It is a success story that started more than thirty years ago in Knowlton … and that continues to this day. The company has just acquired Les Plastics Jets of Beloeil, also a plastics factory (by injection and blowing) of about sixty employees. This addition diversifies the supply and production capacity of the company.
As noted on the company website, “Windmill Plastics was founded in 1985 by a group of former Tupperware employees, making the production of sustainable plastics part of the company’s DNA.” The Desrosier family, (Rejean, François and Éric), acquired it in 2012 from co-owners Michael Booth, Ronnie Engalls and Michael Pille, and quickly turned to automation. A first robot entered the plant in 2015, and nine more since then, freeing employees for more skilled jobs.
It is usually said that to succeed, you have to innovate. Well, there is no lack of imagination and audacity at Windmill Plastics. In 2018, new state-of-the-art injection presses, (now 18), were added, including a 1,500 ton machine and an additional 1,000 ton machine to increase production capacity to 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In 2019, Investissement Québec officially recognized the company’s innovative qualities.
The Victoria Street plant, adjacent to the Centre Lac-Brome, has grown from 15,000 sq. ft. to 50,000 sq. ft. over the years. It has six landing docks to accommodate the eleven transport trailers. Windmill Plastics also has a 75,000 sq. ft. warehouse in Waterloo for finished products, 12 garage lanes in Cowansville for raw materials, and 10 silos for storing 1.5 million pounds of resin.
Its main client is Sterilite. You’ve probably seen this logo on a tractor-trailer or on a large plastic bin that you use to store various items in your garage, shed or basement. You bought these containers from Walmart, (it’s the main distributor), recently or a few years ago because they are reusable and very resistant.
Year after year, 85 employees work at the Victoria Street plant and the Waterloo warehouse. Maryse Porlier, Director of Human Resources, proudly mentions that the average seniority is 10 years. It is not surprising when you look at the company’s benefits. For example, employees have access to dental, disability, travel insurances etc. The company is currently recruiting – the order book is full until January.
Once again this year, if the pandemic gives us a little respite, the factory site will, as always, be the starting point of our traditional Santa Claus parade.