About JPW

About Jack’s Plastic, Inc.

The Business Structure as of aug 1, 2014
Jack’s Plastic Welding Inc. is a corporation operating in New Mexico, and incorporated in New Mexico. There are 8 -12 of us that work at the facility located in Aztec New Mexico. We have 2 buildings on Main street, and they make up approximately 10,000 square feet. Often it is not enough. The business was started as a sole proprietor in 1982, and was incorporated in 1988 in Colorado. In 1990 we moved from Bondad Colorado to Aztec NM, set up a production operation in a 5,000 square ft building on Main Street, and later incorporated in New Mexico. In 2006, we took a lease on another building next door to our production facility. This 5,000 square foot building was added to the production building (also 5,000 square feet) and has 1/3 of the front used as a show room. The rest is the primary office, shipping, and our sewing department. We now have more than 75 feet of window space on Main Street in Aztec to show our products..

The Work We Do

We have a standard product line that includes inflatable boats, dry bags, and waterproof self-inflating mattresses. We maintain a customer base of whitewater river outfitters, and specialty paddle sports retail dealers. We also sell our products over the Internet. We have an industrial product line that deals with the Oil and Gas, Medical, lift bags, water line inspections, as well as  industrial applications of all of our recreational products, for instance, Catarafts for Science.

Other activities include prototype development, and manufacture of components for other products. In this way, we have built components for amusement rides, scuba divers, sail boat racing, Water exercise equipment, climbing gear, medical gear primarily for patient simulators, and emergency spill containments for the oil and gas industry as well as other items. We were also the first to come up with a way to effectively repair cross-link polyethylene kayaks and canoes, and were the first to produce a product called the Gamov bag in 1989. This bag saves mountain Climbers from altitude sickness, and is a portable hyperbaric chamber. We also make the only all welded inflatable stand up paddle board, and we repair other companies paddle boards. We have been involved in NASA commercial crew program building articles for recovery systems.

Why We do this Work

We often hear people comment, “isn’t it sort of odd that you build boats in the desert?” While it is true that we live on the edge of the desert, it is also true that we live near the tallest mountains in the lower 48 states. We live on the Colorado Plateau. We live next to the Salt, Colorado, Green, Rio Grande and Arkansas River drainages. We live in the middle of the best back packing, and Climbing this country has to offer. We love the canyon country. In short there is no better place for our company to be located. We love what we do because we can test our equipment in the places we love to recreate, and it is all very close. We build products for local customers first, and then adapt them to fit a wider market.

Specific Job Duties

Jack’s main function is design.  Jack does most of the computer design and some of the R& D in the shop. He uses Solidworks Design Software, and computerized cutting system by Autometrix to do precison work that looks like computer models. We work closely with customers, He works closely with Errol on Management issues, but is not in charge of production, or job costing.  Jack is in charge of the information that goes into the web site, and to oversee the maintenance of the Internet information.   Jack’s email address is ejkloepfer.jpwinc@gmail.com

Errol is the Production Manager, and head of sales. Errol does road trips, trade shows, and advertising.  Errol is in charge of the information that goes into the web site, maintaining the data base necessary for efficient order production. He watches business trends to steer the business in an appropriate direction.   He orders materials. He is the personnel manager. He maintains a shop budget for materials and labor. Errol schedules production with imput form our two shop supervisors, and does job costing. He supervises time studies, and the order inventory and shipping process.

Rod is our chief welder, and shop Welding Room Foreman and shop supervisor. There is no one in the shop that knows more about welding, and using the various machines. He is in charge of training in the welding area. He keeps welding area operations organized, making sure that production schedules are met on a timely basis. He insures that production employees document their work properly, keep time studies, and he helps develop and review procedures that are developed through that work documentation. Rod’s knowledge base is priceless when it comes to determining the limitations of the equipment, especially when new products are being prototyped.

Perri is in charge of material cutting and small parts inventory, along with being a Shop Supervisor. Her job is to kick start a production process after she cuts out the parts. She delegates to make sure that there are enough D ring patches, bias tape, grommet strips, T tape, pad valves, and all the other sub assemblies necessary to keep our production rolling on a timely basis. Perri and Errol work closely together on maintenance of raw material inventory levels, and just in time cutting of the right parts so cut parts do not sit around too long. Perri and Rod work closely together to keep all other production employees working smoothly, Perri organizes all the pattern files for our computerized cutting system, and she works closely with Jack in the design process, checking his work to make sure that he follows cutting protocol.

Gus is our Reception/Accounts Receivable/Shipping person in charge of orders and shipping, accounts receivable. Gus’s main job is to keep all of our information organized. He keeps the sales order, inventory, invoice, and shipping data bases up to date so we can have accurate forecasting and product information. He makes sure that product information sheets, custom job order forms, time studies, and other business information is organized. Gus works directly under Errol on sales issues, greeting walk in, and phone in customers, getting them the information that they need. He handles shipping out and recieving in. Gus even manages to get some production time in every now and then.

Lauri is the Financial Manager. Lauri keeps the main budget on schedule. She writes payroll checks and pays bills. Lauri helped us produce our employee hand book. She led us through our first accounting software program, our first data base for sales orders and inventory, and then helped us move on to more sophisticated accounting, manufacturing, and inventory control software.

There are other skilled production people. They Include: Jesse, who is a specialist in rotary welding techniques.   Alex,  who is a paco pad specialist. and Dustin who is our RF welding ans sewing Guru.  Levi who has just returned to us, after a couple of years in Arkansas.  Levi has over 10 years experience, and is well versed in all production levels.  Finally Scott, who has worked at San Juan College Outdoor Program.  Undoubtedly he will be a great sales person, and is already trained in swift water Rescue.   These individuals build products and sub assemblies for the various products we make. They are all skilled in the use of our welding equipment, and repair techniques.

Everyone is required to document their work. We all use procedures developed through years of experience, and documented inside of our own intranet system that anyone can access on the shop floor if necessary.  In 2017 this crew was responsible for our best year ever.

How New Products are Introduced

Jack gets a concept from a customer, and does the initial correspondence, and that can often be extensive on complex projects. Jack, Errol, Perry, and Rod meet to discuss preliminary production scenarios. Jack works on the computer models, draws up patterns, and estimates material usage. Errol gives the customer an estimate of prototype cost. A preliminary step by step production scenario is developed as a team effort.

This first prototype production scenario is kept within the supporting documents (computer models, drawings, patterns, and time studies), along with the associated techniques and machine settings. The prototype is built, and then the production scenario is revised to fit the new realities that were discovered in the process. The new product is brought to a production meeting for review of the process with all employees, and new production scenarios are implemented if necessary.  Please have a look at how we collaborate with customers to make better products.

This may lead to revisions in the drawings, patterns, materials, techniques or machine settings, but it is an excellent way to bring everyone into the process and create ownership in a product. Besides, it would be a disservice to the company to disallow the experience of the production people who know what will work and what will not work.

New techniques are often used in later designs, and everything builds off of that growing knowledge base. In this way even our standard products are under a constant process of review and refinement. This same review and refinement process continues into the financial aspect of the business, with the constant review of the database, the budget, suppliers, customers, and trade shows. There is nothing stagnant about Jack’s Plastic Welding, Inc.