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Mitsubishi Polyester celebrates 50 years growing, innovating in Greer

By Jim Fair, Editor
Published on Thursday, September 25, 2014

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Speakers at the Mitsubishi Polyester Film 50th Anniversary celebration were, left to right: Jennifer Noel (South Carolina Department of Commerce), Kazuo Sunaga (Consulate General of Japan) Bill Radlein (President/COO MPF), Takumi Ubagai (CEO Mitsubishi Plastics, Inc.) Dennis Trice (CEO, MPF), and Rick Danner (Greer Mayor).
 

Jim Fair

Speakers at the Mitsubishi Polyester Film 50th Anniversary celebration were, left to right: Jennifer Noel (South Carolina Department of Commerce), Kazuo Sunaga (Consulate General of Japan) Bill Radlein (President/COO MPF), Takumi Ubagai (CEO Mitsubishi Plastics, Inc.) Dennis Trice (CEO, MPF), and Rick Danner (Greer Mayor).

 



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Mayor Rick Danner presents a plaque to Bill Radlein, President and COO of Mitsubishi Polyester Film celebrating MPF's 50th Anniversary in Greer.
 

Jim Fair

Mayor Rick Danner presents a plaque to Bill Radlein, President and COO of Mitsubishi Polyester Film celebrating MPF's 50th Anniversary in Greer.

 



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Some of the Greer contingent at the 50th anniversary of Mitsubishi Polyester Film are, front row, left to right: Rep. Tommy Stringer (District 18), Rep. Mike Burns (District 17), Fire Chief Chris Harvey and City Administrator Ed Driggers.
 

Jim Fair

Some of the Greer contingent at the 50th anniversary of Mitsubishi Polyester Film are, front row, left to right: Rep. Tommy Stringer (District 18), Rep. Mike Burns (District 17), Fire Chief Chris Harvey and City Administrator Ed Driggers.

 



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Mitsubishi Polyester Film board of trustee members traveled from Japan to attend Thursday's 50th anniversary celebration.
 

Jim Fair

Mitsubishi Polyester Film board of trustee members traveled from Japan to attend Thursday's 50th anniversary celebration.

 



The 50th anniversary of Mitsubishi Polyester Film (MPF) commemorated the launch of an infant film plant in Greer in that grew into a North American giant producing innovative lines of polyester films.

Bill Radlein, President and COO of the Greer plant, mentioned the uniqueness of a manufacturer to exist producing the same product half a century later in the same location.

“It is rare in the U.S. these days for a company to manufacture the same product in the same location for more than 50 years. With our technology and the skill of our people, we always have opportunities to differentiate and bring value to our customers. And the support we receive from the Greer community and the state of South Carolina provides us with the advantages to compete in a global environment.”

The plant was announced in June 1963 with construction beginning later that year. Hiring began in 1964 and about 100 employees were on site to start the 95,000-square-foot plant with two production lines. The first roll of polyester film was produced on Nov. 5, 1964. Early products were microfilm and video film that have since gone away.

Today, MPF, an Americas’ affiliate of Mitsubishi Plastics, Inc. offers a wide array of polyester films for existing markets such as industrial labels and liners, flexible packaging, and also for many of today’s new emerging markets in energy and electronics.

MPF employs more than 600 in a one million square-foot facility with 11 production lines manufacturing films and polymers on 190 acres. The plant recovers waste returning it into the manufacturing process.

The availability of well-trained employees, a strong technical education system, transportation infrastructure, proximity to other Celanese plants and the overall quality of life in the area were factors in the selection of Greer.

“We have grown up together, adapted together and changed together,” said Greer Mayor Rick Danner.

“Constantly innovating has been and will continue to be the key to the success of our business in Greer,” said CEO Dennis Trice. “By keeping abreast of the changing market trends and then introducing new innovative products for new emerging applications, we have been able to adjust and prosper in an ever changing global market.”

The ceremony included executives and board of trustees members from Mitsubishi Plastics, Inc., the parent company headquartered in Japan.

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley proclaimed Sept. 25 as Mitsubishi Polyester Film Day.

Introduced were six employees who have been with the Greer plant, averaging 40-plus years each, for a total of 250 years.

Sam Floyd who spent his career at the Greer plant said, “The impact (MPF) had on the lives and stories of employees is mind boggling. As you go through your career here you don’t see the big picture until you live it.”

MPF has been a big player in the community, contributing to non-profits, employees serving on community boards, purchasing a $300,000 fire truck for the Hood Road fire station, adjacent to Mitsubishi Polyester, and a burn tower that provides training for upstate fire departments.

 

 

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