For aggregate and mining producers whose screen decks are experiencing excessive wear and replacement challenges, POLYDECK® Screen Corporation — which will be celebrating their 40th anniversary in 2018 — offers a variety of screen media replacement options that can considerably improve those and other conditions. While this might sound like a line from an advertising agency, it is simply an observation after a plant tour of their modern and growing manufacturing facility in Spartanburg, SC. In 1979 Egler received his first contract for a replacement screen and by 1981, the Polydeck screening solution had proved itself to the point that the company installed their first complete modular synthetic screen system. In 1982, they built their first manufacturing facility in Spartanburg and, by 1986, had already outgrown that facility. An expansion was completed that doubled the footprint of the plant on the site and by 1990, an office/administration building was added to accommodate the continued growth. In 2003, a third manufacturing bay was built.
Then, in 2008, Polydeck added a wing to their Administration Building to give the company’s Operations and Sales teams the kind of modern facilities they needed to support the growing customer base throughout North and South America. In 2012, they expanded their operations yet again when an adjacent facility became available. In 2014, another adjacent building became available, enabling Polydeck to purchase that facility and move their R&D department, Tool and Die department and warehouse space to the building.
The Polydeck screen concept
Dennis Zeiger, senior marketing manager, explained that one of the primary advantages to the Polydeck product lineup is that they offer more than 1000 different design options, the result of the continuing focus on innovation that is driven by company president Peter Freissle, Manfred’s son, and the company’s desire to serve its customers effectively. “We have a very active R&D team and have more than 50 patents worldwide,” said Zeiger. “We are nimble in our design capability which gives us an edge over competition,” he said. “We can respond quickly to the needs of our clients with a personal approach, whether they are in the coal, aggregate or ‘hard rock’ mining industries.”
Zeiger said Polydeck offers a Screen Performance Evaluation service for customers who are experiencing issues with their screen decks. “Many times, we find that customers who initially attribute screening issues to the screen media, often find that our screen performance evaluation is able to pinpoint the actual root cause. Armed with the Evaluation report, they are able to make adjustments in their screen deck setup and realize immediate improvement.”
How they make Polydeck screen panels
We began our tour of the plant where we discovered relatively quiet surroundings for a manufacturing facility of this kind. Since the screen panels are all injection molded in custom designed injection molding stations, the noise level is quite low. The manufacturing floor is especially neat and well organized.
“We keep a supply of our most popular screen panels in stock” Zeiger said, “for repeat customers who need quick replacements. If a customer needs a non-stock order, our injection molding process enables us to fill custom orders more quickly than other screen media manufacturers, usually in two to three weeks.”
Zeiger described how the insert department uses both manual and robotic welding to fabricate the wide range of steel frames that provide internal support to the polyurethane and rubber screen panels.
Moving on to the frame department, we watched as a worker assembled frame pieces on a jig with the greatest of care and precision. Zeiger explained that, with their PolySnap® fastening option, the stringer placement on screen frames must be accurate because once the frames are installed, the fastening cavities on the screen panels must match up with the ferrule inserts on the frame if the installation is to perform effectively. Several frames were staged nearby where we had an excellent visual image of the finished frames with their PolySnap® fasteners precisely in place. It became clear how the 1-foot square polyurethane screen panels would fit snugly into place atop the frame, fastened into place with a “snap” of the panel.
At the shipping and receiving area, stacks of finished screen panels were arranged neatly on pallets awaiting loading onto outgoing trucks. Meanwhile, incoming loads of steel and other raw materials arrived in an adjacent bay. It was fascinating to see the variety of sizes and shapes of screen media that were destined for awaiting customers.
Citing the ongoing innovation of the research and development team at Polydeck, Zeiger said that the R&D team is continually working on new ideas submitted by customers, sales representatives, and other employees who have creative ideas for making Polydeck products better. He said that many of the best new ideas come from customers themselves. “Our R&D Director and his team are willing to evaluate any reasonable idea that might be submitted,” he said.
Emphasis on people
Throughout our tour, there were several indicators of how Polydeck ownership and management values their employees and the members of the community at large. For example, as you enter the lobby, flags of the countries to which Polydeck serves customers, line the area. Inside the administrative offices, there is a chapel to serve the management staff and employees, for those who might have need. The company is also served by Corporate Chaplains of America.
As we passed through the new modern break room added for worker’s lunch and break time enjoyment, he told us the company has created a “caring team” that supports its employees, their families and organizations in the community. “We offer financial and volunteer support to groups who are making an effort to help make life better for those around them. We have teamed with Chosen Children Ministries to adopt a barrio in Nicaragua to which we provide physical and financial support. We send employee teams there four times a year to help improve conditions for the inhabitants of the barrio.”
Zeiger said the company founder, Manfred Freissle and his son Peter, are devoted, faithful believers, and the business continues to operate today relying upon these values. A plaque honoring Manfred Freissle in a garden courtyard near the building reads, “With Sincere Gratitude-Manfred Freissle. An innovator, a pioneer in the screening industry, a tireless entrepreneur and a dedicated family man whose deep faith in God and commitment to excellence laid the groundwork for Polydeck Screen Corporation that will endure for generations.” It is with this same dedication to excellence that Polydeck Screen Corporation serves its customers today. For more information, visit their website at www.polydeckscreen.com .