The Summit of Sustainability Awards
Winner Mid-Size Business Category
Kent Elastomer Products Inc.
In its 53-year history, Kent Elastomer Products Inc. has evolved from a latex tubing manufacturer into a diversified supplier of products ranging from thermoplastic elastomers to non-latex Free-Band Tourniquets.
The company started lean manufacturing in 2006 with an emphasis on continuous improvement. Kaizen practices were the main vehicle, and employees were the drivers for implementing and sustaining these and other improvements.
Since 2008, its Mogadore facility has realized an 84 percent decrease in water usage, a 13 percent decrease in electric usage and it sends 80 percent fewer dumpsters (from five per week to one per week) to the landfill. Total annual savings from these three improvements alone is approximately $26,000.
A wholly owned subsidiary of Meridian Industries Inc., Kent Elastomer builds its business on people — its employees, its customers and the patients who rely on quality products. Kent Elastomer serves a variety of markets including medical, dental, food/beverage, sports/recreation, laboratory and industrial.
The integrity of its people is reflected in its products, which are known for durability and strength. The company is nimble — able to create customized products quickly and to unique specifications.
An innovative approach at Kent Elastomer is employee ownership. The culture change that happened as a result of lean manufacturing is evident by the involvement of employees, their commitment to their jobs and the low turnover rates.
“We take pride in being a world class producer of quality products with employees striving for continuous improvement and reducing waste,” says Bob Oborn, president. “We take our stewardship of the environment seriously, and it shows.”