Now viewing: Plastic manufacturing

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. 

By Samantha Quamma
Monday, December 14, 2015 - 17:10


When Toyota and their tier one supplier needed a gear shift indicator to match the sleek interior of their Camry line of vehicles, Elite Plastics, a division of GM Nameplate, stepped in. It was decided that the piece would be a glossy shade of piano black with a backlighting solution. A difficult combination to achieve, Elite Plastics was able to provide Toyota with an ideal solution through an extensive painting system and laser etching technology.

Learn more about this ongoing program for Toyota in our case study here.

Cynthia Schulte
By Cynthia Schulte
Friday, October 2, 2015 - 14:41

BEAVERTON, OR (October 2, 2015) – Elite Plastics, a division of GM Nameplate, participated in National Manufacturing Day today by hosting 40 students from a local high school. National Manufacturing Day is put on by the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, International, the National Association of Manufacturers, and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership. The day is meant to build public awareness of manufacturing careers and to underscore the large role that the industry plays in the U.S. economy. There are many preconceived notions about manufacturing and MFG Day attempts to show that it is a very technical industry where skills are learned on the job rather than in a university classroom.

Renee Wakeen, HR Manager of Elite Plastics, described the day as, “a great opportunity to connect with the community and share insight into the plastics manufacturing industry.”

The event consisted of a plant tour which allowed students to see facility operations. While in the plant, students participated in a hands-on activity that allowed them to interact with the plastic manufacturing processes. Students were able to take part in building their own whistles, a project that allowed them to see the lifecycle of a part from molding to decorating to final assembly. Each student left with a whistle that they had helped make themselves.

Students learned about job training, skills needed for manufacturing positions, and career opportunities within the industry. Elite Plastics was happy to host the students for a successful Manufacturing Day event.

About Elite Plastics

Elite Plastics, a division of GM Nameplate, is the custom manufacturer of plastic parts and components with a dedicated facility of lean manufacturing experts. Elite Plastics has been manufacturing in Beaverton, Oregon for over 30 years and serves nearly every industry with plastic components. Currently, Elite Plastics’ plastic capabilities include plastic injection molding, compression molding, plastic machining, plastic and elastomer decoration, and value-added assemblies.