The Global Manufacturing Business

Leave a Comment

Universal Polymer & Rubber Ltd also known as UP&R by its customers and vendors is a part of the Cypress Companies of Akron, OH. Since its inception in 1970, UP&R has reached out to customers across the globe. It has helped its customers to grow by providing a wide range of polymer solutions. UP&R focuses on manufacturing rubber and plastic extruded parts as well as rubber molded parts. These are manufactured in the manufacturing plants in Middlefield, OH and Tallmadge, OH as well as through partnerships and relationships with other manufactures in Asia, thus showing its global presence. UP&R sells…

Competitive Manufacturing: A Delicate Balancing Act

Leave a Comment

Today’s business environment is unique and highly competitive. As manufacturing comes back in a big way, and American manufacturing, specifically, is reaching new heights, companies must find the right balance to stay ahead. Take, for example, the role of a senior manager in a medium-sized manufacturing company. This person must wear many hats. After all, most companies don’t have the full amount of personnel—especially in these times of fewer skilled workers—to have someone handle short-term strategies and another to handle long-term. The senior manager, therefore, has multiple responsibilities, and must juggle them all well, focusing on both the short and…

America’s Auto Industry Today: Behind the Numbers

Leave a Comment

If you look at the news and numbers focused around America’s auto industry, what you see, at first, is that it’s in a recovery phase, and that production is up. This is true—July production was up by 10%, and overall production is up by about 7.5%.[1] However, as with anything, to get the full picture, you must really scratch beneath the surface. Major auto makers, such as Nissan and Chrysler, are seeing booming sales and therefore booming production. Likewise, if you’re a supplier working with them, then your business is booming accordingly. But the fact is, these two companies make…

Finding the Balance with Multiple Projects

Leave a Comment

As a contract manufacturer, we know it’s not uncommon to have multiple projects going on at once. The challenge comes with efficiently and promptly balancing the many moving parts while ensuring high quality and accuracy. While we have the capabilities that allow us to work on many different types of projects for various clients at the same time, we understand the concern that sometimes goes along with it. For example, a potential customer in a non-auto industry may be curious about how much of our production time is dedicated to projects that are outside of the auto industry. As the…

How is Manufacturing a Player in the World Cup?

Leave a Comment

Goaaaaallllllllll! Does this sound familiar? In the past few weeks, the world has been captured by the World Cup, an international soccer (or football, depending where you come from) tournament that is played once every four years. If you’ve been busy keeping up with all of the scores and trying to catch games on your phone, you’re not alone—so has the manufacturing industry. When you think about how the World Cup affects manufacturing, it goes beyond the makers of the athletes’ uniforms and the materials of the soccer equipment. In fact, it directly affects the manufacturing production process as a…

Benchmarking and Continuous Improvement: An Ongoing Road to Success

Leave a Comment

American manufacturing is most definitely back in a big way—and it’s also definitely one of the most competitive and innovative manufacturing industries in the world. In order to remain competitive, American companies must continuously improve and focus on bettering their operations and products on a minute-to-minute basis. This extreme focus on continuous improvement is something we take very seriously, and very personally. We realize the level of trust our clients put in us, and we’ll never sit back and rest on past success. We know that no matter how good a business is, there’s always room for improvement, and in…

Where is the Next Manufacturing Hub?

Leave a Comment

It wasn’t long ago when everyone was convinced that all American manufacturing jobs would end up in China permanently. Before China, manufacturing was sent overseas to Japan, and to Taiwan before then. Due to the low cost in these areas, many manufacturers went overseas. New research from the Boston Consulting Group, however, shows that China and the U.S. are now almost equal when it comes to manufacturing costs. That brings up the question, where will manufacturing go next? Due to rising labor costs and a burgeoning middle class in China, along with higher productivity in the U.S., offshore manufacturing will…

5S Principles: Our Commitment to Continuous Improvement

Leave a Comment

If you are familiar with the 5S methodology, you’ll know how useful it is in manufacturing. And if you know how truly useful it is, you’ll understand how pleased we are at Universal Polymer & Rubber to be implementing the 5S principles, and to be seeing it all come together so well for us. 5S is a Japanese workplace organizational discipline that specifically stands for 5 words—seiri, seiton, seiso, seiketsu, and shitsuke. They refer to neatness, sorting, and disciplined organization, and the principle was first brought to the U.S. in the 1980s when Japanese automakers began establishing a presence in…

The Unpredictability of Manufacturing

Leave a Comment

In many ways, manufacturing is the art of managing the unpredictable. In order to take a product or part from initial idea to completion, skill, hard work, and just a bit of luck are needed. There are a variety of things that can go astray during the manufacturing process; here are some of the more common ones: Material Inconsistency When working with a variety of suppliers, it’s difficult to sometimes keep track of all of the different parts and materials, and where they are coming from. When it comes to materials, they must be consistent to work; coordination with suppliers…

Seasonality in the World of Manufacturing

Leave a Comment

While most of the country is worrying about staying warm and digging out from another polar vortex, it’s spring and summer time at Universal Polymer! Well, don’t get us wrong, it is still very (very!) cold here in Ohio. However, this is the time of year orders for plastic and rubber extrusions come flooding in from companies that specialize in warmer weather products. That is the thing about the start of every year, while there is a manufacturing and construction lull during the holidays, it disappears the second the calendar flips to January and February. So, who are the companies…