From a quick glance outside, Plastikos Inc. on Hawthorne Drive in Summit Township, looks like any other business. But the simple exterior gives way to a complex array of robotic machines inside. All spitting out even more complex plastic parts. Parts that will be shipped around the globe and used in so many of our every day necessities. Cell phones, laptops, HD-TVs and more. They even make parts for medical devices, aerospace and defense, automotive and telecom.
Inside it's all huge machines that spit out tiny plastic parts. In fact some are so small, they're the size of a grain of rice.
"As you said, very small plastic parts. Very intricate, so a lot of tight, small features. Some of the features on the plastic part are no bigger than the diameter of a human hair," said Philip Katen, General Manager of Plastikos.
A native son of Erie, Katen left like many others for school and work, but he couldn't resist coming home to run the family business when opportunity called in 2007.
"The weather in the winter can be a little tough but come summer and fall I think it's beautiful weather and a great place to live. A lot of great opportunities that people don't always see or are aware of, but we're starting to get more and more awareness even out in the general market place," said Katen.
And it was a good decision. Right now Plastikos stands on top of the plastics world. A national publication named them the 2010 Processor of the Year, or as Katen describes it, basically the best plastics maker in the country.
"We like to describe it or equate it to winning the Oscars in plastics," he said.
But katen says they could have never risen to this level if it wasn't for their dedicated staff of 105 full time employees. Hard workers like 29 year veteran Steve Carr.
"Being here this long, I've spent more time with these men than I have with my own family. Hour for hour nobody can say you spend more time with your family than the people you work with and I can see myself being here for as long as they'll let me walk through the door," said Carr, the tool room manager.
And with their recent success, the acquisition of several new customers, and hard working employees, Katen sees Plastikos only getting better.
"Absolutely, see a very bright future for Plastikos, for the Plastikos and Micro Mold team," he said.