According to CNNMoney, many United States businesses are searching for domestic suppliers and steering clear of China. Some may ask why? There are many examples in the full article (view here) but here are a few reasons: Too Expensive, Poor Quality, Production Delays and Higher Cost per Unit. Inc.com infers the "Two issues are behind the revival: the rising price of Chinese manufacturing and the uncertainly regarding the American economy." The lack of consumer confidence in the U.S. economy has left business leery of committing to large orders from their suppliers.
In the past year Mr. Chain has seen evidence of this. Everything Mr. Chain sells is manufactured, produced and shipped from our plant in Northern Michigan. Our customers value the timely arrival of their shipment and know lead times are very reasonable.
Til Next Time,
Plastic manufacturing continues to evolve as technology improves and human knowledge expands. Today plastic material is taken for granted as it is a part of many aspects of our lives. Taking a minute to appreciate how it came to be may help us to respect the material a little bit more.
[caption id="attachment_941" align="alignleft" width="200"] John Wesley Hyatt[/caption]
1868-John Wesley Hyatt created celluloid, more popularly know as cellulose nitrate, a material commonly used in plastics.
1909-Dr. Leo Hendrik Baekeland experimented with synthetic resins which lead to the creation of Bakelite, a sturdy but mode-able material.
[caption id="attachment_942" align="alignright" width="206"] Dr. Leo Hendrik Baekland[/caption]
1929-Cellulose Acetate was introduced as a safer product that also had the ability to be molded and shaped.
1930s-Commercialization of polystyrene took place during this decade that later became the 3rd best selling plastic material.
1940s-Polyethylene was developed during WWII to fill the need for superior insulating materials use in products such as the radar cable.
1950s-Polypropylene became the plastic material to compete directly with the metal industry by its strength and dimensional stability.
1960s and 1970s-Polystyrene became popular for its use in the packaging industry.
[caption id="attachment_944" align="alignnone" width="192"] Tray Table (Polystyrene)[/caption]
Today, Mr. Chain manufactures products out of both polystyrene and polyethylene. More recently, it appears that there is renewed activity in the plastics industry. What do you think the plastic industry will do in 2012?
Til Next Time,
All over the world, people are beginning to see the unlimited number of benefits plastics have to offer due to organizations aimed at raising awareness. Here in the US, the Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI), is dedicated to exploring avenues of sustainable growth of the global plastics industry, and communicating the industry's contributions and benefits. SPI offers a wide range of resources including a suppliers directory, business development, even trade shows much like the National Hardware Show Mr. Chain attends.
[caption id="attachment_927" align="alignleft" width="253"] DuPont Engineering Polymers--Polymer Producer of the Year[/caption]
However, there are organizations all over the world supporting and promoting the plastics industry such as the Annual Plastics Industry Awards held annually in London. The UK has come to highly respect the awards banquet and it is often referred to as the "Oscars of the plastic industry." The awards seek to provide insight to current innovative development and uses of plastics. The event was launched in 2001 and continues to be a popular and growing event. "This event is dedicated to rewarding innovation and exceptional performance. The Plastics Industry Awards acknowledge the best companies and the best people in the market." (http://www.plasticsawards.com/ )
Plastic Industry Awards are given in many categories, below are just a few:
Consumer Product Design of the Year, Industrial Product Design, Young Designer of the Year, Best Energy or Environmental Initiative, Best Business Initiative.
Til next time,
M R Products recently completed its annual inventory of all materials and finished products including plastic chain, stanchions and accessories. This year, as in the past, the office and plant employees worked together as a cohesive unit allowing the entire inventory process to be completed in less than 2 days!
Rob-General Foreman, Tim-Warehouse and Jeannie-Inventory
In addition to reducing the amount of time for the entire inventory process, the office employees were able to touch and feel the product as well as observe the work that goes into an order from its entry to final preparations on the shipment.
Sheila-Shipping Assistant, Linda-Shipping Manager, Alex-Marketing Associate
Happy New Year from all of us here at Mr. Chain, your home for plastic chain and stanchions!
Til next time,
In the past, many were concerned with the use of plastic materials and the effect it has on the environment and our health, especially when used for packaging consumer goods. However, strong evidence has emerged for both the pro-plastic and anti-plastic arguments. Here are some of the top reasons to choose plastic in 2012.
SAFETY. Not only do we use plastic chain and stanchions to promote safety and reduce injury, plastic has been proven to be a safe material to use. Here at Mr. Chain, we have reformulated all the colors, with the exception of safety orange and safety green, of our chain and stanchions to be free of heavy metals. Our safety green and safety orange chain and stanchions still contain the heavy metals to aid in the fade resistance when they are used out-of-doors. We are currently experimenting with these two colors and positive they too will soon be free of heavy metals. In additional to our products being free of heavy metals, plastic does not shatter or break when dropped. It is a great alternative to glass or metal especially when used around children.
RUST RESISTANT. Unlike metal products, plastic products are rust resistant therefore allowing a wider and more versatile range of use. In addition to being rust resistant, Mr. Chain's products are also fade and weather resistant.
AESTHETICALLY PLEASING. Along with the flexibility and many uses for plastic in general, Mr. Chain products are aesthetically pleasing with their bright colors and many shapes and styles. Below is a photo of our lawn edging that adds the perfect finishing touch to any landscaping project.
ECO-FRIENDLY. Before plastics were recyclable, it was understood that it could take up to 500 years to disintegrate on earth. All of Mr. Chain’s products can be recycled. In addition to the long life of plastics, we can all use the material with ease knowing it doesn’t have to end up in the garbage.
Til next time,
Birdie Britches seeks to create intriguing toys to keep birds curiously entertained for hours. Owner Lisa McManus says, "Toys should be intriguing to the birds, but also pleasing to their owners. I will sit and watch the birds play to see what toys attract them and hold their interest-a particular shape, a particular texture, sound, or color, or all four stimulants. They will even change their preferences from day to day, but still have their favorites. " Birdie Britches are also designed to intrigue and delight the owners as well.
About The Toys
Birdie Britches are great foraging toys designed for hours of discovery. Made from infant and children's overalls of denim or denim weight material, something is hidden in each pocket or hanging from the belt loops; such as in-shell almonds wrapped in a coffee filter or brightly colored plastic chain; a poly rope strung with beads hangs from a belt loop, a small stuffed toy has its head sticking out of a pocket. The birds love the foraging aspect as well as the comfort of snuggling up to cloth while pet owners love the fact that the britches can be thrown in the washer when they are dirty and refilled with new surprises. (See the full excerpt at www.birdiebritches.com)
Toys by Birdie Britches are tested by their team of board certified toy testers - Lalo the Military Macaw, Cody Ann the African Grey, Maddie the Greater Vasa, Zelda the White Belly Caique, Hummer the White Eared Conure, Buster the Blue Front Amazon, Tribble the Alexandrine, and the rest of the toy testing crew.
Mr. Chain has made it possible for animal lovers to incorporate plastic chain into many toys and accessories for pets by reformulating the chain material to be free of heavy metals.
Til next time,
The traditional Mr. Chain logo, developed by Mr. Russo in 1969, has aided in M R Products, Inc. emerging as a successful player in the plastic manufacturing industry over the past 51 years.
Today, we are officially introducing the new Mr. Chain logo! Mr. Chain recently received a grant from Michigan Business: Surviving to Thriving. With this grant a complete marketing plan was developed by Power Marketing and Research of Ann Arbor, Michigan. The plan covered communications, a newsletter format, and the development of our new logo. There were several steps during the planning stage which included the completion of a workbook provided by Power Marketing. Combined with the completion of the workbook and much discussion, Power Marketing presented us with four different logos. After thorough consideration, we all agreed that the one pictured below best represented Mr. Chain with the incorporation of the chain links and a clean, modern look.
We will be rolling out new branding in all areas of the business gradually. You will see the new branding on our website (mrchain.com), blog (mrchainreaction.com), catalogs, and packaging. While we continue to experience new stages of growth in the plastic manufacturing industry, we are also moving forward to improve our brand recognition and awareness surrounding plastic chain and stanchions.
The U.S. Small Business Administration reports there are nearly 28 million small businesses in the United States and they are responsible for creating 65 percent of new jobs. In addition, small businesses strengthen the local economy by returning $68 for every $100 spent to the community through taxes, payroll, and other expenditures.
In an effort to boost the American economy, American Express is sponsoring the 2nd annual Small Business Saturday November 26, 2011. Many companies such as FedEx, Google, Facebook, eBay and 200 more are supporting the cause. Find the entire list of supporters at:
Small Businesses like M R Products d/b/a Mr. Chain, keep dollars here in the United States while strengthening and promoting the health of the local economy. As a qualified small business, Mr. Chain has brought hundreds of jobs to the Manistee County area over the years and continues to promote the local economy with American-made plastic products.
Be sure to “Shop Small” November 26th!
The Pride of Our Country
By Roger Robicheau
Today as before, our brave do fight
For a land they love, a flag so right
The pride of our country, yes they are
The strength of our nation, best by far
Just as our brave from each war gone by
They march for us proudly, flag held high
From all over this land they come to serve
They’re taught by the best, this they deserve
When troops give their all, the world does see
Whether serving on land, in the air, or at sea
The pride from this country, march through war
With home drawn strength, held deep in their core
Our best are so awesome, their loved ones well know
May God guide their journey where they - for us - go
What these brave must have is support from their own
The love from their people, firm thankfulness shown
Our greatest achievement is that we’re still free
Please take time and ponder who caused this to be
We would like to extend a gratifying Thank You to all Veterans from Mr. Chain!
Have a Frightfully Delightful Day!