Letter: The legacy of HPM

June 24, 2014

Dear Editor;

Anyone driving west out Route 95 will pass what was once a giant of a manufacturing facility. To those of us who spent a lifetime working there have to be sad as to what they see.

I would like to share some of my thoughts as to what once was.

When HPM was first started, they built upright metal working and salt block presses. This was good for the time.

When plastics burst upon the scene, there were those who had the foresight to recognize the tremendous potential of this material, and the plastics injection machine was born.

We quickly one of the premiere manufactures of this machine.

Our service department became one the best.

We enjoyed a hand-in-hand mentality with our customers and when they had a problem with our presses, many times they would come to the plant and, in consultation with our engineering department, go over the problem until a solution was established.

The customer was never charged for this.

Then came the explosion of the computer. This had both good and bad aspects which were detrimental to the philosophy we had exhibited so well.

Rather than doing what was needed to take of the customer in as short a time as possible, it became required to to integrate long set procedures. This slowed our ability to take care of customers in the way we had always done.

We acquired a Stamping press company and this, as well die casting machines we also built, had their affect on the plastic machines and, slowly and surely, the once proud machine we built fell into the same fate so many things today become a result of.

All this together eventually created the sad spectacle we now see… a structure of glass, metal and bricks that can’t tell the story of so many lives who were once a big part of what was a giant.

William Bowman, Mt. Gilead