This article was originally published in Plastics News on August 20, 2018 by Audrey LaForest.
There are no machine operators employed at Plastic Components Inc., a custom injection molder with two facilities in Germantown, Wis. Most of the time, the “parts makers” at the company’s roughly 38,000-square-foot facility on Bunsen Drive don’t require physical supervision and really don’t seem to mind whether the lights at the factory are turned on or off. That’s because these parts makers aren’t human; they’re machines. In fact, the company has always had “an automated, no-operator, manufacturing environment,” according to Gene Mussel, PCI’s operations manager. Monday through Friday, the Bunsen plant is only staffed on the first shift to do changeovers. But the other 16 hours — the second and third shifts — are completely unattended.