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By admin | Jul 15, 2014
GMN Hero Chan Sze Bing

As a global manufacturing provider, GM Nameplate has core team members all over the world. No matter where our customers are based, GMN provides the same expertise and level of service to our customers. Chan Sze Bing embodies this role. As the business development manager for the China Division, Chan is responsible for delivering customized solutions and strengthening business relationships in the market.  He manages a team of experts in China and Taiwan and collectively they deliver for their customers in China. 

China is the largest manufacturing economy in the world, so we sat down with Chan to learn more about his experience in the area. He explains how the job has allowed him to see the growth of a new business division over the past 9 years and that the experience has been invaluable.

“It is an exciting journey to go from our first, small setup to our current campus with 3 manufacturing facilities. We are constantly bringing in new technologies and adding capabilities to meet our customers’ needs. We have continued to be very opportunistic in our business approach,” explains Chan.

A common theme mentioned over the course of our conversation was innovation in regards to GMN customers. To demonstrate this, Chan shared a story where he met with a customer to discuss the launch of a new program of which GMN was to supply three components. While at the contract manufacturer there was a problem with the reliability of two of the movable parts (non GMN) which would ultimately result in functional failure. In one afternoon, the customer, a GMN engineer, and Chan sat down and designed a new part that GMN could manufacture to effectively overcome the technical issue of the product.

“We have many customers across a breadth of industries. GMN is a custom manufacturer. We do not say no to our customers but seek unique, innovative solutions to meet their requirements. There’s plenty to learn with every new project,” says Chan.

His belief in listening to the customer, understanding their requirements, and presenting an effective solution, exemplifies the attitude at GMN. When asked exactly what customer focus means to him, Chan stated simply; “understanding the customer’s business, organization and industry, understanding the customer’s wants and needs, and finding the match that provides the greatest value.” Chan’s customer philosophy is what makes him a true GMN Hero.

For over half a century GM Nameplate has been serving the manufacturing industry with pride and commitment. To celebrate GM Nameplate’s 60th Anniversary, the team at GM Nameplate decided to shine the spotlight on some of the people who have helped make GM Nameplate and our customers successful. 

By admin | Jul 15, 2014
Book pile

The GMN Automotive website went live last month and I have heard great feedback about the case studies.  I wanted to share the links here.

Key Fob Jewel Case Study

Learn how GMN’s approach to a new program increased efficiency, decreased costs and helped provide stability in the supply chain. 

Lensclad Nameplate Case Study

Discover how Lensclad was developed to improve the durability of a nameplate and to protect a logo or image from damage. 

Plastic Nameplate Case Study

Read how custom textures and colors were created to make a plastic nameplate appear metallic. 

Optical Bonding Case Study

Learn how optical bonding, a strategy for front panel integration, has increased the durability and readability of displays.

By admin | Jun 16, 2014
Elizabeth DeBravo

The employees behind the scenes are often the ones that have the biggest impact.  Assembler, Elizabeth DeBravo, is one of those employees.  Her quiet dedication to making the company successful allows GM Nameplate to exceed customer expectations time and time again. 

Elizabeth started at GM Nameplate’s Beaverton, OR Division - GMN Plastics in 1998. She began as a temporary employee and thought she was going to work at GMN for a single day.  Little did she know that one day would turn into a career lasting 16 years and counting. 

She has worked in a number of capacities, which is part of her motivation.  Often times when new jobs require second operations, such as insert molding, screen printing, assembly and sonic welding, Elizabeth is the team member requested by process engineering.

"I like to do different jobs; I like the variety.  I have worked in screen, assembly, insert molding, and packaging. I have done a lot of different things,” says Elizabeth.

When watching her work in the plant, it’s clear she knows what she is doing.  When working on challenging jobs, Elizabeth performs them with ease.  She has become a team leader, often the first person employees come to when they need help.  She portrays competence and commitment as she breezes efficiently from one task to the next. 

“She is very much a valued team member,” says Karen McKee, Elizabeth’s supervisor.

Her understanding of the many positions within the plant allows her to fill in wherever she is needed.  Whether she is pushing to complete an order, picking up the slack to ensure a project stays on timeline, or simply managing day-to-day tasks, Elizabeth brings stringent attention to detail while quickly getting the job done. 

“Elizabeth is a dream employee and you can always rely on her to get the job done.  Whenever we are getting close to a deadline, she is the person we put on the project.  No matter what she’s working on, she does a great job,” says Karen. 

Her work ethic, commitment and reliability is an illustration of the GMN spirit, and every day Elizabeth exemplifies a GMN hero.

For over half a century GM Nameplate has been serving the nameplate manufacturing industry with pride and commitment. To celebrate GM Nameplate’s 60th Anniversary, the team at GM Nameplate decided to shine the spotlight on some of the people who have helped make GM Nameplate and our customers successful. 

By Jim Badders | Jun 12, 2014
GMN in-house light lab

GM Nameplate attended the Society of Information Display’s (SID) Display Week in San Diego this month. At our booth, we displayed our latest technology and product samples including front panel integration, cover glass decoration, projected-capacitive touch technology, and more. In addition to exhibiting at the show, GMN presented at the Exhibitors’ Forum on display characterization and front panel integration constructions.

At the Exhibitors’ Forum, GMN Front Panel Integration Manager, Jim Badders, presented on the impact different integration solutions can have on displays’ key optical properties, and how this data can be used to offer quantifiable comparisons over results from a traditional view fest study. GMN’s light lab is equipped to measure luminosity, contrast, and reflectance. These readings can be used to determine sunlight readability and overall display clarity.

In our research we characterized the optical readings of four different front panel integration assemblies (all using the same display and touchscreen): liquid optically clear adhesive (LOCA), LOCA with anti-reflection/anti-glare (AR/AG) film, air gap construction with adhesive gasket, and air gap construction with AR/AG film. Our team used the large-source specular reflection (SR) measure method per Section 11.7.3 of Information Display Measurement Standard Version 1.03, June 1, 2012.

The results?

The LOCA construction (without AR/AG film) far outperformed the air gap construction (without AR/AG film). The LOCA construction had a specular reflectance of .067, while the air gap construction was nearly double with a specular reflectance of .13255. In contrast, the air gap construction with AR/AG film didn’t perform much better, offering a specular reflectance result of .1223, which is an eight percent improvement over the basic air gap construction. 

The research provides insight on what construction best suits the environment/application of a display. While the air gap display has a higher reflectance rating than the LOCA construction, depending on environment and use, the optical advantages of LOCA may not be needed for its application, or can be offset enough with an AR/AG film. Overall, the study also serves as an excellent example of how utilizing display characterization readings can offer a more accurate comparison of different display constructions.

By admin | May 30, 2014
GMN Hero David Butcher

Dedication is a term that rings true to the team of employees at GM Nameplate.  Every division and individual plays an important role in the manufacturing production process. 

One GMN employee that exudes loyalty to our customers is David Butcher, an estimator at the Beaverton, OR Division - GMN Plastics.  David’s manufacturing experience spans back to when he first started working at the company in his early twenties.  His dedication is demonstrated daily through his skills, hard work and energetic personality. For the past 26 years, David has watched the company evolve into a multifaceted manufacturing hub that provides a broad array of capabilities for a wide variety of industries.

“We make just about anything. Our mantra is ‘you imagine it, we build it’. We do anything for anyone and adapt to every request,” says David.

Many essential capabilities come to life at the Beaverton, OR Division; custom engineered injection and compression molded parts, value-added assemblies, pad printing, and other plastic decorating. It’s not only our capabilities that make us stand out; it’s an ability to seamlessly simplify our customers’ supply chain while still providing 100% quality assurance. Although the parts may be similar, no two customers have the same project—or in David’s words, “each customer has their own recipe.” He explains that this is why every job is different, every day is different and why he is dedicated to making sure each project comes out just right.

David and his team’s dedication to the customer and innovative approach to delivering new solutions was brought to light during a project that involved making millions of roadside triangle kits for a top-tier customer.

“With a purchase order from a life critical industry, you don’t want the mold to have any issues,”  says David.

During the manufacturing process, the team ran into issues with the material that required the tooling to be cleaned out more often than usual – ultimately slowing the production process. Frustrated with the problem, David struggled to come up with a solution until one night he realized a fix. They needed a way to filter the material before it’s injected into the mold, so he purchased a diversion tip, which made it possible to complete the job on time.

David’s story is a great example of how dedication can drive innovation. One employee was determined to fix a challenging problem and didn’t stop until he found a suitable solution. David’s relentless dedication and commitment to GMN Plastics and its customers is what makes him an exceptional GMN hero.

For over half a century GM Nameplate has been serving the nameplate manufacturing industry with pride and commitment. To celebrate GM Nameplate’s 60th Anniversary, the team at GM Nameplate decided to shine the spotlight on some of the people who have helped make GM Nameplate and our customers successful. 

By admin | May 23, 2014
GMN hero Thushara Weligodpola

“I'm proud to be a member of the company.”

Though she doesn’t shake the hands of the outside customer, everything Thushara Weligodapola does has the customer’s best interests at heart.  For nearly a decade Thushara has been an assembly and decorating lead at GM Nameplate’s Beaverton, OR Division - GMN Plastics. Growing from 15 members to a full service group of 35 experts, her team provides decorating, design and engineering solutions, sourcing and custom assembly services to make GMN a one-stop shop. 

GMN fulfills the customer needs of multiple supplies with its diverse capabilities.  This saves both time and money by reducing the customer supply chain. To keep a project moving through the production line there are a lot of details that go into the assembly and decorating process. Thushara’s job is made up of many tedious but important tasks that include daily lead monitoring documentation, training, quality inspections and offering recommendations to managers for time and resources on the job.

What really makes Thushara a hero is her ability to see through to the end result; a quality product and quality service for the customer. She shared a story about a frustrated coworker having to clean 365 intricate pieces of a part that was involved in a four-part assembly process. Taking into consideration her coworker’s frustration and the project timeline, Thushara decided to investigate the entire process.  She ended up finding a brass shaving piece on a fixture that was causing the issue.  Her coworker was thrilled, the problem was solved and the project stayed right on schedule.

“It’s my goal to make sure GMN offers superior customer service both before and after the life of a project,” said Thushara.

Ultimately it’s all about the customer. Thushara describes her customer values as: respect, accountability and flexibility to do what’s right for the customer. She believes that the value of building a strong relationship with customers is not only beneficial for the customer, but also GM Nameplate.

“Their feedback can improve the quality of our work,” says Thushara.

Thushara’s behind the scenes customer commitment is a shining example of GM Nameplate’s companywide customer promise. It takes the dedication of an entire team to successfully complete a job, and without employees like Thushara, GMN wouldn’t be able to offer customers the high-level service that we do.  Her overall philosophy and positive outlook is what makes Thushara a GMN Hero.

For over half a century GM Nameplate has been serving the nameplate manufacturing industry with pride and commitment. To celebrate GM Nameplate’s 60th Anniversary, the team at GM Nameplate decided to shine the spotlight on some of the people who have helped make GM Nameplate and our customers successful. 

By admin | May 16, 2014
GMN hero Saroeun Som

Knowing what to do and how to get it done comes with experience. Saroeun Som, a member of the GM Nameplate receiving department, knows when a product meets GM Nameplate’s quality standards and when it doesn’t. To ensure a quality output, vigilance and accountability start at the beginning of the manufacturing process. Saroeun doesn’t let damaged materials or improper packaging in the door. Even the most negligible defect on a seemingly minor item can have negative ripple effects through the manufacturing process. 

In his role, Saroeun takes care of raw materials that come to GM Nameplate. He’s been with the company since 1988, working first in the stock cutting department and then later with the shipping department getting product out the door correctly for the customer.

Saroeun plays a big part in ensuring GM Nameplate’s lean manufacturing principles are executed properly.  He is the first step in the production process and ensures each department has the right materials and inventory levels to run efficiently. Because of Saroeun, the workplace is better organized, experiences shorter set-up times, and produces less scrap and waste.  This gets passed on to the customer in faster turn-times and better cost per output.  Saroeun understands what it takes to produce a quality product and the steps that need to be taken to get it to the customer efficiently.

“He really knows everything. If he wasn’t here we’d all be in a whole world of hurt. He just knows what to do and gets it done,” says Warehouse Manager, Denny Givens. “Any time Saturday work is needed, he is always there. No question. He is always ready to help out and support.”

All who get to work alongside Saroeun are proud to call him a teammate. His level of commitment to delivering quality is recognized throughout the company, which is what truly makes Saroeun Som a GMN Hero. 

For over half a century GM Nameplate has been serving the manufacturing industry with pride and commitment. To celebrate GM Nameplate’s 60th Anniversary, the team at GM Nameplate decided to shine the spotlight on some of the people who have helped make GM Nameplate and our customers successful. 

By admin | May 9, 2014
GMN hero Terry Wallace

It’s a special feeling to be able to say you’ve been with the same company your entire career. That is something that Terry Wallace, the Indigo Press Operator at GMN's Seattle, WA Division, can proudly say. He has been with us for 34 years and he is responsible for printing many of our customers’ orders. In his role, he operates the digital offset printing press and works with our in-house designers and engineers to ensure that parts in development can be produced within the standards required by our customers. 

In his capacity, Terry has become the go-to guy for many rapid prototyping projects.  We are one of the industry leaders for rapid protoyping because of people like Terry. Thanks to his expertise on the press, new prototyping projects get turned around quickly, which allows our customers more time to finalize their design, and progress from development to production.  

There’s a lot of pressure in a role like this because each order is so unique – different colors and different types of ink, printed on different types of materials, each with a different requirement for durability, environmental conditions, and regulation requirements.  Lucky for our customers, Terry knows the job inside and out.

Terry also works hand-in-hand with the art department and design and engineering support teams to ensure the client’s specifications are met.  His natural curiosity and pride in what he does has been a driving force behind GM Nameplate’s evolution from flat, two-dimensional nameplates to three-dimensional parts and larger value-added assemblies.  More specifically, Terry’s work has pushed GM Nameplate’s capabilities in the medical device industry.  Not only are these parts quite complex but they come with a set of regulatory standards that must be closely followed.  With Terry’s background and expertise, he has been able to make sure all standards are seamlessly met without hindering the timeline of the project. 

Terry recalls a time when the Indigo Press was not meeting the needed quality for a customer job. Terry stopped the press, took the time to experiment with the press settings, and after a few test runs, got the parts up the required specification. Thanks to his expertise, the parts were delivered on time without the customer being the wiser. 

The GM Nameplate culture fosters an atmosphere of accountability to the customer.  It doesn’t matter if you are in a customer facing role or not – the customer is always top priority. GMN heroes like Terry Wallace are a testament of this culture.

For over half a century, GM Nameplate has been serving the nameplate manufacturing industry with pride and commitment. To celebrate GM Nameplate's 60th anniversary, we are shining the spotlight on some of the people who have helped make GM Nameplate and our customers successful.

By admin | May 2, 2014
Bob Christensen

For over half a century GM Nameplate has been serving the manufacturing industry with pride and commitment. To celebrate the company's 60th Anniversary, the team at GMN is shining a spotlight on some of the people who have helped make GMN the success that it is today – GMN Heroes.   

Bob Christensen, who has been with GM Nameplate for 35 years, is a true jack of all trades. His experience at GMN ranges from working on screen printing, color matching, and UV coating lines, to serving as an area manager, and a quality manager. In Bob’s current position as senior automation engineer, he develops and runs testing and automation equipment to improve efficiency and quality in our factories. One of our most recent additions, a state-of-the-art display characterization light lab, was developed and is currently managed by Bob.

The project began when John Deere expressed a need to characterize (test) displays. Bob says the project allowed him to take advantage of his passion for learning, while helping customers.

“We thought that if we developed a good testing system, it would not only be valuable for John Deere, but also for other customers.”

What started as a goal to better serve a GMN customer, has evolved into a state-of-the-art light lab. One of the best in the industry, Bob's light lab now serves a number of customers and helps them ensure exceptional display quality. Bob’s customer service shines through everything he does and the light lab is just one example among many.  

Over the years, Bob’s done a little bit of everything but a few things are clear; he always strives to improve the company’s capabilities and services and he consistently puts the customer first.  Bob used to run GMN's one-man quality department. Years ago, he worked to develop GM Nameplate’s first quality manual, which was needed to present to Boeing. While Bob is no longer in the quality department, he is proud to share how the quality department has moved from a one man show to a robust team that has allowed GM Nameplate to meet twelve different quality standards including AS9100C and ISO:13485.

GMN works to stay up-to-date on industry trends and technologies by encouraging ongoing training and education. Bob mentioned that learning new technologies is one of the highlights of his job and that he appreciates working for a company that drives innovation. GMN customers are part of Bob’s motivation to learn and improve his skills because the more he knows, the better service he can provide.

 “At GM Nameplate we provide great service to our customers. It’s important that if we say we’re going to do something that we follow through. If I’m buying components and find that I’m working with a supplier who isn’t responsive, I will look elsewhere. “

Without the drive and dedication of GM Nameplate’s employees to deliver great solutions and customer support, GMN wouldn’t be where it is today. Bob’s customer commitment and thirst for knowledge is what makes him a true GMN Hero.

By admin | May 1, 2014
Celebrating the 60th anniversary of GMN

May 1, 2014 marks a great milestone for GM Nameplate – our 60th anniversary.

I am proud of the growth and success that the company has enjoyed over the years. What was once a single factory in Seattle, Washington, is now an international company with 8 facilities and 1,100 employees serving a broad spectrum of industries. Beginning as a nameplate manufacturer in 1954, the company has evolved into a premier provider of manufacturing solutions including plastics, nameplates, labels, user interface systems and more.

We are entering our 60th year of business on a high note. This year we have experienced record breaking growth and the fulfillment of nearly 100,000 orders. We also achieved a new quality standard: the Seattle, WA Division met ISO:13485 for medical devices, which compliments the twelve other quality standards that GM Nameplate has met. We have continued to innovate and improve our processes and products, which has allowed us to stay on the forefront of our industry. In addition, the company and its employees were recognized with seven awards including our sixth consecutive Boeing Supplier Excellence Award and John Deere’s Supplier of the Year – Electronic Products.

However, GM Nameplate’s 60th anniversary is more than just a reflection of the past; it is a celebration of the present and the company’s bright future. GM Nameplate’s success can be attributed to two things: stalwart service to customers and our dedicated employees that work day-in and day-out to make outstanding products.

This year GM Nameplate will be celebrating its 60th year in business by recognizing the many faces behind our products. Our employees embody the dedication, spirit and ingenuity that make GM Nameplate great. Visit our blogs throughout the year to learn about the many people that comprise GM Nameplate’s workforce – we call them our GMN heroes.

Don Root, Chairman of the board, GM Nameplate