Press Release

Unique Plastics Manufacturing Automation Solution Earns Second Consecutive Innovation Award
Upskilling in Flexible Automation Solves Labor Shortages, Streamlines High-Mix Production

ALEXANDRIA, Minn. (January 12, 2024) – Beacon Engineered Solutions, formerly Donnelly Custom Manufacturing Company, is pleased to announce its innovative approach to integrating automation systems into its manufacturing operations was recognized with a second consecutive Innovation Award from the Manufacturers Association of Plastic Processors (MAPP). The company earned second place in the Labor Solutions category presented at the 2023 Benchmarking and Best Practices Conference on October 6, 2023. The peer-voted designation celebrates best practices that help manufacturers stay ahead in competitive industries.

The award-winning innovation was developed by Beacon Engineered Solutions’ 4DX Automation Team with a goal of reducing labor dependence. This presented a particular challenge given the company’s high-mix, small batch manufacturing environment. The team needed to find a ‘flexible’ solution to run at least five-to-ten different parts for an acceptable return on investment. Given the need to adapt this automation on an ongoing basis, Beacon Engineered Solutions relied on its internal team’s talents and expertise instead of an automation house to find the right solution.

As a result, the team successfully implemented flexible automation that will save Beacon Engineered Solutions 11,000 labor hours annually while managing the complexities associated with 1,900 active molds and an average of 25-40 mold setups per day on 39 injection molding presses.

“We are honored that our peers in MAPP recognized our innovative approach to tackling the industry’s workforce challenges,” said General Manager Jerry Bienias. “With our longest runs at only 300 hours and an average run being about 15 hours across injection molding, insert molding and over molding, we needed a distinct solution that could justify the investment. We’re proud of the team’s creativity and teamwork to overcome constraints and master manufacturing complexities for our customers.”

The ninth annual MAPP Innovation Award Competition focused on the theme of automated manufacturing solutions. Members of the plastic processing industry association entered submissions demonstrating smart manufacturing and labor solutions at their facilities.

Learn more about Beacon Engineered Solutions’ unique value to its customers at


About Beacon Engineered Solutions

Beacon Engineered Solutions is a plastics contract manufacturer focused on mastering production complexities throughout the product lifecycle. Leveraging decades of engineering expertise, the company successfully launches new products, manages ongoing production, and carefully adjusts deliveries to meet customers’ evolving needs across the Industrial, Electrical, and Aerospace & Defense markets – and beyond. Offering upfront engineering services supplemented with the operational excellence needed to support the many permutations, combinations and gyrations of high mix, small batch manufacturing, Beacon Engineered Solutions is uniquely positioned to solve manufacturing complexities for its customers. The company is located in Alexandria, Minn. To learn more, visit

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