The custom molder, located in Denver, CO, just added two new Husky 1000-ton presses and the related automation, and installed a state-of-the-art centralized chilling system. This expansion allows Intertech to support its customers’ needs for high-volume production, warehousing, and distribution to the western United States, within a cost structure that keeps the company competitive in a global marketplace.
“It’s simple math,” noted Noel Ginsburg, CEO and president of Intertech Plastics. ”When our customers account for their total cost of doing business, we are now very competitive with China and other Asian suppliers. Chinese manufacturers are experiencing double-digit inflation in wages and other manufacturing costs.
“Meanwhile we’re investing in our plant, our equipment, and our employees. Combine that with the fact that the American worker is up to three times more productive than their Chinese counterparts means we are competing successfully.”
Tim Nakari, senior account manager and marketing director, told PlasticsToday that many of the companies whom Intertech supplies are starting to understand the value in manufacturing locally. “They’re realizing there’s more to managing your whole supply chain than just buying plastic parts, and there are more costs involved than just a unit price on a sub-component,” Nakari said.
“Too often when purchasing people made buying decisions, the thinking was ‘a part is a part so go with lowest cost.’ But what happens when those parts are on a boat, or when the parts finally get here and there’s a quality issue? How do you manage through that?” Nakari continued. “When you disconnect yourself geographically from the most important part of your product—its manufacturing—you’re taking on additional risk, and a potentially difficult, and expensive, situation.”
Intertech provides total turnkey solutions to its customers, rather than just delivering molded parts, Nakari pointed out. “We do design work and reverse engineering on the front end, and on the back end we perform a lot of assembly and secondary operations including pad printing, decorating, packaging customers’ products for retail and shipping,” said Nakari. “We’ve been able to provide more services for customers, so if they are evaluating whether or not to go to China, we show them the value of providing turnkey solutions that includes inventory management.
“You can add up the costs and most times we’re more cost effective as a single source, compared to a solution that’s piecemealed by bringing in molded parts from China, purchasing and warehousing your other sub-components, and hiring to do the secondary and assembly operations. By allowing Intertech to provide more of the total bill of materials, we also own that product quality, and our customers are able to focus on other areas of their business, which is a better use of their time. So we’re not only saving them money on their manufacturing, we’re making it easier for them to grow their business.”
Ginsburg noted that Intertech’s customers “need us to be able to turn on a dime for them, and the fact that we can provide all the same benefits they were receiving overseas, while doing a better job at maintaining their design integrity and proprietary product lines, with better shipping response times, tells me we’re doing the right things for our clients, ourselves, and our community. Our customers have told us that when they evaluate the total cost of product sourcing, they’re finding they are better off staying right here in the U.S.”
Intertech has a wide variety of presses including 13 that range from 55 through 400 tons clamping force, and 12 large-tonnage presses ranging from 500-1500 tons. The company specializes in consumer and household products sold in the Big Box stores nationally to consumers, in addition to a variety of industrial and packaging products sold directly to OEMs. “We have a customer that makes baby changing stations like those in public restrooms,” said Nakari, “so for them it makes sense to manufacture them locally.”
Nakari conceded that in some cases it’s appropriate to have products in made in China. “But in other cases there’s no substitute for working with someone domestically. Beyond the benefits of creating jobs in the U.S, being able to quickly visit your molder if you have an issue that needs to be addressed can be a significant benefit,” he said. “They can talk to the quality tech, the machine operator, or anyone here, and we can respond quickly to change. We have 18-wheelers driving into our facility 24 hours a day to pick up and deliver products. There’s a lot of value in being able to do that.”