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March 8, 2016
3 Min Read
Jeff Smink, President of custom color concentrate manufacturer Carolina Color (Salisbury, NC), is the recipient of a 2016 Manufacturing Leadership award in the Individual Achievement category from Frost & Sullivan’s Manufacturing Leadership Council. Now in its 12th year, the Manufacturing Leadership awards program honors organizations and individuals that are shaping the future of global manufacturing.
Smink has been with Carolina Color for 15 years and was appointed president in 2010. Humble to a fault, he credits the people and culture of the 49-year-old family-owned business for the recognition.
“That in itself opens a lot of opportunities for success,” Smink told PlasticsToday. “The kind of knowledge, work ethic and dedication to Carolina Color’s products and customer relations makes it easier to be involved in the visionary aspects of running a business. It allows you to think about the future. That’s a real key to success.
“For the most part it’s blocking and tackling,” Smink added. “It’s focusing on the customer and meeting the customers’ requirements. If you do that, you’re going to win.”
Smink’s confidence in that statement is obvious, and he is firm in his belief that Carolina Color has revolutionized the color concentrate business. For many years, liquid color was the product of choice at many processors. “A lot of molders were into liquid color as the most economical and efficient way to get color into plastic,” Smink explained. “We’ve develop a product to compete with liquid color in outdoor applications that blew liquid color and traditional concentrates away.”
Protecting the product and the package has been Carolina Color’s goal. For outdoor products such as garbage cans, the company was able to take a 3 to 4% let-down ratio and double, even triple, the amount of color and UV additive in the pellet. In 2008, the company introduced its patented G2 Color, in which pigments and additives are highly loaded, well dispersed and effectively distributed in both large and small parts. “That was a huge success at Carolina Color,” Smink said. Today, G2 represents 50% of Carolina Color’s total sales.
After developing that product which saw strong sales in the outdoor products market, Carolina Color began working on a formula that would open up opportunities in the packaging market. “We spent about four years working with ideas, and finally introduced G3 last May,” Smink said. “There’s
no other concentrate in the marketplace that can get the loadings of our G3 product, and it is now displacing liquid color at molders thanks to this innovative concentrate.”
Carolina Color, in its release, noted that Smink “has been instrumental in repositioning Carolina Color to compete in the 21st century,” leading “the charge in focusing on specialization through new product development such as G2 and G3 technology. During the last decade, he built a team that tripled the size of the business while maximizing its profitability.”
Smink finds himself in good company with other visionary leaders in the Individual Achievement category including Don Taylor and Timothy J. Scott of Dow Chemical, and David J. Paetsch, Multifilm Packaging Corp., among others. ML Award winners and their technology partners will be honored on June 8, 2016, at a gala celebration in Carlsbad, CA.
“It’s an exciting time for us as our new products open up more markets and companies than we previously served, including the large OEMs,” commented Smink. We’re convinced that this new technology is truly innovative and cost effective for our customers. Ultimately however, it’s the people – good people – that make all of this possible.”
About the Author(s)
Until she retired in September 2021, Clare Goldsberry reported on the plastics industry for more than 30 years. In addition to the 10,000+ articles she has written, by her own estimation, she is the author of several books, including The Business of Injection Molding: How to succeed as a custom molder and Purchasing Injection Molds: A buyers guide. Goldsberry is a member of the Plastics Pioneers Association. She reflected on her long career in "Time to Say Good-Bye."
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