Volume 9 | Issue 1 | Year 2006

Total Plastics, Inc. (TPI) opened its doors in 1978. In that time it has grown exponentially through acquisition and innovation. It started with just one location in Kalamazoo, Mich., its current headquarters today, which houses 81,000 square feet of manufacturing space. In addition to that location, it now has a national sales office in Grand Rapids and distribution centers in major industrial centers throughout the U.S. including 14 locations across the East Coast and in Florida.

TPI is a national plastics sheet, rod, film, tube and tapes distributor with product offerings in the thousands. The company services a broad industrial customer base including automotive, food, OEMs, medical, electronic, marine, transportation and point-of-purchase. The company’s products are used in a wide range of MRO and OEM applications including agriculture, architectural glazing, engineering, chemical, general manufacturing, lighting, maintenance, point-of-purchase, medical equipment, signage, electronics, and transportation including automotive, marine, trailer and RV manufacturing.

“Through our specialty divisions we offer value added services in parts fabrication and machining along with foam/transfer tapes and insulating shrink tubing, custom converted to your specifications,” says Vice President Dan Talbott, noting that maintaining distribution and fabrication facilities throughout the U.S. benefits TPI customers because they can deal with a locally based company. “We take great pride in being able to draw on the combined strengths of all of these locations to fulfill our customers’ orders accurately, on time and on budget.”

In late 2004, TPI, (a subsidiary of A.M. Castle & Company) opened its newest branch distribution center in New Jersey. The 6,000-square-foot distribution center provides same-day services for the Trenton/Hamilton areas. “We have been servicing our customers in this area for some time and the continued growth supports a physical presence there,” says Talbott. “Strategically, this location fits right into our aggressive market expansion plan, and our continued commitment to service the customer.”

Plethora of Plastic
Total Plastics owes much of its success to the diversity of its product line. Its fabrication area specializes in everything from prototype development to large production runs. TPI maintains diverse combinations of equipment to perform cost efficient cutting and forming operations with over 50,000 square feet dedicated to fabrication operations alone. It has a wide range of high-tech, high capacity equipment like CNC horizontal saws, CNC routers, diamond edge polishers, drape forming ovens, vertical saws and offers laser cutting, line bending, and multi-head drilling services. “We employ experienced craftsmen in our “hands-on” fabrication disciplines to guarantee our customers’ final products will be as specified and on time. If they’re in need of a single part, a complete assembly or a special architectural form we do everything we can to provide them with the best value,” says Talbott.

TPI also offers custom tape conversion and specializes in foam and film tapes. Its selection of custom slit tapes is diverse and uses include everything from sealing, mounting, and insulating, to a variety of other applications. The company recently added two new pieces of equipment to its tape converting facility. A Lever automatic slitting machine with the capability of cutting oversize rolls offers customers an additional option when ordering tapes that are often custom run to their specifications. The facility also added spooling equipment, which enables customers to purchase product in continuous lengths, put up on spools or reels, also according to their individual requirements.

“By investing in this equipment, we have taken our tape converting to the next level,” says Talbott. “With our laminating, die-cutting, slitting, and now spooling capabilities, combined with our alignments with many of the top tape manufacturers, such as Saint-Gobain, 3M and Permacel, we can now offer our customers a complete solution to their tape and pressure sensitive adhesive needs.”

TPI’s marine division inventories a broad selection of materials, which are highly resistant to wear and weathering and well suited to marine applications. The company is a master distributor of King Starboard(r) products, a polymer sheet material that has become the plastics standard for use in weather resistant marine construction. It is used extensively to replace teak, select hardwoods and treated plywood in hundreds of applications. The company stocks the product in full sheets.

It also carries other King Starboard products including its XL product, which is 35 percent lighter than the deluxe Starboard version. It can be heat formed into curved shapes to fit almost any contour. TPI also carries King Starboard(tm) AS, a material that is a suregrip for marine-grade decking designed specifically for high-traffic areas. This unique product features a special high-friction surface polymer and dot pattern to prevent slipping and promote drainage. King StarBoard AS never needs maintenance other than normal cleaning, is excellent for gangways, steps, and virtually any walk-on surface, and is made in the same colors as King StarBoard for a perfect match.

Finally, TPI’s machining division uses a diverse combination of both CNC and manual equipment to provide quality-machined parts in a wide variety of material formulations. Requirements that call for standard or tight tolerances, basic or high performance materials, or small or large quantities are fulfilled by the capabilities of Total Plastics’ numerous facilities. TPI only uses the most state-of-the-art equipment and can fulfill its customers’ needs for any required precision component. Because TPI machines only plastics, tight tolerance parts such as bushings, bearings, gaskets, spacers, seals and rollers can be provided without the risk of contamination.

Magic Time
Total Plastics is extremely proud to be supporting a new campaign by CYRO Industries called, ACRYLITE(r) – It’s Magic. A unique Magic Creative Box of products features CYRO’s specialty acrylics and is delivered in a briefcase-size box with over 30 product samples from the company’s portfolio of acrylic sheet products. “The box is a practical hands-on tool for industrial designers across a wide spectrum of industries,” say Talbott. “We are proud to distribute this new, innovative product.

Designed to inspire, the product’s goal is to supply designers with the materials to help bring their concepts to life. Whether it is a funky new display, cool club lighting, or unique new office furniture, CYRO’s Creative Box enables designers to see and feel the myriad of varieties, textures, and shapes of acrylic.

While bringing customers new products is always top of mind with TPI, it is also successfully maneuvering pricing challenges as the cost of petroleum skyrockets. “Because petroleum is a key product in the manufacture of plastic, the price hikes have been tough, but I think we’ve done a great job of dealing with the pricing issues and trying our best to maintain our pricing structure.” That attitude is synonymous with TPI’s dedication to assisting customers’ make the best possible selection for their application, and providing top quality products, quick turn-around, accurate shipments and personal service through its dedicated and knowledgeable staff. “Each year we’re amazed at the new product offerings and are delighted to offer them to our customers,” says Talbott. “It’s our pleasure to work with our customers and offer them the personal one-on-one service they deserve.”

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