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Akro-Mils celebrates 70 years
Eileen Schmidt
Eileen Schmidt

70 years ago, brothers bonded their initials together to create a company name. Isidore and Louis Myers referenced their original last name of Schneiderman along with the town of the company's birth, Akron, Ohio, to name Akro-Mils.

Isidore was put in charge of the company after the formation on Oct. 4, 1946. Some of the first products manufactured were steel cabinets with plastic metal drawers for the consumer market, according to an online history of the company.

By the mid-1950s, the company was regularly exhibiting various metal cabinets at trade shows and the 1960s brought an expansion of plastic boxes and other small parts containers manufactured from polystyrene.

A new manufacturing plant was constructed in Akron in 1964 on a property leased by sister company Myers Tire Supply and the company's flagship product, the AkroBin®, was introduced in 1972. The business moved to a plant in Wadsworth, Ohio just two years later.

In the following years the company marked the following achievements according to the Akro-Mils timeline:

· 1986 – entered the lawn and garden industry with the manufacturing of Plas Terra flower pots.

· 1999 – designed and introduced the ProCart™, a structural foam utility cart with side gates on the upper and lower shelves that allow for conversion from a box-top to a flat-top.

· 2000 – purchased RB/Dura Manufacturing, a maker of material handling carts in Sandusky, Ohio. In 2003, a modern powder-coating finishing operation is added in the Sandusky plant.

· 2005 – headquarters moved to Myers Industries' L.S Myers Training Center in Akron.

· 2010 – Akro-Mils lead innovation of Kanban inventory management systems with the introduction of the bi-color Indicator® Bin.

· 2014 – Akro-Mils introduced the Multi-Load Tote.

· 2015 – A new warehouse facility is built across the street from the Wadsworth plant.

Much has been accomplished in Akro-Mils' seven decades of operation and today the business is a leading manufacturer of plastic and metal storage, organization, transport and material handling products in industrial, medical and pharmaceutical, commercial, and consumer markets, according to the business.

“Akro-Mils is dedicated to providing innovative, quality products that help customers improve inventory control and overall efficiency,” the website says.

The AkroBin® remains “the industry leading hanging and stacking bin,” according to the business.

A focus on “rigorous quality standards” and “best-in-class” customer service has also been part of the seven decades of operation, business leaders say.

The company has also honed a wealth of expertise on organization, offering a blog and other articles to consumers on the subject available at www.akro-mils.com.

In one case study, the plant manager of a 562,000-square-foot distribution and fulfillment center in Kentucy explained why Akro-Mils' 35230 Nest & Stack Totes were selected. They ride well on the conveyors, greatly increase efficiency, and only a small number of totes have required replacing over the years.

“It's clear that no one else could supply the product Akro-Mils did,” the manager said in the Akro-Mils report. “To be honest, we rarely think about the totes because we never have any problems with them,” he said.

For those looking to better organize their operations this year, Akro-Mils recommends the use of the 5S Lean process – sort, set, shine, standardize, sustain – in organization.

“Organizations that invest in a 5S process gain productivity, create higher quality products and lower operating costs by simply implementing a system of waste removal, visual identification and efficient use of space,” Akro-Mils reports.

Eileen Schmidt is a freelance writer and journalist based in the Greater Milwaukee area. She has written for print and online publications for the past 12 years. Email editorial@mhwmag.com or visit eileenmozinskischmidt.wordpress.com to contact Eileen. 

 

 

 

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