Diversified Plastics Receives Gold Award for Wellness by Design

Diversified Plastics, Inc. has received the Gold Level Award for Hennepin County’s 2015 Wellness by Design competition. The Hennepin County Human Services and Public

Diversified Plastics 2015 Wellness Award-sm
Janel Rosine and Elaine Haglund add the 2014-2015 award to Diversified Plastics’ Wellness by Design banner.

Health Department each year recognizes organizations that make employee health a priority through creative and effective wellness initiatives. The awards were presented during a June 25 ceremony at the Earle Brown Heritage Center in Brooklyn Center, Minn.

Diversified Plastics also received a “+Green” designation at the ceremony. This additional award is new this year and it recognizes companies that minimize their impact on the environment.
Many factors contributed to Diversified Plastics achieving gold level recognition and it started with commitment from the company’s management. “Without upper level management support, we wouldn’t have any of this,” said Roger Vang, Diversified Plastics’ chief financial officer. “Not only do we have very good support from the entire management team, they encourage the wellness program by budgeting money every year for activities and maintaining a well-equipped, on-site exercise facility.”
Activities and events play a big part of Diversified Plastics’ wellness initiative. The “Step to It” program each year during May has been a popular activity. Employee steps are counted at work and at home with the winner having the highest number of steps recorded. “Every year we try to change it up,” says Janel Rosine, sales assistant/customer representative at Diversified Plastics. “In our first year of the competition we had individuals competing against each other and then in following years we divided participants into teams, which produces a lot of playful rivalry and makes the event fun for everyone. Another popular company activity is the “Frosty Challenge”, running from Thanksgiving to the New Year, helping employees focus on keeping active and not gaining weight during the holidays.”
Ongoing communications and counseling help round out the wellness initiatives at Diversified Plastics. The company creates a monthly wellness newsletter that is included with employee pay checks and they have hired Trig Life Services to help employees with individual healthcare navigation. A Trig representative visits the company once a month to answer employee questions—often meeting one-on-one to discuss health insurance claims, doctor referrals or even help on what kind of questions to ask when visiting a doctor.
Vang observes a definite shift in attitude about health and wellness at the company over the last few years. “You’ll hear people in the lunchroom talk about different diets or different foods and more employees than ever are using our exercise facility. I really believe the wellness concepts are becoming more deep ingrained in everyone’s minds than ever before.”
About Diversified Plastics, Inc.
Employee-owned Diversified Plastics is a custom injection molder of high-precision, close tolerance, small-to medium-sized injection molded components for medical device, filtration, aerospace and a variety of other industrial markets. The 38-year-old company is a full-service contract manufacturer, from design assistance and mold construction, to intricate molding and clean room assembly. Diversified Plastics is ISO 9001:2008 and 13485:2003 certified, FDA registered, ITAR certified, and UL registered.

 

Diversified Plastics’ Roger Vang Finalist for CFO of The Year

Roger Vang CFO

Roger Vang, CFO of the Year Finalist

Minneapolis, MINN — June 4, 2015 — Roger Vang, chief financial officer at Diversified Plastics, Inc. was selected as one of four finalists for CFO of the Year by Plastics News magazine. Recognition came during the Plastics Financial Summit in Chicago on June 3. This was the first year that Plastics News presented this award recognized top individuals in senior management at plastics processing companies based in North America.

“It certainly was an honor and a highlight of my career to be a finalist for this award,” said Vang. “I was surprised when our company’s president, Jim Dow and vice president, Annette Lund nominated me for the award and even more surprised when I received a phone call learning I was one of four finalists. Diversified Plastics has really given me the latitude for creative ideas and they’ve let me run with a few of them. That type of support has really helped improve the performance and professionalism of our company over the years.”

Vang put his creativity to work when he helped Diversified Plastics develop an innovative employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) in 2009. He obtained the funding and performed financial analysis for the project and reduced the overall cost of the transition. Diversified Plastics’ ESOP now provides its employees with an excellent source of retirement income. The employees took ownership of the company in November of 2011 and since that time they have seen the value of the stock increase almost seven fold. “The company was recently named ESOP Company of the Year by the Minnesota/Dakotas Chapter of the ESOP Association and that is something we are all very proud of,” added Vang.

Additionally, Vang has helped the company obtain the necessary capital for new equipment, including high-end 3D printers that have helped the company gain national recognition for additive manufacturing.

“CFOs today are not just accountants, they are required to have a much broader knowledge of the organization’s functions,” points out Vang. “They have greater input on the company’s direction today more than they did several years ago. The CFO is a sounding board and an idea generator for upper management, because they stand back and look at the whole picture, not just the numbers.”

About the Award

Plastics News CFO of the Year Award honors the top individuals in senior management at plastics processing companies based in North America.

Nominations are judged by members of Plastics News along with an independent panel of professional financial practitioners, top plastics executives and members of government or academia. Consideration is given, but not limited to leadership, ethics, business growth, strategic transactions, challenges met and industry/civic contributions.

About Diversified Plastics, Inc.

Employee-owned Diversified Plastics is a custom injection molder of high-precision, close tolerance, small-to medium-sized injection molded components for medical device, filtration, aerospace and a variety of other industrial markets. The 38-year-old company is a full-service contract manufacturer, from design assistance and mold construction, to intricate molding and clean room assembly. Diversified Plastics is ISO 9001:2008 and 13485:2003 certified, FDA registered, ITAR certified, and UL registered.

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Diversified Plastics named ESOP company of the year

Diversified Plastics ESOP company of the year

Roger Vang and Annette Lund with ESOP company of the year award

Minneapolis, MINN — April 30, 2015 — Diversified Plastics, Inc. has received the Company of the Year Award by the Minnesota/Dakotas Chapter of the ESOP Association (Employee Stock Ownership Plan). Diversified Plastics’ ESOP provides its employees company stock like a typical 401K for an excellent source of retirement income. The employees proudly took ownership of the company in November of 2011 and since that time they have seen the value of the stock increase almost seven-fold.

“Our employees have always thought of themselves as more than just employees. Even before the conversion to ESOP, they took pride in the company and worked hard,” says Annette Lund, vice president at Diversified Plastics. “They are truly dedicated to the success of the company.” Diversified Plastics has a strong commitment to employee ownership through their involvement in the ESOP association and its programs, providing ongoing employee communications, and supporting employee participation, wealth creation, and individual dignity and worth—all criteria for “ESOP Company of the Year”. The award committee was impressed the company invited U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar and U.S. Representative Erik Paulsen to visit Diversified Plastics for tours and an opportunity to speak about their support for ESOP companies. Diversified Plastics’ community work was also recognized by the committee, saying it was outstanding for a company of their size.

Diversified Plastics is known for its willingness to take on and complete difficult projects. Becoming an ESOP was yet another challenge. Over the past three years employees have become educated on what it means to be an employee-owner. “It’s been an evolution, but employees have grown to be more aware of offering improvements or suggestions that would help grow the company and what that means as far as an investment to them,” says Roger Vang, chief financial officer at Diversified Plastics. “Our stock value has essentially tripled over the previous year and it was quite fun to see the employee’s reactions when we reviewed their stock certificate statements with them.”

The employees understand that through their hard work, dedication and teamwork they now share in the wealth they all helped create. “When looking at my fellow workers I see how they really want our company to succeed, so what we are doing together as a team will help our company grow and be even better,” explains Joni Davis, sales representative for Diversified Plastics. “Everyone is thrilled for being part of our ESOP company and I also believe this will help us in hiring and retaining good, skilled workers.”

About Diversified Plastics, Inc.

Employee-owned Diversified Plastics is a custom injection molder of high-precision, close tolerance, small-to medium-sized injection molded components for medical device, filtration, aerospace and a variety of other industrial markets. The 37-year-old company is a full-service contract manufacturer, from design assistance and mold construction, to intricate molding and clean room assembly. Diversified Plastics is ISO 9001:2008 and 13485:2003 certified, FDA registered, ITAR certified, and UL registered.

 

Diversified Plastics hosts leadership academy

Diversified Plastics leadership academy

Annette Lund and Roger Vang present at the Leadership Academy

Minneapolis, MINN — April 13, 2015 — Diversified Plastics, Inc. participated in th-e North Hennepin Area Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Academy on March 27 by hosting an on-site educational session for business and community leaders who want to advance their careers and expand their business knowledge.

The Leadership Academy is a 13-week course that was created by the Chamber of Commerce to help participants learn leadership skills, business management and community service. “This series of courses provide a wealth of information from our community business experts, advanced learning institutions and government experts,” says Annette Lund, vice president at Diversified Plastics. “We support this program because of its community focus and its purpose to develop future leaders. It’s a great way for attendees to broaden their understanding of business and benefit from the practical experience of current business leaders.”

The role of mentorship in producing future business leaders was a focus at the Diversified Plastics session. “As one of the speakers I was pleased to share my story on becoming a leader and the importance of having mentors that help you work through the issues of the day and help you grow,” added Lund. Roger Vang, chief financial officer at Diversified Plastics, chamber board member, and session speaker was happy to share his background and personal leadership growth with the upcoming business leaders. “I addressed how Diversified Plastics became employee owned through the Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP),” says Vang. “The attendees were quite interested in the ESOP process and how ownership allocations were made.” Vang also pointed out the chamber’s concept of using guest speakers with broad experiences is an effective way to help companies cultivate future leaders.

About Diversified Plastics, Inc.

Employee-owned Diversified Plastics is a custom injection molder of high-precision, close tolerance, small-to medium-sized injection molded components for medical device, filtration, aerospace and a variety of other industrial markets. The 37-year-old company is a full-service contract manufacturer, from design assistance and mold construction, to intricate molding and clean room assembly. Diversified Plastics is ISO 9001:2008 and 13485:2003 certified, FDA registered, ITAR certified, and UL registered.

 

Diversified Plastics named one of the most innovative suppliers at MD&D West

Minneapolis, MINN — February 19, 2015 — Diversified Plastics, Inc. was named one of the ten Most Innovative Suppliers exhibiting at the recent Medical Design and Manufacturing (MD&M) show in Anaheim, Calif. The company was recognized for using additive manufacturing (3D printing) technology to create plastic injection molds for producing prototype parts. This innovative prototyping approach saves Diversified Plastics’ customers time and money validating product design,

Typically, prototype plastic injection molds are built using soft steel or aluminum — a process that is time consuming and expensive. “The time and cost savings, for our customers, on small parts has been about 70-80% over traditional tooling,” said Annette Lund, vice president. “This process allows us to produce injection molded prototype parts using the product’s final plastic material. Our customers can now very quickly evaluate geometry, design, performance and even the ‘feel’ of prototype parts. And for medical devices, it means having the ability to evaluate how the sterilization process affects the part before production.”

Lund sees this mold-making process as a real paradigm shift for producing not only prototypes, but production parts. “In the future, I think this molding technique will cause a big disruption in the plastics molding industry. This process will find its way into production where 3D molds will be used for short runs of maybe 100 parts. Mold cavity and cores may have to be produced every time a new run of parts are needed, but this also gives the customer the opportunity to quickly and easily make engineering changes to their parts between production runs. I think this will be a big, big change for our industry.”

About Diversified Plastics, Inc.

Employee-owned Diversified Plastics is a custom injection molder of high-precision, close tolerance, small-to medium-sized injection molded components for medical device, filtration, aerospace and a variety of other industrial markets. The 38-year-old company is a full-service contract manufacturer, from design assistance and mold construction, to intricate molding and clean room assembly. Diversified Plastics is ISO 9001:2008 and 13485:2003 certified, FDA registered, ITAR certified, and UL registered.

 

Diversified Plastics adds environmentally controlled manufacturing space

Environmentally controlled manufacturing space

Environmentally controlled manufacturing space

Minneapolis, MINN — February 2, 2015 — Diversified Plastics, Inc. has installed a 1,300 square foot controlled environment production room inside their manufacturing facility. With this expansion, additional clean space is available for use in product assembly and packaging operations with increased cleanliness requirements.

“We’re excited about the possibilities that our new clean area brings to the company,” said Joni Davis, sales engineer. “We really needed a unique space where parts assembly and packaging operations could be performed in a clean environment—away from other production areas. Our customers in the medical device and aerospace industries are requiring more of their parts to be assembled and packaged in facilities that ensure contaminants are kept at a minimum. The growth of our business necessitated we build a room of this type, while providing us an opportunity to exceed customer requirements.”

The environmentally controlled space is a separate room with its own ventilation system. “Our objective was to establish a clean space that was more conducive for medical device assembly and packaging,” said Joe Bourgeault, director of quality. “This facility allows us to improve workflow while creating an awareness among employees of higher quality production requirements.” This visible level of clean assembly and packaging is important to not only employees, but to visiting customers. “We give tours to OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) and they are very impressed with our focus on enhanced production and our ability to meet their specialized product needs,” adds Davis.

About Diversified Plastics, Inc.

Employee-owned Diversified Plastics is a custom injection molder of high-precision, close tolerance, small-to medium-sized injection molded components for medical device, filtration, aerospace and a variety of other industrial markets. The 38-year-old company is a full-service contract manufacturer, from design assistance and mold construction, to intricate molding and clean room assembly. Diversified Plastics is ISO 9001:2008 and 13485:2003 certified, FDA registered, ITAR certified, and UL registered.

Diversified Plastics reduces power consumption with new electric press

Toshiba 310-ton electric plastic injection molding press

Toshiba 310-ton electric plastic injection molding press

Minneapolis, MN — January 19, 2015 — Diversified Plastics, Inc. has added a Toshiba 310-ton electric plastic injection molding press to their production facility, which reduces power consumption. This machine replaces a similarly sized hydraulic press and is the fourth electronic press the company has added in recent years.

“The new machine gives us the ability to produce larger parts than our other electric presses and it can operate in a clean or white room,” said Mark Gremmels, director of operations at Diversified Plastics. “The electric press can produce plastic parts that are more accurate, consistent and of higher quality over its hydraulic counterpart. This improved performance can help reduce piece part prices because it runs faster and can do simultaneous operations, such as ejecting parts while opening — something hydraulic presses can’t do.”

One of the many benefits of an electric press is the reduction in power consumption. The electric motor and hydraulic pump run constantly in a hydraulic press, while an electric press uses servo motors that operate only when motion is needed. “You save close to half the cost of electricity of a similarly sized hydraulic press,” Gremmels points out. “Our new press requires an electrical load of 43 amps while the hydraulic equivalent would need about 75 amps of power. And, since there is no hydraulic oil to cool in an electric press, no oil cooling units are necessary. On a hydraulic press of this size about six tons of cooling would be necessary, but with the electric press there is zero cooling.”

About Diversified Plastics, Inc.

Employee-owned Diversified Plastics is a custom injection molder of high-precision, close tolerance, small-to medium-sized injection molded components for medical device, filtration, aerospace and a variety of other industrial markets. The 38-year-old company is a full-service contract manufacturer, from design assistance and mold construction, to intricate molding and clean room assembly. Diversified Plastics is ISO 9001:2008 and 13485:2003 certified, FDA registered, ITAR certified, and UL registered.

 

Gina Frandsen earns ASQ quality inspector certification

Gina Frandsen

Gina Frandsen, newly ASQ-certified quality inspector

Minneapolis, MINN — November 17, 2014 — Gina Frandsen, quality inspector for Diversified Plastics, Inc., has been certified by the American Society for Quality (ASQ) as an ASQ-Certified Quality Inspector. This certification represents Frandsen’s proficiency, understanding and commitment to quality techniques and practices.

Individuals awarded with this certification have demonstrated their commitment to ASQ quality principals and practices. “The ASQ training has given me a better understanding of how to choose the appropriate quality tools and use them to effectively manage Diversified Plastic’s quality procedures,” said Frandsen. “It was important to me to comprehend the whys and hows of our procedures, so I’m able to help my company with new ideas and ways of thinking.”

ASQ helps manufacturing organizations identify problems and solutions in their quality processes from product inspection, laboratory procedures, hardware documentation to formal reporting. To qualify for the Certified Quality Inspector examination, an individual must have extensive experience related to the Quality Body of Knowledge. “This is a great accomplishment for Gina and it represents a high level of peer recognition,” said Joe Bourgeault, quality director at Diversified Plastics. “She is a real asset to our company and a great example of the dedication our employees have by advancing their education and making Diversified Plastics a better company.”

About Diversified Plastics, Inc.

Employee-owned Diversified Plastics is a custom injection molder of high-precision, close tolerance, small-to medium-sized injection molded components for medical device, filtration, aerospace and a variety of other industrial markets. The 37-year-old company is a full-service contract manufacturer, from design assistance and mold construction, to intricate molding and clean room assembly. Diversified Plastics is ISO 9001:2008 and 13485:2003 certified, FDA registered, ITAR certified, and UL registered.

 

Diversified Plastics approved as supplier for Gulfstream Aerospace

Minneapolis, MINN — October 22, 2014— Diversified Plastics, Inc. has become an approved supplier of injection molded plastic parts for Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation. Gulfstream is a wholly-owned subsidiary of General Dynamics that designs, builds and services advanced business jet aircraft.

Partnering with Gulfstream was a good fit for Diversified Plastics. “From our experience producing high performance, high-precision injection molded plastics for numerous aviation and aerospace manufacturers, to producing parts for NASA’s Juno Probe, we definitely have the qualifications and experience that Gulfstream was looking for in a supplier,” stated Annette Lund, vice president, Diversified Plastics.

The very selective supplier evaluation process to certify Diversified Plastics took approximately three months to complete. “To begin, we were set up as a potential supplier with Gulfstream,” said Tony Cavadias, sales representative for Diversified Plastics. “Next, they reviewed and evaluated our capabilities and certifications, with special attention paid to our processes and quality procedures. Our ISO 9001:2008 and ITAR certifications were a very important part of the review and were required for the overall approval process. The final step was being set up in their quotation system.”

“We’re looking forward to working with Gulfstream, a leading aircraft manufacturer, and continuing our growth in the aerospace market,” added Lund.

About Diversified Plastics, Inc.

Employee-owned Diversified Plastics is a custom injection molder of high-precision, close tolerance, small-to medium-sized injection molded components for medical device, filtration, aerospace and a variety of other industrial markets. The 37-year-old company is a full-service contract manufacturer, from design assistance and mold construction, to intricate molding and clean room assembly. Diversified Plastics is ISO 9001:2008 and 13485:2003 certified, FDA registered, ITAR certified, and UL registered.

 

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New use of 3-D additive manufacturing technology saves thousands of dollars

Minneapolis, MINN — September 10, 2014 — Diversified Plastics, Inc. saved 88% in prototype part development costs and 80% development time for medical device maker Coloplast by using a new, 3-D additive manufacturing process to create injection mold components.

Coloplast needed to produce prototype medical device parts from injection-molded thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) material to accurately evaluate geometry, design, and performance. Most important, they wanted to evaluate the “feel” of their new device and to allow them the opportunity to analyze the durometer before proceeding to production. Typically, tools for forming injection molded plastic into prototype parts are built using soft steel — a process that is time consuming and expensive.

Looking to save time and money for Coloplast, Diversified Plastics recommended making the preproduction mold utilizing a new, cost-effective 3D additive manufacturing process. Using their Stratasys Objet Polyjet™ printer, Diversified Plastics produced a highly accurate injection mold for creating prototype parts.

Once Coloplast’s tool design file was prepared and loaded into the printer, it took approximately 11 hours to build both halves of the mold and center core. Diversified Plastics’ tooling department inserted the printed mold components into a mold base and the prototype thermoplastic parts were injection molded. The entire process, from initial discussions, through mold production, to final prototype, took just five business days. Using additive manufacturing technology to produce a prototype mold of their part helped Coloplast quickly determine if the design was going to meet their product requirements. The process saved Coloplast thousands of dollars and weeks of time.

About Diversified Plastics, Inc.

Employee-owned Diversified Plastics is a custom injection molder of high-precision, close tolerance, small-to medium-sized injection molded components for medical device, filtration, aerospace and a variety of other industrial markets. The 37-year-old company is a full-service contract manufacturer, from design assistance and mold construction, to intricate molding and clean room assembly. Diversified Plastics is ISO 9001:2008 and 13485:2003 certified, ITAR certified, and UL registered.

 

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