Gary Rheude, President of Adkev, Inc., Goodland, IN, was the guest speaker at the August 25 meeting of the Kentland Rotary Club.  Doug Morgan introduced Gary, by asking Rotarians if they were aware that Adkev produces injection molded parts that are in nearly every car and truck sold in the United States, that Adkev is the largest employer in Newton County (and one of the largest in White County), and has a broad array of manufacturing occupations in engineering, quality control, automation, tool and die, machine setup, machine operators, maintenance, and accounting.

Adkev began in 1987 with two employees and two molding machines in a former farm implement dealership building and has grown to two large, automated manufacturing facilities in Goodland and Monticello, where 300 employees and 114 molding machines operate, as well as a 25-employee tool and die shop located in Elkhart.  Adkev’s great success results from manufacturing processes that allow it to be competitive in a world economy, primarily serving the very demanding and time-sensitive assembly requirements of automobile and equipment manufacturers.  The company has earned numerous awards as well as recognition from manufacturers and national and international organizations.

Gary, raised in Goodland, studied Machine Trades at Vincennes University and Mechanical Engineering Technology at Purdue University.  Gary’s business partner, wife, Cathy, graduated from Indiana State University in Elementary Education and taught, locally, while working part-time in the business in accounting and human resources.  The company and her responsibilities grew, which required her to assume a full-time position in human resources and spend additional time at the Monticello location.  Gary and Cathy have two sons.  Adam, a Purdue Mechanical Engineering graduate, has joined the business in automation design and development. Kevin, a Purdue Turf Science graduate, is employed in the Lafayette area.

Gary addressed the club, speaking about the types and inherent characteristics of plastic used for various applications (structural strength, suitability for color and painting, lubricity for levers and bearings, and insulating for covers and cases), the intricate processes  of extrusion, rotational, vacuum-forming, blow-molding, and Adkev’s method of injection molding of all parts, in which plastic is melted through an extruder, with high pressure injecting the plastic into a mold cavity which is the shape and configuration of the part.  Further, insert molding is utilized by placing plastic around pins and bushings, stamping to add function to parts, and two-shot molding gives a plastic part a sealing surface or use as vibration dampening.  In the development stage of molded parts 3D printing is used.   To exemplify, Gary displayed an alternator cover, the amount of raw material required, and explained the process beginning with the setting up of and operating molding machines to the adding of metal and other synthetic parts through the use of sophisticated robotics and automation.  Gary invited the attendees to a plant tour following the meeting.

At the plant, Gary showed an array of Adkev products from interior center console modules for Honda and Toyota cars, to engine and electronic components.  The group then toured the production area where Rotarians observed mass production of various injection molded parts for numerous foreign and domestic customers, the intricate assembly by programmable machines, and the “zero defects” quality control approach achieved through the use of sensors, lasers, and other precision equipment.  Adkev produces over 400,000 pieces of injection molded parts every day, which is in excess of 100,000,000 pieces annually. Dedicated trucks leave Adkev daily for Tennessee, Kentucky, Arkansas, Michigan and Canada.  The key to Adkev’s success is the quality of product produced and the processes that are in place to prevent any defects from reaching the customer.


Rotarians asked wide-ranging questions about transportation, the labor force and skills needed, impact on economies ($12 million in salaries are injected locally), various risks to the business, and new technologies.   The tour was most informative, and the Rotarians appreciated learning about this important Newton County corporation.