Lawmaker Recognizes National Manufacturers Day with Visit to Kenilworth Plastic Parts Maker

KENILWORTH — Exothermic Molding Inc., maker of custom plastic parts, received a visit from State Sen. Tom Kean Jr. on Oct. 4, which has been designated as National Manufacturers Day.

The day was established to bring attention to manufacturing businesses in New Jersey and the rest of the country.

Joe Martas of the NJ Manufacturing Extension Program was also at the Exothermic in Kenilworth for a tour of the 10,000-square-foot facility led by company president Paul Steck and manufacturing manager Caonabo Delgado.

Formally recognizing National Manufacturers Day in the state, Martas said, is a way to get industry people “acquainted with companies that are doing business in New Jersey, and to promote manufacturing.”

“As an organization, we’re trying to assist manufacturers in becoming more profitable, more efficient and globally competitive,” he said.

Sen. Kean, who also visited a company called Anadigics Inc. in Warren Township, said that manufacturers are “important companies for the future of New Jersey.”

“It’s a great day to celebrate small businesses and New Jersey industry,” said the senator, who is the son of former governor Tom Kean. “It’s great that the legislature is taking part in this program — a continuing partnership to make sure we have more jobs going forward.”

Exothermic in Kenilworth uses a technology called Reaction Injection Molding, or RIM molding, to produce polyurethane parts with a low temperature, low pressure process.

“Our parts are cured through chemistry,” said Steck explaining that two liquids are injected into molds and are converted into a solid by way of a chemical reaction.

The molds for the parts are also manufactured at Exothermic in Kenilworth by machining blocks of aluminum.

“We’re a contract manufacturing company,” Steck said about the business, which employees about 20 full-time workers. “We work primarily for larger companies in the medical device manufacturing community making medical instrument housings and components.”

Although the manufacturing base has eroded significantly in the country, in the state and in and around Kenilworth, he said that contract manufacturing seems to be making a modest comeback.

“But it’s a shell of it once was,” Steck said. “There are probably only 10 companies in the country that are in this market.”

A major challenge the business faces, he said, is finding qualified people to engineer and build high-quality precision molds, like the ones made at Exothermic.

“There are good jobs to be had when it comes to making advanced precision products,” Steck said.

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