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Custom molder investing in economic upswing

R&D Plastics LLC (Hillsboro, OR) reports that business is on the upswing with its customers and hence for this custom molder. “The downside has been the continued price increases that we are seeing from most of our material suppliers,” notes Rod Roth, president and partner in R&D Plastics.


The company has implemented a new software ERP system to improve the management of all aspects of its business. The EnterpriseIQ system from IQMS, will help R&D Plastics address its demanding standards for on-time delivery, order accuracy, quality, and pricing, according to Roth. “Rapid growth was taxing our previous systems, creating internal documentation issues and hampering our lean efforts,” says Roth. “IQMS’s single-source solution will allow us to meet our Lean goals and improve our already excellent customer service.”

The EnterpriseIQ system consists of many features that Roth says its old system didn’t have such as RealTime Wireless production monitoring, multi-level bills of manufacture that is predefined for use with tool-based plastics manufacturing; drag-and-drop Graphical Scheduling tool; multi-tool and family tool functionality that can understand multiple part numbers within the same physical tool; and Shop Data, a visual front-end for the plant floor manufacturing management.

R&D has also hired a new manufacturing engineer, Lindsey DeLaney, a recent graduate from the Plastics Engineering Technology Program at Western Washington University. In her position with R&D, DeLaney will be focused on improvements in automation, scrap/cycle time reduction, and improved tools for operators and set-up personnel.

Rod Roth’s father, Merrill Roth, a legend in the plastics industry in the Pacific Northwest, left a permanently endowed scholarship in the name of Rod’s mother, Ivy Roth, to the Plastics Engineering Technology Program at WWU. A second scholarship is provided by the SPI in the Pacific Northwest region. The current Ivy Roth scholarship winner (for two years) is Michelle Howard, who graduated in March.

“The scholarship from my father in my mother’s name was originally specifically for women to encourage them to get into the plastics industry,” explains Roth. Today, two-thirds of that scholarship goes to the best female candidate and one-third to the best male candidate. Roth hired Sarah Cornwell nearly two years ago from a “slate of really good candidates.”

R&D will also be offering another one of its popular half-day seminars on Plastic Part Design on August 4 at the company’s facility. These seminars cover fundamentals of plastic part design, material selection criteria, common quality issues, and key factors in part pricing.

“We expect our growth to continue through this year,” Roth adds. Clare Goldsberry

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