January employee news

Polymer Resources Employee Anniversaries

  • Farmington:
  • Brad Bareis 3 years
  • Jim Donnelly 25 years
  • Jay Forbotnick 27 years
  • Tony Lavertue 20 year
  • Scott Pietro 23 years
  • Rochester:
  • Michael Chamberlin 12 years

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

Radar in Michiganby Tim Mulcahy

It appears January will be the month when many of the ongoing Michigan projects will come to a decision point on Polymer Resources material. I thought I would explore a few of these programs with you as typically you may only hear bits and pieces about
them. Many different PRL people are involved with adding value to these projects – the projects themselves are a sum of many people’s daily efforts and inputs – thank you.
Command Electronics – Molds and manufacturers lighting products for recreational vehicles, motorcycles, trucks, buses and utility vehicles. Most of the lights use LED’s but they have some products still using incandescent. Located in scenic southwestern Michigan
it is a family run business with about 40 -50 employees with 6 molding machines.

They use PC- UV translucent type materials and for years have been coloring the materials in house by hand or via color metering at the press. Initial they believed they were saving money by coloring the resin themselves but over the years they have discovered
quality issues and labor have added costs they had not previous considered.
Just recently this week Mike Koss and I where at Command to sample our PC-UV2-1 product in Amber and
Red translucent colors. The material ran fine, passed DOT reflective tests and we need to make a slight adjustment on the Amber but we will soon be off and running on this program which currently looks like 160,000 lbs. a year.
In addition we
have been asked to quote and help with some new products involving PC metallic colors and PC Translucent White. Command likes PRL because we move quickly to get them started on their new products – be it color matches or samples the customer expects
and is getting quick results and attention.
Thanks to Mike and Q&T for allowing Mike to travel to Michigan to help with this program. Mike enjoyed the hills of Michigan and the customers appreciated his molding & materials advice.

Reeves Plastic – Is a custom molder located just north of Grand Rapids Michigan and only a few miles from Lake Michigan. They are located in the snow belt of Michigan.
We currently
do business with Reeves and we are attempting to capture some additional new business with an ABS-GP1 Bright White material. The expected annual usage is about 150,000 lbs.
This
Bright White ABS material is used to mold two different products.  One of the products is a state of the art water-free Falcon urinal that works without the use of large quantities of water and is labeled as a “green earth friendly”
product while the other product involves a few different molded parts used in the dashboard of motorboats for Attwood Marine.
The color for this product has been approved and the end users are reviewing material specifications and pricing for their
approval on a material change.

NoIr Laser – NoIR manufactures internationally-certified laser safety eyewear for medical, military, aviation, aerospace, scientific and industrial applications. They are a captive
molder located just north of Ann Arbor Michigan and have recently received samples of our PC-UV3-D-1 product and PC-GP4-1 product.  NoIr mixes with the resin special compounds that absorb various light sources and afford the user protection from such items as UV, Lasers, and Radiation.
The volume here is about 50,000 pounds a year with a new customer and new
application. Our ability to provide the service and compete on quality and pricing is making the difference. We are waiting for all the test results to be finalized from the sample on this one.

In summary we hope always to close on every project we begin however that is not always the case so a constant source of new projects and applications is key to growing the business.

PRL NEWS & ANNOUNCEMENTS

Our 2015-2016 Wellness Incentive Program

Employees and their covered spouses enrolled in Polymer Resources’ 2015-2016 medical and prescription plan must comply with a two-part incentive to get receive the HRA bonus:

1.Preventive Care Campaign

Employees and their covered spouses must have an annual preventive care visit with their physician and have the Physician Attestation form completed and submitted to Human Resources between October 1st, 2014 and October 1st, 2015.
The Preventive Care visit is paid at 100% and will be no cost to you. (Refer to your Aetna plan summary to find out exactly what preventive care services are no cost to you.)
Our Preventive Care Campaign is designed to assist our employees and
their spouses in achieving the best possible health.  Developing a relationship with your physician can be the first step and having an annual physical helps you stay in control of your health.  It can be difficult to get an appointment with
your doctor so schedule your preventive care visit today!  If you do not have a doctor, use the ‘find a doc’ tools on www.aetna.com.
Bring your Attestation Form to your doctor visit for completion. 
The form must be signed and submitted to Human Resources no later than October 1st, 2015 to qualify for the wellness incentive.

2.Aetna’s Simple Steps Health Risk Assessment

Employees and their covered spouses must complete a simple Health Risk Questionnaire between October 1st, 2014 and October 1st, 2015. Aetna’s Simple Steps is a convenient and secure
online health questionnaire which will show you where your health may be at risk and suggestions to lead a healthier life. You answer a series of questions about your health, lifestyle and family history.  This should only take about 15-20 minutes.

To complete your Simple Steps Health Risk Assessment, you will log onto www.aetna.comand click on Aetna Navigator Member Log In.  You will need to print off the Completion Certification for verification
of your Health Assessment completion and submit it to Human Resources by no later than October 1st, 2015.

Both a completed Simple Steps Health Risk Assessment and completed Physician Attestation are required from the employee and their covered spouse to qualify for enrollment in Polymer Resources’ “Bonus”
HRA for the 2015-2016 plan year.

 

Polymer Resources Physical Activity Reimbursement Plan

At Polymer Resources, we believe that the health and well being of our people has a direct and important connection to the vitality and success of our company.  Our leadership team is committed to developing a culture of wellness and good health
throughout our organization.  All employees are strongly encouraged to consult with a physician before beginning a physical activity program.

Option 1: Health Club of Employee’s Choice:

  • All employees are eligible for a reimbursement up to $20 per month if they utilize their gym of choice at least eight (8) times in a month.
  • A copy of the gym contract with the monthly charge will need to be submitted to Human Resources for verification.
  • Employees need to submit their monthly gym reimbursement form along with their gym’s utilization report to Human Resources to qualify for the reimbursement.  If the gym does not have an automated utilization process, the employee will need
    to keep a personal log of their utilization and have it signed by a qualified representative at the gym.  Once verified, it will go to Finance for reimbursement.

Option 2: Individual Fitness/Exercise/Martial Arts Classes:

  • All employees are eligible for a reimbursement of up to 50% of the cost of the fitness/exercise/martial art classes if they attend at least eight (8) times within a month OR up to 25% of the cost of the class if they attend any fitness/wellness classes
    four (4) times within a month.
  • A copy of the class registration with the monthly charge will need to be submitted to Human Resources for verification.
  • Employees need to submit their monthly gym reimbursement form along with their gym’s utilization report to Human Resources to qualify for the reimbursement.  If the gym does not have an automated utilization process, the employee will need
    to keep a personal log of their utilization and have it signed by a qualified representative at the gym.   Once verified, it will go to Finance for reimbursement.

You may choose more than one option!
Please remit all correspondence to Human Resources.  Once verified, it will go to Finance for reimbursement.

SAFETY :Cold and Flu Prevention Kevin Sheehan

November through April is a prime time to catch a cold.  That is probably because we spend a lot of time indoors during that period.  When we are indoors with others, it is easy to exchange germs with others, and to pick up a cold causing virus. 
Avoiding picking up a cold causing virus is a key step in avoiding a cold. 

Cold causing viruses are easily spread by direct contact.  One of our most common means of contact is touching things with our hands.  Since viruses can live for hours on objects, it is easy to pick a virus by touching an object that had previously
been touched by someone who has a cold.  Objects such a door handles, telephones, faucet handles, lids on equipment, and table tops can serve as transport points for viruses. Most experts seem to agree that washing hands often helps to prevent
colds.  Washing should be done with soap and water, and hands should be scrubbed for a good 10 to 20 seconds.  While this may sound like a simple thing to do, experts seem to agree that it is a very important step for avoiding colds.

After washing hands, it is a good idea to apply a hand sanitizer, such as an alcohol gel.  If you have a cold, then you can avoid transferring the cold virus to others by muffling a cough, or sneeze with either a tissue or a cloth.  Another
alternative is to cough or sneeze into your elbow.  The idea is to do something that will keep germs off of your hands. 

A cold virus can be transferred from someone’s hand to an object such as a door knob or a faucet handle.  When someone else touches that object, they pick up the virus.  Then, if they touch their face, particularly their eyes, nose, or
mouth, the virus enters their body.  So in addition to washing your hands, and using a hand sanitizer, try to avoid touching your face with your hands during cold season.  Or, at least try to wash your hands before touching your face. 

Our immune systems can help to protect us from colds, and staying active with exercise can help to prevent getting a cold.  Active exercise, Aerobic Exercise, speeds up our heart rate, and gets blood flowing.  This helps to “clean us
out”, and to increase our body’s natural germ killing cells in the immune system.  If Aerobic Exercise is done with machines, remember to wipe of handles before using the machine, and remember to avoid touching your face after using
the machine. Also, do not share a “work out towel” with someone else.

Rest and a good diet will also keep the body strong, and will help with cold prevention. Try to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep, and try to eat a balanced diet that includes fruits.  Drink plenty of fluids such as water and juices.  Go easy on high
sugar drinks, and on alcohol.  Smoking does not help reduce colds.  Getting a flu shot is also a good idea.

If you should catch a cold, then try to cut down a bit on smoking until the cold goes away.  Try to rest, stay warm, and drink plenty of fluids.  Try to be conscious about avoiding contact with others.

 

More information can be found at the following links:

http: www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/habits.htm         www.simmons.edu/hygieneandhealth

http: www.webmd.com/a-to-z guides/features/cold-flu-prevention-tips

 

Hope you all stay safe and cold free.

5 Surprising Foods that Fight the Flu

There are a variety of tips to prevent viruses. When you do find yourself not feeling well, there are various cold and flu survival guides to help you cope which is good since this year the fear of the flu is at an all-time high.

We have long known that consuming hot liquids like tea or soup can help break up congestion and that unfortunately, viruses take time to run their course. However, what if there are specific foods you could try this year to help the
cold and flu viruses move on more quickly to help you get back on your feet.

Here are five surprising foods that you do not typical hear recommended but that just might help you feel better more quickly.

  • Try a 1 oz serving of Brazil nuts to not only get protein but also the richest source of selenium. A small British study found that adequate selenium increases the immune cell production of proteins called cytokines. Cytokines have been found
    to help clear flu viruses from the body. Because the selenium content can vary and be quite high in Brazil nuts, only consume a serving several times a week and not every day.
     
  • Christopher Columbus called papaya the “fruit of the angels” because he found the great benefit of this special fruit especially during the winter. Rich in vitamins C, A, K, and E as well as magnesium, folate, beta-carotene and lutein, papaya
    has been found to help inactivate a variety of viruses so the body can flush them away.
     
  • Probiotic containing yogurt provides good bacteria that allow the body to defend against germ invaders. When you are fighting the flu, it is important to be sure the yogurt you select contains the seal indicating “Live and Active Cultures” which
    indicates at least two types of healthy bacteria are present. If you are experiencing a sore throat, try sweetening plain or vanilla yogurt with honey, which will help coat the throat for double the benefit.
     
  • Sweet potatoes provide a slightly lower glycemic response than traditional white potatoes but when you are sick that doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that their high beta-carotene content, which converts to vitamin A, can help you feel better
    especially if you are experiencing a respiratory infection. Try them baked or pureed and mixed with a small amount of unsweetened applesauce to make a smooth sauce. Better yet have someone make you a nice batch of chicken and sweet potato soup and
    you will hopefully be on your way to feeling better in no time.
     
  • Tea has long been thought of as a necessity when battling colds and flu. At the same time, ginger has been found to be an aid to relieve motion sickness and nausea. This year ginger tea might be just the thing to help you feel better quicker.
    Fresh ginger contains a natural plant compound called gingerol which when heated converts to zingerone, which has been shown to be active against germs. To enjoy a hot cup of ginger tea cut a 1 inch chunk of fresh ginger root and use it to steep one
    cup of boiling water, sip and enjoy.

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 December the values were:

  1. Justified Returns:0.3% and for the year 0.3%. A great result continues.
  2. Nonconforming Material: 0.8% and for the year we are at 1.8%, a continuing improvement
  3. On time delivery:  0.9% on time delivery for December. Again, a great performance.

NOTE: Our auditor will be here in February. When he asks you to name our quality objectives it’s the 3 items. He will not expect you to know the numbers, just the items.

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