April newsletter 2016

Polymer Resources Employee Anniversaries

  • Farmington:
  • Frank Boucher 8 years
  • Nicole D’Addio 6 years
  • Anthony Hernandez 6 years
  • Scot Imfeld 8 years
  • Martin Machuga 1 year
  • Jackie Pechout 26 years
  • Lori Zielinski 11 years
  • Andy Webster 1 year
  • Rochester:
  • Alan Eagley 22 years

Thank You for Your Hard Work& Dedication! We Appreciate You!






Application Profile: Kodak Photo Kiosks                         by Rob Spano

You may likely encounter various plastic parts in everyday life and have no idea they were made from Polymer Resources resin products  Chances are everyone has unknowingly purchased or has used a plastic product  that was made from  a PRL resin product. This scenario may occur daily while shopping at your favorite retail store such as Target, CVS, Sam’s Club, K-Mart, Tops Friendly Markets, Office Depot, Jewel-Osco Grocery or other photo supply stores.  A good example is the popular Kodak Picture Kiosk as seen in the photos above. Since 2007 PRL has produced and shipped two resin products that are used in the manufacture of the Kodak Photo Kiosk:  PC/ABS-FR1-4246 Kodak Yellow and PC/ABS-FR1-7259 Gray. 

The opportunity arose in February 2007 when Alliance Precision Plastic, Rochester NY and Kodak were motivated to qualify PRL as an approved second-source for this popular and growing product.  The incumbent material, SABIC-IP Cycoloy 6600 resin had steadily increased in both pricing longer lead times which was causing delays in the supply chain.  The requirements included UL94-V0 flame rating and two critical color matches

 A PRL color matchwas developed were molded plaques approved in February 2007.    Credit to the PRL color lab for doing a fantastic job matching the color exactly the first time.  Sample resin was shipped in March 2007 and a successful mold trial occurred at Alliance.   Final approvals were earned shortly thereafter.   As expected production orders for PC/ABS-FR1-[colors] soon followed from Alliance.     These molded component parts include the (yellow) monitor trim and housing, along with vented fan covers, card-reader facias and the gray terminal housing. 

In 2010 another Kodak molder was identified and added as a new PRL customer was added:   Arnprior Rapid Prototype, Rochester NY.      It was learned that Arnprior had built the original tooling for this program and still had a production mold that produced a vented-fan cover for this product.   Arnnprior soon began to order PC/ABS-FR1-4246 Kodak Yellow.   This high-volume program has allowed PRL to sell and ship more than 220,000 pounds of -7259 Gray and more than 50,000 lbs of -4246 Kodak Yellow  with total revenues of nearly $700,000.     The demand for PRL products remained strong  throughout the Kodak  bankruptcy period, and this program is expected to continue, according to Arnprior, as a “very popular, growing and profitable product line for Kodak.”      

Because PRL established a very good track record supporting this program, a new Kodak opportunity arose in 2015.    A product called the Kodak Alaris Picture Scanning System was developed, and  ABS-FR-4246 Yellow and ABS-FR-7001 Black were selected as the materials of choice.    Recently, color plaques were sent to Alliance for testing and production quantities are expected to begin.   This is a good example of how PRL combines all its resources to support new business:   providing critical   colors,  UL-listed products and backing it up with great service in support of  end user programs.   This all helps to build credibility and long-term relationships which often leads to more opportunity and growth.



SAFETY: Safety: Safely Avoiding TicksKevin Sheehan

Tick season may come early this year.

After a mild winter, we may find that ticks will become active earlier this spring.  We should take precautions to avoid ticks because they carry a number of diseases, including Lyme disease.  Ticks are small insects that are less than 1/8” long, and are very flat.  Ticks cannot fly, and cannot jump.  They move about by crawling. 

Ticks must eat blood in order to survive.  Ticks have very good senses, and they use those senses to find “hosts” to draw blood from.  Ticks often latch onto plants, and wait for a creature to brush against the plant so that they can latch onto that creature.  Once they are on a creature, such as a dog, a cat, or a person, they bit the creature, and they start to feed on the creature’s blood.  During this feeding process, fluids transfer from the tick into the creature’s blood stream.  Tick borne diseases, such as Lyme Disease, are transferred from the tick to the creature through this process. 

Lyme Disease is a bacterial infection.  The bacteria enter the human body through the bite of a “deer“ tick.  If detected early, Lyme Disease can be successfully treated with antibiotics.  Powassan is a virus that is transmitted to humans through ticks.  Antibiotics are not effective in treating viruses.  Symptoms of the POW infection include fever, headache, vomiting, weakness, confusion, seizures, and memory loss. Long-term neurologic problems may occur. According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC), there is no specific treatment for POW.  People with severe POW virus illnesses often need to be hospitalized to receive respiratory support, intravenous fluids, or medications to reduce swelling in the brain. [http://www.cdc.gov/powassan]

An important step in preventing Tick Borne Diseases is to avoid contact with ticks. Ticks live outdoors in brushy and grassy areas.  When venturing into these areas, it is a good idea to wear light cloths so that ticks, which are dark in color, and easily be spotted on clothing.  While ticks do not bite through clothing, if you spot one on your clothing you should brush it off.  Since ticks will look for a route from our clothing to our skin, tucking the bottom of the legs of your pants into your socks can prevent an entry route.   Insect repellants can be applied to our skin, and to our clothing.  An insect repellant that contains 20% to 30% DEET is very effective on both skin and clothing.  Another repellant that contains 0.5% permethrin is very effective on clothing.   Details on repellants can be found at http://cfpub.epa.gov/oppref/insect/.

Ticks an also be passed onto humans from their pets.  This is a very efficient route because pets are often outside, and are close to areas where ticks live.  Although dogs and cats are not affected by Lyme Disease, they can unwittingly bring disease causing ticks into our homes.  Fortunately, there are numerous brands of tick killing treatments for dogs and cats.  These treatments add something to the pet’s blood that causes ticks to die after they bit the pet.  It is a good idea to inspect pets frequently for ticks.  A tick may not bite a bet, but find a way into your home on your pet’s fur.

After spending time outdoors, it is a good idea to take a shower in order to wash off any ticks that you may have come into contact with.  Also, inspect your body for little dark spots.  A little dark spot could be tick that has attached itself to you.  If you find a tick attached to you, then pull it off.  Use a pair of tweezers to pull a tick off.  Place the tweezers as close to the skin as possible in order to remove the tick in one piece.  It is suggested that infection is unlikely if a tick has been attached for less than 24 hours. 

The most obvious sign of Lyme Disease is an appearance of a bullseye on the skin in the region of the tick bite.  This is a rash that has a dark red center.  This center is surrounded by a lighter area, and the lighter area is surrounded by red area.  If you see this pattern on yourself, or on someone else, then seek medical attention. 

The Bullseye

Symptoms of Lyme Disease also include Flue like feelings such as a headache, muscle soreness, fatigue, fever, and depression.  Since early treatment of Lyme Diseaseis very effective, if you suspect that you have any of the symptoms, then you should seek medical attention.

The US Center for Disease Control (CDC) provides plenty of information about dealing with ticks.  Their website is located at:   http://www.cdc.gov/ticks/index.html.

A very detailed publication on dealing with ticks is also provided by the State of Connecticut at: http://www.ct.gov/caes/lib/caes/documents/publications/bulletins/b1010.pdf


What to do with your tax refund: Save money, pay debt or get a prepaid debit card

By Bonnie Lee EA • Bankrate.com

Don’t you love getting a tax refund? It’s as if you’ve had a savings account all year, albeit interest-free, and now it’s time to cash out.

Back in the day when serious interest was paid on savings accounts, tax practitioners would advise clients to take a bigger paycheck throughout the year and sock the additional take-home pay in a savings account where it would grow. But these days, with money market account rates so low, it’s hardly worth the effort. In fact, some banks charge a monthly service charge, resulting in an actual loss instead of growth. So maybe it pans out better to let the government hold it, then take the windfall at tax time — especially for those who find it nearly impossible to save.

Here are some ideas on what to do with your tax refund.

Fix up your finances
Robert Semrad, a senior partner at DebtStoppers, a bankruptcy law firm, recommends using your tax refund for the following personal finance goals:

  1. Start or build an emergency fund.
  2. Nearly 3 out of 10 Americans have no emergency savings, according to a recent Bankrate survey. Most financial experts recommend that you have the equivalent of at least 6 months’ worth of expenses stashed in a savings account. “An emergency fund will provide a solid financial cushion should anything surprise you, such as an emergency room visit,” says Semrad.

  3. Clear credit card debt.
  4. This is particularly appropriate if you are paying the highest interest rates. Removing this debt can give you breathing room and allow you to begin working on paying off other lower interest debt.

  5. Save for retirement.
  6. “Most of us aren’t saving enough for retirement,” says Semrad, “but using your tax refund for retirement will allow you to create more money for your future.” You may be lucky enough that your employer matches some of your contributions. If so, you are basically doubling that money. If you don’t have a workplace retirement plan, open a traditional or Roth IRA. A financial planner can help you determine the best route to take.

  7. Open a 529 college savings plan for your children.
  8. The contributions aren’t deducted from income for tax purposes, but when the money is withdrawn to pay for college costs, the distribution is tax free, as long as it is used for educational purposes.

Tax season is collection season

Semrad says consumers who are behind on payments should be on full alert. “Tax refund season is an important time for collection companies, as they are fully aware this is the one time of the year consumers will have a large sum of money.”
But don’t act rashly. “Consumers need to remember that they have the leverage as they are the only ones who will determine how their money is utilized.” He advises consumers to list their debts by balance and interest rates and prioritize them before making any moves.  Mortgage, car payments and tax debt are all high priority items. “Paying off debt with the highest interest rate will end up saving you money in the long run,” says Semrad. Contact creditors and let them know you want to pay off the debt, he advises. But don’t do anything before getting a written agreement. “If you are dealing with multiple creditors, pay the one that offers the best deal first,” he adds.

Consider a prepaid debit card

Consumers who have credit issues often turn to prepaid debit cards to pay expenses, but comedian and television host Steve Harvey says they’re preferable to traditional bank accounts if you can find one that doesn’t charge a lot of fees.  The prepaid debit card is an “alternative banking solution with lower fees than what banks normally charge,” he says.  Harvey suggests depositing your refund to a prepaid debit card, such as the Green Dot prepaid card he promotes. He provides his children with debit cards because they are cheaper than bank accounts.
“My kids are like your kids: They can’t count,” says Harvey. “Every time they would overdraft their card, there would be a fee, and sometimes the fee would be greater than the purchase. They would be getting a coffee and there’d be a $25 fee attached to it.”
The Green Dot, he says, doesn’t charge overdraft or transfer fees. “When you have college kids, that’s a huge help until they learn to be financially sound.”
Here’s yet another idea: If you earn money from which no taxes are withheld, you can allocate a portion of your tax refund toward your 2016 estimated tax payments.  Then make the best use of the balance. Maybe there’s enough left over to give yourself a treat for all your hard work.

ISO Awareness – Don McBournie
A fundamental requirement of ISO9001: 2008 is that top management must insure that quality objectives are established, measureable and consistent with our quality policy. Our auditors will often ask; what are the company’s quality objectives? The answer you should give is:

  1. Our justified returns (our mistakes) should not exceed 2% of our total shipments.
  2. The amount of nonconforming material we produce should not exceed 2% of the total we produce.
  3. Our on time delivery must be 95% or better.

For MARCH the values were:

  • Justified Returns:  0.0% and for the year 0.3%. You should all feel truly proud of this result. A measure of great customer satisfaction.
  • Nonconforming Material: 2.3% for March. For the year we are at 1.4% . which is well within our 2016 goal.
  • On time delivery:  100%on time delivery for March. WOW! Again, an incredible performance. This is a great result and our entire team shares in this performance. A plant wide effort.

    Polymer Resources, Ltd. Newsletter compiled & edited by Carrie Morse. Please send submissions, ideas and suggestions to cmorse@prlresins.com.