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IPS Testing was recently named to Inc. magazine’s annual Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing companies in America as it continues to grow through providing independent testing and analytical services to customers in the paper, packaging, nonwovens and consumer products industries both nationwide and internationally.
Celebrating its 25th anniversary last month, Wisconsin-based IPS Testing has experienced a period of unprecedented success in recent years despite the challenges of an economic recession.
The company has recorded consistent increases in annual revenue and doubled in size since 2010 by expanding its staff from 35 to nearly 70 employees.
“Part of our success is that we have not lost focus on our key markets of paper and nonwovens,” said Chris Reitmeyer, vice president of IPS Testing. “IPS has continued to expand its services based on the unmet needs of our clients, predominantly in the consumer products and packaging markets.”
Anticipating the need to accommodate additional consumer products testing, IPS Testing expanded its facility by 4,000 square feet in 2012 and added a state-of-the-art flushability laboratory. The lab became the first to achieve ISO 17025 Accreditation for the services it provides in testing wipe products – a market that has seen rapid growth – to determine if they meet flushability standards.
IPS Testing’s rank on the 2014 Inc. 5000 list was also achieved as the company continues to expand its nonwovens testing services to keep pace with the industry’s significant growth.
“While nonwovens are used largely in consumer products such as wet wipes and diapers, their use has expanded greatly as nonwovens are also found in surgical gowns, filtration, automotive applications and others,” according to Bruce Shafer, president of IPS Testing. “The consumer products market is very competitive and IPS Testing has helped improve the quality of millions of products through testing.”
Another factor in the company’s trend for growth is the added sustainability initiatives and requirements that drive the need for ongoing testing. Regulation at a global level is affecting recyclability, food packaging and other areas.
Shafer noted that it used to be more common for companies to have their own internal testing labs, but the two major drawbacks to this were the tremendous maintenance costs and the questions involved with using internally-generated data. “By using independent laboratories, the cost of testing is deferred until needed and the data generated is unbiased,” he explained.
As IPS Testing pursues new opportunities, it also focuses on its origins. “Evaluation of paper and paper-based products is our roots,” Shafer said. “Certain sectors of the paper industry such as packaging and tissue and towel are very strong. Email may have reduced the need for fine paper, but a computer won’t replace tissue and towel, which the growing population is driving the demand for.”
The primary client base for IPS Testing included paper mills and manufacturers in its earliest days, but today, it has expanded to include everyone in the supply chain, including converters, printers and retailers.
“Right now, we foresee that the aging baby boomer generation coupled with an overall growth in global population will drive the need for many products in the paper and nonwovens sectors such as diapers and adult incontinence products, which will in turn likely lead to a need for more product testing,” Shafer said. “Trends like this are what will help guide the continued growth of IPS Testing through the next 25 years.”