Plastokit, Rion’s subsidiary in southern Israel, continues to develop

Eight years after the acquisition of Plastokit, the transaction appears to have benefited both companies. The number of injection machines in the company has almost doubled, and the entire group benefits from the production flexibility, which allows it to regulate workloads and shorten delivery times.
November 4, 2021

Growing with our customers

The acquisition brought about a change in the customer base. We focus on strategic customers and provide them with long-term support, thus, allowing Plastokit to progress and grow alongside these customers. Among them are Sodastream, Maytronics, Aran Group, SCR, and two US based medical giant corporations, Chembio and Thermo Fisher, for whom Plastokit manufactures products in clean rooms.

“In the last two years, we have undergone a dramatic change with Sodastream,” says Omer. “We started in 2019 with one mold, and today we produce over 50 different items for the company. This immense growth also led to the acquisition of new injection machines, whereby from 34 machines we have risen to 49 and counting, as we are all set to incorporate additional new machinery into our production halls.”

Three manufacturing halls are occupied by our machines. Two of them are in full capacity, and the third one used to house, until recently, huge 2200 ton clamping force injection machines. These machines are out of use now, which leaves space for new much smaller machinery and allows for a significant upgrade of the assembly department that doubled in scope.

Moving Towards a new Management Culture

One of the most important changes to point out since Plastokit’s acquisition by Rion, is the change in corporate culture. Rion is a long-standing Kibbutz company, which is partly owned by Plasson. The corporate culture of such a group is considerably different from that of a privately-owned company. Employees’ well-being and improvement of the work environment were the first aspects to be addressed, and many resources have been invested in developing and enhancing them. In addition, despite maintaining the Plastokit brand name, the merger with Rion was full and complete. Rion’s highly skilled departments, including Raveh Molds, Automation, Maintenance, Procurement, and Infrastructure, all came into effect and brought about many improvements in Plastokit.

Photo 1: Production hall at Plastokit

Upgrading the Production Environment

“Most of the past year’s support systems improvement and upgrade processes at Plastokit began at our parent company, Rion,” says Omer. “After the professional team studied the matter, devised new systems and successfully implemented them, the same improvements were also implemented in the southern subsidiary.” Some of the Improvements and upgrades were: upgrading the plant water filtration and cooling systems; improving the compressed air and vacuum system; energy consumption efficiency; equipment preventive maintenance; Raveh Molds’ first-rate mold maintenance; introduction of an ERP system; a myriad of professional training programs, and future planning for a full integration between all of the production halls.

The More the Merrier – The Benefits from Multiple Production Sites

Both production sites, Rion in Cabri in the north and Plastokit in Beer Tuvia, backup each other to enable efficient production regulation and quick response time. “We often transport molds, and even entire machines between the factories,” says Omer. “It’s one of the group’s advantages. Such versatility also comes in handy during periods of security threats that affect production. The factory staff is skilled in such transports, which are therefore quick and efficient.”

Quality Above all – Tight Dimension Control

The transfer of knowledge is not unidirectional. Plastokit has a lot to contribute and much to teach the parent company. The company’s quality control department specializes in measurements using up-to-date XYZ and CMM instruments that are supported by an engineering team. That allows for a leap in the accuracy and quality of the products that we can offer our customers and provides employees with tools for streamlining production and working in optimal conditions.

What Does the Future Hold?

A procurement plan for more machines is already in the pipeline. Developing automatic production cells that will reduce the dependence on human workforce is in progress in both Rion and Plastokit plants. Such cells would route human capital to more complexed jobs. “The support that we get from Rion, and the partnership with them are excellent.” Omer concludes. “The relationships, both personal and professional, are an engine for moving both companies forward. There is still a lot more for us to develop, and working hand in hand, we will thrive and grow together.”

Photo 2: Upgraded systems at Plastokit