Category Archive: Uncategorized

PPS Goes Solar!

Peoria Production Shop is officially off the electrical grid! We are utilizing our large rooftop to support a 400 kilowatt solar array for the next 25 years. The global solar energy industry is expected to record 14% growth in 2020 compared to the total solar capacity installed in 2019.

PPS has always been concerned with our environmental footprint. We have recycling programs for paper and plastic, while we repurpose and reuse wooden skids where we can. This is just the next big thing we have tackled.

CFO Beth Dailey is One of This Year’s 25 Women in Leadership

Beth Dailey is named one of this year’s 25 Women in Leadership. Beth is an outstanding CFO and has superior knowledge of accounting and financial management. She is a lifelong learner who never misses an opportunity to enhance her skills for the company’s success and the lives of our employees. 

Beth is an inspiration and role model for her four children, the community she serves, and the 175 employees of Peoria Production Shop. She is an inspiration as she juggles a demanding job, family commitments, and community volunteer activities. 

She is truly a servant leader in everything she does. She has embraced our mission of serving individuals with disabilities and is always looking for opportunities to improve their lives. 

For the past several years, Beth has partnered with METEC to provide hundreds of onsite free tax returns for our past and present employees and EPIC employees. She also completed tax returns for immediate and extended family members of EPIC and PPS employees. She has coordinated PPS volunteers, as well as other tax professionals to provide onsite tax returns saving thousands of dollars for our employees and others.

In addition to completing over a hundred tax returns every season, while doing her very demanding job at the same time, she also prepares free tax returns on the weekends at METEC and in her hometown of Canton. 

Beth’s way of serving has rubbed off on her employees. They will keep their ears open for employees who may be struggling and problem-solve to help them along the way.

On any given day, Beth may communicate with the IRS for an employee in trouble and another she will make arrangements for weekly deductions so an employee’s rent will get paid on time. Her staff volunteers to help with employee needs and are always willing to help in other departments as needed, just as she does.

Where there are difficult decisions to be made, her first statement will be, “Is this what is best for our employees?” This has been particularly evident as we have tackled the business issues that have come from dealing with the pandemic we are facing. 

PPS President One Year Anniversary

Dan LaTurno had big shoes to fill as Dick Peplow retired after 46 years as President of Peoria Production Shop. The new president came from a textile and for-profit background, therefore PPS was a fresh start. Not to mention, Dan was also able to bring new ideas to the company from past experience. 

Dan required all of his management team to participate in a Leadership Management Course to ensure all employees are on the same page. The 11-week course touches on time management, delegation, motivation, problem solving, and maximizing people’s potential. 

In his first year as the CEO, LaTurno made sure to create meaningful relationships with his employees. All throughout the week, each day, employees flood his office with important information and to simply ‘catch up’. Also, several of the employees who work in the plant make sure to stop by and say hello. Dan has made an effort to help out the employees outside of the typical work week by helping individuals move into their own apartments.

LaTurno wants to make a difference at PPS. He encourages open discussions and new ideas. Although this first year has been quite difficult regarding a pandemic, Dan is sure to learn from this experience and create more opportunities for the company.

Cheers to more years! PPS wants to thank you for a great first year.

Peoria Production Shop Earns EPA’s ENERGY STAR® Certification for Superior Energy Efficiency

Energy StarPeoria Production Shop, located at 2029 W. Townline Road in Peoria, IL is proud to announce that the organization has retained the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) ENERGY STAR certification, which signifies that the industrial facility performs in the top 25 percent of similar facilities nationwide for energy efficiency and meets strict energy efficiency performance levels set by the EPA. Peoria Production Shop has surpassed the mandatory top 25% threshold for certification and ranks in the top 10% for similar facilities, exceeding the requirement by 60%.

“Peoria Production Shop is pleased to accept EPA’s ENERGY STAR certification in recognition of our energy efficiency efforts,” said Richard Peplow, PPS President and CEO. Through this achievement, we have demonstrated our commitment to environmental stewardship while also lowering our energy costs. We are always seeking ways to lower our operating expenses, and provide better value to our customers through cost containment and continuous improvement.”

Retaining ENERGY STAR certification highlights Peoria Production’s status within the top 10 percent of Distribution Facilities in the nation with regard to energy performance. Peoria Production Shop improved its energy performance by managing energy strategically across the entire organization and by making cost-effective improvements to its facility. The north Peoria facility is the only facility in Peoria to attain this designation and receive certification from the EPA.

“Improving the energy efficiency of our nation’s industrial facilities is critical to protecting our environment, “ said Jean Lupinacci, Chief of the ENERGY STAR Commercial & Industrial Branch. “ From the plant floor to the board room, organizations are leading the way by making their facilities more efficient and earning EPA’s ENERGY STAR certification.”

To earn the ENERGY STAR, Peoria Production Shop took the following actions: Installed high efficient lighting throughout the facility, installed motion detectors in all private offices and warehouse racking aisles, updated the HVAC controls to better monitor temperature and occupancy of the facility, installed timers on Packaged Terminal Air Conditioners, and retrofitted exterior lighting to LED technology.

ENERGY STAR was introduced by EPA in 1992 as a voluntary, market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency. Today, the ENERGY STAR label can be found on more than 65 different kinds of products, 1.4 million new homes, and 20,000 commercial buildings and industrial plants that meet strict energy-efficiency specifications set by the EPA. Over the past twenty years, American families and businesses have saved more than $230 billion on utility bills and prevented more than 1.8 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions with help from ENERGY STAR.

Entec Services in Bartonville provided technical and engineering assistance to support Peoria Production Shop’s application as an Energy Star Facility. As part of the energy efficiency performance levels set by the EPA standard, personal comfort, air quality, and safety cannot be compromised in order to reduce energy consumption as was monitored and tested by Entec Services to support the application.

Peoria Production Shop is a 75-year-old organization providing employment to individuals with disabilities. The mission of PPS is to be the premiere employer of individuals with disabilities. The mission is accomplished by providing competitive wages and benefits in a safe, encouraging and respectful environment where employees can achieve persona success. The mission is sustained by operating as a self-sufficient, non-profit organization, providing valuable goods an services for customers by utilizing the unique talents of the employees.

For more information about ENERGY STAR Certification for Industrial Facilities visit www.energystar.gov/buildings/index.cfm.

Contact:
Dan LaTurno
President/CEO
Peoria Production Shop
2029 W. Townline Road
Peoria, IL 61615
Phone: (309) 693-2000
Direct: (309) 683-0701
rpeplow@peoriapros.com

It’s Time to Stretch!

Time to Stretch In WorkshopPeoria Production Shop focuses on quality and employee mental and physical wellbeing. That is the forefront of our corporate culture.

Stretching is a vital part of a healthy fitness regimen. Before beginning a shift, it is important to stretch and warm up to reduce the risk of musculoskeletal injuries by reducing fatigue, improving muscular balance and posture, and improving muscle coordination.

The employees on the floor begin each day with a departmental quality meeting and stretching to help them prepare for the shift.

Musculoskeletal injuries can be costly to a company. These injuries result in medical bills, lost production time, and a ruined safety culture. Instead, PPS takes the proactive approach to prevent these injuries from occurring.

Likewise, to continue to promote a safe environment for our employees. Employees lead stretching immediately after lunch breaks. The company wants to give employees the opportunity to stretch and refresh before the second half of the work day.

The series of stretches increases blood supply, joint mobility, and decreases tightness that might have built up. By participating in stretching our employees improve muscle coordination, which overall correlates with production for the facility.

In addition, the office staff participates in a stretching series as well. Sitting at an office desk, staring at a computer screen all day takes its toll on the body. That is why the office management team decided to join in on the fun. All PPS staff have a stretching book created by a special education teacher who researched the ergonomics of each job position at the facility.

PPS looked into the ergonomics of the facility. In other words, the company wanted to design or modify the work to fit the worker, not the other way around. It is all about creating a safe and healthy working environment.

Bradley University Engineering Students Research PPS Auto-Bagging System

Recently, a group of three Bradley University engineering students conducted a lean assessment for the auto-bagging system. The three students; Lauren Boden, Holly Korte, and Adam Heintzman met with their professor Joseph Chen at the Peoria Production Shop facility.

The team of students gathered data regarding the current process used at the facility. The process begins with receiving, goes through sorting, then to several bagging and picking. The products are then packaged and ready to be shipped out.

The students created a process flow and a process chart for the multi-bagging area. After many calculations and analyses, the team concluded there are some areas for improvement. For instance, there is an over processing of waste. During downtime, waste accumulates in the bagging areas. The students recommended a redistribution of workers when waiting.

Another issue the students discovered is the long changeover time between parts on the automatic machines. The students suggested reducing the guess and check method to speed up the processes.

Likewise, they found that there was extra movement around cupping and bagging which could potentially result in damage to the products. They recommended the two areas be combined into one cell to reduce the movement.

All in all, the Bradley engineering students proposed a Kanban system floor plan. Each area of proposed solutions would provide the company with around $98,000 in savings.

Peoria Production Shop is looking into the areas mentioned above and will act accordingly. Additionally, PPS is a company who strives to find solutions for clients so we are thankful that a local university is interested in providing services and continuing to educate students.