You may have heard of the term “vertical integration”. It’s often used in the context of discussion about big oil or the steel industry around the time of the industrial revolution. It refers to the unified oversight or control of several separate processes involved in a particular business or industry. It’s an interesting phenomenon that only became possible after the shift in manufacturing and production from the small scale craftsman or tradesman (who incidentally was a vertically integrated entity, just on a much smaller, less efficient scale) to mass production, assembly lines, separate repeatable processes, and the like.
Vertical integration is desirable for many reasons; for the manufacturer, it means control over the entire (or much of the) process of production, which in turn means control of quality and safety standards, more supply chain security, and more control over production expenses. To the customer or end user, this translates into quicker turn-around times, more competitive price points, and the security of a single-source product. Another interesting advantage is the relative ease of producing a custom part – where many supply chain/production industries would have to coordinate with several different businesses, people, and sectors for custom parts, a vertically integrated entity has all of the pieces of the puzzle at its disposal.
At New Process Fibre, we have control of our plastics from the silos to the production floor. While our main focus is stamping plastic and other non-metallic parts, we extrude the thermoplastic sheet on our own, in-house extrusion lines, slit the roll stock into coils in our own slitting department so that we can then produce the parts, stamping them out on our own punch presses using dies made in our own tool shop by our own skilled toolmakers. We have complete control, from thermoplastic resin to finished part. We are an intentionally vertically integrated custom non-metallic manufacturer because we’ve seen that it works, and have been making it work since 1927; it’s the best way we’ve found to give our customers the best product we can.