Diversified Plastics participates in Minnesota governor’s European trade mission

Governor Mark Dayton with Diversified Plastics

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton with Annette Lund.

Minneapolis, MN–July 11, 2013–Diversified Plastics, Inc. was part of a recent Minnesota trade mission to Germany, Norway and Sweden from June 12-21. Representing Diversified Plastics was Annette Lund, company vice president. She was part of a 35-member delegation of business and education leaders and government officials led by Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton. According to Katie Clark Sieben, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, the goal of the trade mission was to attract foreign direct investment and identify distributors and new business partners to increase exports. She said Germany and Scandinavia are key export markets for Minnesota, generating over $1 billion in annual export sales for local companies.

“Earlier this year, the Minnesota Trade office, part of Minnesota’s Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), asked if we would be interested in joining the governor’s trade mission to Europe,” said Lund. “We had not given much thought to doing business in Europe, and this opportunity piqued our interest. We applied and were selected to join the delegation and thus able to explore the possibilities.”

Preparation for the trip included a pre-mission meeting for participants to address expectations and a two-day program, Gateway to Europe, featuring members of the U.S. Commercial Service operating in the countries the delegation was about to visit. “This gave us an opportunity to meet with the Commercial Service people before our trip and discuss opportunities for establishing business contacts and ways to promote our company,” Lund said.

In each city they visited, delegation members met with industry representatives and business leaders in conferences arranged by the U.S. Commercial Service. “I had opportunities to meet with groups from plastic trade organizations in Sweden and Germany to learn more about the plastics industry in their countries,” said Lund. “We discussed ideas for potential partnerships with European molders and our counterparts seemed to be very receptive to the ideas.”

In Oslo, Norway Lund visited the Oslo MedTech offices where she had a chance to meet with the agency’s staff and medical device industry executives. “We met with a company that was expanding to the United States and discussed a possible partnership where we would manufacture for them here,” she said. “This was the type of business opportunity we were looking for.”

While in Germany, Governor Dayton announced the establishment of a new Minnesota Trade Office in Düsseldorf to promote exports and foreign investments in Minnesota. The Minnesota delegation was present for the announcement and it provided them a unique opportunity to meet with governmental officials and other business leaders that they would not have had if visiting Germany on their own.

“The trade mission opened up my eyes to the possibilities of doing business in Europe and I realized that it would not be as hard as I once thought—it’s just takes time, effort and planning,” added Lund. “This trip opened doors for us; we made key contacts, explored potential partnerships and learned of the resources and tremendous support from the Minnesota Trade Office and U.S. Commercial Service.

About Diversified Plastics, Inc.

Employee-owned Diversified Plastics is a contract manufacturer specializing in custom injection molding 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 36-year-old company is a full-service injection molder, 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.

 

Diversified Plastics earns FDA and CDRH registrations

Minneapolis, MN — May 22, 2013 — Diversified Plastics, Inc. has announced they are now registered for medical device production with the Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH registration) at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA registration). Businesses involved in the production or distribution of medical devices are required to register annually with the FDA as part of a common path review procedure.

“This is a fairly new process for us as a contract manufacturer,” said Joe Bourgeault, Diversified Plastics quality director. “Contract manufacturers of finished devices now need to be CDRH registered as part of the product review process. Our registration with the FDA is required, because with many of our contract molding and assembly services, we are the last to touch the medical device before sterilization and use.

Annette Lund, vice president of Diversified Plastics adds, “We see this registration as an opportunity for us to continue growing in the medical device industry. It shows potential customers we have the capability to do the type of work that requires FDA approval.”

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 36-year-old company is a full-service injection molder, from design assistance and mold construction, to intricate molding and clean room assembly. Diversified Plastics is ISO 9001:2008 and 13485:2003 certified, ITAR

Diversified Plastics adds new vertical injection molding press

Newbury-VanDorn 80-ton

Diversified Plastics’ new Newbury-VanDorn 80-ton vertical press.

Minneapolis, MN — February 14, 2013 — Diversified Plastics, Inc. has installed a Newbury/VanDorn 80-ton vertical injection molding press. This gives the company expanded capabilities along with additional production support.

“This type of press is very important for our medical device business,” said Mark Gremmels, operations manager for Diversified Plastics. “We felt equipment redundancy, along with increased capacity would give us more flexibility, allowing us to respond quickly and efficiently to our customers’ needs. A benefit of another vertical press is that it allows us to group jobs by material, such as a thermoplastic elastomer (TPE). We can be more efficient during project change over and do not have to worry about material cross contamination.”

The company over-molds plastic on medical devices and this requires the component to be inserted into a mold prior to injection molding. The press features a rotary table which holds two B-side tools (lower mold halves), and one A-side tool (upper mold half), which remains stationery in the vertical injection section of the press. While one part is molded, the operator can preload inserts into the second B-side tool. After each part is molded, the table rotates and the operator removes the finished part, then loads the next insert.

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 36-year-old company is a full-service injection molder, from design assistance and mold construction, to intricate molding and clean room assembly. Diversified Plastics is ISO 9001:2008 and 13485:2003 certified, ITAR and UL registered.

 

Diversified Plastics adds new injection molding equipment

aaa610-Ton-Press

New 610 hydraulic press

Minneapolis, MN — September 7, 2012 — Diversified Plastics, Inc. has announced the purchase and installation of a Toshiba ISGS 610W horizontal hydraulic injection molding equipment. Rated at 610 U.S. tons, the new press will give Diversified Plastics the ability to mold larger, high performance plastic parts for industrial markets including the filtration, battery and aerospace industries.

“Due to ongoing strong demand for larger, high-precision parts, we continue to invest inadvanced equipment to expand our range,” said Mark Gremmels, operations manager for Diversified Plastics. “This new press will further enhance our flexibility to respond quickly and efficiently to our customers’ needs. It not only gives us the capability to produce larger parts, but it can run some of the existing molds from our smaller presses, providing more overall production capacity. The delivery of this newest press brings our total number of molding machines to 16, with a range of 50 to 610 tons.”

About Diversified Plastics, Inc.

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 35-year-old company is a full-service injection molder, from design assistance and mold construction, to intricate molding and

Diversified Plastics featured on community television show, NWCT Channel 12

Minneapolis, MINN — August 27, 2012 — Northwest Community Television NWCT Channel 12, produced a featured a story on its Business Matters show about Diversified Plastics’ growth and facilities expansion.

To read the article or to watch the 2.29 minute story, click here.

Diversified Plastics announces expansion of manufacturing facility

Minneapolis, MN — July 31, 2012–Diversified Plastics, Inc. has announced plans to expand its manufacturing location in Brooklyn Park, Minn. The additional 10,000 square feet will bring their total facility size to approximately 53,000 square feet.

“Our business has been growing, specifically in medical device components, and our facility expansion plans are key to meeting customer demand,” said Annette Lund, Diversified Plastics vice president. “This expansion gives us new white room space for recently purchased plastic injection molding equipment, more room for our assembly operations and additional space for quality control, tooling and our customers’ Kanban inventory.”

The company will completely occupy the new space within six months. “Several of our departments are busting at the seams right now, so we are redesigning our layout to improve overall workflow and make the best use of our new space,” explained Lund. “We are excited about this expansion; it allows us to efficiently and effectively satisfy customer needs and to accommodate future growth.”

About Diversified Plastics, Inc.

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 35-year-old company is a full-service injection molder, from design assistance and mold construction, to intricate molding and clean room assembly. Diversified Plastics is ISO 9001:2008 and 13485:2003 certified, and UL registered.

 

Diversified Plastics wins 2012 Wellness by Design Worksite award

aaa2012-wellness-award

Elaine Hauglund, Roger Vang and Janel Rosine with 2012 Worksite Silver Award for Wellness by Design

Minneapolis, MN — June 28, 2012–For the second year in a row Diversified Plastics, Inc. has received the Worksite Silver Award for the 2012 Hennepin County Wellness by Design competition. The Hennepin County Human Services and Public Health Department presents this award annually to schools and workplaces that excel in creating a healthy working environment and encouraging healthy lifestyles. This is the fourth year Diversified Plastics has won a Wellness by Design Award, with the first two years being bronze awards. This year’s awards ceremony took place on June 21, at the Earle Brown Heritage Center in Brooklyn Center, Minn.

The Wellness by Design competition recognizes employers who made their employee’s health a priority and acknowledged the creativity and effectiveness they put into their wellness policies and programs. Diversified Plastics completed a variety of activities in each category that contributed to their wellness effort during 2011. The awards are presented in four levels to Hennepin County worksites that demonstrate accomplishments in: Management support, wellness infrastructure, assessment and evaluation, supportive environments, communication and engagement, and programs and interventions.

“We had an assortment of programs and initiatives that helped us win the silver-level award,” said Roger Vang, chief financial officer at Diversified Plastics. “We had activities such as our Biggest Loser Team Challenge and the Hennepin County Step to It Challenge. In the Step to It Challenge, our employees walked an equivalent of more than 8,000 miles, doubling our distance from the previous year’s challenge.”

The company’s wellness committee, Janel Rosine, Elaine Haglund and Vang, organized and coordinated events, helped individuals struggling with their own programs and ensured activities were fun. “We published a monthly wellness newsletter that went in everyone’s paycheck and we worked with the company to continually add equipment to our exercise room,” said Vang.

In 2011, more than 60 percent of Diversified Plastics employees participated in wellness program activities and this year the company expects 70 percent employee participation, which will qualify for the 2013 Wellness by Design Competition.

The wellness program activities not only provide health benefits for employees, but fiscal benefits for the company. Vang points out that because of this program, Diversified Plastics had been able to keep insurance premiums flat for the past five years—avoiding annual increases experienced by other companies. When compared to the previous five-year period, Vang calculates the company has saved more than $100,000 in insurance premiums.

About Diversified Plastics, Inc.

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 35-year-old company is a full-service injection molder, from design assistance and mold construction, to intricate molding and clean room assembly. Diversified Plastics is ISO 9001:2008 and 13485:2003 certified, and UL registered.

 

Diversified Plastics featured in industry magazine, Plastics News

Minneapolis, MINN–May 7, 2012–Diversified Plastics was featured in industry magazine, Plastics News regarding the company’s role in providing high-performance plastic parts for NASA’s Juno probe heading to Jupiter.

Download a PDF of the article here: 2012-Diversified-Plastics-Featured-in-Plastics-News.

Diversified Plastics’ components aboard NASA’s Juno Spacecraft to Jupiter

aaaJuno_concept

NASA’s Juno Space Probe & Jupiter (Artist’s Rendering)

Minneapolis, MN–April 4, 2012–Plastic-molded components produced by Diversified Plastics, Inc. are currently speeding through space towards Jupiter aboard NASA’s Juno Space Probe. The craft was launched August 5, 2011 and is expected to begin orbiting the planet in early July, 2016.

The plastic components are part of the JADE (Jovian Auroral Distributions Experiment) device. The JADE sensors are designed to measure and identify electron and ion particles, along Jupiter’s magnetic fields, that create the planet’s jovian auroral displays. JADE was developed for the Juno mission by a nationally recognized, independent research and development laboratory. JADE is one of 29 instruments aboard the Juno spacecraft.

“We were approached to produce the plastic components because of our expertise with highperformance thermoplastics and our willingness to produce high-precision, small-quantity parts,” said Annette Lund, vice president, Diversified Plastics. “The customer’s specifications included using polyether ether ketone (PEEK) and we have experience molding this thermoplastic material for our medical device customers. Additionally, we’ve had prior aerospace experience molding plastic components made of Torlon® for NASA’s Space Shuttle program.”

aaaJuno_JADE-parts

JADE device sensors by Diversified Plastics

PEEK is used for very demanding applications and in harsh environments. This high-performance material provides very good dimensional stability, high strength, low weight, excellent resistance to high-energy radiation and can withstand the extreme variations in temperature found in space travel. PEEK is an expensive material and is difficult to mold, requiring to be heated to very high temperatures during the molding process.

Diversified Plastics produced two, short-run orders — one for testing and one for final production components. “Production for the JADE device was unique,” said Lund. “We made three different components, with two of them using metal inserts. One part required molding PEEK around an aluminum ring and the second part needed multiple aluminum inserts machined first, then pressfit into the molded plastic. We were able to perform all the operations in house, saving our customer time and money.”

About Diversified Plastics, Inc.

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 35-year-old company is a full-service injection molder, from design assistance and mold construction, to intricate molding and clean room assembly. Diversified Plastics is ISO 9001:2008 and 13485:2003 certified, and UL registered.

Torlon® is a registered trademark of Solvay Advanced Polymers.

Diversified Plastics sold to its employees

aaDivPlast-Execs

L-R: Annette Lund, James Dow, Roger Vang at 2011 ESOP signing

Minneapolis, MN–January 4, 2012– James Dow, founder, president and CEO of Diversified Plastics, Inc., has announced the sale of his company to his employees through an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP).

The employees took ownership on November 1, 2011, but Dow will remain as president. “The changeover has been smooth,” said Annette Lund, vice president. “We’re in the middle of a five-year plan and are continuing to follow those long-term goals. It is very important to us to have a seamless transition and maintain continuity for our customers as well as our employees.”

Diversified Plastics is a custom plastic injection molder specializing in high-precision components for medical devices, filtration, aerospace, and a variety of other industries. Dow and William J. Cullen founded the company in 1977. Cullen, who was already retired, is no longer active in the company. Diversified Plastics started production with 13 employees, three injection molding machines, and renting 2,300 square feet of manufacturing space. Today, the company has grown to more than 50 employees with a facility of 45,000 square feet. In 1984, Design Tool & Engineering, Inc. was added as a wholly owned subsidiary of Diversified Plastics to build and maintain all the company’s molds.

“Knowing that someday I would eventually retire and have to sell the company, the most obvious direction would have been to sell to an outside organization,” said Dow. “But, I found that prospective buyers had no desire in continuing the company, their only interest was our customer list and equipment. That meant, in all probability, our employees would be out of work. Setting up the ESOP was meant to prevent that from happening. Our employees are like family to me and who better to lead the new company forward than the people who helped make it what it is today.”

Eight years ago when he began planning for his eventual retirement, Dow attended an ESOP seminar to learn more about the program and his options. Working with the company chief financial officer, Roger Vang, they started exploring the possibilities of an ESOP strategy, but determined the company wasn’t quite ready at that time. After a few more years of substantial growth, Dow revisited the ESOP idea and decided they were ready to move ahead in making Diversified Plastics an employee owned company.

To set up the ESOP and purchase the company from Dow, a trust, with company stock, was established in the name of the employees. “We automatically vested all the employees who were here at the start of our 2011 fiscal year,” said Vang. “Going forward, any new people will be vested like a typical 401K vesting schedule and base salary will determine the trust assets distribution schedule.”

About Diversified Plastics, Inc.

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 35-year-old company is a full-service injection molder, from design assistance and mold construction, to intricate molding and clean room assembly. Diversified Plastics is ISO 9001:2008 and 13485:2003 certified, and UL registered.