May 15, 2023 Member Spotlight -PEM
Plastics Extrusion Machinery (PEM) is a manufacturing plant, located on the east side of McPherson at 2475 Northview Road, with a 120,000 square feet manufacturing area. This company is named after the manufacturing process called plastic extrusion, which is the process of plastic being melted and formed into products. PEM specializes in manufacturing downstream (extruded) equipment for the PVC market and the custom profile market.
Nathan Spearman acquired PEM in 2017. The company currently has approximately 77 employees which include mechanical engineers, designers, fabricators, assemblers, and welders but will likely grow beyond that quickly. “We are growing leaps and bounds,”
Nathan said. “This is a great place to work.” Plastics Extrusion Machinery is very transparent with its core values … valuing faith, people, truth, trust, humility, excellence, and service. “We make sure we are actually pushing our core values,’ Nathan added. “That’s a very important thing for us. In fact, you’ll notice when you go through the Admin Section you’ll actually see some of our core values that are embedded on the wall. And that’s on purpose, that’s designed to remind people why we are here. We hire and fire and recruit and do everything based on our core values. That’s very important to us.” Another thing that is important to Plastics Extrusion Machinery is to help others thrive – everywhere. They support many local, national, and international causes because of their passion for living and giving. One of the causes they support is the Water4Haiti Project, which provides clean water resources to improve the lives and well-being of the residents of Haiti.
As you tour PEM you will notice that everything is circles. That’s because Plastics Extrusion Machinery supports the PVC markets. There are circles on doors, on the floor, there is a PVC wall of circles in the vestibule, a ton of circles in the breakroom, and there are even circles in their manufacturing area! The circle design holds additional meaning for Nathan as his son Zach had a hand in the design aspects of the facility as you see as you tour through the vestibule, breakroom, and meeting rooms. His oldest son, Jonathan, is also involved in the business doing all of the buying.
PEM engineers and manufactures innovative downstream plastics extrusion machinery. Typically a PVC line starts with the extruder and then the dyes and everything from the dyes through the rest of the line. This might also include a vacuum tank, a spray tank, a puller, a beller, or a hydro-tester – all those things used in the manufacturing of PVC pipe. In this process, PEM makes everything from the vacuum tank to the end of the line. Once the pipe comes out of the extruder that’s when PEM takes it over.
Most of the engineering at PEM is custom-made to meet their client’s requirements. Nathan said, “Every single order we do is going to be somewhat unique, in some way shape, or form.” Most of the product follows the 80/20 rule. 80% of the equipment is the so-called “standard” between companies and between sizes and then 20% is modified as per the customers’ specifications as to how it will be used. Nick Ward, the Director of Operations at PEM, compared it to when you buy a new car and the process of deciding what options you want it to have – like tires, color, backup camera, etc. At PEM some of the options customers need to consider are – do you want stainless steel materials or certain paint colors and what size do you need it to handle.
The products manufactured by Plastics Extrusion Machinery are mainly in North America – the United States and Canada, but they do also have a footprint in Latin America. When asked if McPherson is the plastics extrusion capital, Nathan replied, “McPherson’s essentially the plastics mecca of the world. It has massive amounts of support for the PVC market … Plastics, in general, is very strong here … There are a lot of other companies around here that are supporting plastics.” Nathan also added, “And that’s why we love McPherson. It’s such an industry-friendly market … We do love being a part of this community.”
PEM’s core purpose: to serve humanity by enabling the manufacture of plastic materials that flows life-giving resources to our community and to the rest of the world. It’s always interesting to see how McPherson impacts the world and Plastics Extrusion Machinery is definitely doing just that. Be sure to visit Plastics Extrusion Machinery’s website. On it you’ll see their products and learn more about their engineering and problem-solving skills. There is also a section to explore job opportunities that are available with this faith-based, fast-growing company. You can also check out this interview with PEM’s owner Nathan Spearman, courtesy of Go McPherson about why PEM is Glad to Call McPherson Home. You won’t want to miss checking out these photos taken at Chamber Connections hosted by Plastics Extrusion Machinery!