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PK USA draws honors, attention
Shelbyville plant receives praise for management and innovation
Industry Week's 2007 Best Plants Conference drew 825 manufacturing managers from throughout the United States to the Indianapolis Convention Center this week, and on Wednesday, 19 of them took a tour of the Shelbyville PK USA Inc. facility on Northridge Road.
According to Mike Dellinger, director of business development for the Indy Partnership in Indianapolis, PK was offered as a tour site because of its excellent reputation for good management and innovation. He is assisting with the manufacturing conference this week and is familiar with Shelbyville from his tenure as joint executive director of the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce and the Shelby County Development Corp. from 1995 to 2002.
"The people attending this conference are interested in seeing and learning processes and techniques that will improve procedures and add productivity in their own facilities," Dellinger said.
Bill Kent, vice president of human resources and corporate relations, and Earl Miller, vice president of manufacturing and operations, joined PK's president, Eiji Umabayashi, and Shelbyville Mayor Scott Furgeson in welcoming the tour contingent. Furgeson even urged the touring managers to consider relocating their companies to Shelbyville.
"If you like what you see, give me a call," Furgeson said with a smile.
After a PowerPoint introduction to all of the PK plants by Miller and Kent, the managers broke into several groups for tours of the facility, which included viewing its seven stamping presses, ranging from 200 to 1,500 tons, and 10 injection molding machines, which weigh in from 250 to 3,300 tons. The plant also boasts 87 welding assembly cells and 104 robots.
PK also shared human resources information with the visitors, providing reasons for the company's relatively low turnover rate. The importance of safety and leadership training was mentioned, and perks such as tuition reimbursement and degree bonus programs contribute to employee satisfaction, officials said.
Production at PK consumes more than 30,000 tons of steel annually, and the facility handles 450 trucks per week, both incoming and outgoing. The company has annual sales of $138 million and is a leading supplier of metal body parts, chassis parts and plastic injection parts for automotive companies throughout the world.
The third largest employer in Shelby County, PK has 503 full-time employees and has received recognition for its support of the community. The company was named Shares Inc. 2006 Employer of the Year for efforts to hire and retain the physically and mentally challenged in the work force, and it won the 2005 Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's Freedom to Compete Award for efforts to hire and retain Latinos in PK plants.
PK recently was honored with the 2006 Subaru of Indiana Automotive Quality and Delivery Award. In order to receive consideration for that award, the company had to demonstrate a defect rate of less than 150 parts per million and a 99.8 percent or better on-time delivery rating.
According to Umabayashi, PK appreciates the award because it recognizes "our efforts to provide Subaru of Indiana Automotive with quality parts in a timely manner."
After their three-hour, intensive introduction to PK, the 19 visitors climbed back aboard their shuttle bus for the return trip to the conference in Indianapolis.
"We are confident that PK presented the visitors with plenty of ideas and information to take back to their own plants," Kent said.
Japan's Press Kogyo Co. Ltd., which is one of Japan's largest independent automotive parts manufacturers, is the parent company of PK USA and owns a 75 percent share. The trading and investment enterprises of Mitsui and Co. Inc. of America and Mitsui and Co. Ltd. of Tokyo hold a 25 percent combined share. In addition to Shelbyville and Japan, Press Kogyo has 10 locations throughout the world, including China, Europe and Thailand. The only other U.S. plants are in Mississippi and Tennessee, and Shelbyville is the largest of the three.
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