Webster Plastics Receives 2005 AME Manufacturing Excellence Award

First award of its kind presented at November conference in Boston

WOBURN, Mass., Dec. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Chomerics, a division of Parker Hannifin Corporation (NYSE: PH), announced the presentation of the first AME Manufacturing Excellence Award from the Association for Manufacturing Excellence at its annual conference in Boston, Oct 31-Nov 4. The award, presented to Webster Plastics (a business unit of Chomerics) located in Fairport, New York, acknowledges an enterprise utilizing advanced manufacturing techniques and innovative programs to improve competitiveness and profitability, yield overall operational improvement, and demonstrate continuous improvement over time.

"The judges were impressed with how much work Webster Plastics has put into its pursuit of excellence within the company and the results they have achieved," says Ralph Keller, Chairman of the President's Council with AME. "The company leadership is truly committed to creating the right culture within the company to help support its Lean initiatives. The company has been working hard at doing this for 15 years and has won a number of awards for its productivity and innovation." According to AME, Webster Plastics has achieved nothing less than a rebirth over the past 10 years. Webster's new plant, built in 1998, was designed as a three-cell injection molding operation. To further maximize product integrity and manufacturing efficiency, a unique, centralized raw materials handling and processing system was integrated into the raw materials feed operations. The new footprint afforded limited storage space for inventory, thus allowing the manufacturing floor to be allocated to value-added operations to minimize lead-time and maximize quality output. A challenge of this magnitude called for Lean principles, a culture of empowerment, and strategic planning that would drive improvement enterprise- wide.

Webster Plastics (a business unit of Chomerics), located in Fairport, New York, is a full-service custom plastic injection molding company operating a 75,000 sq. ft. facility housing 45 injection molding machines and a variety of secondary operations. The automotive industry represents approximately 50 percent of its international customer base. The leadership of Webster Plastics fostered employee buy-in, and by so doing, they have optimized other improvements. They ascribe their progress to eager employees that they call "the catalyst behind all improvement and the key to customer satisfaction." The employee relations figures give testimony to the potency of that definition. Turnover has been reduced by 11 percent in just two years; and, sales per employee have increased by 18 percent during the same period.

"During the last ten years, the Webster team has demonstrated their commitment to continuous improvement by challenging everything we do," states John Beswick, Business Unit Manager of Webster Plastics. "The result of our effort is confirmed by the achievement of independent awards recognizing the transformation we have undergone. Webster Plastics has received three awards from the Society of Plastics Engineers, including IIE/NIST's Lean Enterprise Award and was named "Best Plant" in North America by IndustryWeek Magazine. The Association for Manufacturing Excellence award recognizes our enterprise as a whole and benchmarks us against companies all over the world."

In a recent Target magazine article entitled "Building a Vigorous Working Culture," published by AME, author Robert W. Hall concludes, "Webster Plastics and Toyota have very similar working cultures."

"We feel honored at Webster Plastics to be favorably compared to a company widely considered the model for best manufacturing practices in the world," states Beswick. Akbar Naderi, Vice President of Parker's Emerging Technologies Segment comments, "The combination of Webster's precision molding capabilities with Chomerics' specialty materials expertise is a powerful combination offering improved capabilities to our customers. The presentation of this AME award exemplifies the high standards achieved by Webster Plastics."

A commitment to strategic customer alliances is another principle at the core of Webster Plastics' achievements. In annual surveys, customer satisfaction has improved 23 percent since the model was put in place. Cellular manufacturing teams manage daily operations, and performance metrics are reviewed real time and formally with cross functional teams twice daily. Quick-response support groups support these cells. The Webster Plastics Quality System demands and achieves continuous improvement and near zero defects, often referred to as a "model best practice" by external auditors and customers.

About AME

The Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME), founded in 1985, is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to cultivating understanding, analysis and exchange of productivity methods and their successful application in the pursuit of excellence. It comprises over 6,000 executives and senior managers who share a willingness to improve competitiveness of their organizations and their own personal performance. For details, visit the AME website at http://www.ame.org.

About Chomerics

Chomerics (Woburn, MA) is a global leader in development and application of advanced materials for emerging technologies in electronics, transportation and alternative energy systems. Chomerics is the first choice in EMI shielding and thermal management solutions for te PH lecommunications, information technology, medical devices, automotive, military, commercial and consumer electronics industries. For details, visit http://www.chomerics.com. For more information about Webster Plastics please go to http://www.websterplastics.com.

About Parker Hannifin

With annual sales exceeding $8 billion, Parker Hannifin is the world's leading diversified manufacturer of motion and control technologies and systems, providing precision-engineered solutions for a wide variety of commercial, mobile, industrial and aerospace markets. The company employs more than 50,000 people in 47 countries around the world. Parker has increased its annual dividends paid to shareholders for 49 consecutive years, among the top five longest-running dividend-increase records in the S&P 500 index. For more information, visit the company's website at http://www.parker.com, or its investor information site at http://www.phstock.com.

CONTACT: Craig Lazinsky, Marketing Communications Manager of Chomerics
Division, +1-781-939-4604, or Email Contact

Web site: http://www.chomerics.com/

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