As Dordan Manufacturing, a third generation family-owned company that makes its home in Woodstock, celebrates 55 years in business, it’s obvious family is still very much the heart of the company. These family ties were what helped the custom thermoforming company get its start in 1962 in Chicago, and they continue to bind the company together today in Woodstock.
When Edwin and Vivian Slavin opened Dordan in a small storefront shop on Elston Avenue, Chicago, in 1962, they probably never imagined it would grow to span 50,000 square feet in Woodstock, with 50 employees. A commitment to outstanding quality and engineering-based thermoform designs has helped make the company what it is today.
The company, named for their daughter Doree, and son, Daniel, took a progressive turn when Daniel was appointed CEO and president in the mid-’70s. With technological foresight, Daniel invested in CAM/CNC produced tooling and microprocessor-based thermoformers. He moved the company to Woodstock in the early 1990s.
“My dad is very honest and respected,” said Chandler Slavin, sustainability, marketing and account manager for Dordan. “He is primarily involved with the strategic growth of the company.”
The granddaughter of Edwin and Vivian Slavin, Chandler Slavin represents the third generation to work at Dordan.
Chandler’s brother Aric Slavin is the sales manager at Dordan and her brother-in-law, Daniel Haavig, is in charge of quality control. Although no longer involved with the company, Vivian is still alive at 101 years-old.
“She’s a sassy lady,” said Chandler Slavin. “I’m working on writing her back into the history of the company.”
Simply stated, the thermoforming process takes rolls of plastic sheeting, runs them through a machine that heats the plastic that is then shaped by precisely engineered and machined tools and die-cut inline to create plastic casings that are used for packaging products for health care, electronics, retail, automotive and industrial end markets and industries.
Dordan specializes in custom orders. A typical run can range from 1,000 to 500,000 pieces on one of 11 in-line thermoforming machines with the capacity to convert 75 million pounds of material annually.
Recent advances include changing all sheet product used by the company to recyclable materials, the introduction of the first robotic platform to perform automated striping, stacking and inspecting.
Dordan also is investigating the possibility of moving into the medical device market. “We find it marries well with our core capabilities,” said Chandler Slavin. “It’s a natural progression as we move forward.”
“The reason we’re still around is because we offer outstanding service, quality and pricing,” said Chandler Slavin. “We really care because we’re a family company.”