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Plastics Business has a distribution of 10,000, targeting the plastics processing business executive. It is distributed to corporate management as well as plant managers and production managers involved with all types of plastics processing and manufacturing, primarily in the United States.
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Manufacturers Association of Plastics Processors (MAPP) was started in August 1996 as a not-for-profit trade association - by processors, for processors. MAPP now has over 1,000 industry executives in member companies actively benchmarking to improve their operations and communicating with one another to solve individual problems.

Copyright 2006 Peterson Publications, Inc.
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MAPP Board Member Profile: Wendy Wloszek, Industrial Mold & Machine

MAPP’s Board of Directors encourages plastics processors to utilize the knowledge contained within the MAPP network. To familiarize readers with the Board, each member will be profiled by Plastics Business ENews over the next several issues. This month, get to know Wendy Wloszek, president of Industrial Mold & Machine.

Wendy Wloszek, President, Industrial Mold & Machine, Twinsburg, Ohio
 
MAPP Member Since:  2008
 
# of Employees:  37
 
Industries served?  Commercial products, telecommunications, toys, lawn and garden
 
How did plastics become your career? 
I attended college with the intention of becoming a teacher, but I did my student teaching and hated it. My dad owned Industrial Mold & Machine at the time, so I went through a state apprenticeship program for engineering and then joined the company. I become a manager, then leader of the management team, then head of operations and now I’m president. It wasn’t my intention to have a career in plastics, but it became what I do for a living and I love it. As a female, I didn’t even think “I’m going to run my dad’s company”. It’s not what women did. Now, I know that I’m lucky to have found something that engages me. Mold building has been struggling, and it’s ripe for a reinvention. I enjoy figuring out how to make this business viable and sustainable over the long term.
 
Describe Industrial Mold & Machine.
We make high tolerance molds for injection molding and blow molding. The company has a heavy focus on the use of technology, and by that, I don't mean manufacturing technology. I'm talking about process technology and information technology. We have a wiki where we store data that is critical to everyday workflows, including a wiki page for each job that we have in the shop. We can access that with any of the 16 iPads that we have in our work areas. Operators can access work dispatch reports from the iPads, and they also can click through to the next job. We're working on getting blue prints and sheets loaded onto a page.
 
Our challenge, as moldmakers, is to reduce lead times, so Industrial Mold & Machine leverages technology to gain as much lead time as possible for our customers. The mold making industry has seen so much attrition during the economic downturn and, combined with the surge in orders, we’re finding that the industry as a whole is swamped. As a result, lead times are increasing and there’s a risk that molders will begin to look to offshore sources if we can’t build their molds quickly.
 
In what areas are you willing to share your experiences with other processors? 
Obviously, all sort of tooling questions are right up my alley. Beyond that, I’m really comfortable with the use of technology and I’m happy to talk about how we’re using technology within our company to benefit both the customer and our employees. Keying off that, I’d love to talk to other molders about finding and engaging the next generation workforce.
 
We have three apprentices and we’ve designed a completely new program designed to engage them in every aspect of the business. We don’t want our apprentices learning by standing next to an operator. We’ve done that and they’ve left. Instead, we have a six month training program for our apprentices that provides two weeks of training in twelve different areas of the company, including scheduling, IT and assembly. Each part of the company is a tool that we use to get our product made. How those tools are used is subjective, as long as people realize how connected each department is to the others, so we want our apprentices to see the whole picture. With exposure to each of the 12 areas within the company, the apprentices provide a fresh look at our processes, so we give them a project and ask them to present solutions to some of the issues we’re experiencing. Training used to be a long, laborious progression that gave apprentices very little control or responsibility. These new employees don’t want to wait that long, so we’ve adjusted the way we train. Their first week on the job, the apprentices got an iPad and a project that was all their own. They love it.
 
Contact Wendy Wloszek at 330.425.7374 x16 or wendyw@ipmold.com.

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MAPP Board Members

Former Board Members