FOR: NEW PRODUCTS CORPORATION
New Products Corporation Celebrates 90 Years of Continuous ManufacturingAPR 17, 2012 - 09:00 ET
April 22 Marks Company's Official Birthday
BENTON HARBOR, MI--(Marketwire - April 17, 2012) - New Products Corporation (NPC) officially marks its 90th anniversary of continuous manufacturing on Sunday, April 22, 2012.
What began as a one man tool and repair shop in a small 15 foot square rented space near the railroad tracks by the Thayer building on 5th Street, eventually moved and expanded to become a sophisticated manufacturing facility at North Shore Drive and Klock Road in Benton Harbor.
Featured in the January 2011 issue of Forbes magazine, NPC is today a global supplier of high quality aluminum and zinc products for a variety of industries. Yet, there remains a unique combination of tradition and progress which is part of the daily routine for more than 100 manufacturing employees of this company's three-shift operation.
The original plant floor made of hardwood is a reminder of the genius and inventiveness of NPC's founder Walter Miller, who established a total of six companies in Benton Harbor and the surrounding area.
"If someone accidentally dropped a die on the hardwood floor, my grandfather reasoned the piece might not be damaged," said Cherie Miller, the company's third generation president and CEO.
Miller assumed responsibility for the daily operations in 2001, following the death of her father, Stanley O. Miller, who led the company for more than 60 years.
With modernization and innovative procedures introduced by Stanley Miller along with more recent computerized equipment purchases, Miller and her team are surrounded by sophisticated technology and machinery -- producing millions of parts each year, including valve covers for the next generation of green automotive engines.
According to Miller, it is NPC's vision of a commitment to excellence that has led to the company's continued growth and success. With a longstanding reputation for a parts-per-million defect rate in the single digits, it is no surprise that the company has retained some customers for 70 years.
The average length of employment of 22 years is also remarkable. During the past year two employees achieved more than 47 years with the company.
"It's always been our family's philosophy to strive for excellence, work hard, and do things the right way," added Miller. "It's also about putting people before profits."
As part of the company's 90th anniversary year, a group of NPC employees and family members look forward to participating in the 2012 Blossomtime Parade, accompanying the 1939 vintage fire truck purchased by Stanley Miller and donated to the city of St. Joseph in 2011.
Miller industries played a major role in the Blossomtime festivities. Stanley Miller originated the "Blessing of the Blossoms" at the Walter Miller Farms with Rev. Howard Blanning of the Benton Harbor Congregational Church more than 60 years ago. The tradition remains today.
Miller recalls the many fabulous sweepstakes floats made by employees of New Products Corporation, VM Corporation, and Modern Plastics Corporation. One New Products float was so huge that an outrigger with a flower blossom holding a child had to be removed in order to navigate the corner by the old courthouse.
She also recalls the polished and shiny La France fire truck with chrome bell on the front, repaired and maintained at NPC for more than thirty years. "It's a fitting celebration of New Products' 90th anniversary," Miller added.
Historical excerpts and references to the Miller family and New Products Corporation are also included in Author Robert C. Myers' book, Greetings from Benton Harbor, published in 2011 by the Berrien County Historical Association.
For more information about New Products Corporation, visit www.NewProductsCorp.com.
Margaret Blohm, APR
Margaux & Associates, LLC