Todd Banach, Founder and CEO, RAM Polymer SystemsTodd Banach, Founder and CEO
In the fable of the two lumberjacks, one chopped away at the trees all day without stopping, while the other started each day by sharpening his axe. As admirable as his determination is, the first lumberjack would be far less effective at his trade than the other. The lesson here is simple, to get ahead, companies must always polish/improve the tools of our trade, be it their skills, equipment, or knowledge. Companies that function like lumberjack #1 are inevitably headed to a plateau.

Having started in the plastics industry in 1978 as a supervisor/ setup process technician at the ETHOX corporation, Todd Banach, understood the need for ‘sharpening of the axe’ through automation and robotics integration. In the late 80s, while working for Johnson & Johnson, Banach decided that he would learn more about these areas, not from research or by picking the brains of others in the field, but by pursuing his master’s degreein Industrial Technology, with a specialization in automating and computerizing manufacturing systems. He took the inside track on the automation wave that was sure to take the plastics industry by storm.

The result was the founding of Polymer Transitions, later to become Robotic Automated Manufacturing Polymer Systems RAM Polymer Systems a company that provides manufacturers in the plastics processing industries with the market leading Conveyor, IMM, Extrusion, Material Handling, Auxiliary Equipment and Automation equipment. Put simply, RAM Polymer Systems would be the go to solution provider for clients, who could evaluate client needs first hand and complete a customer survey of their need incorporated with a budget. They are a one-stop shop that helps customers purchase their core processing equipment for processing Thermo Set, Thermo Plastics, Metal Injection Molding and LIM. Today, RAM Polymer Systems sell the auxiliary equipment necessary to support any plastics processing manufacturing processes, including injection molding, blow molding, and extrusion. “We provide solutions for manufacturing plastic parts and provide all the equipment to produce product from plastic pellets/raw materials and the automation to assemble/produce or final pack any given product,” says Banach, who leads RAM Polymer Systems as its CEO.

RAM Polymer Systems is thus partnered with Wittmann Battenfeld, a globally leading manufacturer of injection molding machines, automation and auxiliaries for plastics processing. The Wittmann 4.0 solution can combine data acquisition across several production cells and delivers a wide range of different equipment.Additionally, RAM Polymer Systems is partnered with Dynamic Conveyors, who provide them with conveyors for parts and packaging of manufactured products, Process Cooling for central heating and cooling, and recirculation water systems, Zeiger Industries who deliver components, such as IMM screws, screw tips and assembles for IMM and Progressive Handling, who provide automation solutions for part extraction and full product assembly and packaging. “Our goal is to find a solution for your company that works for you today and is compatible with your future expansion,” states Banach. With all of RAM Polymer Systems’ parts being manufactured in the USA it has shortened its supply chain to meet quick deliveries and deliver ultimate flexibility.

By providing automated robotic solutions, RAM Polymer Systems addresses two key pain points that affect the plastic tech space today: attrition and efficiency. With the onset of COVID, many employers have been unable to hire operators ready to go back to work. In the plastics industry, operators are responsible for manually taking parts and runners out of machines, and the lack of people wanting to do that manual labor makes it difficult to get the business back up and running.

We are a one stop shop that helps customers purchase their processing equipment for injection molding. We also sell the auxiliary equipment to support any plastics processing manufacturing processes, including injection molding, blow, molding, and extrusion

RAM supplies the right equipment to address this customer need. Clients can economically justify RAM’s automation solutions in under six months, or less since the cost of paying a worker for extracting parts, degating, and packing, coupled with their benefits and insurance, is much higher when compared to the economic justification for a robot, which is a onetime investment of $50K Operator estimated cost with benefits comes to about $50K annually and for each year after.

Additionally, the consistency that automation and robotics can bring to the manufacturing process is tremendous. The timing of opening and closing a door to extract the parts manually, as opposed to having a robot go in without opening the gate, consistently, time over time, cycle after cycle, without causing any interruption to the molding process, is impossible by human hands. Also, a person taking even one-second longer/ sooner to close the gate when they’re extracting parts can impact the molding process and the final product. RAM helps offset this with their solutions. The success story of one of their clients best exemplifies RAM’s value proposition. New York-based plastic manufacturers Alliance Precision Plastics had brought in a Battenfeld injection molding machine along with a robot for that machine to automate a part of their process, all facilitated via RAM Polymer Systems. Alliance was fairly new to adding automation to their process and started out by just extracting and degating the part while still employing two operators for the line packaging and some additional finish works. Their job involved extracting large parts from a 650-ton injection molding machine. Once the client became accustomed to the robots’ programming and functions, RAM helped them add additional offline automation in degating and other manual functions, eliminating the need for one operator. As a result, they were able to (in a very short period) not only extract the part and keep the consistency of the molding process but also eliminate short shots or flashes caused by the inconsistency of the operator manually opening/closing a huge door. The automation also resulted in an estimated $40,000 reduction in operator costs for the client.

Keeping a keen eye on their clients’ bottom line while embracing a personalized customer engagement has supported RAM Polymer Systems on the top of the list for many a manufacturer over the years. They continue to be one of the very few companies in the US that manufacture robots for the plastic industry. The company continues to strive to provide quality and affordable services to its clients and is currently looking to expand its workforce and territory. They are always on the lookout for the newest trends in automation. For instance, they are exploring the possibility of offering collaborative robots small robots, table-type robots for downstream automation and packaging, et cetera to make life even simpler for their customers.