Executive Briefings

FLEXcon Takes On Digital Revolution With Automation, Workforce Changes

FLEXcon was founded in 1956 when Myles McDonough saw an unmet need. "My father was an adhesive salesperson with a chemistry background, helping customers throughout New England learn how to run and where to use newly developed acrylic based adhesives," notes his son, Neil. "He noticed that his customers frequently turned down small orders. If the order was for less than 3,000 yards, then it was not worth setting up the adhesive coating machine. He believed, and subsequently proved, that there was a good business in small custom orders, if you organized yourself effectively and priced the order appropriately."

Today, Neil McDonough runs the company his father founded, which has grown to become a flexible converter with four production facilities and over 1,000 employees. The company continues to specialize in meeting its customers' needs for custom, often short-run, adhesive coated and laminated plastic film materials, which are used to label and decorate durable goods and advertise brands.

“The complexity of our business has increased over the years as our customers have asked for materials to survive harsher environments, to act as barriers to UV, oxygen, or moisture,” McDonough explains, which has led the company to develop a large variety of plastic films and adhesives.

IndustryWeek talked to McDonough about FLEXcon’s continuing evolution as the needs of its customers and the marketplace change.

What impact has automation had at your company in recent years?

McDonough: Quality expectations have increased through the years. This has led to more digitization and automation, collecting data about the process and making sure the results are repeatable, even when the runs are small batches that run infrequently. Cost pressures have also pushed FLEXcon to adopt automation for routine jobs, such as packaging.

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Today, Neil McDonough runs the company his father founded, which has grown to become a flexible converter with four production facilities and over 1,000 employees. The company continues to specialize in meeting its customers' needs for custom, often short-run, adhesive coated and laminated plastic film materials, which are used to label and decorate durable goods and advertise brands.

“The complexity of our business has increased over the years as our customers have asked for materials to survive harsher environments, to act as barriers to UV, oxygen, or moisture,” McDonough explains, which has led the company to develop a large variety of plastic films and adhesives.

IndustryWeek talked to McDonough about FLEXcon’s continuing evolution as the needs of its customers and the marketplace change.

What impact has automation had at your company in recent years?

McDonough: Quality expectations have increased through the years. This has led to more digitization and automation, collecting data about the process and making sure the results are repeatable, even when the runs are small batches that run infrequently. Cost pressures have also pushed FLEXcon to adopt automation for routine jobs, such as packaging.

Read Full Article