Category Archive: D&M News

D&M Plastics Clocks 1,000 Accident-Free Days

BURLINGTON, IL (February 7, 2018) – This week D&M Plastics set a new safety record: 1,000 consecutive days without a lost time accident. Located in Burlington, Illinois, D&M Plastics is an industry leader in custom injection molding that specializes in tight-tolerance precision parts for the medical, electronics, lighting, automotive, and other industries.

Since D&M Plastics came under new ownership about five years ago, this privately held manufacturer has continued an upward trend line with an investment in personnel and equipment, and a commitment to lean business practices and ergonomics to improve safety.

“We’re extremely proud of the entire team and this milestone accomplishment,” said CEO & President, Chip Owen. “Safety is critically important at D&M. It enables us to provide a great work environment for our employees, and the very best possible quality and products to our customers.

Founded in 1972, D&M Plastics provides its customers with a comprehensive guarantee of quality, delivery, and price. The D&M manufacturing team stands behind its customer goals and outcomes, and has nearly 300 combined years of injection molding experience. For more information, visit on the web, or call (847) 683-2054.


Lori Keenan
Smarthinking PR for D&M Plastics

D&M Plastics make link between safety, quality

By: Roger Renstrom

February 27, 2019

Precision injection molder D&M Plastics LLC of Burlington, Ill., takes safety seriously.

Through Feb. 22, D&M had logged 1,255 work days without a lost-time accident, and the count continues.

Safety is “something I have been personally focused on since I bought company” almost six years ago, Peyton “Chip” Owen Jr., CEO and president, said. “For me, safety of the people is absolutely the most important thing.” Owen believes safety and quality “are inextricably linked” and notes that the operation has a low external defect rate at 17 parts per million.

D&M has data showing that most companies of its size can have an external defect rate of 1,038 ppm.

In analyzing safety practices in the workplace, Owen researched several professional and academic reports in technical journals and proceedings, and he secured experiential data from 20 companies.

“There is not a large body of work around this [subject],” he noted.

Some scholarly findings corroborated Owen’s view regarding the connection between safety and quality.

“We place the safety of our team members above everything else, and our employees know it,” Owen said.

“We try to promote safety all the time,” he said. “It may be as simple as noting it may snow and warning people to be careful.”

Routinely at the beginning of each shift, the first question is, “Has anybody seen or experienced an unsafe condition?” Any relevant matter is discussed in detail even if it has been brought to the attention of a supervisor.

“If necessary, we will shut down production in order to address a safety concern,” he said.

D&M had an earlier streak of 611 work days without a lost-time accident, but a longtime employee hit an elbow against a wall in taking items off a shelf. The employee initially resisted getting treatment primarily because “he had smoked marijuana the evening before,” Owen said. Predictably, “testing at the hospital found an extraordinarily high THC level” in his body, and the employee was terminated.

Without that interruption, D&M would have 1,866 work days without a lost-time accident through Feb. 22.

D&M counts work days as any day that machines are running with personnel in the building. During the week of Feb. 17, for example, D&M counted five days. Two years ago, D&M was running seven days a week so all seven were included.

As a result of the safety focus, D&M has one of the lowest worker compensation modification factors in Illinois, Owen said.

Owen said D&M recorded 2018 sales of about $8 million and he projected that 2019 sales would be similar.

During 2019, “we are winding down a couple of automotive programs, and we expect to add in the medical arena,” Owen said. Other end markets involve electrical and industrial components.

The business was founded in 1972. Owen bought ownership control of company in Kane County, west of Chicago, in May 2013.

He works closely with a partner, Scott Hagen, chief operating officer. Hagen joined the company in 2000, became COO in 2009 and runs the day-to-day operations, Owen said.

D&M occupies 56,000 square feet and operates 29 injection molding machines from 38-310 tons. Five are all-electrics, five are hybrids and the remaining 19 are hydraulics, including two hydraulic vertical rotaries.

“We have not added to the total number of presses, but over two years we have invested in two 110-ton Toyo electrics, a 110-ton Sodick electric and a 40-ton Arburg hybrid,” Owen said. A corresponding number of presses were removed from service.

A mobile ISO Class 8 clean room can house one of the larger presses or two of the smaller presses.

The company employs 50 with the longest tenured individual at 36 years of service.

D&M was certified under the ISO 9002 standard initially in April 1993, and the company received its first ISO 13485 certificate in August 2007.

D&M Plastics Shares Manufacturing Experience with Students

As an industry leader, and part of a nationwide trend to introduce the manufacturing industry to prospective talent at earlier ages, D&M Plastics recently opened its doors to the students of Larkin School’s Secondary Transition Education Class (STEP) Class.

The high school students of Elgin’s District U-46 recently spent the morning learning about injection molding and the manufacturing industry as part of their STEP curriculum, igniting their interest in potential career opportunities.

Larkin School STEP Class: Education in Action

“Any time we have the opportunity to educate the next generation about the possibility of a career in manufacturing, and the importance of keeping these types of jobs at home, we’re eager to participate.”
— D&M CEO and President, Chip Owen.

With many industrial programs and classes having been cut from school budgets, which may have exposed students to career possibilities in industry, the Larkin students were grateful for the experience that allowed them to spend time on the D&M floor, and in various other departments, learning about the myriad opportunities available at D&M, and in manufacturing in general.

D&M Plastics is Molding the 21st Century both in ideas and in practice. Let D&M provide the solution to your next plastics manufacturing challenge, visit on the web at or call (847) 683-2054.

D&M Launches Corporate Video & Tagline

Meet our Leadership Team in this “behind the scenes” look at who and what make D&M the preferred vendor for automotive, electronic and other manufacturing.

D&M launches branding initiative with the big reveal of their new tagline: Molding the 21st Century, and a new corporate video introducing the principles and players who are saying YES to challenges while providing solutions and superior quality, to help keep manufacturing strong in America.

D&M Plastics Celebrates 900 Accident Free Days

BURLINGTON, IL (September 15, 2017) — D&M Plastics, a privately held injection-molding manufacturer located in Burlington, Ill., today celebrates 900 days without a lost time accident, setting a new safety record for the manufacturer, which specializes in tight-tolerance precision parts for the medical, electronics, and other industries.

D&M Plastics incorporates many of the best practices of Fortune 500 companies, LEAN Manufacturing principles, employee ownership and profit-sharing to improve employee engagement, satisfaction and safety. At every shift change there is an information and idea exchange in a Team Huddle led by team members who take turns presenting key daily metrics and sharing their ideas for improving safety and operations. To date, thousands of ideas have been generated – more than 3,300 since October 2014 — resulting in operational efficiencies and increased safety awareness, as evidenced by this latest milestone.

“Safety is key to everything we do at D&M,” said CEO & President, Chip Owen. It ensures a great environment for our employees and a quality product for our customers.”

Since its founding in 1972, D&M Plastics has provided its customers a comprehensive guarantee of quality, delivery, and price. The D&M manufacturing team stands behind its customer goals and outcomes, and has more than 275 combined years of injection molding experience.  For more information, visit on the web, or call (847) 683-2054.

D&M Plastics Hosts Reshoring Expert and Discussion

BURLINGTON, IL (February 2017) — D&M Plastics’ CEO and President Chip Owen greets Harry Moser from ReshoreNow. D&M recently hosted Moser at its Burlington manufacturing facility, where Moser presented “The Logic of Reshoring and the Power of TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) Analysis,” in a discussion that focused on bringing manufacturing jobs back to the United States. Several D&M clients and prospects were in attendance and learned more about Moser’s TCO Estimator, which allows users to capture all costs associated with overseas manufacturing to provide a more comprehensive cost analysis and comparison.

Since its founding in 1972, D&M Plastics has provided its customers a comprehensive guarantee of quality, delivery, and price. The D&M manufacturing team stands behind its customer goals and outcomes, and has more than 300 combined years of injection molding experience. D&M is a privately held company, located in Burlington, Illinois just outside of Chicago. For more information call (847) 683-2054.

Force Majeure, and living past the weeks of a natural disaster

D&M Shipping & Materials Leader Mary Lake weighs in on Hurricane Harvey and the far-reaching impact of natural disasters.

When natural disasters strike, many times the ultimate impact isn’t anticipated by places in the country that may naively think they are immune to the longer-term business ramifications. Take Hurricane Harvey for example. It’s hard to imagine that a storm in Texas could impact the Midwest, but when manufacturers of OEM parts rely on plastics that rely on petroleum, and transportation into and out of the region, the ripple effect can be felt hundreds or even thousands of miles away, in countless industries, and for many weeks or even months afterwards. Having conversations to understand and anticipate customers’ needs and commitments is paramount.

While most of the southernmost part of Texas is still assessing flood and high wind damage, and Florida braces for the wrath of Hurricane Irma, much of the impact of Hurricane Harvey is still being considered. Just two days after Harvey hit, the business week began with assessment of inventories and longevity of support with what was already on hand. There were so many chemical and raw material manufacturing facilities that started preparing for Harvey with planned shut downs earlier in the week of August 21st.

Now, two weeks later, many remain closed while others are at partial capacity. Travel embargoes mean materials already produced and ready for transport do not have the facilities available to transport the product out of the Texas region. Empty railcars and other containers are being stopped from returning to the Texas region to replenish the material storage capacities.

As we come to a close of business for this week at D&M Plastics, Burlington IL we have so many things to be thankful for. Everything about Harvey was not good for mankind, beasts, transportation, or manufacturing, and now Irma is poised to wreak further havoc. One silver lining is being able to confirm to your client base that their needs are covered and there won’t be even further loss.

Force Majeure is necessary but negative to growth in market shares. It is our commitment to support our customers to the fullest reasonable measure. After weeks of tough conversations and constant updates, it has turned out to be positive as we move forward without impact at this particular moment. And while that may not be solace to those whose lives have been so disrupted, it’s a small consolation to know that even broader damage and loss were mitigated.

This is not to say everything has been determined to be intact, our industry is subjected to a drastic decrease in material supply plus an increase in transportation times and costs. We are simply saying that every day we can confirm with our client base that their interests are covered is a good day. We attribute our success to keeping an open line of communication, understanding our customers’ needs and commitments and always having them foremost in our minds.

Our hearts and prayers go out to those affected by these historical events. Our best wishes go out to our industry for a swift recovery with everyone’s concentration on the bottom line of our business, our customers’ business, and the consumers’ interests.

Best to all,

Mary Lake
Shipping & Materials Leader
D&M Plastics LLC

With over 40 years of plastics experience, and over 30 years with D&M, Mary Lake excels in anticipating and meeting customers’ needs. As Shipping & Materials Leader, she handles product sourcing and purchasing, develops projections and inventory planning, and supports customers with complete plans and follow-through.

Kane County Connects: November 1st Open House and Job Fair

The job fair and open house will take place from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 1, starting with an introduction to the company, followed by a tour of the manufacturing facility and a question-and-answer period. D&M is hoping to fill positions for operators, quality technicians, setup technicians, shift supervisors, manufacturing maintenance, material handling, and warehouse product packaging. The company is looking for a basic set of job skills, including an eagerness to learn and grow. Read More >

Product Design and Development: New Thinking, and Making the Case for Reshoring

CEO Chip Owen writes about how companies can ultimately save time and money manufacturing parts in the U.S. in this in-depth column for PDD.

“American politics and the recent election cycle focused a bright light onto companies that produce their products overseas. With that scrutiny came some perspective as many companies have begun to learn the hard way that the low unit price of doing business overseas isn’t worth the time and aggravation it may cost them in the long run.” Read More >