Custom Plastics International ltd.
Based in Cobourg, Ont., Custom Plastics International Ltd. (CPI) is a mid-size, family run plastic injection moulding business that provides the service of producing high quality plastic injection moulded parts, focusing on selling highly engineered parts at a fair price. Today, the second generation of this family business operates under the same values as when the company started in 1965, utilizing the hands-on management approach dedicated to customer service.
The company’s experienced 70 employees and 36,000 square foot facility offer unparalleled engineering support and customer service from the implementation stage of the project to production volume. This level of service continues to build the company’s loyal customer base by providing their customers with an all-around higher value plastic part at a competitive price.
The company offers injection moulding press sizes ranging from 35 to 500 tonnes. 85 per cent of the company equipment is fully automated, and CPI continuously invests in technology. Most recently the company upgraded its technologies with fully electric machines, robotics, Cleanroom Technology, and introduced web-based training, real time monitoring and other sophisticated project management tools.
The Canadian Business Journal spoke with Rick Gadd, Vice-President, Sales, Jim Majury, General Manager, and Kelson Lachance, Engineering Manager about the latest technologies, and the company’s constant drive towards bringing solutions to its clients.
“Our philosophy is to develop a relationship where we understand our customers, and work with them collaboratively to exceed their expectations. By truly understanding what our customer values and needs in a supplier, we take injection moulding plastics out of their supply chain issues. Our latest survey shows that we score a 96 per cent average in customer satisfaction; we strive to be more than simply a ‘run of the mill’ plastics moulder. We have a dedicated team of technical and customer oriented members that will bend over backwards to provide our value added service to all of our customers. We provide more value for the same dollar and never shun from new technical project challenges. We always strive to make things work for our clients,” says Gadd.
CPI provides products to industries such as telecommunications, lighting (LED), construction, medical, military, consumer products, and many more. The company offers its clients unsurpassed quality backed by its ISO 9001:2008 certification.
The company’s technical staff is fully trained in scientific moulding, and has developed detailed processes and record of all aspects of each job. This approach allows CPI fast establishment of repeatable processes.
The company applies the continual improvement management philosophy to improving effectiveness and efficiencies in all areas of the business, for pursuing improvement of customer satisfaction, and identifying, isolating, and eliminating defects and variations. At CPI, all moulded parts are tracked throughout the production process.
“Scientific moulding allows us to turn difficult to mould parts into robust running parts and processes. What this translates to for our customers is a reliable and repeatable processes at a lower cost due to high yield rates. Our processes are highly repeatable due to our detailed records of every element of the process, including multiple process outputs. This wouldn’t happen without the solid technical understanding. We understand the workings of the machinery and the impact of key variables during production – the pressures, repeating injection speeds, dosage – on a scientific level,” says Majury.
CPI always strives for perfection and quality service when it comes to consulting and helping its clients to find the best designs and solutions to injection moulding parts. The company’s engineering team of seven focuses on product development, metrology, mould testing and design.
The company’s strength is its ability to take on any idea presented, and develop this idea from conception to a finished product. The Engineering team will get closely involved in the development and will present thorough design reviews, design improvements suggestions, and cost reductions with respect to the plastic parts and assemblies.
“Typically when a new product line is launched it can involve hundreds of parts and components. What makes us unique is the size of our engineering department, which is comparatively large taking into account our relatively small size. We specialize in getting involved with our customers at the beginning of projects, even at the design stage, so we can co-design and co-develop the product in a way that’s efficient,” says Lachance.
Continuously rising costs of raw materials had been challenging the industry as a whole, and CPI works with the raw material supply chains to work out the best deal possible for its customers. In the past CPI came together with five other molders, working together to get the best pricing from the suppliers. The group created a buying group in order to get the best prices possible. “How this works is that whoever needs the largest amount of the raw material will purchase the material, but will purchase more according to the needs of the rest of the group. That’s what allows the lead buyer to get a better deal, while the other four will purchase the material with a reasonable markup rather than buying small amounts at high prices. This worked for us very, very well,” says Gadd.
As to the future, the company plans to approach businesses that are already (indirectly) affiliated with CPI. “The bulk of our large customers generally have sister companies, we hear their goals to bring manufacturing back to North America, recognizing the value of keeping manufacturing local and understanding the true costs associated with manufacturing abroad. We want to be the source they look towards to be able to develop and transfer that business as seamlessly as possible. Another push would be to develop our cleanroom technology further – moulding parts in an environment of low air pollution – to supply the medical field in a bigger way, and also offer in-mould decorating service. At the same time we will continue to support our existing customers as their products evolve,” concluded Gadd.