From The Heartland: From the Heart

From The Heartland: From the Heart

Apex Plastics, HTI Plastics, and Lincoln Plastics are all divisions under the PCE Inc. umbrella. Our capabilities include extrusion blow molding, custom profile extrusion, injection molding, along with design, engineering, project management, and a wide variety of secondary operations.

Our companies are all located in the Midwest, the Heartland of America. Apex Plastics is located in Brookfield, MO. HTI Plastics and Lincoln Plastics are located in Lincoln, NE. We are fortunate to be part of communities where people carry the ideals and values of hard work, self-sufficiency, and honesty, communities where people pour their hearts into their work. The Heartland is known for a strong farming industry, beautiful rural heritage, and small historic towns. At the same time, the Heartland also represents a vibrant cultural melting pot of migration and innovations movements that have been part of our history from the very beginning.

For the next few weeks, we are starting a series of blogs called "From the Heartland." This series is an opportunity for us to shine a light on the resources and assurances we offer our clients when they choose us for their current and future projects. Our strategic location in the USA makes us a reliable partner, even during strange and challenging times. That is why we are starting the series by talking about the current pandemic situation, and how everyone has worked very hard to keep our operations running, while still doing their part to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

COVID-19 Safety Measures

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we saw how the whole world was suffering together but also working together to fight this new virus. And in the light of a worldwide shortage of medical and sanitary supplies, it was crucial to act quickly and put in place all the safety measures right away to protect our employees, and to make sure our company continued operating. We made sure to give our customers updates on the diligent work we were doing to continue to provide them with the same excellent service and quality that has always been expected of us and our products.

"As a blow molder and producers of bottles and canisters, we have seen an influx of orders relating to the coronavirus pandemic. Our staff has worked hard to get orders turned around and out the door to help fight this pandemic," said Damon Neff, President at Apex Plastics. "These actions are a testament to the Midwest and our willingness to work hard and do what's right. I am proud of our company’s response and the effort everyone at Apex has put in during this time."

The safety measures put in place followed guidelines from the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) and the Missouri Department of Health and Human Services. We also made sure to communicate and educate our employees to minimize the spread of the virus.

"Our top priority is the health and safety of our employees. We have put plans in place to make sure they are safe, and we are still able to service our customers. While no one wants to see a crisis like this pandemic take place, this has really brought out the good in people. It has shown that if we work together, we can accomplish great things," said Sam Featherston, CEO of PCE Inc. "Being located in the Midwest, we have people who are willing to help out in any way they can and work hard, so our customers don't have to worry about receiving their products from Apex, HTI, and Lincoln Plastics."

The fight to minimize the spread of COVID-19 is continuously changing, and the safety guidelines we have put in place at our facilities will continue to be updated as the situation progresses. These are some of the safety measures we are currently implementing:

  • Increasing the cleaning of our facility and high touch areas throughout the day
  • Marking the floor in certain areas of our facility, to give our employees a visual representation and reminder to stay 6ft apart from each other
  • Restricting non-essential travel
  • Asking employees that can work from home, to do so
  • Limiting access to our building to only employees essential to our operations
  • Adjusting employees' schedules to have better control over the number of people in work areas, without affecting our productivity
  • Installing barriers between employees in areas where they must work close quarters

As of April, our company has not experienced any disruption in our distribution system, our supply chain, or training and distance working. We were able to prevent these disruptions thanks to prior planning in case of emergencies or natural disasters. For many years we have created a network of reliable domestic suppliers so we would not need to purchase materials from oversea. We have a proper plan in place for our inventory of raw materials and logistics for the delivery of our products. And, we already had the technology and training program in place, that has allowed for a smooth transition into distance working and training of current and new employees.

Stronger Together

In March 2019, the Midwest was affected by one of the largest natural disasters in the history of our area, a combination of bad weather and melting snow caused flooding that created millions of dollars in damages, leaving hundreds of people homeless, and destroying homes, businesses, farms, ranches, and roads. Even though Lincoln, NE, and Brookfield, MO, were only mildly affected by the flood, our communities came together in solidarity with those directly affected by the flood, and we helped collect medical supplies, food, and clothing donations. Some even helped evacuate people. Now we can proudly look back and remember how we all went through it together and came out of it stronger. That is what makes the Heartland so special.

Now in 2020, we are facing a world pandemic, an unprecedented situation that is forcing everyone to take extreme safety measures to prevent the spread of the virus. Once again, we are fortunate that Lincoln, NE, and Brookfield, MO, are communities experiencing the pandemic on a smaller scale than our neighboring cities. However, we are in solidarity not only with the communities around us but with the rest of the world. We will continue to do our part to fight COVID-19 so that we can come out stronger than ever, and in the future, we will proudly remember the work we did to help.

If you have additional questions, please reach out to us at 1-800-467-4640, or visit us at www.apexplastics.com.