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Do your products have UV stabilizers?

Many plastics are attacked by ultraviolet radiation and products made from them could crack or disintegrate if they are not made UV stable. Ultraviolet rays interact with the carbon bonds in plastics to form free radicals, which then react further with oxygen in the atmosphere. The exposed surfaces of products then discolor and crack. In extreme cases, complete product disintegration can occur. UV damage can be prevented by adding anti-UV chemicals to the plastic when mixing the ingredients prior to molding. UV stabilizers absorb the UV radiation and dissipate the energy as low-level heat, preventing the formation of free radicals. Every product we manufacture receives a UV stabilizer. Every one of our colored products receives it as chemical component of the colorant. We do make some custom parts with no color added – those “natural” parts get clear UV stabilizers added in absence of the colorant. This helps to ensure our products will last for years. We want our customers to get the most out of their investment. We still have pool ladders in use that we made in the 1980s – and they look great! A lot of plastics manufacturers DON’T add UV stabilizers. One of our biggest competitors who makes pool steps overseas doesn’t use it to save money, and their parts fade and crack after a year or two of service. A lot of toy makers and kids’ furniture manufacturers don’t use it not only to save money, but also because they want their products to fade. There’s a reason why reds fade to pink, and yellows to blah – that discourages re-sale at garage sales...

The new Flexible Spa Panel

A new item by Confer Plastics that has been gaining a lot of attention from retailers and servicemen alike is the new Flexible Spa Panel replacement kit. The Flexible Spa Panel Kit consists of rolls of replacement panels that are easily installed by cutting to height and wrapping around the existing framework of any 8’x8’ or less spa. Confer Plastics is able to roll their experience of manufacturing cabinetry for spa OEMs perfectly into this new product that is available to distributors, dealers, and service technicians. Contact Confer today for your purchasing...

Leadership Niagara tours Confer Plastics

Forty-four members of this year’s Leadership Niagara class toured Confer Plastics on February 7th as a part of their Manufacturing Day. The participants were able to walk the factory floor and see a variety of products being made. For most, this day was their first look at the inner workings of a manufacturing environment. They also heard from our vice-president Bob Confer who talked about leadership in organizations and in communities. This was just one stop on their full day of small business & leadership activities. They also hear from Joe Urban — who gave them a tour of Platter’s Chocolates and spoke about his brand of leadership. Leadership Niagara is a year-long leadership training program for adults who represent a cross section of Niagara County; including business, labor, education, the arts, religion, government, community based organizations, ethnic and minority groups.They meet for daylong sessions held each month addressing diverse, local needs. LN focuses on helping participants to enhance their understanding and recognition of what our community lacks to become a better place to live and work, followed by becoming involved and making it happen. The program provides opportunities for participants to develop their own personal leadership styles and networking opportunities. More information can be found at: http://www.leadershipniagara.com/ If your community organization would like to tour our factory send an e-mail to Bob Confer at...

Weather notice for Second Shift (Wednesday, February 6, 2019)

Weather notice for Second Shift (Wednesday, February 6, 2019):   The ice storm has made for some treacherous driving (and even walking!) in Niagara County. We will be in production tonight but travel at your own risk. If you won’t be coming in because of the weather you must call the factory phone and leave a message. 716.695.1023. If you are a second shifter who isn’t working today, it will count as an excused absence.   Conditions are supposed to improve through the afternoon and into the evening so, as it stands now, 3rd shift should report as scheduled. If the icy weather lingers, check back on Facebook for a message for...

Shipping delays due to January’s winter storm

Just so our customers from across North America and around the world understand why we haven’t, for the most part, been shipping out product this week: We have a little bit of weather problem in Western New York. Our plant was for awhile at the northern edge of the lake effect snows that had created blizzard conditions in nearby Buffalo and Batavia. You can see the wall of lake effect clouds in the background of the first photo. The second photo shows the height of the piles of snow around our parking lot. Because of the snow and wind, there have been driving bans for tractor trailers in the area of Buffalo and Batavia and we’ve been unable to get tractor trailers in or out of our plant and 2 warehouses. Next week looks like a heat wave (temps in the 40s) so we’ll be back to full...

Winter storm update: Wednesday, January 30, 2019; 1:20 PM

Winter storm update for our coworkers: Wednesday, January 30, 2019; 1:20 PM Wednesday: The Walden warehouse is closed. The main plant and the Liberty Drive warehouse are open. If there is a ban where you live or drive through, don’t come in. If there is a travel advisory where you live or drive through, travel at your own discretion. Any absence for snow is considered an excused absence. Just make sure you let your foreman know at 716.695.1023. Thursday: We can only assume that the tractor-trailer ban is still on for Route 219 and the Thruway well into Thursday, so, once again, the Walden warehouse will be closed Thursday. The factory and Liberty warehouse will both be open Thursday. But, the Walden closures sets off a chain reaction for the main plant. With no way to clear out our trailers and get kayaks to Walden, we cannot make kayaks on Thursday, so we will focus only on products that can go to Liberty Drive. With three big machines down, we won’t need so many people. That said, if you’d like to call-in for Thursday as another snow day, you can do so. But if you call in Wednesday for Thursday, clearly tell the foreman (or Wild Bill if he answers the phone) that you are calling in for Thursday. Anyone who does report to work at the plant Thursday will have work available. Again on Thursday, if there is a ban where you live or drive through, don’t come in. If there is a travel advisory where you live or drive through, travel at your own discretion. Any absence...

Walden facility closed on 1/30/2019

Because of the tractor trailer access routes to and from our warehouse on Walden Avenue in Cheektowaga being closed tonight and tomorrow, our Walden facility will be closed on Wednesday, January 30th. Our North Tonawanda factory and Wheatfield warehouse will both be open. If you work at either of those two facilities, be sure to follow our standard snow...

Snow storm report for January 30 and 31, 2019

This map shows the anticipated snowfall from Tuesday (January 29th) through Thursday (January 31st). Wednesday and Thursday are going to be incredibly dicey for our coworkers who comes from Buffalo, Williamsville, and puts south…lots of snow, lots of wind. As for anyone coming from anywhere in Niagara County, it will be a relatively stress-free commute because we’re being spared the lake snows. So, we’ll be open for sure. BUT, anyone coming from Erie County should play it by ear on Wednesday and Thursday. If you live in Erie County and there is a driving BAN there, do not come in, even though we will be open. If you live in Erie County and there is a travel ADVISORY only there, travel at your discretion. If you are not coming in, leave a message on the factory phone so the foreman knows: 716.695.1023. Any missed work because of a ban or advisory in Erie County will count as an excused...

Where did the idea for the 7200 Roll-Guard come from?

  A lot of customers like the design of the 7200 ladder which has the patented Roll-Guard safety feature which encloses the treads so kids can’t enter the swimming pool when unsupervised. Where did that idea come from? Our design engineer Dave Lipniarski refurbishes and sells antiques on the evenings and weekends. One day, he was working on a roll top desk and thought that would be a great way to enclose our ladder. You never know where an inspiration will come...

Visit us at the 2019 Pool & Spa Show

Next week we are exhibiting at the 33rd annual Atlantic City based Pool and Spa Show from January 29th – 31st, 2019.   Featured in our booth will be our popular Curve aboveground and inground step systems, as well as our very successful 7200 Roll-Guard ladder and spa steps.   We will also display our brand-new flexible panel kit that allows spa and hot tub owners to refurbish their weathered, beaten cabinets inexpensively.   Stop by booth 3025 to say “hi” to Dennis, Bruce, Jack and our sales reps.   For more information about the show, run by the Northeast Pool Spa Association, visit the NEPSA website at:...

Confer Plastics turns 46

Today is the 46th anniversary of the founding of Confer Plastics. It all started when the late Ray Confer took a job with Norton Laboratories in Lockport where he dabbled in plastics chemistry and product design during what were the formative years of the plastics industry. There, he caught the plastics bug and wanted to do more. So, in the mid-1960’s Ray put down his savings – and leveraged his home and farm – towards the purchase of plastics molding equipment. Renting space behind a small machine shop in North Tonawanda, he and his business partner, Pete Schurman, created a small company called Air Mold where they further developed blow molding technologies. A few years later, Ray opened another firm, Air Lock Plastics in Tonawanda, and brought on a couple of associates/investors. In the early 1970’s Ray decided to go out on his own. Well, actually he was forced out – by a partner at Air Lock who voted him out and said “take your little machine and leave”. (That little machine built in 1957? We still have it today and it runs like a clock. Air Lock, our competitor? They went out of business in the late 1990s.) So, Ray and Doug founded Confer Plastics, Inc. on January 22nd, 1973 with the promise of it being a family business with no outside partners. From 1973 to 1986 the company could be found off East Ave in North Tonawanda in the Roblin Steel complex. In 1986 we moved to our current location. Since then, we’ve expanded that manufacturing complex on three occasions, adding space for more – and larger...

Weather update for January 21, 2019

The winter storm came and went, but we’re still feeling the effects, especially on country roads where the wind is drifting the snow badly. Luckily, almost all of first shift (foremen, machine operators, inspectors, and material handlers) is scheduled to start today at 11:00 AM due to scheduled preventive maintenance on the chiller system. By then the winds should be less and the roads navigable. So, come in as planned. But, there is still a good number of people reporting at their regular time this morning (office, shipping, machinists, set-up), some who need special consideration based on their travels. City folk (Niagara Falls, the Tonawandas, Kenmore, Amherst, etc), you’ll be fine. But, anyone coming from rural communities (you guys and gals who live in Gasport, Newfane, Ransomville) you can start at 11:00 with the others, if you’d like…or anytime before that. The rural roads are bad this morning, take your time. Leave when the winds die down. 2nd and 3rd shift, come to work as regularly...