PolyOne Continues To Leave Its Mark Through Collaboration
By Jade Moldae
Through a partnership with PolyOne, Taurus introduced the Spectrum earlier this year. Soft-touch proprietary polymers were used to improve grip retention of this .380 semi-auto in wet or dry conditions, which serves to benefit concealed carry users.
Innovation in any industry serves as a catalyst to create excitement among consumers, while elevating the brand of the innovator. This certainly holds true in this industry, with manufacturers pushing the envelope through technological advances and collaborative efforts. One company that has excelled in collaboration with others is PolyOne — a global company that has played a major role in helping firearm and other manufacturers develop polymer products.
PolyOne’s presence in the industry has advanced significantly in recent years. In December 2015, the company announced the creation of the Outdoor High Performance Solutions team — led by General Manager Michael Bradley. In an interview with Shooting Industry, Bradley described PolyOne’s experience inside the industry.
“We’ve learned this dynamic set of industries is quite open to collaboration, and welcomes new material and design solutions,” he shared. “Manufacturers are looking for innovation at the consumer level and as a result of our capabilities, we’re able to make a real difference here.”
Bradley relayed the Outdoor High Performance Solutions team has been effective in meeting the needs of its customers because many team members are well acquainted with companies’ product through use in the field.
“Our team was built from those experienced in the shooting sports, and this composition has truly helped us to better serve customers. Because we’re both enthusiasts and materials and design experts, we’re able to understand consumer needs, and offer solutions that will meet those needs. Our customers value these insights, as well as the positive response from end users,” he said.
PolyOne has worked with several industry manufacturers — which has resulted in successful collaborations alongside the likes of Taurus, O.F. Mossberg & Sons, Umarex, HIVIZ Shooting Systems and more. These partners were very complimentary in relaying their experiences with the company.
“Innovation has become a driving force as we continue to develop new products for today’s demanding customers,” said David Blenker, Taurus CEO. “Through our strategic partnership with PolyOne, Taurus continues to reach new benchmarks in our product development, design and workflow process.”
“In today’s environment, customer service rates second only to innovation. PolyOne not only meets these criteria but exceeds our highest expectations with regards to providing a greater experience as we explore new materials, technology and manufacturing,” said Rick Bednar, TenPoint Crossbow Technologies president and CEO. “They’ve helped us deliver a greater experience to our consumers with TenPoint products.”
“From their knowledgeable team to their years of experience with material selection and molding, PolyOne is just a phone call away and always willing to help with any issue we might run into,” stated Mike Harbison, Safariland Group plant manager. “Collaborating with PolyOne has offered us the confidence and the know-how to continue innovating in this dynamic industry.”
“The depth and breadth of expertise and service that PolyOne provides has been vital for the development of innovative products for Mossberg. We completely trust their team ofprofessionals to maintain confidentiality while working with our other vendors,” noted Bill Lutton, Mossberg VP of engineering. “From material supply to advanced product design and technology, PolyOne has been there to help.”
(Editor’s Note: These additional customer testimonials were only made available here on Shooting Industry’s website.)
“In our industry, relationships are key. Listening to the needs of customers and understanding their future goals and objectives is instrumental. PolyOne is just that type of collaborator,” said Adam Blalock, CEO of Walther Arms. “As a team, they’re incredible at listening and learning — completely immersing themselves into our organization and markets. They were able to play an integral role in reigniting our product development to create market-distruptive innovations and greater customer experience.”
“Base on my 40 years in the plastics industry, PolyOne stands out as an excellent materials provider,” informed Paul Rudman of Mission First Tactical. “They’ve helped with sales, materials inventory management for multiple molding vendors, tech support and troubleshooting, as well as design support. All of these factors have enabled us to bring to market nearly 40 new products in the last six years.”
“Working with PolyOne has been a pleasure from the get-go,” shared Phillip D. Howe, president and CEO of HIVIZ Shooting Systems. “From polymers for our shotgun sights to soft-touch materials for our recoil pads, PolyOne has proven over and over they’re easy to do business with while providing a wide range of materials and product design support.”
A Long-Term Impact
Will PolyOne’s presence in this industry be for the long term?
“We believe so,” Bradley answered. “We’ve established ourselves in the shooting sports, and with the addition of Gordon Composites [acquired by PolyOne in July 2016], have demonstrated our commitment to archery customers. We continue to look for ways to innovate in archery, firearms and accessory applications.”
Bradley sees plenty of growth opportunities for the company over the next few years.
“Wherever polymers can replace steel and aluminum while meeting or exceeding current quality standards and specifications, we will find opportunities for PolyOne to become a key asset,” he concluded.