Flambeau Boosts Manufacturing Capability in Middlefield
New Investment, Improved Systems Contribute
Middlefield, Ohio (May 1, 2021) – Surges in demand for plastic parts led Flambeau, Inc. to invest significantly in its Middlefield operations recently, including the addition of three new presses. The injection molding machines range from 330-ton to 730-ton, and are primarily dedicated to manufacturing stock boxes and cases for Flambeau Outdoors™, ArtBin® and other packaging lines of products.
The addition represents a company-wide expansion of capabilities for Flambeau’s multiple manufacturing facilities across North America and the United Kingdom. A world-wide economic slowdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic was generally anticipated in the manufacturing industry, but for Flambeau it led to a rapidly increasing company-wide backlog of orders. Just months into the slowdown, Flambeau’s supply chain began to reach its limits, and demand for vital parts began to overwhelm supply.
A top manufacturer of plastic retail products, Flambeau addressed the backlog by adding presses to its arsenal, as well as implementing several creative solutions. Here in Middlefield, the plant began operating 24 hours a day and seven days a week. It also embraced a revitalized production scheduling methodology, improving forecasting practices and addressing various constraints on production. In just 90 days, backlog was reduced by 75% and protracted waiting periods for customer orders were minimized.
Ironically, another welcome by-product of the slowdown is that Flambeau’s work force in Middlefield is as strong as ever. The long-term manufacturing jobs focus on assembly, packaging and distribution operations based on a 24/7 shift rotation, while taking into account family and personal needs of the workforce. The shift rotation is unique to the Middlefield area.
The Flambeau plant in Middlefield continues to increase production rates and welcomes applications for employment, either in-person or online at flambeau.com/careers. The facility is ISO-9001 Certified, with a focus on high pressure injection molding processes and presses ranging from 100 tons up to 730. Key retailers carrying products from the Middlefield plant include Amazon, Wal-Mart, Hobby Lobby, JoAnn Fabric, Dick’s Sporting Goods, The Container Store, McMaster-Carr, to name just a few.
In addition to plans for the expansion of robotics at the plant and its role in efficiency in manufacturing, Flambeau is currently implementing a modern, company-wide ERP system that will continually improve customer support and the company’s standing as a world-class supply chain system.