We’re expanding to meet our customers’ growing needs
Our steadfast commitment to people, process, and technology has captured the attention of OEMs throughout North America. During the last several years, it has brought us many new customers as well as expanded business from our existing ones.
To accommodate this growth, we recently signed a lease on a second building.
Located only two blocks from our existing facility, it provides over 100,000 sq. ft. of additional manufacturing and warehousing space with 12 loading docks. It’s perfectly suited to help us meet our customers’ and New Berlin Plastics’ growing needs.
We first started investigating our options for expansion last year, when our need to increase manufacturing capacity forced us to move material and finished parts inventory off-site to a nearby warehouse. We quickly filled the space that move opened up with new presses and support equipment, keeping us one step ahead of customer demand.
At the same time, we considered adding a 45,000 sq. ft. addition to our existing building. But we quickly realized that the one-year timeframe to design and build it wouldn’t be fast enough to meet our growing needs. The only viable alternative was to lease another building – ideally close to our existing facility. Luck was on our side: a building became available in the same industrial park, within walking distance of our existing facility.
“We’ve been planning ahead so we don’t run into capacity constraints,” explains Vice-President of Sales Joseph Mechery. “This building is an elegant solution to our needs and those of our customers.”
Once it’s cleaned and prepared for occupancy, the first phase of its buildout will be to install racking and warehouse equipment to house the inventory that is now being stored off-site. New presses and cranes will be next. Our goal is to start manufacturing in this new space in about six months.
“We plan to use the new facility to mold parts that have low complexity and long production runs. In other words, jobs that require minimal labor,” points out President Jim Schneberger. “More complex jobs that require secondary operations and value-added services will stay in our existing facility.”
Evolving to stay ahead of the curve
Our ongoing investments in people, process, and technology have ideally positioned us for aggressive growth today, while maintaining the high level of service and quality our customers expect. Here are several areas where this approach is making a difference for New Berlin Plastics and our customers:
Automation and robotics: Several years ago, we decided to bring automation and robotics expertise in-house. We now have three experienced automation engineers on staff, plus support people who set up and integrate robots with our presses and build end-of-arm tooling. They keep our production lines running at optimum levels of quality and productivity. Why is that so important today?
“Early on, we targeted the jobs where human labor didn’t provide much value-add and we automated them,” Mechery continues. “That enabled us to make better use of our workforce. This means the current labor crunch isn’t affecting us as much as some molders.”
For a molder of our size, having this level of in-house automation and robotics expertise is unique, according to Mechery:
“Most of the molders we compete with rely on an automation house to come in for troubleshooting problems and maintaining their robotics,” he adds. “That can cause a lot of downtime for their customers, especially because these vendors are facing labor shortages just like everyone else today. Our internal team helps us react much faster, ensuring that we’re able to meet our production commitments to our customers. It also gives us the flexibility to build exactly what we need and gives us greater control over our destiny.”
Agility to meet growing customer needs: We have picked up a surprising amount of transfer work from existing customers during the last year.
“We think that’s due to several factors, including labor and capacity constraints. Some molders haven’t been able to keep up with the recent spike in business,” Mechery speculates. “Our existing customers trust our capabilities and processes. That means they don’t hesitate to move additional part numbers to us when the need arises. Depending on the severity of the situation, in some cases, we can have transfer tooling up and running in as little as 24 hours after it arrives.”
A high-performance culture: Over the years, we have cultivated a high-performance culture that attracts talented people to work for New Berlin Plastics. Once they’re here, they tend to stay with us for a long time. Their accumulated experience and expertise are invaluable, enabling us to run a world-class molding operation. They’re also the reason we’re not as constrained by the current labor crunch as other plastic injection molders.
“We’ve designed ourselves into a position where we’re able to meet both the spoken and unspoken needs of our customers and stakeholders,” Schneberger points out. “When OEMs do business with us and get a feeling for how we operate, they come away with a sense that we’ve got something special going on here.”
It’s time to plan ahead
We will soon be placing orders for presses to fill the new building. The size ranges of these machines will be dependent on the needs of our customers. If you have parts you’re considering moving to us, now is the time to tell us about your needs.
“If you’re thinking about moving work to us and you need a specific tonnage press to produce your parts, now’s the time to have those conversations with us,” Schneberger emphasizes. “Your input can help us to invest in the right presses that will meet your needs.”
Contact us today to discuss your needs.