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MAPP Board Member Profile: Mike Walter

 

Plastics Business

Editor's note: MAPP’s Board of Directors encourages plastics processors to utilize the knowledge contained within the MAPP network. To familiarize readers with the Board, members will be profiled by Plastics Business ENews.


SUBMITTED

Mike Walter can be reached at 847.228.5070 ext. 212 or MWalter@metplastics.com.

Current Board Members

Former Board Members

Mike Walter, president
MET Plastics, Elk Grove Village, Illinois

MAPP Member Since: 2003

# of Employees: 30

# of Presses: 8

Industries served: Aerospace, medical, food service, industrial

 

How did plastics become your career?

Plastics is a family business. My dad started it 41 years ago, and I came on board in 1995. MET Plastics was my summer job all through high school and college, starting with cleaning out grinders and eventually running presses and even spending some time in the tool room. I learned the ins and outs of the business, and became general manager 12 years ago. I have a degree in marketing and management from DePaul University, and I’ve also done some graduate work in plastics engineering through Northern Illinois University.

Describe your company.

We are a provider of custom molded plastic components and injection molds for critical part applications. We tend to focus on high-end components, comprised of difficult-to-process and high-temperature materials. We also do a lot of value add work, such as assembly, machining and testing. MET Plastics started out as a prototype molding house and transitioned into production molding in the early to mid 90s. When the need for prototype molding started to fade with the introduction of rapid prototyping, we made the shift to low volume production. It was a natural fit since we had a tool shop specializing in building aluminum molds, which had a lower cost than steel. The high-end applications were the next logical step, since many of the industries with low volume requirements tend to have more difficult parts. That moved us into high-end engineered materials, so we have tooling engineers on staff to allow us to create our own tool designs, run mold flow analysis and build the majority of the tools we run. Now MET Plastics has implemented high-speed machining for our moldbuilding operations, allowing us to cut steel with nearly the same speed as aluminum. As a result, most of our molds for low-volume applications are now built using P20 steel since the cost differential between a P20 steel tool and an aluminum tool is negligible.

In what areas are you willing to share your experiences with MAPP Member companies?

Over the last few years, we’ve become “experts” in tooling transfer programs. We’ve brought in hundreds of new programs with transferred tools, typically involving parts in which the previous molder had abandoned ship on the program, and have implemented strategies to ensure that the transfer is successful.