PLASTOR SA is today one of the most important privately-owned producers of plastic ware in Romania. Experience in the field of plastics, gathered ever since 1914, and the high quality of plastic products allowed the development, expansion and enlarging of activity fields.
Beginnings and evolution
There are little companies that can take pride with a long history, and even less that have existed and developed continuously for 100 years. The Oradea-based Plastor, which specializes in the processing of plastic, is one of them.
The company was established in Oradea by a trader in 1914, the same location in which it stands today, and first manufactured hairpins and combs of natural materials. The technologies and product range developed in the years to come, so that by the end of World War II, the factory employed 188 workers and produced, besides the initial products, cigarette cases, table tennis balls, shoehorns, sunglasses, etc.
The follwing years first brought nationalization, then multiple consolidations with small local enterprises. In the ’50s, the company was called the Bihor Plastics Industry and had in its portfolio toys, various domestic articles of plastic and brushes, paint brushes and mason’s brushes. These were continued, still in the sixth decade, by the manufacturing of moulds and dies, an activity which would develop significantly at a later time. The manufacturing of plastics skyrocketed in the next decade, which also brought investments in facilities and buildings. In the ’70s, the company was named I.I.S. Viitorul Oradea, a name which would become widely known in the country.
The year 1989 found the factory with more than 20,000 employees and in the position of the largest toy producer in the country, in addition to brushes, brooms, cans, containers, sheets, single filaments, zippers, stickers, etc.
After the privatization in 1994, the company which was already named Plastor SA began a large reorganization process, turning in the 11 company group of today, each company being focused on a certain market segment.
The mother company, Plastor SA, is specialized in the processing of plastics by injection and extrusion-blowing, and on the design and execution of dies for the two technologies. Besides these, it carried out different types of processes, mainly the assembly of sub-assemblies and finished products, but also stencil printing, pad printing or hot printing.
The continued concern for the increase of the company’s abilities and its technological level allowed access to mature markets and inclusion in the customer portfolio of resounding names. From Bosch to Mahle or Continental and from Flextronics and Alstom to Salomon and Atomic, all these companies buy automotive parts, electric and electronic devices parts or winter sports equipments from Plastor Oradea.
The Oradea company is an example not solely by its age, but also by the courage with which it faced constant challenges in its long history. The radical change of the market segment, which took place several times, is just one of them. The leap from the production of simple or mechanic toys to parts for vehicles manufactured by Mercedes, Ford or Volkswagen was neither simple nor obstacle free. First, it involved an increase in the skills of the personnel, from junior operators to most qualified engineers, then the retooling of the company with state of the art technologies enabling it to compete with established Western European companies, and maybe most difficult of all, changing the mentalities of the employees and training them to comply with the high quality standards in the field.
The manner in which Plastor understood to do business by showing respect for both customers and its own employees is part of its success. Among the company values declared by its management, the most important one is its people, which make everything possible. Growing the loyalty of employees, promotion to management positions of own employees who fully assimilated its culture, the provision of good working conditions and attractive salaries are constant matters of concern for the management and, maybe, some aspects that make the difference between the Bihor company and other similar companies.
Perspectives and policies
What are the future plans of these ambitious Oradea people who stubbornly lived and developed in a quite hostile economic environment, a globalized economy in which competition is increasingly fierce?
The answer comes directly from the company’s general manager, engineer Ion Sereș:
"As we declared in our company’s manifesto, we strongly believe in the endurance of this company as we believe in our people and their capacity to work and to mobilize, as shown in many difficult moments.
We wish to keep developing our abilities, so that besides taking part in the technical optimization of our products together with our clients, to become able to provide in the future full product design services, to maintain complex processes for the development of subassemblies and products for all our fields: automotive, electronics, electro-technical.
We believe that permanently investing in technology is a must in order to keep up with our competitors, who nowadays are not just traditional Romanian companies, but practically any company in the world with a similar activity. This is no easy task, because we are a Romanian privately owned company which competes with Western corporations that have much more consistent material resources.
We will continue our participations to fairs and exhibitions both in the country (despite their small number) and abroad. We are traditional participants to Expo Plast Bucharest, but also to Fakuma in Friedrichshafen or Euromold in Frankfurt. This year, we will take part for the first time to Automechanika in Frankfurt and Automotive Hungary in Budapest.
We are staunch in our beliefs that despite the skyrocketing of the Internet or mobile phones, face to face meetings between people and an honest handshake between two business partners are the key to a successful cooperation."
Ion Sereş,Plastor SA Oradea General Manager
"There are many reasons for which some companies endure, while others fall into oblivion. Plastor of Oradea found a way to exist and develop in its first one hundred years. We wish it to celebrate its second centennial with as many accomplishments!"
eng. Lavinia Popuş, Head of the Marketing Department at Plastor SA