Family-run molder carries on founder’s vision
When Barry Book, president and founder of G.B. Book Plastics Ltd., passed away in November of last year, the company faced a transition that many family-owned custom molders must inevitably face. Whil...
When Barry Book, president and founder of G.B. Book Plastics Ltd., passed away in November of last year, the company faced a transition that many family-owned custom molders must inevitably face. While Barry had officially retired 12 years ago, turning over day-to-day operations to his son Bill Book and daughter Cathy Cremers, he was still an important, guiding presence at the company he started in a one-bay garage 28 years ago.
“Dad was ahead of his times in many ways,” says Bill Book. “He bought the first two-arm robot in Canada in the mid-1980s. He also had the foresight to install a materials resource planning (MRP) system in our plant.”
Bill says the IQMS MRP system, which has recently been upgraded to a Windows-based operating system, is specifically tailored to an injection molding plant and has enabled the company to monitor many key facets of production operations and material and product flow.
Today, the Peterborough, ON-based company has 25 employees and specializes in the manufacture of precision, high-tolerance components for the appliance, electronics, plumbing and other markets. It currently runs 12 Nissei and Sumitomo injection molding machines, ranging from 40- to 400-tons in clamping force. Book says the company purchased four new machines in the last two years, including its first all-electric, a Sumitomo.
“We’re running pretty automated,” Bill says, noting most machines are equipped with sprue pickers and robots. “We’re fortunate to have a well-trained work force. Most of our people are long-service.”
His father Barry’s interest in the plastics industry began when he was retained as a consultant for the G.S. Wooley company in the early 1970s. He purchased a machine and obtained his first business, a million-piece order for parts used in a tape dispensing machine. Bill recalls the early days when his mother and father took turns running the machines and the family lived off RRSP savings. He says his dad was a great believer in trial-by-fire as a learning method.
“Dad was a great teacher, and he built a solid foundation for this company’s continued growth. The best thing we have going for us is our reputation.”