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PLUMBING e Continued from p 94

Manufacturing, both its salaried workers and its union employees. We have always made our toilet seats using domestic materials and labor and will continue to do so. Made in America not only means supporting our families but also ensuring everything from the safety and health of our employees to delivering quality products that meet the high standards set in the U.S.A. Contractors appreciate this: They truly understand the importance of Made in America when it comes to jobs, supporting our national economy and installing a quality product for their customers.”

Innovation reigns The key to success and progress


with Bemis is continued innovation and intellectual protection. “We are always investigating new technologies and processes to enhance our existing product portfolio, while at the same time looking for more innovative ways to bring value to our customers and trade partners,” Davis said. “So building relationships with the trade is key.” Bemis strives for continued

innovation in its products, research/development and its manufacturing processes. “You want to show the marketplace that you are doing something,” noted Grebel.

“Not only does that apply in terms of the consumer but to the trades as well. At the end of the day, you want the contractor to remember your product.” Keeping in lockstep with that philosophy, the wholesaler channels are also an invaluable connection to the trades. “You have to be on the shelf,” Grebel added. Bemis considers its relationships

with its distribution base to be one of its most important business variables.

“We have worked to keep their trust with quality products, innovative products, reliable supply lead times and efficiency in our billing and administrative tasks. While the business and product part of the relationship is critical, we also have strong interpersonal relationships with our customers that go back several generations. We work to move our relationships from strictly a business transaction to one that involves personal trust and the enjoyment of doing business with someone you know and like,” Davis explained.

Bemis history, products and services

Bemis Manufacturing Co. is a

major North American molder and extruder of diverse captive and

custom plastic products, using engineering-grade thermoplastics and commodity resins. As a proprietary molder, Bemis is the world’s largest manufacturer of toilet seats. As a custom molder, Bemis is among North America’s top non-automotive producers of contract plastic injection-molded, profile-extruded, and compression- molded components. The company serves a host of Fortune 500 firms in consumer and industrial markets throughout North, Central and South Americas and globally in Europe, Africa and the Far East. Bemis has more than 2,200 employees worldwide. Founded in 1901 as a maker of

Bemis goes beyond what is required by laws and regulations in its effort to be an environmentally friendly neighbor and a responsible global citizen.

toilet seats, wooden novelty furniture, woven fiber furniture, children’s coaster wagons, bowling pins, croquet balls and baseball bats. Named after Wisconsin

businessman Albert Bemis and his descendants, the privately held Bemis brings higher standards to the products it manufactures for markets worldwide. As the world’s largest manufacturer of toilet seats, Bemis serves residential and commercial buildings and OEM industries.

furniture and wooden wagons, Bemis has grown to an international enterprise with manufacturing/ warehousing facilities globally. The company’s roots are in woodworking, and its founders brought skilled craftsmanship and innovation to early product lines that included

The toilet seat

Environmental stewardship Bemis Mfg. has been a pioneer in

environmental stewardship and was green long before the color that it represents was picked. Since 1901, Bemis has had a commitment to the

e Continued on p 98

manufacturing process Molded wood seats

• The materials are transported to molding lines where the material is put through a compression molding

esin using high-speed blenders.

process to form a part. vScrap parts and excess material from the molding process are sent back to the mill to be ground up and reused in the molding process.

• Bemis procures wood shavings from several wood brokers, flooring companies and window manufacturers.

• These shavings are milled to a flour-like consistency using our state of the art, computer controlled milling facility, which constantly monitors processes.

r • The wood flour is transported to our manufacturing facility where it is blended with a

and is used again in the process as wood flour, allowing Bemis to not landfill any scrap, excess material or wood dust.

pr• The molded parts are sent through an automated

• All wood dust is captured by a dust collection system

• The sanded parts are painted using water-based paint with low VOCs and no solvents.

ecise edge sanding process to remove any sharp edges.

pr• Any part not meeting QC specs after the painting • After the painting process is complete, the painted

the molding process.

ocess is salvaged and painted again or sent to the mill to be ground up and reused in the molding process.

parts are assembled using robotics and vision systems in the assembly department.

• Scrap parts from the assembly process are sent back to the mill so the material can be ground up and reused in

• Once the parts are assembled and packaged, they are sent to our shipping department for distribution or, in some cases, loaded directly onto a customer’s trailer

immediately after the assembly process. Plastic seats • Polypropylene (plastic) resin pellets are obtained and stored in resin silos.

• The plastic pellets are softened (melted) by being passed along a heated barrel by means of a screw.

• Plastic pellets are vacuum transferred to the injection-molding machine.

• The screw also acts as a ram, which injects the softened plastic rapidly into a cooled steel toilet seat mold at very high temperatures and pressures.

pr• After cooling, the mold opens, and the toilet seat is robotically removed from the • The toilet seat hinge assembly is completed, and the finished part is packaged with

ess. appropriate hardware into the final package for customer shipment. ;

phc december 2011

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