Now viewing: Plastic Injection Molding

Edward Lafferty
By Edward Lafferty
Tuesday, February 9, 2016 - 10:20

Last year, Elite Plastics adopted a new employee training system known as Paulson Training. For the past year, every employee at Elite Plastics has used the program and it has now been implemented as one of the first steps of new hire job training.

The program has been very effective in helping employees understand basic safety on the molding floor, common manufacturing problems and how to overcome them. The Paulson Training has educated our employees with extensive industry specific vocabulary as well. Employees need to pass the training before they can operate machinery to produce parts and this is a good way to identify when people are ready to handle the equipment and begin production work. This training is very important because it has been found to lower product defects and boost overall quality which is a key standard at Elite Plastics.

There is a huge opportunity to grow with this program as the Elite Plastics business builds. The system has helped support the growth at Elite Plastics as more employees are hired and more shifts are added to production. 

Samantha Quamma
By Samantha Quamma
Thursday, January 7, 2016 - 11:07

To celebrate the 2 decades since GM Nameplate acquired its plastics division, now known as Elite Plastics, we have created a SlideShare to look back over the years.  

By Samantha Quamma
Wednesday, January 6, 2016 - 11:15

Dan Thurmond, President of Elite Plastics, has been working in the plastics industry for his entire career and at Elite Plastics for the past 30 years beginning when he started the business. Dan’s plastic experience began in high school when he took a plastics course and continued after graduation at the LA Trade Technical College where he studied plastics manufacturing. During this time he was involved with The Society of Plastic Engineers, a group he is still a member of today, and had his first apprenticeship with an affiliate company in 1969.

How did Dan go from an apprenticeship to starting his own business? He worked his way up through the plastics industry and eventually started two different plastics manufacturing companies. Dan started his first business, T&T Plastic Molding, in California and built it up before selling it four years later. He then moved to the Pacific Northwest where he began working at View-Master, the producer of stereoscopic children’s toys, where he gained experience running the molding, painting, and tooling operations there.

In 1985, Dan started Danegon Plastics with Egon Steinborn in Oregon. As the business grew, they eventually began working with GM Nameplate. GMN had been looking for a plastic injection molder as it transitioned from all sheet stock materials to injection molded nameplates that would snap into housing components. After a year and a half working as a subcontractor, GMN bought Danegon Plastics in 1995. From there, Danegon Plastics became GMN Oregon and was eventually rebranded as Elite Plastics, the name it currently holds today. While Dan stayed at the company, Egon Steinborn decided to sell his share of the company and went on to own a tool shop that continues to work with Elite Plastics today.

Dan agreed to stay at Elite Plastics for three years to ensure that the company was up and running. After working with GMN, he decided that there was, and still is, no better place to work and has been here ever since. 

Chris Passanante, GMN’s product line manager of plastics, explains that, “Dan is a wonderful person, his compassion and family values carry over to relationships with his employees.  He has a wealth of industry knowledge and experience, always open to suggestions and values all of his teams input.  I have been very fortunate to be part of Dan’s team for the last 14 years; he has been a great mentor and friend.”

Dan Thurmond is a huge contributor to the success of Elite Plastics and GMN as a whole. He has grown the business as technologies have evolved over time and brings a positive experience to everyone who has the opportunity to work with him. We want to thank Dan for 30 years of commitment to Elite Plastics and GMN. 

Chris Passanante
By Chris Passanante
Monday, January 4, 2016 - 11:34

This January we celebrate 20 years since GM Nameplate acquired its plastic division. In 1995, GM Nameplate bought Danegon Plastics, which became GMN Oregon and was eventually rebranded as Elite Plastics, the current business name.

Danegon Plastics was started in 1985 by Dan Thurmond, current Elite Plastics president, and Egon Steinborn. Before GMN bought Danegon Plastics, the business was run inside of a barn, two horse stalls, and two storage containers with a makeshift roof built in between. When this space had grown too small for the business, Thurmond purchased a large army tent to expand into. As the business grew, Danegon Plastics began to supply GMN with injection molded nameplates as a plastic injection molder. GMN bought Danegon Plastics 10 years after the business was started, in 1995, after working with the company for a year and a half. When GMN bought the business it was moved into a new facility where Elite Plastics currently resides today.

Danegon Plastics had been producing its own line of standard plastic lids for a variety of customers. As the marketplace changed to custom products Danegon Plastics needed to shift with the trend. Dan knew that Danegon Plastics had grown as much as it could on its own and by joining GMN, the business was able to expand to all that it is now. As Dan says, “a business can’t stay at the same level, it needs to grow and for us, GM Nameplate was the next big growth opportunity. It took us in a whole new direction. We had previously focused on plastic screw lids, and with GM Nameplate we began to focus on nameplates and branding.”

GMN had the resources that Danegon Plastics needed including a wide range of nameplate capabilities and key contacts in large US companies. Danegon Plastics had the plastic molding capabilities that GMN needed as well. By coming together, the two companies were able to grow together with complementary technologies. This shift helped Elite Plastics expand into other areas of plastic injection molding including plastic decorating, thermoforming, welding, and much more.

Elite plastics has come a long way since it operated out of a storage facility in the 1980’s. Today, Elite Plastics is recognized as a leader in servicing highly regulated industries with comprehensive injection and compression molded products, sub-assemblies, highly decorated parts, and plastic machining. With a 60,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility, Elite Plastics serves the medical, automotive, aerospace, and industrial industries. After 20 years, we have grown to 150 employees and continue to expand year after year. At Elite Plastics we are proud of our history and continued growth.


Bruce Wold
By Bruce Wold
Thursday, July 2, 2015 - 10:48

Every molded part requires a tool and these are classified on a sliding scaled based on material type, warranty, part design and the tool configuration. During this blog series we will discuss the four types of tool classifications available including 104, 103, 102, and 101.

In this blog, we will start by focusing on the 104 classification in particular.

The 104 classification is also known as prototype or bridge tooling. These tools are most commonly made out of aluminum, making them the most fragile of the classification options. Because of this fragility, these tools are more easily damaged and degradable than other tool classifications. This limits the amount of parts that the tool can successfully make, meaning that it has a limited warranty.

Because class 104 tooling is so fragile, Elite Plastics tends to steer away from using it when other classification options are available. However, it can be popular for low volume and lost cost projects.

Read our other blogs in the classification series:

Tooling classification overview: 103 (part 2 of 4)

Tooling classification overview: 102 (part 3 of 4)

Tooling classification overview: 101 (part 4 of 4)