For Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics, 2012 marked a year of great celebration — and not just because it marked the company’s 50th anniversary as a manufacturer of Tygon plastic tubing, a family of flexible tubing used in markets such as food and beverage, chemical processing, industrial, laboratory, medical, pharmaceutical and semiconductor processing. It’s also because Saint-Gobain’s Akron facility — the worldwide headquarters of Tygon tubing — drove another year of 25 percent sales growth, thanks to the productivity improvement efforts of the plant and its employees.
In 2012, Akron’s extrusion department took new steps to improve efficiency and productivity. Under the guidance of President Tom Kinisky, the plant successfully launched a manufacturing execution system (MES), which provides paperless visibility, implemented a new scheduling system and greenlit the automation and equipment integration of an extrusion line, continuing to position the company as a leading producer of engineered high-performance polymer products.
Innovation and new product development have also contributed to the success of Saint-Gobain’s Akron facility. The plant recently introduced a new family of Tygon products, Tygon S3, which addresses rising safety concerns about phthalates as well as worldwide regulatory pressure for environmentally friendly design. Environmental responsibility has continued to be a core driver in Saint-Gobain’s innovation efforts. In 2012, the company demonstrated its commitment to the planet by investing $900,000 to implement a closed-loop water system in Akron. While the financial benefit to the company was small, the system has reduced the plant’s discharged process water by 98 percent.
How to reach: Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics, www.plastics.saint-gobain.com