by our customers and the products they sell?

S.W.O.T. Analysis: As we re- define our Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats to accommodate technological & physical growth, we need to also keep in mind the upcoming election & what the economy will look like a year from now; 5 years from now. Who will be president? What will happen overseas with both allies and those that do not hold the U.S. in  high regards? What will happen with terrorism, both foreign and domestic? What will happen to the healthcare system in America?

As you well understand, there are many more things to consider as a corporation. We take a hands-on approach to customer selection and building the right relationships, and to us it’s all about partnerships, it’s about partnerships. It’s about community. It’s about re-investing in infrastructure, automation and most importantly incredible  people.

 

 

Wellness Initiatives & HMNYS

Wellness Initiatives & HMNYS

Did You Know… that Polymer helped create a manufacturing healthcare trust a few years ago?

Polymer was instrumental in working with Lawley Insurance, to create “Healthy Manufacturers of New York State” (HMNYS). This healthcare consortium allows qualified manufacturers to pool resources prior to going out for health care bids, in order to get the best rates & healthcare services portfolio. There are about 10 manufacturers involved in the group so far, and this past year we actually had our rates go down for the first time ever!  To learn more visit: www.hmnys.org.

As a result of the creation of HMNYS, Polymer had also started putting its own wellness initiatives into place. We now enjoy friendly competitions for weight loss, cook-off contests, and  other more serious programs like “stress-less” and learn your biometrics. It’s all about education. The more we know, the more informed our decisions will be. A healthy & happy workforce translates into continued excellence in helping our customers achieve their goals.

We also created a trial library where employees can “checkout” health and wellness related DVD’s, CD’s, books & cook books just like a real library. There is also a “wellness bucks” program being finalized right now. For each program/contest/initiative they volunteer to be a part of, they will receive wellness bucks that they can later turn in for free wellness-related gifts they get to pick out of a catalog of prizes we created. Both programs will be rolled out to employees for 2017.

 

SILICONE MOLDING UPDATE

SILICONE MOLDING UPDATE

Director of Silicone Operations,  Patrick Meheran, has completed the silicone Quality Management System and is in process of scheduling an ISO13485:2016 audit by our registrar, NSF. We are doing some final, internal testing with new silicone business, so that we can ensure that our silicone QMS is just as robust as Polymer’s. (We will give another Silicone update in the December newsletter – our  goal is to be fully ISO13485 certified by then.)


Polymer uses Frigel Ecodry central cooling system that ensures optimal efficiency critical for pre-clinical validations & device production.

June 2016 Newsletter

Advanced Process Cooling System

Holding Critical-To-Life product tolerances at the press requires top-level performance from both humans & machines.

advance process cool

In order for Polymer to achieve world-class quality for the Life Science, Pharmaceutical, Medical Device, Veterinary and Dental industries, we need to stay at the forefront of injection molding process technology. Getting residue buildup in water lines or inconsistent tower water temperatures fed to tools during production just didn’t cut it for our ultra-high standards. We needed a system that we didn’t have to babysit, and that would give us the confidence we need to reassure our customers that we will always be able to maintain the highest level of quality and critical batch repeatability and reproducibility.

Our solution: we invested in a Frigel Ecodry central cooling system several years ago that pushes process water to Microgel RCD combination chiller/temp controller units at the presses.

This closed-loop system ensures optimal efficiency which is critical for our scientific approaches to pre-clinical validations and device production.

To learn more about this topic, click here to read Frigel’s case study on Polymer Conversions.


Polymer conversions

Customer FTP Capabilities

Your product confidentiality, is our priority!

Whether it’s our customers’ confidentiality agreements and tool/part prints, or our own processing data/record retention, it all boils down to safety. How safe is our information in “the cloud”? On our servers? Who has access? How is our information protected?

We all worry about information leaks or losing critical data. Therefore, Polymer has two things in place to ensure our customers that all of the data being retained and transferred is safe and secure. Our Disaster Recovery plan requires an annual audit of our IT partner to guarantee that all of our digital files are safeguarded, backed up on a regular basis and always accessible.

[Our policies and procedures are intended to meet the requirements of ANSI/ASQC/ISO9001:2008, the FDA Quality System Regulation – 21 CFR Part 820 Medical Devices (ISO 13485), cGMP (Current Good Manufacturing Practices), customer quality assurance requirements, and the policies of our organization.]

We have also purchased an SSL certificate for our website – you will notice that the address is now: https://www.polymerconversions.com

This allows us to offer secure FTP (File Transfer Protocol) capabilities that use encryption, and the back-end system is setup to protect users from seeing each other’s information. Our customers & suppliers can now ask for login credentials and receive their own personal page for uploading or downloading anything from part prints, to photos of tools and auxiliary equipment. Even co-workers from the same company will not be able to see each other’s files.

(To protect our customers, these will be Polymer approved users only, and you must contact us to request access.)

To request login credentials for Polymer’s new FTP capabilities, contact Mr. Dan Schwab, Design Engineer: sales@polymerconversions.com (Please include full contact info in email request)


custom medical device molding

What’s New?

Future Technology & Services

Prototyping – If you didn’t catch it in our March issue, Polymer is now providing our customers with a new option for the lower-cost/much faster service of rapid 3D printed tooling cavities for running pre-clinical development parts in its actual resin.

CT scanning – Polymer has had a relationship with third-party experts in CT scanning, and can currently offer that service to our customers. We believe in its high-tech capability of producing internal part specs (assembly included) without wasting time cutting the part in half. We have been evaluating the ROI of purchasing the technology to offer it in-house, but we’re still collecting data on how many customers would actually benefit from it, how many products our QA department would use it for, and where we would put such a large piece of equipment (safety and efficiencywise). We would love to hear your feedback! Would Polymer acquiring this technology in-house be of use to you? Let us know! sales@polymerconversions.com

People – We’ve added a new Project Engineer; we rehired a tool maker that worked for us many years ago and wanted the chance to return; and we’ve turned hard-working molding


Employee Portal & SMS System

When we chose our back-end website product for the FTP capabilities, we also made sure the platform could include the ability to create an employee portal. As a bonus, the system we chose also included an “SMS” system (text notifications) so that employees that sign up can receive critical work announcements such as snow closings/delays/emergencies, reminders of mandatory meetings, etc.

The employee portal lets our people have access to files with our wellness program information, healthy recipes and our holiday closing schedule. It also includes important things like Polymer’s mission, vision, general policies, our cleanliness expectations, etc.; all things that do not have to be controlled by the ISO/QMS system. It will also eventually include generic training videos and videos from the Bertsch Family on our expectations for safety/honesty/integrity/professionalism & our meaning of cleanliness and work area organization.


Want to chat about a project?



Medical Molding

March 2016 Newsletter

POLYMER TURNS 37!

March 5th will mark Polymer’s 37th successful year in business and we would like to take this opportunity to say…

We sincerely appreciate all of the partnerships that you have allowed us to build over the years. Our teamwork is proof that together we can fill our futures with excitement and prosperity, while maintaining the highest level of quality, precision and opportunity to develop industry-leading products, technology and services.

Our team looks forward to many more years of slow calculated growth, making new connections, and continuing to nurture the long-term relationships built on honesty, integrity, loyalty, trust, and the mutual desire to do things right the first time. PCI will continue to treat employees and guests like family, and will strive to open our arms and minds to new, creative ideas for additional continuous improvement activities as well as a continued focus on operational excellence.

We look forward to supporting you on your critical journey towards meeting and exceeding new corporate visions, missions, goals and aspirations.

 Ploymer turn

Rapid 3d-printing

RAPID 3D-PRINTED TOOLING

Fast turnaround on prototype development parts is easier & less expensive with 3D-printed tooling!

In order to beat competitors to market, we’ve recognized that medical device companies are looking for contract manufacturers with the shortest lead times possible, as well as lowered tooling costs that still maintain critical quality requirements. Although it’s not a brand new concept, 3D printed parts and tooling has caused a shift in the global marketplace with technology that can help OEM’s get to market faster with lower risk in excess program costs.

Building high quality, tight-tolerance prototype tooling made from P20 steel, or even aluminum, can be costly and incur undesirably long lead times, but is still the only way to get true 100% quality pre-clinical parts in the exact called out material on prints. However, in an effort to help our customers lower their risk and development costs, Polymer is now offering clients a faster and cheaper alternative.

3D-printed prototype tooling has allowed Polymer Conversions the ability to offer quickly made cavity sets that fit into our?????????????????????????????????. The advantage: quick turnaround, at least half the cost of a complete steel prototype mold, and your samples can be made with similar? ??????????????match to production material characteristics. The disadvantage: short life span, and doesn’t work well with high temp materials. Although 3D-printed tooling is only meant to produce a small number of development parts, the good news is that small investments can be made in additional sets of printed 3D tool cavities for more development parts, while still staying well below the total cost of the metal alternative. This is especially advantageous if customers expect (and even if they don’t) to make minor changes to the part design throughout the preproduction process.

 

 

WHAT’S NEW?

2015 saw us acquire new services and additional talent:

In 2015, Polymer Conversions hired an additional 20 employees. 4 were talented Molding Process Engineers, one of which was a returning employee. This now allows us to perform product validations across all shifts. 1 was a dynamic Project Engineer to fill the big shoes of a retiring, long-time friend and colleague. The rest were motivated teammates to increase all hands on deck in our QA and post-molding “Secondary” departments,  and to fill a few vacancies. (The Secondary personnel, allow us to now keep certain jobs running all 3 shifts.)

PCI now offers 3D-printed tooling to help ease the burden of lengthy lead times and prototype tooling costs for steel molds. (see Rapid 3D-Printed Tooling section above)

 Acquisition of new customers allows us to delve deeper into the Pharmaceutical & Biotechnology industries. Their clients are some of the world’s largest medical OEM’s looking for high quality, tight-tolerance products and assemblies made in the USA. Our Validated, World-Class product and process control ensures they can stay ahead of their competition while focusing on new innovative designs for Critical-to-Life product lines.

 

SILICONE MOLDING UPDATE

SILIKON continues to perform regular business start-up activities and is still quoting fast and furiously on exciting new opportunities.

Our Director of Silicone Operations, Patrick Meheran, has been working feverishly to put together its processing/production control & safety procedures and to complete the formal quality manual for NSF agents to audit the company to ISO 13485 certification standards.

Patrick was one of the main authors for Polymer’s original quality manual resulting in its successful first ISO registration, so we have no doubt  that this task is in the right hands, and will be done with great proficiency  and detail.

Make sure to connect to SILIKON Tech’s website, LinkedIn and Twitter accounts for additional updates.