Made in Eastern Iowa: All the plastics fit to produce in Independence

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INDEPENDENCE, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- Dave Hardy has been around plastics for decades but only as the owner of QC Plastics for a few years.

Dave Hardy, owner of QC Plastics in Independence, is the owner of this five-employee company that makes products for companies, large and not as large.

"We make custom plastic products for other manufacturers," said Hardy, who bought the former Quality Crafts business on the eastern edge of Independence, his hometown. "We do have some of our own product lineups but we’re primarily a job shot. Other manufacturers like John Deere or Premier will come to us and say ‘we need this plastic part made, can you make it?’."

The wall in his shop reveals a sliver of the products QC has manufactured for all sorts of companies -- from the largest firms in the Midwest to a very particular item, such as the inside of a glove compartment for late model Jeeps.

"We, primarily, focus on small to mid-sized product runs," said Hardy. "We’re not set up for large-scale runs. A lot of manufacturers only need less than 100 units of parts and that’s an area that we specialize. We do have excellent turnaround times. A lot of competition are out two to three months and we can accommodate most people."

QC Plastics only has five employees, a true lean operation for 2017. The flexibility has to be there from workers to make the deadlines for an order but Hardy insists it also allows his team to step away for the important moments of life.

Hardy showed us a couple of recent products, such as the laser-cut plastic product that will eventually become the vending tray you may see at a sporting event to hold popcorn or beverages.

Along with a product a bit more complex. A product that is the nucleus of the business at QC Plastics but one that the untrained eye may glance past.

"This is a job that we lined up with an electrical contractor," Hardy said as he demonstrated in his shop. "They solder wires and connections for some large OEM manufacturers like Caterpillar and John Deere. So when you have a switch on your dash, there’s a wiring harness that goes in behind it. All the connections from that harness to the switch have to be soldered and an electrical potting mix on them to keep corrosion off.

"They want to have somebody just us creating a holding jig for them so they can install the switch into each one of these slots and flip it over, solder their wire connections and then pour the electrical potting mix into this silicone fixture and after that cures, they mold it and the product is ready to go to the next stage."

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