At PRISM Plastics, we’re in a unique position to see industry evolution as it happens, working with the top suppliers in the field to create the functional plastic parts that make automotive safety systems work. Over the past several years, the largest growth in demand that we’ve seen has come in the field of active safety—which has expanded from the highest-end luxury vehicles to be a part of cars such as the 2014 Ford Fusion. Bosh, TRW, Autoliv and other leaders in the field are taking technology that has been around for 50 years or more than 100 years—such as the seatbelt and the steering wheel—and dramatically improving it. Restraint systems are becoming increasingly more active with seatbelt airbags, and steering is becoming more responsive with accident avoidance systems. As mentioned in Crain’s Detroit Business, we’ve been aggressively moving to expand our work in these new and exciting supply chains. As each step in this evolution occurs, and we move from mechanical to digital, the tolerances for these parts get tighter and tighter, the technology and processes needed to produce them must keep pace. We know our industry is up to the challenge to design and deliver better, faster, more connected parts and systems that move cars toward the next generation of safety.
When Derek Elles started at PRISM Plastics in 2011, he never expected his job in Port Huron—on the U.S.-Canada border—would mean using his knowledge of Spanish nearly every day. “Being Hispanic, I enjoy that so many of our clients are in Mexico and Spain. A third of the email communication I do is in Spanish. I’m usually speaking Spanish at least once a day on the phone. It’s much easier to connect with them in their native language.” As a materials and logistics coordinator and customer service representative, Derek orchestrates the resins and other materials coming to all three of PRISM’s facilities—a critical part of ensuring quality and on-time delivery for every project. “It’s a different challenge every day—shipping issues, products stuck in customs— and I get to troubleshoot and solve each problem. I love making that difference and getting to interact with people along the way.” In June of this year, Derek will take many of the skills he has shared with the team at PRISM—including his problem solving abilities and Spanish fluency—and translate them to his other passion: a missionary project in Guatemala. “God’s been tugging at me for a long time. I’m very grateful to the team at PRISM for their support and encouragement as I take this next step.” If you are interested in learning more or supporting Derek’s mission, visit www.straightpathministries.org or Facebook.com/straightpathministries.
For the 4th year, PRISM Plastics and its employees helped make the holidays a bit brighter for local families. The company worked with local schools to select three deserving families from Marysville, Michigan and three from New Haven, Michigan (near the Port Huron and Chesterfield facilities) and provided complete holiday meals. Led by Shelly Patton (pictured with some of the donated items), PRISM and its team members contributed more than $1,150-worth of food. “We’re proud to be able to give back and help those in our communities who are less fortunate, especially over the holidays,” says PRISM Vice President Gerry Phillips. “It’s a testament to the great people on our team that everyone continues to step up and give year after year.”