Principal - Don Aikin
Don Aikin is an experienced Mechanical Engineering
30 years in the custom plastics molding industry.
His experience covers the areas of Project
Management, Plant Engineering, Product Development
& Design, plus sales and marketing of custom blow molded industrial products and carrying cases.
Don is also experienced in the
implementation of lean manufacturing tools,
especially 5S and Standard Work.
Project Don has managed came in under
budget, and achieved or exceeded the planned ROI.
Upon receiving his BSME from North Carolina State University, Don began his engineering career as a mechanical designer for the consulting firm of Whitman, Requardt and Associates. At Whitman, he learned the design of HVAC systems for water and wastewater treatment facilities, the major processes involved in water and wastewater treatment and the fundamentals of project management.
Moving into the manufacturing field, Don joined Airmold / W.R. Grace, a leading producer of double wall blow molded cases and industrial products, in 1976. There he held positions in project engineering and plant engineering as well as management of the design and tooling department and later the sales and marketing area. During his career with Grace, Don led the start up of an in-house mold making operation, directed the search for, acquisition and implementation of the company’s first CAD program (Unigraphics) and was project manager for the design and fabrication of the company’s first coextrusion equipment for conductive cases.
While holding the position of Sales and Marketing Manager,
Don increased sales 20% and completed the Executive Leadership Program at the Center for Creative Leadership in Greensboro, NC.
Don joined Delta Consolidated Industries, a Danaher company, in 1995 as Engineering and Tooling Manager of Delta’s OEM Blow Molding business unit. In 1997, Don managed the project for the design, fabrication and installation of 6 custom designed blow molding machines and associated auxiliary equipment and infrastructure upgrades. Project timeline from machine concept to last machine running production was 8 months. Don gained experience in lean manufacturing and business management using the Danaher Business System, a set of tools developed by the corporation to improve operational performance in all functional areas of a business unit.
In addition to his engineering duties, Don served as Director of Sales and Marketing from 2002 to 2004, leading the company through a transition from primarily double walled case business to more industrial product business due to the decline in case demand. In 2005, with the arrival of a full time sales manager, Don assumed responsibility for the Quality Department, where he learned the PPAP process, required of automotive suppliers.
When Danaher decided to exit the custom blow molding business in 2006, Don was the project manager for the closing of the business. Scope of work included engaging an industrial auction company to sell assets, selling of selected assets to other molders through his industry contacts and overseeing the work of contractors cleaning out the plant and making various final repairs to the building.