'It went beyond my expectations'

Zoe Greszler • Updated Jun 1, 2017 at 12:44 AM

Norwalk’s R&D Equipment has a rich history, one that has led to its distributing high-quality printing worldwide. 

According to company president and owner Chuck Plumb, what is now a world-distribution center for printed materials and printing machines, is still a small-town business with big quality. 

The company has a new place to call home now though as it continues to expand its reach. The printing business which was located at 36 Woodlawn Ave. up until a couple months ago is now in a space that offers more space — and a sign — at 206 Republic St., next door to Commercial Vehicle Group (CVG), near the Ernsthausen Recreation Center.

“You couldn’t find us before where we were. We’ve had people walking in and asking what who we are and what we do,” Plumb said. 

“We thought people should know what we do and it’s neat for people to know that there’s someone (servicing) on a world-wide scale. I don’t think people realize that and you wouldn’t think there would be something like that in your backyard here in Norwalk.”

R&D uses latest technology in printing, using UV curing printing technique that heats specially designed UV lamps up to dangerously high temperatures. Before the conversion to the UV printing, the company could produce about 60 to 100 printed cups or pots per minutes, given the time needed to allow them to dry. Now that they “dry instantly” they can produce up to about 800 per minute.

“That’s made a big difference,” Plumb said as one of the biggest reasons for the company’s success. 

“Our core is printing things like cups, containers, lids, egg cartons (including specially designed Eggland’s Best cartons) and special requests like golf balls,” Plumb said. “Then we have things on the side which would be (selling) our UV curing equipment.”

Despite many of the machines seeming complicated there are only about 10 employees. Plumb, who has owned the company since 2014, hopes to change that. 

“The whole career used to be machine building,” he said. 

“We’ve done that. Now I want to double the size of our company before I retire. That’s my goal. I hope to get it to about 20 to 25 employees. That takes a lot of time and it’s not easy. ... Finding skilled help is a problem. We have a good relationship with the local business people and we don’t want steal anyone else’s people.”

The company prints products for big names like Estée Lauder down to small orders for local businesses and distributes locally to countries as far away as Vietnam, Brazil, Russia and many others.

In fact, R & D just hosted a few businessmen representing Rosupak Yug-LLC, from Krasnodar, Russia, who visited for about a week learning about and purchasing one of the UV curing equipment pieces — EC610 egg carton printer with an employee finger print ID. The Russian company services about a 1,000-mile radius.  

Rosupak general director Vadim Mazur said through his translator that his company makes egg tray cartons and they wanted a machine that could print logos.

“It’s not enough just to produce cartons, you also have to print them so people know who you are,” Mazur said, adding R & D was suggested along with two other companies when they started searching. After researching all three, Mazur said he “more impressed” with R & D. 

“Actually the the product is beyond our expectations,” he said after testing the equipment. “We found it as a pleasant surprise that Chuck I was impressed that they paid attention to every detail and (customized it) to our needs. It went beyond my expectations.”

They were impressed with more than just the product though, adding that the business trip turned into a “very good” first trip to the states. 

“We were pleasantly surprised how friendly everyone is,” Mazur said. “Not just with (R&D) but walking down the street everyone is always smiling and friendly and welcoming. ... We have had trouble telling other businesses in other countries like France how easy they are to work with. They don’t believe us.”

A visit to Ohio, even if on business, wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Cedar Point. Plumb said he took the three visitors for their very first trip to an amusement park, since Russia doesn’t have anything like that, Mazur said.

“It was very good,” Mazur said. “We were surprised. It (Millennium Force) was very fast.”

Plumb said he hopes to create more business — and friendships — like this as the company continues to expand over the coming years. In the meantime he will continue looking for “qualified help.” Anyone interested inquiry after the needed positions can call the company at 419-668-9727.

In other business happenings:

The North Central EMS Clinical Excellence Award was presented to paramedic Tom Sees and EMT Ashley Shaffer at the annual employee recognition dinner. This annual award recognizes one paramedic and one EMT for their dedication, clinical excellence, and ability to meet or exceed all company performance standards. Tom began his career with NCEMS in April of 1997, and currently works as a paramedic at the Port Clinton station. He resides in Port Clinton with his family. Ashley has been with NCEMS since July of 2016, and recently accepted a position as an EMT on the NCEMS mobile intensive care unit. She resides in Bellevue.

The 2016 North Central EMS employee of the year award was presented to director of communications Joseph Micheletti. The recipient of this award is selected through peer nominations based on submissions describing the above and beyond performance of nominated candidates. Joseph began his career with NCEMS as a paramedic in 1997, and resides in Lorain with his family.

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Abigail Pregnancy Services' annual Walk for Life is planned for 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, June 10. People can stop by to walk any time. It is only a half-an-hour commitment so that walkers can get on to whatever else they have that day. Abigail simply hopes to get as many people involved as possible. 

WGGN (97.7 FM) will be on site, and they always have wonderful give-aways. (Sheri's) coffee, water bottles, fresh fruit and cereal bars will be provided to all participants. T-shirts are free and are first-come, first-serve. Funds raised benefit both of our Willard and Norwalk centers. As the ministry continues to grow programs to reach more people in our local community. This is a great event for your small group, youth group or kids ministry to get involved with.

Paper registration form can be found at http://www.friendsofabigail.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Walk-Form-2017-Web.pdf. Or online registration can be completed at https://secure.ministrysync.com/ministrysync/event/website/home/?e=12099

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Walmart announced it hired 5,114 veterans in Ohio since introducing its Veterans Welcome Home Commitment in May 2013. The commitment guarantees a job offer to any eligible, honorably discharged U.S. veteran. With a goal to hire 250,000 veterans nationwide by the end of 2020, Walmart has since hired more than 170,000 veterans nationwide, and more than 22,000 have been promoted to jobs of greater responsibility.

In addition to its commitment to hiring veterans, Walmart also ensures their family members are given long-lasting career opportunities. Walmart’s Military Family Promise guarantees a job at a nearby store or Sam’s Club for all military personnel and military spouses employed by Walmart and Sam’s Club who move to a different part of the country because they or their spouse have been transferred by the United States military. To commemorate Memorial Day and support military families who have made the ultimate sacrifice, Walmart is gave away a $100,000 grant to the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), a national organization that offers help, hope and healing to all those grieving the death of a loved one serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. 


If you have an item for the business roundup column, send the information to the Norwalk Reflector in care of Zoe Greszler, 61 E. Monroe St., Norwalk, Ohio 44857, or email it to zoegreszler@norwalkreflector.com.


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