Quarterly Mags: 2007 2nd

SECOND QUARTER 2007, VOLUME 26, NUMBER 2

™
A JOURNAL OF THE THERMOFORMING DIVISION OF THE SOCIETY OF PLASTICS ENGINEERS
“WINNER 2003, 2004 & 2005 AWARD OF EXCELLENCE”

The success of this conference is attributable in a large part to
the generosity of our 2007 Conference Sponsors.
“CHANGING THE GAME IN THERMOPLASTIC POLYOLEFINS (TPO) FOR CUT SHEET
THERMOFORMING” BY HOGAN, HOENIG, WALTHER, WALTON, FINLAYSON & COSTEUX,
DOW CHEMICAL – see page 15

Web Site: www.thermoformingdivision.com

CHAIRMAN’S CORNER BY WALT WALKER, CHAIR

A Time for Growth?

H
H
ere in the North Country, as we emerge
from our season of rest and cold, we
always look forward to the season of sunshine
and growth. But as your Board of Directors
emerged from its Winter Meeting, we were
conflicted about a new growth opportunity for
our organization.

Will a 2009 NPE Conference Require Growing?

A major focus of our February Board Meeting revolved around
planning for our 2009 Conference. While our 2007 Conference will
be in Cincinnati and our 2008 Conference is slated for Minneapolis,
the 2009 Conference offers us the opportunity to try something
different, to grow a little.

2009 is a year for the National Plastic Expo (NPE). Many of our
members and sponsors are interested in putting up a Thermoforming
Pavilion at NPE, rather than holding our own Thermoforming
Conference that year. Work is now going on to determine if that
would be feasible. At our May Board meeting we will come to a
decision. If not NPE in 2009, then we’ll probably be in Milwaukee.
Here are two sides of the discussion:

On the Plus Side: It allows our large exhibitors to attend only
one conference that year, not both. The expanded U.S. and
international traffic we could potentially receive at NPE would
be unbelievably larger than our conference. We could still have
our full conference agenda.

On the Down Side: Some of our smaller exhibitors may not be
able to attend NPE. It may be much more expensive to host a
conference as NPE, as well as more costly to attend. We are only
a volunteer organization and do not have the staff to put together
a new Pavilion. We may have to alter our traditional evening
programs.

Here’s the Question …

Are we big enough to tackle the opportunity of having a
Thermoforming Pavilion at NPE in 2009? What do you think? Please
contact a Board member by May 11th to express your opinion.

Educational Awards Keep Growing

Since our 2006 Annual Conference in Nashville was one of our
most successful conferences both in attendance and revenue, we’re
able to continue growing our mission of supporting students and
educational institutions. We are proud to announce these awards.

Student Scholarships Now Top $165,000 – This year the Board
increased student scholarships from $5,000 per year to $7,500
per year. We picked three recipients this year awarding each of
them $7,500. Since our scholarship program began in 1999, we’ve
awarded $165,500 to 55 students for their thermoforming
education. In addition to this year’s awards, we’ve also given 22
scholarships of $5,000 each and last year we awarded 30
scholarships at $1,000 each.

Matching School Grants Pass $131,000 – Over the past several
years, we are proud to have awarded $131,000 in matching grants

to 17 colleges, universities, technical schools, high schools and
middle schools to further the study of thermoforming.

School Chapters Receive Awards – This year we will give up to
ten $500 STRETCH Awards to Student SPE Chapters whose
programs, activities and levels of participation are especially
noteworthy.

SPE Support – At the last Board meeting, we were happy to
present SPE with a support check of $32,000 from the proceeds
of our Nashville conference.

Global Network Growing

Of note in this issue of “Thermoforming Quarterly” is Conor
Carlin’s interesting story about his research initiatives as our
Membership Chair. He’s finding both our European and Australian
colleagues wanting to work more closely with our North American
processors, materials suppliers, OEM’s and tooling manufacturers.
If your business interests are growing across the pond, you may
want to attend the next European Thermoforming Conference in
Berlin, March 2008.

Let’s Grow Our Board Membership

If you would like to become more involved in the growing
opportunities in our Thermoforming Division, we encourage you to
attend one of our Board meetings. We’re looking for new leadership.
Upcoming meetings will be held in:

• Cincinnati, September 2007 at our national conference
• Key West, February 2008
• Sedona, May 2008
It’s a Great Day in Thermoforming!

Walt Walker

…………………………….

THERMOFORMING DIVISION
PRESENTS CHECK TO SPE

Shown presenting 50% of the 2006 net proceeds of the Nashville Confer-
ence to SPE are, left to right: Jay Waddell; Lola Carere, Councilor; Susan
Oderwald, SPE Executive Director; Gwen Mathis, Conference Coordina-
tor; and SPE President Tim Womer.

1 Thermoforming QUARTERLY
Contents
Thermoforming®
Q U A R T E R L Y
A NOTE TO
PROSPECTIVE
AUTHORS
TFQ is an “equal opportunity”
publisher! You will note that we have
several categories of technical articles,
ranging from the super-high tech
(sometimes with equations!), to
industry practice articles, to book
reviews, how to articles, tutorial
articles, and so on. Got an article that
doesn’t seem to fit in these categories?
Send it to Barry Shepherd, Technical
Editor, anyway. He’ll fit it in! He
promises. [By the way, if you are
submitting an article, Barry would
appreciate it on CD-ROM in DOC
format. All graphs and photos should
be black and white and of sufficient
size and contrast to be scannable.
Thanks.]
QUARTERLY
A JOURNAL PUBLISHED EACH CALENDAR
QUARTER BY THE THERMOFORMING DIVISION
OF THE SOCIETY OF PLASTICS ENGINEERS
Editor
Gwen Mathis
(706) 235-9298 • Fax (706) 295-4276
gmathis224@aol.com
Technical Editor
Barry Shepherd
Shepherd Thermoforming &
Packaging, Inc.
5 Abacus Road
Brampton, Ontario L6T 5B7
CANADA
(905) 459-4545 Ext. 229
Fax (905) 459-6746
bshep@shepherd.ca
Sponsorships
Laura Pichon
(847) 829-8124
Fax (815) 678-4248
lpichon@extechplastics.com
Thermoforming Quarterly® is published four times annually
as an informational and educational bulletin
to the members of the Society of Plastics
Engineers, Thermoforming Division, and the
thermoforming industry. The name, “Thermoforming
Quarterly®” and its logotype, are registered trademarks
of the Thermoforming Division of the Society
of Plastics Engineers, Inc. No part of this publication
may be reproduced in any form or by any means
without prior written permission of the publisher,
copyright holder. Opinions of the authors are their
own, and the publishers cannot be held responsible
for opinions or representations of any unsolicited
material. Printed in the U.S.A.
Thermoforming Quarterly® is registered in the US
Patent and Trademark Office (Registration no.
2,229,747).
These sponsors enable us to publish Thermoforming QUARTERLY
TECHNICAL SECTION
Chairman’s Corner: “A Time for Growth” ………………………. Inside Front Cover
Membership: “Variety is the Spice of Life” ……………………………………………… 2
New Members ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 3
Spring Board Meeting Schedule ……………………………………………………………… 4
Thermoformer of the Year 2008 Criteria …………………………………………………. 6
Thermoformer of the Year 2008 Application …………………………………………… 7
2007 Thermoformer of the Year: Curtis J. Zamec …………………………………… 10
Council Report …………………………………………………………………………………….. 26
Membership Application ……………………………………………………………………… 32
Index of Sponsors ………………………………………………………………………………… 36
Board of Directors List ……………………………………………………. Inside Back Cover
Comments from the Technical Editor
Thermoforming – So Many Opportunities for Those Who Want to Invest ………………………….12
Lead Technical Article
Changing the Game in Thermoplastic Polyolefins (TPO) for Cut Sheet Thermoforming ………15
History of Thermoforming, Part 6
The Golden Age of Thermoforming ………………………………………………………………………………….18
Industry Practice
The Latest Advancements in Thermoforming ……………………………………………………………………23
Thermoforming 101:
“Down Gauging” – It’s a Good Thing ……………………………………………………………………………….24
DIVISION ACTIVITIES
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www.solarkote.com
Phone: 215.419.7982
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Acrylic Capstock and Film
Capstock solutions for thermoformed sheet.
Altuglas® and Solarkote® are registered trademarks
belonging to Arkema.
© 2005 Arkema Inc. All rights reserved.

MEMBERSHIP

BY CONOR CARLIN, MEMBERSHIP CHAIRMAN

Variety is the Spice of Life

O
O
ver the past few
months, I have been
talking with members of the
Division from all over the
country to get some feedback
on how the Division is
performing. The responses
have been positive and
informative. Where everyone
appears to agree is the fact
that the Division is
responsive to their input and
suggestions. This is
reinforced by the support we
get from SPE National. Their
staff is extremely helpful in
implementing new programs.
They also spend a lot of time
mining data to make sure that
our marketing efforts are
targeting thermoformers and
affiliated companies.

I have also spoken to
members in Europe and
Australia to get some new
ideas from their groups about
what we can be doing to
improve our Division here at
home. A common thread
from our international
colleagues is the desire to
work more closely with
North American processors,
material suppliers, OEMs and
tooling manufacturers. The

exchange of ideas and
delegations at the U.S. and
European Thermoforming
Conferences is testament to
this willingness to explore
beyond our home comfort
zone. Our European
colleagues have recently
announced that their 2008
Conference will take place in
Berlin, Germany. This will
provide a great opportunity
for thermoformers in Eastern
Europe – where there is very
strong growth – to become
part of our industry network.

Our growth at home seems
to be slow and steady. It is
important that we retain our
core members both for
financial and technical
support. Still, it is clear that
we need to grow our
membership in order to take

advantage of new ideas. By
bringing in new recruits, it
allows us to vary the depth
and breadth of our Technical
Program at the Annual
Conference. By encouraging
more participation at the
student level, we ensure a
steady stream of members
that are familiar with the
industry and can help us
evolve with the changing
times. And more can be done
given the growth of
membership rosters in
Australia and New Zealand,
in particular.

If you have a customer or
supplier in a different
country, ask them what the
latest trends are in their home
markets. See if they are a
member of the Division. If
they are not, invite them to
join. Word of mouth is still a
powerful marketing tool
within the Plastics Industry.

¦

Questions?

Comments?

Email me:

conorc@stopol.com

Thermoforming
QUARTERLY 2

WELCOME, NEW MEMBERS!

Theodore Bickel 243437

Amros Industries Inc
14701 Industrial Parkway
Cleveland, OH 44135

William Bonis – 261611

5400 Highpoint Rd
Crestwood, KY 40014

Mike Brocher – 252940

Lenzkes Clamping Tool
Inc
825 Radford St
Christiansburg, VA 240733306

Joseph L. Cheek 261005

Buffalo Tank Company Inc
219 Bonie Rd
P O Box 506
Buffalo, TX 75831

Frank Cole – 260035

Alcoa
520 Lincoln Ave
Downingtown, PA 19335

Bobby Couch – 260488

Blair Packaging Inc
116 East Missouri Blvd
Scott City, MO 63780

Michael A. Crowley 260599

Midland Plastics Inc
5405 South Westridge
Court
New Berlin, WI 53151

Rene Cunanan – 261324

1029 Hometown Way
Pleasanton, CA 94566

Nolwenn Favel – 259955

INEOS Services Belgium
NV
Rue De Ransbeek 310
Brussel BE-1120 Belgium

Victor Gomez – 260053

Dometic
Carr Panamericana Km

18.5 #9031
Cd Juarez, Chih CP32960
Mexico
Todd R. Gray – 258683

Aritech Inc
7115 Virginia Road
Suite 122
Crystal Lake, IL 60014

Dennis E. Haakenson 260204

12639 W County Rd M
Evansvivlle, WI 53536

Hedwig Herberger 254085

UNIPA Kunststofftechnik
GmbH
Im Altenschemel 43
Neustadt 67435 Germany

Mark N. Hense – 260603

Midland Plastics Inc
5405 South Westridge
Court
New Berlin, WI 53151

Bud Hoffmann – 194230

Stopol Inc
31875 Solon Rd
Solon, OH 44139

Mike Hooker – 254382

Emerald Graphics
3500 Raleigh Ave SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49512

Patrick O. Jackson 25964

Jerry Jackson Plastics
P O Box 14006
Fort Worth, TX 76117

Dereck M. Jaggers 69236

Bayer MaterialScience
2401 Walton Blvd
Auburn Hills, MI 48326

Donny James – 261319

Uniforce Composites
88 Tilman Lane
Midway, AR 72651

Scott Koehler – 26179

Cannon USA
1235 Freedom Road
Cranberry Twp, PA 16066

Gtideon Kreiner 260867

Cerritos College Plastics
Manufacturing
P O Box 3183
Beverly Hills, CA 90212

Mark A. Laingen 254433

1208 East Grove #4
Bloomington, IL 61701

Dave Lawrence – 261188

Masterpac
6800 Odell St
Saint Louis, MO 63139

Christopher Love 260909

Mity Lite
1301 W 400 N
Orem, UT 84057

WHY JOIN?

Christopher A. Miller 145288

GDC Inc
815 Logan St
Goshen, IN 46528

Mike Y. Ong – 260656

190 East Furnace St
Apt 2
Platteville, WI 53818

Jo Lynne Parsons 55777

Dow Chemical
433 Building MS 16
Midland, MI 48667

Marc K. Potemans 55811

Ingenia Polymers
3200 Southwest Freeway
Suite 1250
Houston, TX 77027

Steven M. Putman 260606

Fiber Pad Inc
P O Box 690660
Tulsa, OK 74169

Joe Renner – 261074

The Fabri Form Company
46 Honeysuckle Woods
Clover, SC 29710

Mark Rothlisberger 260054

Dometic
Carr Oabanerucaba Jn

18.5 #9031
Cd Juarez, Chih CP32960
Mexico
Rory Rousseau – 260655

ASI Plastics
1463 Mustang Place
Port Coquitlam, BC V3C
6L2

Burton Schaeffer 260638

Sabert Inc
879 Main Street
Sayreville, NJ 08872

Ronnie West – 260607

Uniforce Technologies
P O Box 5786
North Little Rock, AR
72119

Jeffrey S. Wilcox 260143

Creative Design &
Engineering Solutions
LLC
1430 Pinecrest SE
Grand Rapids, MI 495069659

Michael E. Williamson 260213

A Schulman
1475 Wolf Creek Trail
Sharon Center, OH 44274

Jeremy Winsor – 260514

Alcan Packaging
1815 Marathon Ave
Neenah, WI 54956

Jeffrey J. Zettle – 61439

SC Johnson
4867 E Wilder Road Bldg
999
Bay City, MI 48706

It has never been more important to be a member of your professional society than now,
in the current climate of change and volatility in the plastics industry. Now, more than ever,
the information you access and the personal networks you create can and wil
directly impact your future and your career.

Active membership in SPE:

• keeps you current • keeps you informed • keeps you connected
The question really isn’t “why join?” but …

WHY NOT?

3 Thermoforming
QUARTERLY

THERMOFORMING DIVISION

SPRING BOARD
MEETING SCHEDULE

May 16th – 20th, 2007

Flamingo Las Vegas

Las Vegas, Nevada

**Rooms have been reserved in our block
starting Tuesday, 5/15/07, departing on
Sunday, 5/20/07. These rooms are limited, so
FIRST COME, FIRST SERVE:

FOR RESERVATIONS, CALL: 1-800-8355686
– REQUEST SPE ROOM RATE OF
$119.00 OR GROUP CODE SFSPE7.

Tuesday, May 15th, 2007

Executive Committee Arrives

Wednesday, May 16th, 2007

7:30 – 8:30 am – Breakfast – Executive
Committee, Conference Suite A
8:30 am – 5:00 pm – Executive Committee
Meeting, Conference Suite A
12:00 – 1:00 p.m. – Lunch – Executive
Committee, Conference Suite A
2:00 – 3:00 pm – Finance Committee
Chairman, Conference Suite A
4:00 – 5:00 pm – Technical Chairs meet with
Executive Committee, Conference Suite
A
Thursday, May 17th, 2007

8:30 – 10:30 am – Materials Committee
Breakfast, Conference Suite A
8:30 – 10:30 am – Processing Committee
Breakfast, Conference Suite B
8:30 – 10:30 am – Processing Committee
Breakfast, Conference Suite C
10:30 – 11:15 am – AARC Committee,
Carson City 1
11:15 am – 12:00 pm – Web Site Committee,
Carson City 1
12:00 pm – 1:30 pm – LUNCH ON YOUR
OWN
1:30 – 2:30 pm – Student Programs, Carson
City 1
2:30 – 3:00 pm – Recognition, Carson City 1
2:30 – 3:30 pm – 2007 Conference
Committee, Carson City 1
3:30 – 4:15 pm – Marketing Committee,
Carson City 1
4:00 – 5:00 pm – Membership Committee,
Carson City 1
Friday, May 18th, 2007

7:30 – 8:30 am – Breakfast – Board of
Directors, Laughlin III
8:30 am – 12:00 pm – Board of Directors’
Meeting, Laughlin III
12:00 – 1:00 pm – Lunch – Board of
Directors, Laughlin III
AFTERNOON ON YOUR OWN

6:00 – 7:00 pm – Hosted Cocktail Party
DINNER ON YOUR OWN

Saturday, May 19th, 2007

DAY ON YOUR OWN

Sunday, May 20th, 2007

Depart

These sponsors enable us to publish Thermoforming
QUARTERLY

Thermoforming
QUARTERLY 4

Need help
with your

These sponsors enable us to publish Thermoforming
QUARTERLY

Save time and money on
your thermoform molds

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¦
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We will work with your machine shops so you can realize the
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technical school

or college

expenses?

I
I
f you or someone you
know is working towards
a career in the plastic
industry, let the SPE
Thermoforming Division
help support those education
goals.

Our mission is to facilitate
the advancement of
thermoforming technologies
through education, application,
promotion, and research.
Within this past year alone, our
organization has awarded
multiple scholarships! Get
involved and take advantage of
available support from your
plastic industry!

Start by completing the
application forms at
www.thermoformingdivision.com
or at www.4spe.com. The
deadline for applications is
January 15th, 2008. ¦

TK
Or contact John Perryman at (248) 233-5725,
e-mail: jperryman@tkmna.thyssenkrupp.com

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ThyssenKrupp Steel Services, ThyssenKrupp Hearn, TKX Logistics

5 Thermoforming
QUARTERLY

THERMOFORMER OF THE YEAR
CRITERIA FOR 2008

E
E
very year The SPE Thermoforming
Division selects a individual
who has made a outstanding
contribution to our industry and
awards them the Thermoformer of
the Year award.

The award in the past has gone
to industry pioneers like Bo Stratton
and Sam Shapiro, who were among
the first to found thermoforming
companies and develop our industry.
We have included machine designers
and builders Gaylord Brown
and Robert Butzko and toolmaker
John Greip, individuals who helped
develop the equipment and mold
ideas we all use today. We have
also honored engineers like Lew
Blanchard and Stephen Sweig, who
developed and patented new methods
of thermoforming. Additionally,
we have featured educators like Bill
McConnell, Jim Throne and
Herman R. Osmers, who have both
spread the word and were key figures
in founding the Thermoforming
Division.

We’re looking for more individuals
like these and we’re turning to
the Thermoforming community to
find them. Requirements would include
several of the following:

.Founder or Owner of a
Thermoforming Company
.Patents Developed
.Is currently active in or recently
retired from the Thermoforming
Industry
.Is a Processor – or capable of
processing
.Someone who developed new
markets for or started a new
trend or style of Thermoforming
.Significant contributions to the
work of the Thermoforming
Division Board of Directors
.Has made a significant educational
contribution to the
Thermoforming Industry.
If you would like to bring someone
who meets some or all of these
requirements to the attention of the
Thermoforming Division, please fill
out a nomination form and a oneto
two-page biography and forward
it to:

Thermoforming Division Awards

Committee

% Productive Plastics, Inc.

Hal Gilham

103 West Park Drive

Mt. Laurel, NJ 08045

Tel: 856-778-4300

Fax: 856-234-3310

Email:
halg@productiveplastics.com

You can also find the form and see all the past
winners at www.thermoformingdivision.com in
the Thermoformer of the Year section.

You can submit nominations and bios at any time
but please keep in mind our deadline for
submissions is no later than December 1st of
each year, so nominations received after that
time will go forward to the next year.

These sponsors enable us to publish Thermoforming
QUARTERLY

Thermoforming
QUARTERLY 6

THERMOFORMER OF

THE YEAR 2008

Presented at the September 2008 Thermoforming Conference in Minneapolis, MN

The Awards Committee is now accepting nominations for the 2008 THERMOFORMER OF THE YEAR. Please
help us by identifying worthy candidates. This prestigious honor will be awarded to a member of our
industry that has made a significant contribution to the Thermoforming Industry in a Technical, Educational,
or Management aspect of Thermoforming. Nominees will be evaluated and voted on by the
Thermoforming Board of Directors at the Winter 2008 meeting. The deadline for submitting nominations is
December 1st, 2007. Please complete the form below and include all biographical information.

Person Nominated: _______________________________________________________ Title: ______________________________

Firm or Institution: ___________________________________________________________________________________________

Street Address: _______________________________________________ City, State, Zip: ________________________________

Telephone: ________________________________ Fax: _________________________ E-mail: ___________________________

Biographical Information:

•
Nominee’s Experience in the Thermoforming Industry.
•
Nominee’s Education (include degrees, year granted, name and location of university)
•
Prior corporate or academic affiliations (include company and/or institutions, title, and approximate
dates of affiliations)
•
Professional society affiliations
•
Professional honors and awards.
•
Publications and patents (please attach list).
•
Evaluation of the effect of this individual’s achievement on technology and progress of the plastics
industry. (To support nomination, attach substantial documentation of these achievements.)
•
Other significant accomplishments in the field of plastics.
•
Professional achievements in plastics (summarize specific achievements upon which this nomination
is based on a separate sheet).
Individual Submitting Nomination: _____________________________________________ Title: _________________________

Firm or Institution: ___________________________________________________________________________________________

Address: ______________________________________________________ City, State, Zip: ________________________________

Phone: ____________________________________ Fax: _________________________ E-mail: ___________________________

Signature: ______________________________________________________________ Date: ____________________
(ALL NOMINATIONS MUST BE SIGNED)

Please submit all nominations to: Hal Gilham,

Productive Plastics, 103 West Park Drive
Mt. Laurel, New Jersey 08045

7 Thermoforming
QUARTERLY

Thermoformers of the Year …

1982
William K. McConnell, Jr. • McConnell Company
1983

E. Bowman Stratton, Jr. • Auto-Vac Corp.
1984
Gaylord Brown • Brown Machine
1985
Robert L. Butzko • Thermtrol Corp.
1986
George Wiss • Plastofilm Industries
1987
Dr. Herman R. Osmers • Educator & Consultant
1988
Robert Kittridge • Fabri-Kal Corporation
1989
Jack Pregont • Prent Corporation
1990
Ripley W. Gage • Gage Industries
1991
Stanley Rosen • Mold Systems Corp.
1992
Samuel Shapiro • Maryland Cup • Sweetheart Plastics
1993
John Grundy • Profile Plastics
1994
R. Lewis Blanchard • Dow Chemical
1995
James L. Blin • Triangle Plastics
1996
John Griep • Portage Casting & Mold
1997
John S. Hopple • Hopple Plastics
1998
Lyle Shuert • Shuert Industries
1999
Art Buckel • McConnell Company
2000
Dr. James Throne • Sherwood Technologies
2001
Joseph Pregont • Prent Corp.
2002
Stephen Sweig • Profile Plastics
2003
William Benjamin • Benjamin Mfg.
2004
Steve Hasselbach • CMI Plastics
2005
Manfred Jacob • Jacob Kunststofftechnik
2006
Paul Alongi • MAAC Machinery
2007
Curt Zamec • Wilbert, Inc.
Thermoforming
QUARTERLY 8

MARK
YOUR
CALENDAR!!!

The Thermoforming
Board of Directors has
taken your advice
from completing the
surveys and beginning
in 2008 we will be
going back to our old
dates –

DATES:

Saturday,
September 20th, 2008
thru
Tuesday,
September 23rd,
2008

MINNEAPOLIS
CONVENTION CENTER

HEADQUARTER HOTEL:
MINNEAPOLIS HILTON
& TOWERS

2008 Chairman:
Dennis Northrop
Avery Dennison
Performance Films

Cut Sheet Chairman:
Jim Armor
Armor & Associates

Roll Fed Chairman:
Phil Barhouse
Creative Forming

These sponsors enable us to publish Thermoforming
QUARTERLY

9 ThermoformingQUARTERLY

2007 THERMOFORMER OF THE YEAR

Curtis J. Zamec

Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Wilbert, Inc.

C
C
urtis J. Zamec was born and
raised in Cleveland, Ohio
and was introduced to the plastics
industry, as many of us were,
through Dustin Hoffman’s
famous scene in “The Graduate.”
Mr. Zamec’s Bachelor of
Business Administration with a
major in Marketing at Kent State
led him to his first job, fresh out
of college, at Goodyear Tire and
Rubber Company (Akron, OH).
He was involved in a division
that marketed polyester films.
The division was closed soon
after he joined the company and
he was part of the close-out
team. This provided valuable
business experience that would
serve him well later in his career.

Goodyear led him to F. B.
Wright Company (Cleveland,
OH), a distributor of plastics and
rubber products. Continuing to
grow and learn about the plastics
industry, he soon accepted
the position of President at R. B.
Plastics (Rochester, NY), a small
heavy-gauge thermoforming
company that had been in Chapter
11. This was his first experience
to turn around a failing
company. Rather unusual was
the fact that the outstanding debt
was paid off at 100 cents to the
dollar. Time was a problem, not
dollars, and a great deal of time
was spent with the bankruptcy
judge convincing him of grant

ing the company more time.
During the same period Zamec
Industries was started out of necessity
because R. B. Plastics
could not afford to purchase
machines from Brown Machinery
Company. Zamec Industries
designed and manufactured
single-station thermoforming
machines that centralized all
control and was the first company
to use a computer (driven
by the old IPM punch cards) in
thermoforming process equipment.

After his stint at F. B. Wright,

R. B. Plastics and Zamec Industries,
Mr. Zamec became Vice
President of Operations at a
large regional thermoformer
owned by Wilbert, Inc.,
Thermoform Plastics, Inc. in St.
Paul, MN. He was promoted to
Executive Vice President/GM
and then President of the company.
His first acquisition,
Plastivax (Cleveland, OH and
Gastonia, NC) occurred during
this period. He integrated the
Plastivax Company into
Thermoform Plastics and expanded
their geography of influence
to include Cleveland, OH
and Gastonia, NC. Before moving
from Thermoform Plastics to
his current position, the company
became the second largest
thermoformer in North America.
The company built a new
300,000 square foot facility in St.
Paul, MN and a 100,000 square
foot facility in Belmont, NC dedicated
exclusively to the
thermoforming process. At the
time, these two facilities housed
the industry’s largest four-station
rotary thermoformers
(10’x22′) and pressure formers.

With a successful career in the
plastics industry now underway,
the next challenge for Mr. Zamec
was in 1999 when he became the
President/CEO of Wilbert, Inc.
(Chicago, IL), the parent company
of Thermoform Plastics
and Wilbert Funeral Services,
Inc. After a small plastics acquisition,
TransPak USA, a
thermoform packaging company,
Wilbert, Inc. decided to
expand its death care business
by attempting to acquire the
stock of York Caskets, the
nation’s No. 2 casket manufacturer,
a public company consid-

Thermoforming
QUARTERLY 10

erably larger than Wilbert. The
acquisition was not to be, but the
profit from the sale of the York
stock made the future acquisition
of Triangle Plastics, TriEnda
Corp., Capri Bath and Synergy
World from Alltrista Corporation
possible. This acquisition
made Wilbert, Inc. the owner of
the largest heavy-gauge
thermoforming company in the
world.

Up until this point, Wilbert,
Inc.’s plastics acquisitions were
solely in the thermoforming industry.
Wanting to roundout the
company and provide a better
solution for its consumers, the
most recent acquisition was of
Morton Custom Plastics, a
thermoforming and injection
molding company, with locations
in Kentucky, North Carolina
and South Carolina.

Today, Wilbert, Inc. and its
plastics operations are continuing
to evolve and develop their
core interests, Wilbert Plastics’
expertise lies in large-part
thermoforming, pressure forming,
twin-sheet forming and
large-part (3,500-ton) injection
molding. Together the multiple
processes, along with Class A
painting and assembly, Wilbert
Plastics headed to be a plastics
solution resource for the
company’s customer base. The
company has 10 plants in 9
states, $244 million in annual
revenue, approximately 1,400
employees and 1.8 million
square feet of manufacturing
space. Each facility is either ISO
of QS 9000 certified. The
thermoforming equipment in

cludes 58 three- or four-station
rotaries, and 73 CNC trimming
stations. The injection molding
equipment includes 118 machines
that range in size from 85
ton to 3,500 ton. Approximately
130 million pounds of plastic are
processed each year.

Since his introduction to the
plastics industry, Mr. Zamec has
been a member of the SPE and
SPI and seen growth in the in-

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QUARTERLY

VISIT US AT THERMOFORMING 2007 IN CINCINNATI

The KMT Group is now organized into 4 business divisions; Waterjet High Pressure
Components, Robotic Solutions, Precision Grinding and Sheet Metal Working. The
KMT Group has made significant progress in 2006 building a technology company
that is focused on delivering and supporting the manufacturing needs of its customers
around the globe. Three companies were acquired to this end in 2006; RPT, H20
Jet of Olympia, WA and Aqua-Dyne of Houston, TX.

FORMERLY ROBOTIC PRODUCTION TECHNOLOGY

11 ThermoformingQUARTERLY

dustry from its first
thermoforming division meeting
in Portage, WI to the last convention
in Indianapolis that had attendance
in excess of 1,000
people. Mr. Zamec enjoys a wonderful
association with customers,
competitors, employees, and
vendors who contribute to the
growth and success of this industry.
¦

COMMENTS FROM THE TECHNICAL EDITOR

BY BARRY SHEPHERD

Thermoforming … So Many Opportunities for Those Who Want to Invest

I
I
n the mid 1940’s, the thermoforming process was
sometimes heralded as “vacuum forming – the poor
man’s injection molding” and component suppliers offered
free machine drawings to “do-it-yourself vacuum forming
machine builders.” The last 60 years have seen our process
develop to the point where we are thermoforming on rollfed
and rotary machines with great efficiency and precision.
However, there are still people out there who insist on
running antiquated equipment and use duct tape at the first
sign of a vacuum leak.

We have the luxury of being able to teach our process in
vocational schools and colleges with inexpensive machines.
Take a thermoplastic sheet, bring it up to forming
temperature, clamp it around a mold and pull a vacuum.
The result can be quite exciting to a first-year technical
college student and to be very honest I still can’t help
stopping at the sample machine to check out the first parts
off a new prototype mold. Usually these samples are made
by following those few simple steps, but there is so much
more to thermoforming today. When it comes to competing
for business on price, quality and service, we must take
advantage of the latest advances in materials, equipment
and tooling.

We all know of small companies in our business that
have survived for a long time and which provide the owners
with a nice life. They don’t seem to grow much. They rarely
upgrade equipment but they run a nice little shop, have a
nice home and all the toys. Having been in the business
for a number of years they probably have the contacts and
a decent reputation that will allow them to find some orders
when things get slow. You can’t criticize this type of
entrepreneur for making a nice life for his family and his
employees; however, in many cases, investment in the
future is nonexistent and there is little evidence of any
passion for the thermoforming industry.

I doubt that this type of owner belongs to SPE or reads
this Quarterly publication. We are reading this because we
want to know how we can improve our business and the
parts we run. Forming a hot sheet over a male mold and
pulling a vacuum is not thermoforming as we know it today.
Sure, you can get into business this way with a few orders,
a simple vacuum former and a clicker press but our industry
has come a long way and there are so many opportunities
to do much more.

For those of us in thermoforming with an entrepreneurial
spirit, our efforts must go beyond finding orders for the
capabilities we have now. We must adapt to new

opportunities using the latest technology and materials
available. If we don’t, we will be left behind by those who
do. Let me list some examples of the many options that
thermoformers have today.

Part Design Software

Software choices today, together with a skilled designer
can cut development time and sell the project. There are
even simulation software’s that can predict wall thickness
if the job can justify this prior to building the tool. Using
an outside design house is costly, time consuming and more
often than not, you must educate the designer on the
capabilities of our process before he can start.

Tool Design Options

There are many ways to design and build thermoform
tooling but every job has different criteria which dictate
how the tool must be designed for maximum efficiency
and quality. The most common problem facing tool
designers is material distribution and wall thickness.
Knowing your options for optimizing material distribution
can save you a lot of money. Learn about these options
and become innovative with your tooling design. Read the
Thermoforming 101 article in this issue for more insight
into wall thickness.

Machinery

Within each major category of roll fed or sheet fed, there
are many machine types and a great deal of optional
equipment to make you more competitive. Robotic part
handling, servo platen drives and in-line sheet temperature
sensing are all good examples of the use of today’s
technology. Much of the equipment in the field is outdated
and could be replaced or modified which would result in
big benefits and help secure new business.

Materials

Don’t stick to the materials you know. Work with the
suppliers to help you find new business, reduce production
down time and material cost. Additives and modifiers can
improve part performance as well as increase production
output.

Trim

Granulating trim and selling the clean flake can become
a new revenue source. Pay back on a grinder can be much
faster than you think when you consider what recyclers
and sheet suppliers will pay for clean flake these days.

Thermoforming
QUARTERLY 12

Processing

A newcomer to our industry could
become very confused by the
different types of processes encompassed
under the heading of
thermoforming. I won’t get into a full
list here but, twin sheet and pressure
forming are two common processes.
Both of these processes can open up
new opportunities to the thermoformer
that has built his business on
the basic sheet fed or roll fed vacuum
only concepts.

Our industry is growing faster than
other plastic processes due partly to
the improvements that we have seen
in equipment, materials and
processing over the past few years.
But let me add a word of caution. Our
competition from other materials and
processes is not sitting still. Examples
of pulp replacing plastic electronic
packaging and cheap Asian tooling
that makes injection molding more
viable are being seen hurting some in
our industry. The answer to this is to
get better at what we do and start
taking advantage of the options and
opportunities that are out there.

Adapt to Opportunities

There is a lot of negativity in the
North American manufacturing sector
these days and plant closures in the
automotive industry are becoming a
regular event. Unfortunately, these
closures are creating hardships for
some smaller supply plants but not all
supply plants. Those that invested in
their future, became lean and
upgraded equipment to become more
competitive will be the plants that
pick up the pieces from the closures
to make them even stronger. We can
often read in Plastics publications
about how new business is being
picked up by smaller shops as a result
of C&A’s and Delphi’s demise.

Thermoforming is an exciting
business with a myriad of
opportunities for those that want to
learn about the latest developments
and invest in the future. You are
reading this so I am obviously
preaching to the converted but
perhaps it has prompted those of you
who may have become just a little too
complacent over the years. ¦

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13 ThermoformingQUARTERLY

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QUARTERLY

Thermoforming

QUARTERLY

We
need
your
continued
support
and
your
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on
membership
recruitment!!
Thermoforming
QUARTERLY 14

LEAD TECHNICAL ARTICLE

Changing the Game in Thermoplastic
Polyolefins (TPO) for Cut Sheet Thermoforming

BY TODD A. HOGAN, STEPHEN M. HOENIG, BRIAN W. WALTHER, KIM L. WALTON,
MALCOLM F. FINLAYSON AND STEPHANE C. COSTEUX, THE DOW CHEMICAL COMPANY

(Technical Editor’s Note: This is an
excellent example of the work the resin
suppliers are doing to make it easier for
custom thermoformers to process the
new materials. Some graphs and
illustrations may have been omitted here,
however the technical paper will be
presented in its entirety at this year’s
Antec in Cincinnati. I thank the authors
for allowing us to print this condensed
version. I urge all cut-sheet thermoformers
to attend.)

Abstract

Thermoplastic polyolefin’s (TPO’s)
based on polypropylene (PP) are
desired for cut sheet thermoforming
applications for their superior physical
properties, weathering performance,
and chemical resistance. However,
their acceptance has been limited due
to poor processing performance. A new
generation of thermoformable TPO’s
was developed that extends the
processing window and physical
properties over currently available
products. High gloss, thermoformed
parts, incorporating a co-extruded gloss
layer on the TPO substrate, was also
demonstrated.

Introduction

TPO Market

TPO’s are a dominant player in the
transportation industry with current
sales of over 1.2 billion pounds per
year. This volume is predominantly
converted into useful parts via injection
molding with only a tiny fraction being
converted via thermoforming. While
the advantages of thermoforming are
well known and are an ideal process
for amorphous resins such as

acrylonitrile-butadienestyrene (ABS),
high impact polystyrene (HIPS) and
acrylics, traditional TPO’s are
disadvantaged due to difficulties in
processing. By understanding the
fundamental material science
governing the thermoforming process,
novel TPO formulations were
developed with excellent thermoforming
performance and physical
properties.

Resin Design Approach

First, the market needs for a
thermoformable TPO were characterized
to define specific performance
requirements. This was accomplished
via review of published data and Voice
of the Customer (VOC) interviews with
key stakeholders in the custom
thermoforming value chain including
sheet extruders, custom thermoformers
and original equipment manufacturers
(OEM’s). The output of this process
was the need for development of
polypropylene based thermoformable
sheet that could replace fiber glass,
metal, and wood. While many
performance requirements are unique
for each application, four specific
performance requirements were
common.

1.
Reduced raw material cost or
reduced system cost
2. Broad thermoforming window
3.
High stiffness (greater than 2,000
MPa flexural modulus)
4.
Sufficient impact resistance at
use temperatures – consistent
ductile failures
For thermoformed parts, the cost of
the final part is the complex sum of the

raw materials; recycle incorporation,
conversion efficiency, and others. To
this end, the resin design used
conventional resins and fillers to
minimize the raw material cost.
According to interviews with custom
thermoformers, a common problem
using TPO’s in cut sheet thermoforming
is that the processing
performance, particularly sag, varies
from lot to lot and sometimes within a
lot. This variation results in
considerable scrap and wasted time and
effort. The design targets of this effort
were to develop a high modulus or rigid
TPO formulation with a 2,000 MPa
flexural modulus, ductile impact
performance at –20° C with exceptional
thermoforming performance.

Experimental

TPO Formulations

High modulus TPO formulations
typically consist of three general
components: polypropylene, elastomer,
and filler. To create an optimal product
a design of experiments (DOE) was
conducted using the following
independent variables:

1.
Level and type of high melt
strength polypropylene
2. Level and type of elastomer
3. Talc loading
The resin components used in the
formulations are shown in Table 1.
Sufficient quantities of resin were
compounded to allow for extrusion of
sheet samples. The compounded
samples were prepared using a 63.5

(continued on next page)

15 Thermoforming
QUARTERLY

(continued from previous page)

Table 1. TPO Component Materials.

mm (2.5 inch) CP-250 Farrell
Continuous Mixer (FCM) feeding into
a single screw extruder and strand
cutter. A portion of each compound was
retained for fundamental rheological
and property characterization. Physical
properties were measured using both
injection molded and extruded sheet
samples. To benchmark performance
versus currently available products, a
conventional TPO was also converted
into sheet along with the DOE
compounds.

Sheet Sample Fabrication

Sheet samples were fabricated that
were 640 mm wide 890 mm long and
nominally 4.7 mm thick. The sheet
samples were prepared by extruding
the sheet using a 63.5 mm diameter, 30
L/D extruder at a temperature of
approximately 230° C and rate of 113
kg/h.

Rheological and Physical
Characterization

Extensional viscosity was measured
at 170° C on a Sentmanat Extensional
Rheometer (SER) fixture (Xpansion
Instruments).[1] The SER is based on
a dual drum system. It is designed as a
fixture of a standard rotational
rheometer which consists of a master
and slave wind-up drums coupled via
intermeshing gears. A constant Hencky
strain rate is obtained simply by setting
a constant winding speed. The SER fits
inside the environmental chamber of an
Advanced Rheometric Expansion

System (ARES) rheometer. Tests were
carried out on strips cut out of a 0.5
mm thick compression molded sheet.
Constant Hencky strain rates (1 and 10
s-1) were applied and the timedependent
stress was determined from
the measured torque and the sample
time-dependent cross-section. The
extensional viscosity was obtained by
dividing the stress by the Hencky strain
rate. Melt flow rate was determined for
all of the compounded samples per
ASTM D-1238 with a 2.16 kg load for
10 minutes at 230° C. The bulk
properties were measured using
injection molded test specimens.
Flexural modulus was measured
according to ASTM D-790 with a rate
of 0.13 cm per minute after conditioning
for a minimum of 48 hours.
Notched izod impact strength was
measured according to the procedures
in ASTM D-256.

Sag Resistance

The sheet samples were
subsequently thermoformed on a ZMD
International Model V223 shuttle
thermoformer. Each sheet was placed
in the clamp frame of the thermoformer,
and rigidly clamped on all four
sides. Next, the clamped sheet was
indexed into the heat station of the
thermoformer, where the sheet was
heated by absorption of infrared
radiation supplied by quartz infrared
radiant heaters. As the temperature of
the sheet increased, the initially flat
sheet began to sag under its own weight
as shown schematically in Figure 1.

Figure 1. The Deformation (Sag) of a Sheet
During the Heating Phase of Thermoforming.

The amount of sag was limited by the
equipment configuration and ultimately
on the final part quality. The
vertical distance of the sheet sag from
the initial position in the clamp frame
was measured using an infrared
profiling scanner (light curtain) that

was positioned to detect sheet sag at
the middle of the oven. The time
required for the sheet to sag from 57
mm below its initial position to 108 mm
from its initial position was recorded.
Sag rate was determined by dividing
the change in the vertical distance of
the sheet by the time required for the
change in height. The sheet was
removed from the oven when the sag
reached approximately 108 mm from
its initial position and moved to the
form station. The sheet surface
temperature on the bottom side of the
sheet was measured at the end of the
heat cycle using an infrared pyrometer.
Once the heated sheet was positioned
in the form station, a vacuum box
contacted the sheet from below.
Vacuum was applied to draw the sheet
into the vacuum box and pre-stretch the
sheet. A machined aluminum mold,
shown in Figure 2, was lowered into

Figure 2. Graphic Representation of the Part
Shape after Thermoforming from Two Views.
(Approximate dimensions of the base are 30
cm x 46 cm inches with a 23 cm draw.)

the top of the pre-stretched sheet and
vacuum applied to draw the extended
sheet against the mold while the
vacuum was simultaneously released
from the vacuum box. The part was
formed and allowed to cool and was
ultimately removed from the clamp
frame.

Results

Rheological Characteristics

The key to improve the
thermoforming processing
performance of a TPO lies in the
optimization of melt strength
performance. Several high melt
strength (HMS) PP resins are available
on the market. The PP molecular
structure, required to provide melt in

Thermoforming
QUARTERLY 16

strength relevant for cut sheet thermoforming, was evaluated
as part of this study.[2]

Formulations comprised of the Dow HMS PP (HMS PP),
HMS Elastomer and homopolymer PP (hPP) were evaluated
to improve the sag resistance of TPO. The materials used in
this evaluation are shown in Table 1. The conventional HMS
PP (C-HMS PP) is a highly branched structure that
demonstrates strain hardening at high extension. Figure 3

Figure 3. Extensional Viscosity of the HMS PP and HMS Elastomer
Compared to Conventional HMS PP.

compares the extensional viscosity characteristics of the HMS
PP with a conventional HMS PP at low and high Hencky
strain rates (1 and 10 s-1). Note that the conventional HMS
PP exhibited more strain hardening at high extension rates
relevant to drawing or stretching of the sheet. However, not
only the onset of strain hardening occurs beyond the range
of strain encountered in large part thermoforming, but also
this property is negated by the addition of 30 wt % filler,
such as talc. On the other hand, the HMS PP favors
homogeneous drawing through a higher extensional viscosity
in the range of interest to both drawing (at high extension
rates) and sag (at low extension rates).

The selection of the elastomer is important not only to
improve impact properties while maintaining high modulus,
but also to improve thermoforming processability. A HMS
elastomer was selected based on the following hypotheses:

•
The elasticity of the elastomer can be designed to
enhance stretching performance and improve
thickness homogeneity resulting from sag during the
heating process.
•
The viscosity of the elastomer and its dispersion in
the PP matrix can be optimized to improve melt
strength and reduce sag.
•
The formulation and process can be selected to ensure
that the filler will preferably remain in the PP matrix.
The dynamic rheological response of the elastomer should
optimally match that of the PP matrix. Through the design of
a PP with adequate molecular architecture, the right choice
of an elastomer, and the optimal synergy with the filler, a

high melt strength TPO (HMS TPO) was designed to improve
sag resistance and improved processing in thermoforming.

Thermoforming Results

First, an optimization study was conducted where the
amount of talc was fixed at 30 wt. % and the elastomer content
limited to 10 to 20 wt. %. The balance of the formulation
was comprised of different ratios of the HMS PP and hPP.
The formulations were compounded and extruded into sheet.
The sag resistances of the various formulations evaluated are
shown in Figure 4. These results clearly indicate that

Figure 4. Sag Rate versus HMS PP Level.

maximizing the amount of the HMS PP in the formulation
resulted in the lowest sag rates and hence best sag resistance.
In addition to the enhanced sag resistance as the amount of
HMS PP was increased, the material uniformity across the
final molded part and in the aesthetics of the final parts also
improved. It is particularly interesting to note that the two
samples with the lowest sag rates were the same samples
with the least amount of variation in measured sag rates,
indicating improved consistency in forming. A sample was
also prepared where the C-HMS PP was substituted for the
HMS PP and sag resistance measured. This sample is
indicated by the green data point in Figure 4. The rheological
properties of the HMS PP relative to the CHMS PP clearly
indicate improved sag resistance in the HMS TPO
formulation.

The optimized HMS TPO formulation with the maximum
sag resistance is indicated by the red data point indicated in
Figure 4.[5] The HMS TPO formulation was next compared
to the conventional TPO formulation from Table 1 that is
commercially available. A comparison of the sag resistance
of these two materials is shown in Figure 5. As shown by the
bars in Figure 5, the HMS TPO required approximately 22 s
longer to reach the same amount of sag as the conventional
TPO. The sag rate of the two materials is shown by the line

(continued on next page)

17 Thermoforming
QUARTERLY

Figure 5. Sag Performance of HMS TPO versus Conventional TPO.

(continued from previous page)

Figure 5. The sag rate of the HMS TPO was more than half
that of the conventional TPO. These results have also been
validated by larger scale thermoforming trials. These results
indicate that the HMS TPO offers significantly improved sag
resistance to conventional TPO’s which result in improved
consistency during forming. Also, since the sheet is heated
longer, higher sheet temperatures are possible during forming
that result in better replication of mold features and detail in
the finished part and lower reject rates due to issues such as
webbing and thickness uniformity.

Physical Properties

Typical physical properties of the HMS TPO generated on
injection molded samples are shown in Table 2. The HMS
TPO formulation developed has an excellent balance of high
stiffness, good impact performance and low CLTE.

Table 2. HMS TPO Typical Injection Molded Physical Properties.

High Gloss Cap Layer

A key attribute of thermoformed parts is the ability to obtain
a high quality surface fishing without painting. A high gloss
surface may be obtained on TPO’s by coextruding a high
gloss cap layer on top of the TPO substrate. Samples were
prepared with a 0.43 cm thick HMS TPO substrate and a

0.05 cm thick high gloss cap layer based on PP (1.9 g/10 min
MFR, 0.90 g/cc). Physical properties generated on the
extruded sheet and formed parts are shown in Table 3. The
60° Gardner gloss following extrusion was 90% and a high
gloss of 87% was maintained after forming. The sag rate of
the sheet with the high gloss cap was higher than that of the
monolayer sheet. This is due to the lower melt strength of
the random copolymer PP. The room temperature stiffness
and impact strength of the sheet with the high gloss cap were
reduced slightly as shown in Table 3, but overall the physical
properties of the TPO substrate were maintained.

Table 3. Physical Properties of HMS TPO Sheet with
High Gloss Cap Layer.

Conclusions

New HMS TPO formulations with improved sag resistance
have been developed that expand the thermoforming process
window and allow a greater range of applications for these
materials in custom thermoforming applications. These
materials also demonstrate excellent physical properties such
as stiffness, impact, low CLTE and weather and chemical
resistance. These formulations are based upon the unique
combination of HMS PP and elastomer technologies. High
gloss cap layer resins also allow the production of articles
with a glossy surface appearance and eliminate the need for
secondary painting operations while maintaining the desired
physical properties. ¦

References

1.
M. L. Sentmanat, U.S. Patent 6,691,569 (2004).
2.
W. D. Hoenig, et. al., SPE ANTEC Tech. Papers, 46,
1204 (2000).
3.
K. L. Walton, M. K. Laughner, L. J. Effler and E. S.
Gisler, SPE ANTEC Tech. Papers, 51, 1204 (2005).
4.
L. J. Effler, K. L. Walton, and M. K. Laughner, SPE
ANTEC Tech. Papers, 51, 1209 (2005).
5.
L. R. Novak and F. F. Martinez, U.S. Patent Appl.
US20050070673A1 (2005).
Key Words

Thermoforming,
thermoplastic polyolefin,
melt strength

Thermoforming
QUARTERLY 18

HISTORY OF THERMOFORMING – PART 6

The Golden Age of Thermoforming

BY STANLEY R. ROSEN, PLASTIMACH CORPORATION, LAS VEGAS, NEVADA

P
P
lax Corp., W. Hartford, Conn., a producer of OPS,
oriented polystyrene sheet, developed a method of
pressure forming using contact heating as a substitute
for radiant heat for the heat sensitive OPS sheet. They
patented equipment for making food container lids from
preprinted individual blanks that were automatically fed
from a magazine into the pressure former (Fig. 3-14).
The firm was bought by Emhart Corp., Hartford, Conn.
and later by Monsanto Corp., St. Louis, Mo.

Fig. 3-14. Plax Corp. OPS lid contact heat pressure former sold as a
unit of 6 presses, 1955.

Robert Butzko left Autovac Corp. to found Thermtrol
Corp. of Bridgeport, Conn. and develop commercial
general purpose roll fed contact heat pressure formers.
This machine formed and trimmed parts using a knife
like die which enclosed each female mold cavity and
was principally used to thermoform OPS. The firm was
successful and continued into the 1980’s until Mr. Butzko
retired. (Fig. 3-15.)

Ed. Note I: The philosopher Santana said, “Those who cannot remember
the past are destined to repeat it.” Stan Rosen, our
Thermoformer of the Year in 1991, is undertaking this project to
document the industry starting with early developments in the
1930’s. His first article (Part I) appeared in Volume 24, Issue #3.
This is the sixth in his series entitled “The Golden Age of
Thermoforming.”

Fig. 3-15. Thermtrol contact heat cut – in place pressure former
using a manual press closing handle, 1958.

Shuman Corp., Charlotte, N.C., was organized in
1901 by the grandfather of the present Shuman family
ownership as a metal fabricator. In the 1950’s this firm
designed and built manually operated vacuum forming
machines for the sign industry. They now construct
manually operated large cut sheet machines for low volume
products such as signs, spas, bathroom tubs, showers,
etc. (Fig. 3-16.)

Fig. 3-16. Shuman Corp. hand operated large area vacuum former
for low volume parts, 1960.

(continued on next page)

19 Thermoforming
QUARTERLY

(continued from previous page)

Packaging Industries, Montclair, N.J., founded in
1953 by Howard A. Rohdin, manufacturers of impulse
blister sealers, thermoformers and form, fill and seal
packagers. (Fig. 3-17.) The firm moved to Hyannis,
Mass., was sold, is now renamed Sencorp and continues
as a major thermoforming machine builder.

Fig. 3-17. Packaging Industries’ Form, Fill and Seal blister packager,
1958.

Tronomatic Corp., New York, N.Y., started by Joseph
Swick, produced blister sealers, large platen heat
assisted die cutters, vacuum and contact pressure forming
machines during the 1950’s to mid 1960’s. The author
was the chief engineer during this period. (Fig. 3-18.)

Fig. 3-18. Tronomatic Corp. roll fed vacuum former provides rapid
sheet heating, 1956.

The small Michigan town of Beaverton became the
capital of U.S. thermoforming technology because of
the efforts of one ingenious man, Gaylord Brown, who
established his firm, Brown Machine Company, there
in 1952. Fortunately, the Dow Chemical Company,
manufacturer of plastic resins, was situated some 30
miles from Beaverton and Mr. Brown was soon in contact
with Dow engineers who were working on new
thermoforming applications. Dow technicians specified
machine parameters and Mr. Brown developed practical
thermoforming equipment to accomplish these tasks.
Dow was interested in inducing potential high volume
plastics customers to acquire leading edge
thermoforming equipment to compete successfully with
other manufacturing processes. Automotive, appliance
and disposable food container manufacturers required

thermoforming machinery which could produce parts
many times faster then was available from the existing
commercial machinery builders.

Brown Machine Company reacted to the challenge
and succeeded in satisfying these user demands by innovative
thinking and simple but sound design engineering
with many features that are presently incorporated
in most high speed modern equipment. A major roll fed
forming press development originated at Brown incorporated
rapidly moving long stroke opposing platens
capable of resisting the opening forces within a pressure
forming mold (Fig. 3-19). Mr. Brown received the basic

Fig. 3-19. Brown 42P rapid long stroke opposing platens for
pressure forming capable of 20+ cycles/min, 1963.

patent for an endless chain which gripped and indexed a
web of plastic through the oven and then into the form-
ing press, eliminating mechanical clamp frames (Fig. 3-
20). Once the heated web is indexed out of the oven the

Fig. 3-20. Brown inline thermoformer web endless pin chain
conveying system, 1963.

sheet is in place to be thermoformed immediately and
thus the plastic heating time is reduced to zero. The first
commercial rotary vacuum former, the Brown R-233,
which rotated and indexed cut plastic sheets held in
clamp frames through the loading, heating and forming
stations was introduced in 1955. Again this method eliminated
the addition of heating time to the overall cycle.

Thermoforming
QUARTERLY 20

High speed roll fed thermoformers cycling at 20+
cycles per minute would not be of much value unless
they were synchronized to variable speed trim presses
mounting punch and dies to trim the total output of the
thermoformer. Horizontal variable stroke trim presses
were designed at Brown in the 1950’s to accommodate
different depth parts and web indexing strokes. Rapid
forming cycles accelerated the development of highly
efficient mold cooling systems and the mechanical technology
to economically construct large size trim dies to
complete a total forming system. Thus new mold and
die development evolved in step with the emerging rapid
forming cycles, spawning a totally new industry.

These advances occurred during a period when many
thin gauge thermoforming operations using outmoded
equipment struggled to vacuum form three cycles per
minute. They then manually slowly trimmed this output
with steel rule dies in clicker die cutters. Perhaps the
reason why the early machine builders do not exist today
is because they were unable to sell automated (expensive)
equipment to their financially weak
thermoforming customers who required time to grow
and develop their businesses. Molds and trim dies for
the high volume production of just one thermoformed
cup cost more than the total capitalization of some of
the custom vacuum forming operations of that generation

European development of commercial thermoforming
equipment lagged behind the U.S. during the 1950’s due
to the necessity of concentrating on repairing the war
damage of the 1940’s.

Hydro-Chemie, Zurich, Switzerland (a neutral country
in WW2), advertised its “Vacuum Molding Machine”
in Modern Plastics Magazine, Nov. 1953. (Fig. 3-21.)

Fig. 3-21. Hydro-Chemie Zurich, Switzerland vacuum molding
machine, 1953.

The machine appears to operate in a similar manner to

U.S. machines of this era. Its heater had a temperature
range of 200-750°F (94-399°C) and clamp frame accommodated
only female cavities. The firm built machines
under the Formvac name and then sold the company to
Welding Engineers, Inc., Norristown, Pa., in August,
1955.
Sheet forming in Great Britain, as described in Modern
Plastics, April 1953, was using mechanical forming
techniques or oven heated plastic sheets placed in
matched male and female molds. As in the U.S., individual
firms developed proprietary vacuum forming
equipment for their own specialized purposes. The article
states that no standard commercial machines were
marketed at that time. Edwards and Co. Ltd. of Sussex,
England advertised its vacuum forming machines
in the Plastics World Magazine, July 1954. The machines
had features similar to the Industrial Radiant Heat Co.
vacuum formers.

Morane Plastics Co. Ltd., Middlesex, England, developed
a combination vacuum former and skin packaging
machine, described in Modern Packaging,
September 1955. This machine’s heater is raised 90° to
an upright position when not processing plastic, which
could cause some discomfort to the operator.

Adolf Illig Maschinenbau, Heilbronn, Germany, a
metal fabricator, received his first order to build a vacuum
former the UA-100 in 1956 (Fig. 3-22). This firm con-

Fig. 3-22. Illig Model UA-100 vacuum former, 1956.

tinued to grow and is presently the largest thermoformer
equipment builder in the world, and its control remains
with the Illig family.

(continued on next page)

21 Thermoforming
QUARTERLY

(continued from previous page)

The role of plastics magazines and trade exhibitions
during the 1950’s was critical to the growth of
thermoforming education. Vacuum forming processing
started essentially from zero using a government
mapmaking technique as a basis for the technology.
Early machine builders were just one lesson behind or
ahead of their customers’ needs. Since there existed no
written rules or bodies of knowledge, the exhibitions and
periodicals provided the only essential bits and pieces
of thermoforming information available to the early pioneers.
Present day public sources now report incremental
improvements in modern machinery and techniques
but technical seminars, books and societies now are the
main support for thermoforming education for the industry.

Thermoforming equipment development started out
to supply a “universal machine for everyman” and later
it evolved for more specialized purposes. The two major
machine groups are based on whether the material
input is cut sheet or roll stock and within these categories
are further divisions. The thermoforming business
is divided between high production proprietary products
or custom formers who run small or medium production
as vendors to their customers. These two groups often
intermingle so clear lines are not drawn between the two
businesses.

The basic commercial thermoforming developed during
the 1950’s are Universal Vacuum Formers, both cut
sheet and roll fed types. Rotary Vacuum Formers which
became the workhorse for most cut sheet operations.
Inline Vacuum Formers and Trim Press consisting of a
roll fed integrated system for high volume production.
A pressure forming model was marketed in the early
1960’s. Contact Heat Pressure Former for difficult to
form OPS roll stock producing a finished formed and
trimmed part directly from its cut-in-place die and mold
combination. Skin Packaging machines devised specifically
for this type of package.

Important auxiliary equipment linked to
thermoforming are: Thermal and Impulse Blister Sealers
and Die Cutters and Routers used to trim finished
formed parts from the Sheet.

* * *

The author enjoyed the friendship of many of these pioneers
and it was a great pleasure to be associated with
them during this time and place. ¦

References

Note: Patented Machines were often sold before the patents were filed.
Article – First National Plastics Exposition – Modern Plastics, July, 1946,

Editorial.

Ad – Radiant Heat Inc. – Plastics World, June 1954.

Article – Packaging Institute Forum – Vacuum Formed Thermoplastics – New,

Needed, but not by Novices – Modern Packaging, December 1954.

Ad – Borkland Laboratories, Inc. – Modern Plastics, April 1955.

Article – Plaxall Corp. – Automatic Sheet Forming -Modern Plastics, July

1953.
Brown Machine Co. – Inline thermoformer and Steel Rule Die Cutting – Brown

Patent No. 3,513,505 filed October 5, 1966.

Article – Kraft Foods – One Portion at a Time – Modern Plastics, May 1952.

Kraft Foods – Single portion package -Patent No. 2,736,150 filed February 28,

1952 and Patent No. 2,649,392 filed March 30, 1950.

Article – Bow Stratton, Printed Sheets Precision Formed – Modern Plastics,
September 1950.

Ad – Industrial Radiant Heat Corp. Vacuum Former – Modern Packaging, April
1953.

Fifth National Plastics Exposition – Industrial Radiant Heat Corp.
demonstrated the first commercial vacuum former – March 1952 in
Philadelphia, PA.

Article – Autovac Corp. – Notice of founding of firm – Modern Plastics,
February, 1953

Thermtrol Corp. – Contact Heat Pressure Former – Patent No. 3,113,345 filed
August 24, 1961.

Shuman – Large Manual Vacuum Former – Patent No. 3,553,784 filed
December 14, 1967.

Packaging Industries – Form, Fill and Seal – Patent No. 2,970,414 filed

December 18, 1958.

Autovac Corp. – Roll Fed Vacuum Former – company literature.

Ad – Autovac Corp. – Drape Vacuum Former – Plastics World – December

1953.

Autovac Corp. – Cut Sheet Vacuum Former – Patent No. 2,836,852 filed March
8, 1954.

Vacform Corp. – Drape Vacuum Forming – Patent No. 2,989,780 filed July 2,

1953.

Atlas Vac Corp. – History of company – letter from Dave Zelnick, CEO (2005).

Ad – Comet Industries – Dual Station Vacuum Former – Modern Plastics,

February 1955.

Comet Industries – Motorized Platen Vacuum Former, Patent No. 3,025,566
filed February 9, 1959.

Ad – Abbott Plastics Machine Co. – Large Manual Vacuum Former – Plastics
World, August 1954.

Plax Corp. – Contact Heat Pressure Former – Patent No. 3,004,288 filed

October 19, 1955.

Tronomatic Corp – Roll Fed Vacuum Former – Patent No. 3,153,813.

Brown Machine Co. – History of Company – Internet.

Brown Machine Co. – 42 P. Thermoformer Press – Patent No. 3,346,923 filed

July 10, 1963.
Brown Machine Co. – Web Indexing Chain – Patent No. 3,216,491 filed

October 28, 1963.

Article – Hydro-Chemie – Vacuum Molding- Modern Plastics, November 1953.

Article – British Sheet Forming Progress – Modern Plastics, April 1953.

Article – Edwards & Co. Ltd. – Vacuum Forming Machine – Plastics World,

July 1954.

Article – Morane Plastics Co. Ltd. – Skin Packaging Machine -Modern
Plastics, September 1955.

Adolf Illig Maschenbau – Company History – Internet -UA-100 Vacuum
Former – photo from company literature.

Thermoforming
QUARTERLY 22

INDUSTRY PRACTICE

The Latest Advancements in Thermoforming

BY FRANK KARAI, VICE PRESIDENT SALES, ODC TOOLING AND MOLDS

I
I
was asked by the Thermoforming Quarterly to provide a list of
what I felt were the most significant advancements in
thermoforming.

These are random comments from our engineering staff that are
involved in thermoforming projects for a variety of customers
throughout North America and other parts of the world.

•
The larger the thermoforming company the more
refined their thermoforming process and the greater the
expectations to use state of the art tooling. Equipment is
typically larger, engineering and forming process
support is greater than smaller regional thermoformers.
•
The move to down gauging material has resulted in the
use of more engineered molds and plug materials. Air
actuated water cooled individual cavity clamping is
common.
•
The interest in cycle time reduction and speed of tool
changes is driven by the large formers competing for
high volume national accounts which are very
competitively bid.
•
The use of high speed European equipment is growing
in North America. Many of these machines are
equipped with third motion plug drives that increase
process control and improve material distribution
leading to down gauging opportunities.
•
Third motion plug activation is especially useful on
deep draw and heavy gauge applications where sheet
sag may be of concern (female mold on top third
motion on the bottom).
•
Flood cooling improves mold temperature control
versus contact cooled molds.
•
Thermoform mold shops are using increasingly
sophisticated mold cooling techniques such as cooling
pins.
•
Thermoform mold shops are increasingly using more
sophisticated engineering, thermal calculations to
optimize cycle times.
Technical Editor’s Note: This article is one company’s opinion of
what is happening in our industry to improve the efficiency of our
process and quality of our parts. I believe that it supports my views
stated in my article titled “Comments from the Technical Editor” on
page 12 and should prompt many of us to take a look at our own
company’s practices. Many of these points listed here will become
topics for future technical articles in this publication. Comments
from our readers are welcome. Please address them to me at
bshep@shepherd.ca.

•
The use of advanced cooling techniques, smaller
diameter lines, multiple cooling lines, advanced
manifolding techniques, in-line turbulators, higher
volume and flow rates are improving BTU removal.
•
The use of thermolators on tower water ensures optimal
mold temperature is reached even on start-up, there is
an added benefit of increased flow and turbulence
which improves cooling efficienty
•
Air distribution has become more advanced allowing
for faster forming, leading to better definition and faster
cycles.
•
Pressure/vacuum combination is now the norm with air
being distributed throughout the mold at multiple points
of distribution.
•
The use of baffles to diffuse pressure forming air-avoids
spot chilling parts.
•
Vent hole sizes have gotten smaller with more of them
and the use of slot venting is useful when available.
•
Quick change cavities and plugs is common allowing
more machine through put.
•
Advanced plug materials such as B1X and WFT are
used resulting in better plug performance, therefore
down gauging and better material distribution.
•
Plug materials are more thermally stable allowing for
faster cycle times.
•
Solid modeling software and forming simulations are
more commonly used allowing for more intricate and
thorough design investigations which impact cycle
times.
•
Proper mold design is still dependent on the
applications.
•
Mold design needs to respect the particular demands of
the part geometry, part structural integrity, lock designs
and undercuts plus unique properties of materials
including multi-layer barrier materials and new
recyclables such as PLA.
•
The skill and experience of the thermoforming process
engineer is increasing in importance.
•
A good mold shop must have thermoforming process
experience and knowledge not just good machining
experience.
•
The use of advanced heavy gauge forming techniques
such as blow billow forming are finding applications in
the in-line roll fed process. ¦
23 Thermoforming
QUARTERLY

“Down Gauging” – It’s a Good Thing

BY BARRY SHEPHERD

H
H
ow many of us quote jobs and
specify the starting gauge? I
would suggest that the majority of
custom thermoformers are accustomed
to quoting this way. In the case of
proprietary themoformers producing
such things as food service items,
although the starting gauge is a major
factor in the costing of the parts, it is
of little interest to the customer because
he or she only cares about how well
the part performs which would relate
only to the thickness of the finished
part. So why do custom thermoformers
continue to state starting gauge on their
proposals?

My point is this. Why should any
customer buying thermoformed parts,
care about what gauge of raw material
we start with. He should only care
about how well his part performs. We
sell to a wide variety of customers,
from the very knowledgeable to the –
well lets be kind and say, technically
challenged. With the latter we have a
duty to explain the process of
thermoforming and how the plastic
thins during heating and forming.
Those who already understand may
need to be reminded and shown where
the thinning will be most prevalent. In
all cases however, we must educate our
customers and work with them to
determine what the minimum wall
thickness should be and in some cases
specify the thickness in various places
on the part. Once he or she has

(Technical Editor’s Note: Thermoforming
101 articles are intended not only to
educate but also to generate interest in
making improvements in our industry and
our businesses. I welcome any feedback,
positive, negative or otherwise. If I have
provoked some dialogue and thought by
writing an article like this it is for the good
of the industry.)

THERMOFORMING
101
established these thickness criteria, it
should become the specification with
no mention of the starting gauge.

Unless we are dealing with a
seasoned customer who has already
considered wall thickness
requirements, most of the time
customers will indicate the need for a
specific starting gauge. This may be
because he or she has a competitive
proposal that specifies a starting gauge
or the part is existing and because the
spec calls for a starting gauge he or she
simply assumes that it should continue
to be that gauge. If we are not given a
material gauge requirement in the RFQ,
many of us will be unsure what gauge
should be used so we will quote 2 or
more. Would it not be more
professional to do some homework and
quote the part stating a minimum
thickness or perhaps even a range of
wall thickness measurements
throughout the part?

When I bring up this point with those
in the industry I am told that the “good”
thermoformers do not quote starting
gauge. This leads me to believe that
what separates the “good”
thermoformers from the”not so good”
is know-how. That is, knowing how to
produce the part with the specified
minimum wall thickness requirements
using the thinnest possible starting

gauge. What do we need to know to be
able to produce the part with minimum
wall thickness specs and do so with a
thinner material than our competition?

Are the lights going on yet?

Dare I say that, “down gauging” has
some negative connotations that relate
to using a material gauge that is less
than what was quoted because the term
“down gauging” is sometimes used
when competitive pressures force a
need to reduce costs. However if
starting gauge is never specified, then
we would eliminate any possibility of
being accused of such a practice. It is a
win – win situation for supplier and
customer. The real competitive edge
goes to the thermoforming supplier
with the most know-how and there-in
lies the moral of the story.

We in the SPE are trying to educate
thermoformers to be more competitive,
more innovative and more successful.
Those who work to that end will
ultimately prevail. Having the knowhow
to be able to guarantee a minimum
wall thickness with a thinner starting
gauge is indeed, a superior way to sell.
By using better material, better part
design, better tooling or better
equipment than our competition, we
will get the job and have a much better
chance of keeping the job if it gets
shopped around by the customer.

Thermoforming
QUARTERLY 24

One way to produce a thermoformed
part in a thinner gauge, while still
maintaining a minimum wall thickness
is to look at some of the different
forming techniques available to us.
Many of us have listened to seminars
by Bill McConnell or Art Buckel that
show techniques such as billow
forming or snap-back forming. These
methods are designed primarily to
provide better material distribution
which of course relates to improved
wall thickness in the critical areas on
the part. Of course in order to utilize
these techniques we must build special
tooling, have the equipment that allows
the extra step in the process and we
may have to extend the cycle time a
little. However it could result in getting
the job because of a more uniform part,
a significant reduction in starting gauge
and consequently a reduction in
material costs.

It is one thing to know what
techniques and tooling will improve
material distribution and another to
predict wall thickness accurately. An
experienced tool designer who has the
benefit of many years in the job will
be able to do so fairly well; however,
these people are scarce. There are
computer simulation programs
available that can assist with this and
make the predictions within a few
thousandths of an inch. One of these
programs could become your best sales
tool.

Like most practices that have
become routine, modifying our quoting
procedures to reflect minimum wall
thickness instead of starting gauge will
take some effort. It will require us to
take more time with the customer to
agree on the specs. It will require
knowledgeable engineering personnel
to determine tool design, process
techniques and what gauge material to
use. But in my opinion it will make us
better thermoformers by putting the
responsibility on our engineers to find
ways to down gauge while maintaining
wall thickness requirements. ¦

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QUARTERLY

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25 ThermoformingQUARTERLY

Council Report …
Charleston, South Carolina

BY LOLA CARERE, COUNCILOR

TO: THE COUNCIL

This summary is intended to help
you review the highlights of the
Council meeting held in Charleston,
South Carolina, on January 27th.
Please note that all supporting
documentation remains available to
Councilors and Section/Division
board members at: http://extranet.
4spe.org/council/index.php.

SPE President Tim Womer called
the meeting to order.

The Council weekend format was
as follows:

•
Council Committee of the Whole
– there was a separate Council
Committee of the Whole
meeting.
•
Council Meeting – a formal
Council meeting was held.
Officers were elected.
Elections:

Council elected the following
individuals as Society officers for the
2007-2008 term, which begins at
ANTEC (May 6th-11th).

President-Elect …
William O’Connell

Senior Vice President …
Paul Andersen

Vice President (nominated by the
Divisions Committee) …
Jim Griffing

In addition to these formal offices,
each year Council also elects a Chair
for the Council Committee of the
Whole. Dick Cameron will hold this
position for the 2007-2008 year.

Executive Director’s Update:

Executive Director Susan
Oderwald provided a report covering
changes in staff and the
reorganization of office space at
headquarters due to the rental of space
on the first floor to AIChE’s customer
relations department. She presented
the headquarters staff organizational
chart.

Ms. Oderwald discussed activities
for the current year and major
initiatives for the coming year. She
reviewed international development
activities and provided a report on the
financial status of SPE as of
December 2006. At the end of her
report, she fielded clarifying
questions and comments.
Treasurer’s Update:

Treasurer John Szymankiewicz
reviewed the 2006 financial
performance of the Society. Mr.
Szymankiewicz indicated that the
estimate of the net income for 2006
was approximately $20,000.

Mr. Szymankiewicz also discussed
the ongoing Finance Committee
review of Plastics Engineering
magazine. Further, Mr. Szymankiewicz
reviewed the critical

components of the current budget to
meet expenses and grow income
leading up to and beyond ANTEC.

Other Business:

Presentations and discussions also
took place on the following topics:
Parliamentary Procedure
The SPE Foundation Update
Officer Reports
2007-2008 Operating Plan

Readings and Votes:

2nd Reading and Approval of
Bylaws changes:

4.3.12, 4.3.13, 14.7.9 and

14.7.10

Amendment to Policy #2 –
Rebates

Approval of:

•
Policy #6 – Copyright,
Trademark and Trade Name
•
Policy #9 – Member Use of
the Society Name, Logo and
Symbols
•
Policy #10 – Honored Service
Member Election Committee
New Student Chapters:

Council approved the charters of
the following new Student Chapters:

India Institute of Technology,
India

Thermoforming
QUARTERLY 26

Lamar University, Texas, USA

Skyline Career Development
Center, Texas, USA

Section Mergers/Names Changes/
Divisions in Formation:

Council approved the following
Section mergers/name changes:

South Bend/ Northern Indiana
merger – New name – Michiana
Section

Bartlesville Tulsa/Oklahoma City
merger – New name – Oklahoma
Section

Tex-La-Gulf/South Texas Merger

– New name – South Texas
North Texas/Ark-La-Tex territory
assumption – New name – North
Texas

A new Division was approved:
Additives & Colour Europe

Committee Meetings:

Twelve committees met prior to the
Council meetings:

•
ANTEC Committee
•
Conference Committee
•
Bylaws & Policy Committee
•
Divisions Committee
•
Education Awards Committee
•
Executive Committee
•
Finance Committee
•
International Committee
•
New Technology Committee
•
Sections Committee
•
Student Activities Committee
•
SPE Foundation Executive
Committee
Presentations:

All presentations and supporting
documentation for Council and

committee discussions can be viewed
on the SPE website at: http://
extranet.4spe.org/council/index.php.

Jon Ratzlaff (Rotational Molding
Division Councilor and Chair of the
International Committee) presented
awards on behalf of the India Section
for help in revitalizing the Section.

Contributions:

SPE is grateful to the following
organizations that made contributions
in support of SPE and The
SPE Foundation:

•
Thermoforming Division,
represented by Gwen Mathis,
Lola Carere and Jay Waddell,
presented SPE a check for
$32,024 as the share from the
2006 Thermoforming
Conference.
•
The Color and Appearance
Division presented a check for
$5,000 to The SPE
Foundation. They also
contributed $2,000 for
ANTEC student travel.
•
The Composites and
Automotive Divisions
presented $5,961.91 proceeds

from the Automotive

Composites Conference and

Exhibition.

•
Thermoplastic Materials
and Foams presented $11,500
proceeds from their
conference.
•
The Great Salt Lake Section
presented a donation to the
Match Your Members
campaign, which is part of the
Foundation’s 2006-07 Annual
Campaign.
The next formal Council meeting
is scheduled for Sunday, May 6th, in
Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. ¦

6th European
Thermoforming
Conference 2008 in Berlin

T
T
he Society of Plastics Engineers –
European Thermoforming Division
invites you to the 6th European
Thermoforming Conference to be held in
Berlin from 03 to 05 April 2008 at Maritim
Hotel Berlin.

The conference agenda will include, as
in previous conferences, presentations
from experts in the thermoforming industry
and lively debates in workshops about
technical and commercial innovations.
Moreover, the event provides the unique
opportunity to meet colleagues and
customers from the industry around the
world. More details are available soon at
www.e-t-d.org.

EUROPEAN THERMOFORMING
PARTS COMPETITION

Again on the occasion of this next ETD
conference, thermoformers are invited to
participate in the European
Thermoforming Parts Competition.
Originality, creativity, mould complexity
and technical ability will be the judging
criteria in order to promote advanced
design and developments from a structural
innovation perspective.

Entries with thick gauge parts will be
possible in the categories Vehicle/
Automotive, Industrial and Point of
Purchase/Displays. Thin gauge parts will
be judged in the categories Food
Applications, Medical Applications and
General Packaging.

The conference is to be complimented
by an informative and comprehensive
exhibition (table top displays) of relevant
latest product developments and services
offered by a variety of leading suppliers
to the thermoforming industry. This will
also create a discussion platform for
exhibitors and conference participants.

Social events enabling you and your
accompanying partner to experience the
dynamic, cosmopolitan and creative
metropolis and gain memorable
impressions of Berlin.

Come to Berlin …
you’ll be most welcome!

SOCIETY OF PLASTICS ENGINEERS EUROPE
EUROPEAN THERMOFORMING DIVISION
Eric Sasselaan 51 ~ BE-2020 Antwerpen ~
Belgium
Tel. +32 3 541 77 55 ~ Fax +32 3 541 84 25
spe.europe@skynet.be ~ www.e-t-d.org

27 Thermoforming
QUARTERLY

Help Sponsor

Thermoforming®

Q U A R T E R L Y

ONE YR. SPONSORSHIPS

**Please note the increase in sponsorship
rates. This is the first increase since the
inception of the Thermoforming Quarterly
in 1981. We appreciate your continued
support of our award winning publication.

Patron – $625

(Includes 2.25″ x 1.25″ notice)

Benefactor – $2,000

(Includes 4.75″ x 3″ notice)

Questions?

Please Contact:

Laura Pichon

Ex-Tech Plastics
847/829-8124
lpichon@extechplastics.com

We Appreciate Your Support!

From The Editor

Thermoforming Quarterly

welcomes letters from its
readers. All letters are subject
to editing for clarity and space
and must be signed. Send to:
Mail Bag, Thermoforming
Quarterly, P. O. Box 471,
Lindale, Georgia 30147-1027,
fax 706/295-4276 or e-mail to:
gmathis224@aol.com.

These sponsors enable us to publish Thermoforming
QUARTERLY

www.gnplastics.com | Chester | Nova Scotia | Canada | Tel +1-902/275 3571
The GN DM with patented technology is a plug-assist machine
Robotic product handling system | Built-in diagnostic system
Multi-zone upper and lower ovens | Positive and negative forming
Quick tool changes
of the GN family… be part GN DM series thermoformers
thermoforming
Your Number 1 Source
for Cutting Tools to the
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ONSRUDadvantage
more than just cutting tools
ONSRUD CUTTER LP
800 Liberty Drive • Libertyville, IL60048, USA
Phone 800.234.1560 • Fax 847.362.5028www.onsrud.com • www.plasticrouting.com
Leitz Metalworking Technology Group
the
Cutting Tools for ALLTrimming Applications
• Multi-Axis
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• 3 and 5
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theONSRUDadvantage
Thermoforming
QUARTERLY 28

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Thermoforming

QUARTERLY

ISO 9001:2000
These sponsors enable us to publish Thermoforming
QUARTERLY

Thermoforming & Extrusion Consultants • Manufacturing Processes Analysis
In-house Training and Seminars • Turn-key Project Management
Market Development • Advanced Materials Forming • Product and Design Development

Coming Soon – 2007 Seminar Schedule

Contact: Jay Waddell jwaddell@plasticoncepts.com • Ph: 843-971-7833 • Fax: 843-216-6151
1127 Queensborough Blvd. • Suite 102 • Mt. Pleasant SC 29464 USA • www.plasticoncepts.com

…………………………………….
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…………………………S
………………………………………………………………………………T
………………………………………………………………………………S
……………………………………………………………………..S
.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR!

2007 THERMOFORMING CONFERENCE
September 16th – 19th, 2007
Duke Energy Center & Millennium Hotel
Cincinnati, Ohio

29 ThermoformingQUARTERLY

Thermoformers, have
you discovered a
forming tip that you
are willing to share
with your fellow
formers?
A time saver?
Or a cost saver?
Or something that
will save wear and
tear on your machine?
Or your employees?
Then the

TIPS

column
is for you!

Just send Barry Shepherd a
fax at 905-459-6746, outlining
your tip in less than a couple
hundred words. You can
include drawings, sketches,
whatever. Thanks!

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FormingMore Than Machines.
We’re more than just thermoforming machines.
Brown is a process engineering team and a
machine & tooling group that is focused on
discovering the best process and machine
combination to optimize your production output.

Contact us today at www.brown-machine.com

Thermoforming
QUARTERLY 30

THERMOFORMING
DIVISION DVD’S
STILL AVAILABLE

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The first DVD is titled:

“WHAT EXACTLY IS
THERMOFORMING?”

This six-minute DVD introduces
the viewer to the thermoforming
process with examples of parts
produced and a video of the
process. Both thin gauge roll fed
and heavy gauge cut sheet fed
aspects of thermoforming are
illustrated. It is for students,
industry and anyone who
wished to learn more about
thermoforming.

The second DVD is titled:

“FORMING EDUCATIONAL
OPPORTUNITIES:
GRANTS AND
SCHOLARSHIPS
OFFERED BY THE
SOCIETY OF PLASTICS
ENGINEERS –
THERMOFORMING
DIVISION”

This six-minute DVD discusses
the 13 matching equipment
grants of up to $10,000 and 20
scholarships up to $5,000 for
college students. Information is
provided for applying to these
grants and scholarships. The
Thermoforming Division of SPE
has contributed over $150,000
in equipment grants and
scholarships as of this date.

Both DVDs are free of charge and
available from SPE through
Gail Bristol at phone number
203-740-5447 or Gwen Mathis,
Thermoforming Division, at
phone number 706-235-9298.

2952 N. Leavitt x
Chicago IL 60618 x
Ph (773) 281-4200 x
Fax (773) 281-6185

THERMOFORM TOOLING
———-
———-
sales@umthermoform.comwww.umthermoform.com
31 Thermoforming
QUARTERLY

® ®
Society of Plastics Engineers

MEMBERSHIP

P.O. Box 403, Brookfield, CT 06804-0403 USA
Tel: +1.203.740.5403 Fax: +1.203.775.8490 www.4spe.org APPLICATION
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Checks must be drawn on US or Canadian banks in US or Canadian funds.
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signature date
recommended by member (optional) Id #
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PAYMENT MUST ACCOMPANY APPLICATION
Sorry, No Purchase Orders Accepted
Dues include a 1-year subscription to Plastics Engineering magazine.
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Materials (choose all that apply)
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Process (choose all that apply)
..Blow Molding ..Injection Molding
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Students must supply
graduation date:
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Thermoforming
QUARTERLY 32

Plastics on the Move
The WONDER, the WISDOM, the WOW
of the National Plastics Center
PlastiVan™ Program
The PlastiVan™ is a great way to excite young people about the vast opportunities the
plastics industry has to offer. Four PlastiVans™ travel to schools and companies
throughout North America, educating people of all ages about the chemistry, history,
processing, environmental issues and applications of plastics.
This hands-on program will intrigue and pique students’ interests
in all facets of the plastics industry.
Along with Lab programs for students K – 12, the National Plastics Center also offers
Assembly Programs suitable for community groups and meetings of professional
societies, Educator Programs tailored for teachers, and is always available for
Corporate Training and special events.
Learn about plastics the fun way – schedule your PlastiVan™ today!
National Plastics Center
PH: 978-537-9529; FX: 978-537-3220
www.plasticscenter.org
Plastics on the Move
The WONDER, the WISDOM, the WOW
of the National Plastics Center
PlastiVan™ Program
The PlastiVan™ is a great way to excite young people about the vast opportunities the
plastics industry has to offer. Four PlastiVans™ travel to schools and companies
throughout North America, educating people of all ages about the chemistry, history,
processing, environmental issues and applications of plastics.
This hands-on program will intrigue and pique students’ interests
in all facets of the plastics industry.
Along with Lab programs for students K – 12, the National Plastics Center also offers
Assembly Programs suitable for community groups and meetings of professional
societies, Educator Programs tailored for teachers, and is always available for
Corporate Training and special events.
Learn about plastics the fun way – schedule your PlastiVan™ today!
National Plastics Center
PH: 978-537-9529; FX: 978-537-3220
www.plasticscenter.org
33 Thermoforming
QUARTERLY

Thermoforming QUARTERLY 34
info@cmtmaterials.com www.cmtmaterials.com
TEL (508) 226-3901 FAX (508) 226-3902
CMT MATERIALS, INC.
Innovative Tooling Materials for Thermoforming
RENSHAPE ®
Prototype Boards
HYTAC ®
Plug Assist Materials
METAPOR®
Porous Aluminum
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Thermoforming
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1305 Lincoln Avenue, Holland, MI 49423
PH (800) 833-1305 / FX (800) 832-5536
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Your One-Stop Resource for
Thermoforming Equipment & Sales
• Machines • Accessories • Automation • Consulting
Roger Fox • David A. J. Morgese
(630) 653-2200 • www.foxmor.com

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Thermoforming

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Thermoformer Parts Suppliers
3818 Terry Diane
Beaverton, MI 48612
Phone: 800-722-2997
Fax: 989-435-3825
Email: tps@ejourney.com
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Brian Ray
President
brianr@rayplastics.com
Doug Benton
Standex Engraving Group
5901 Lewis Rd.
Sandston, VA 23150
Ph: 804/236-3065
Fax: 804/226-3462
Great companies run in Packs

Price
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Knowledge

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Visit the
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ARES …
CNC
MACHINING
CENTERS
FOR
MACHINING
PLASTIC AND
COMPOSITE
MATERIALS
CMS North America, Inc.
Grand Rapids, MI
800.225.5267 Fax: 616.698.9730
®
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www.cms.it
cmssales@cmsna.com
35 Thermoforming
QUARTERLY

 Thickness from 0.028” to 0.500”
–
ISO 9001:2000 and
ISO 14001 CERTIFIED– Woodgrain and
Abstract Designs
INDEX OF SPONSORS

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Laboratory Sealers

Sencorp thermoformers
deliver repeatable, quality
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removal systems. Sencorp
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400 Kidds Hill Road—Hyannis, MA 02601—USA

P: 508 -771-9400 F: 508-790-0002 E: sales@sencorp -inc.com www.sencorp-inc.com
We build machines that build business
KIEFEL TECHNOLOGY …………….. 14
KMT ROBOTIC SOLUTIONS, INC. . 11
KYDEX …………………………………… 36
LANXESS …………………………………. 9
LUSTRAN POLYMERS ………………11
MAAC MACHINERY …………………… 6
McCLARIN PLASTICS………………. 34
MODERN MACHINERY ……………. 30
NEW HAMPSHIRE PLASTICS …… 25
ONSRUD CUTTER …………………… 28
PLASTICS CONCEPTS …………….. 29
PLASTIMACH ………………………….. 30
PORTAGE CASTING & MOLD,

INC……………………………………… 29
PREMIER MATERIAL CONCEPTS. 14
PRIMEX PLASTICS ………………….. 34
PROCESSING TECHNOLOGIES .. 34
PRODUCTIVE PLASTICS, INC. …. 29
PRODUCTO CORPORATION ……. 34
PROFILE PLASTICS ………………… 29
RAY PRODUCTS, INC………………. 35
RAYTEK …………………………………. 29
SELECT PLASTICS………………….. 35
SENCORP ………………………………. 36
SOLAR PRODUCTS ………………… 35
STANDEX ENGRAVING GROUP .. 35
STOPOL INC. ………………………….. 25
TEMPCO ELECTRIC ………………….. 4
THERMWOOD CORP…….Inside Back

Cover
TOOLING TECHNOLOGY, LLC ……. 4
TPS ……………………………………….. 35
ULTRA-METRIC TOOL CO. ……….. 31
WECO PRODUCTS …………………… 9
WELEX, INC. …………………………… 13
XALOY …………………………………… 35
ZED INDUSTRIES ……………………. 34

ADVANCED VENTURES IN
TECHNOLOGY, INC. ………………. 9
ALCOA GLOBAL MILLS
PRODUCTS …………………………. 13
ALLEN EXTRUDERS ……………….. 34
AMERICAN CATALYTIC
TECHNOLOGIES ………………….. 29
AMERICAN THERMOFORMING
MACHINERY ……………………….. 14
ALTUGLAS INTERNATIONAL ……… 1

BROWN MACHINE ………………….. 30
CMS NORTH AMERICA ……………. 35
CMT MATERIALS, INC. …………….. 34
COPPER AND BRASS DIVISION …. 5
EDWARD D. SEGEN & CO. ………. 31
FOXMOR GROUP ……………………. 34
FUTURE MOLD CORP. …………….. 35
GN PLASTICS …………………………. 28
JRM INTERNATIONAL ……………….. 5

These sponsors enable us to publish Thermoforming
QUARTERLY

Thermoformers
Thermoforming
QUARTERLY 36

THERMOFORMING DIVISION BOARD OF DIRECTORS THERMOFORMING DIVISION BOARD OF DIRECTORS
James A. Alongi – 2009

MAAC Machinery
590 Tower Boulevard
Carol Stream, IL 60188-9426
TEL (630) 665-1700
FAX (630) 665-7799
jalongi@maacmachinery.com

Machinery Committee

Jim Armor – 2008

Armor & Associates
16181 Santa Barbara Lane
Huntington Beach, CA 92649
TEL (714) 846-7000
FAX (714) 846-7001
jimarmor@aol.com

Materials Committee

Phil S. Barhouse – 2009

Creative Forming
100 Creative Way

P.O. Box 128
Ripon, WI 54971
TEL (920) 748-1119
FAX (920) 748-9466
phil.barhouse@creativeforming.com
Materials Committee

Arthur Buckel – 2008

McConnell Co., Inc.
3452 Bayonne Drive
San Diego, CA 92109
TEL (858) 273-9620
FAX (858) 273-6837
artbuckel@thermoforming.com

Processing Committee

Conor Carlin – 2008

Stopol, Inc.
31875 Solon Road
Solon, OH 44139
TEL (440) 498-4000
FAX (440) 498-4001
conorc@stopol.com

Machinery Committee

Haydn Forward – 2009

Specialty Mfg., Inc.
6790 Nancy Ridge Drive
San Diego, CA 92121
TEL (858) 450-1591
FAX (858) 450-0400
hforward@smi-mfg.com

Processing Committee

Roger Fox – 2010

The Foxmor Group
373 South County Farm Road
Suite 202
Wheaton, IL 60187
TEL (630) 653-2200
FAX (630) 653-1474
rfox@foxmor.com

Marketing Committee

Richard Freeman – 2009

Freetech Plastics
2211 Warm Springs Court
Fremont, CA 94539
TEL (510) 651-9996
FAX (510) 651-9917
rfree@freetechplastics.com

Processing Committee

Hal Gilham – 2010

Productive Plastics, Inc.
103 West Park Drive
Mt. Laurel, NJ 08045
TEL (856) 778-4300
FAX (856) 234-3310
halg@productiveplastics.com

Processing Committee

Ken Griep – 2008

Portage Casting & Mold, Inc.
2901 Portage Road
Portage, WI 53901
TEL (608) 742-7137
FAX (608) 742-2199
ken@pcmwi.com

Machinery Committee

Steve Hasselbach – 2008

CMI Plastics

P.O. Box 369
Cranbury, NJ 08512-0369
TEL (609) 395-1920
FAX (609) 395-0981
steve@cmiplastics.com
Donald C. Hylton – 2010

646 Holyfield Highway
Fairburn, GA 30213
TEL (678) 772-5008
don@thermoforming.com

Materials Committee

Bill Kent – 2008

Brown Machine
330 North Ross Street
Beaverton, MI 48612-0434
TEL (989) 435-7741
FAX (989) 435-2821
bill.kent@brown-machine.com

Machinery Committee

Don Kruschke – 2010

Stopol, Inc.
31875 Solon Road
Solon, OH 44139
TEL (440) 498-4000
FAX (440) 498-4001
donk@Stopol.com

Machinery Committee

Wm. K. McConnell, Jr. – 2008

McConnell Co., Inc.
3030 Sandage St.

P.O. Box 11512
Fort Worth, TX 76110
TEL (817) 926-8287
FAX (817) 926-8298
billmc@thermoforming.com
Materials Committee

Vin McElhone – 2010

Stand-Up Plastics
5 Fordham Trail
Old Saybrook, CT 06475
TEL (860) 395-5699
FAX (860) 395-4732
vin@standupplastics.com

Materials Committee

Stephen R. Murrill – 2009

Profile Plastics Corp.
65 S. Waukegan
Lake Bluff, IL 60044
TEL (847) 604-5100 EXT. 29
FAX (847) 604-8030
SMurrill@thermoform.com

Processing Committee

Dennis Northrop – 2009

Avery Dennison
Automotive Division
650 W. 67th Avenue
Schererville, IN 46375-1390
TEL (219) 322-5030
FAX (219) 322-2623
Dennis.Northrop@averydennison.com

Materials Committee

Joe Peters – 2010

Universal Plastics
75 Whiting Farms Road
Holyoke, MA 01040
TEL (413) 592-4791
FAX (413) 592-6876
petersj@universalplastics.com

Processing Committee

Laura Pichon – 2008

Ex-Tech Plastics

P.O. Box 576
11413 Burlington Road
Richmond, IL 60071
TEL (847) 829-8124
FAX (815) 678-4248
lpichon@extechplastics.com
Materials Committee

Robert G. Porsche – 2009

General Plastics, Inc.
2609 West Mill Road
Milwaukee, WI 53209
TEL (414) 351-1000
FAX (414) 351-1284
bob@genplas.com

Processing Committee

Walt Speck – 2010

Speck Plastics, Inc.

P. O. Box 421
Nazareth, PA 18064
TEL (610) 759-1807
FAX (610) 759-3916
wspeck@speckplastics.com
Processing Committee

Dr. Martin J. Stephenson, Ph.D. 2009

316 Boulevard Ave.
Belleville, WI 53508
TEL (608) 424-3837
dezmar@hotmail.com

Materials Committee

Jay Waddell – 2008

Plastic Concepts & Innovations,
LLC
1127 Queensborough Blvd.
Suite 102
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464
TEL (843) 971-7833
FAX (843) 216-6151
jwaddell@plasticoncepts.com

Processing Committee

Brian Winton – 2010

Modern Machinery

P. O. Box 423
Beaverton, MI 48612-0423
TEL (989) 435-9071
FAX (989) 435-3940
bwinton@modernmachineinc.com
Machinery Committee

These sponsors enable us to publish Thermoforming
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™
Non-Profit Org.

U.S. POSTAGE
PAID

SOCIETY OF
PLASTICS
ENGINEERS, INC

A JOURNAL OF THE THERMOFORMING DIVISION OF THE SOCIETY OF PLASTICS ENGINEERS

P. O. Box 471
Lindale, Georgia 30147
CHANGE SERVICE REQUESTED

Our mission is to facilitate the advancement of thermoforming
technologies through education, application, promotion and research.
SPE National
Executive Director
Susan Oderwald
Direct Line: 203/740-5471
Fax: 203/775-8490
email: Seoderwald@4spe.org
Walt Walker
Prent Corporation
P. O. Box 471, 2225 Kennedy Road
Janesville, WI 53547-0471
(608) 754-0276 x4410 • Fax (608) 754-2410
wwalker@prent.com
Barry Shepherd
Shepherd Thermoforming & Packaging, Inc.
5 Abacus Road
Brampton, Ontario L6T 5B7 Canada
(905) 459-4545 x229 • Fax (905) 459-6746
bshep@shepherd.ca
Brian Ray
Ray Products
1700 Chablis Avenue
Ontario, CA 91761
(909) 390-9906 • Fax (909) 390-9984
brianr@rayplastics.com
Mike Sirotnak
Solar Products
228 Wanaque Avenue
Pompton Lakes, NJ 07442
(973) 248-9370 • Fax (973) 835-7856
msirotnak@solarproducts.com
Lola Carere
Thermopro, Inc.
2860 Preston Ridge Lane
Dacula, GA 30019
(770) 339-8744 • Fax (770) 339-4181
lcarere@bellsouth.net
CHAIR ELECT
TREASURER
SECRETARY
COUNCILOR WITH TERM
ENDING ANTEC 2009
Roger Kipp
McClarin Plastics
P. O. Box 486, 15 Industrial Drive
Hanover, PA 17331
(717) 637-2241 x4003 • Fax (717) 637-4811
rkipp@mcclarinplastics.com
PRIOR CHAIR
Executive
Committee
2007 – 2009
CHAIR
Conference Coordinator
Gwen Mathis
124 Avenue D, SE
Lindale, Georgia 30147-1027
706/235-9298 • Fax: 706/295-4276
email: gmathis224@aol.com
Website: http://www.4spe.org/communities/divisions/d25.php
or www.thermoformingdivision.com
Division
THERMOFORMING DIVISION HOTLINE 800-608-7542 Walt Walker, Chairman, Extension 4401# at Prent Corporation
2007 – 2009 THERMOFORMING DIVISION ORGANIZATIONAL CHART
Barry Shepherd
MinneapolisWalt Speck

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