Quarterly Mags: 2008 2nd

A JOURNAL PUBLISHED EACH CALENDAR
QUARTER BY THE
THERMOFORMING DIVISION
OF THE SOCIETY OF PLASTICS ENGINEERS
Editor
Conor Carlin
(440) 498-4000 Ext. 124
Fax (440) 498-4001
conorc@stopol.com
Technical Editor
Barry Shepherd
(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
Conference Coordinator
Gwen Mathis
(706) 235-9298
Fax (706) 295-4276
gmathis224@aol.com
Thermoforming Quarterly® is pub-
lished four times annually as an infor-
mational 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 Thermo-
forming 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 U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
(Registration no. 2,229,747). xThermoforming
Quarterly®
Thermoforming
Quarterly®
SECOND QUARTER 2008
VOLUME 27 n NUMBER 2
Contents
nDepartments
Chairman’s Corner x 2
Thermoforming in the News x 4
University News x21
Parts Competition News x25
Thermoforming and
Sustainability x26
Photo Contest x31
Council Summary x32
nFeatures
Industry Practice x7
Eddyline Kayaks LLC
2008 Thermoformer of the Year x9
George J. Leuken, Owner, Mullinix Packages, Inc.
The Business of Thermoforming x11
Economic Stimulus Package
For Profit Thermoforming
Thermoforming 2.0 x17
Thermoforming Pre-Printed Materials
nIn This Issue
Welcome New Members x3
2008 Conference-Minneapolis x23-24
Sponsorship x34
Thermoforming on the Web x34
2008 Editorial Calendar x 35
Board of Directors x 37
Index of Sponsors x 40
Front Cover
Page 7
Page 21
Page 9
Front Cover
Page 7
Page 21
Page 9
Thermoforming QUArTerLY

Thermoforming
Quarterly® Chairman’s Corner
Walt Walker
Full
Steam
Ahead!

ExpEct HigH ROi
at SEptEmbER
cOnfEREncE

Despite the economy’s turbulent waters,
your Thermoforming Division is slicing
through the choppy waters, on-course, to
deliver you the best ever Thermoforming
Conference – September 20-23, 2008 in
Minneapolis.

Every year we are committed to growing
the Conference, the technical sessions and
the exhibits. And every year our members
have been attending in ever-larger
numbers because they realize there is no
other place where they can learn about the
latest developments in the thermoforming
industry under one roof.

Although on a day-to-day basis you are
dealing with the rising costs of energy,
shipping, equipment, plastic, etc. it is
important to remember that the return on
investment on conference attendance can
be very high. Professional development
and networking are solid investments
in revenue-generating opportunities for
your company. Attendees tell us they
benefit from the Conference’s business
networking opportunities, highly relevant
technical sessions, the up-close look at
new equipment, plus the latest industry
developments and best practices. Where
else under one roof can you get all this?
Our Conference is all thermoforming – all
the time.

Conference attendance is an investment
in yourself and your company, especially
if you seek out and pursue answers to
difficult business-related questions. Do
not short yourself. Do not misjudge the

importance of this gathering of experts
who share their strategies for success and
growth.

nEw
tHERmOfORming
paviliOn at npE 2009

Because NPE’s International Plastics
Showcase is such a major event for the
plastics industry where over 75,000
attendees and billions of dollars worth of
annual purchasing power converge in one
place, our SPE Thermoforming Division
has decided to host a Thermoforming
Pavilion at NPE (June 22-26, 2009 in
Chicago’s McCormick Place).

Our Thermoforming Pavilion will be an
opportunity for show attendees to find
thermoforming information, products
and services through a one-stop-shopping
experience. It will be a place to learn more
about emerging markets for thermoforming
and its growing use as an alternative, costeffective
and versatile answer to other
plastic processes. We will be offering a
variety of industry information, plus the
location of suppliers and thermoforming
practitioners exhibiting throughout NPE.
Watch for more information.

cOngRatulatiOnS
tO gEORgE luEkEn!

An SPE member for 46 years, George J.
Lueken, owner of Mullinix Packages,
Inc., Fort Wayne, Indiana, is our 2008
Thermoformer of the Year. Over the
years, his engineering and inventiveness
has resulted in numerous breakthrough
concepts for the custom thermoformed
rigid plastic disposable food packaging
industry. Congratulations, George!

cHanging Of tHE
guaRd

I’m very excited about the make-up
of your new Executive Board. For one

thing, there’s not as many graybeards!
The leadership is comprised of your new
chairman, Brian Ray of Ray Products.
Brian is a young, energetic and dynamic
leader from California. His chair-elect is
another young man, Ken Griep of Portage
Casting and Mold from Wisconsin. The
secretary will remain Mike Sirotnak
of Solar Products, New Jersey, another
energetic, outspoken young man. This
Executive Committee is quite diverse
and will be covering all the bases as
they serve our membership and industry.
Expect some good give-and-take as well
as outstanding work.

I encourage anyone interested in joining
the Board of Directors to step forward and
contact a current Board member. If you are
interested in giving back to the industry, we
welcome your participation. We especially
need the input of practitioners.

my HEaRtfElt
tHankS tO all

My two-year term as chair is now coming
to an end. What a marvelous opportunity
and a personal privilege it has been to work
for such a dedicated group of individuals.
You may have seen the most recent writeup
about our Division in “Plastics News.”
It made us all proud of what a volunteer
group can do together. I especially want to
congratulate all our leaders over the past
10 years for transforming our organization
into a plastic industry powerhouse.

I thank you for the opportunity to serve
amongst these leaders. It’s been a total
joy. And, as the new Prior Chair of the
Executive Committee, I look forward
to continued service to an industry that
has been so good to me personally and
professionally. x

it’S a gREat day in
tHERmOfORming!

Walt Walker

Thermoforming QUArTerLY

Thermoforming
Quarterly® New Members
Danny Hm Anderson

10857 SW Merlin Court
Wilsonville, OR 97070

Rich E. Boucher

Solo Cup

1700 Old Deerfield Road
Highland Park, IL 60035

Gary V. Costanzo

2780 Cannan Road
Bloomfield, NY 14469

Charles Docs

2321 Conrad Street
Avon, OH 44011

Chris Dolny

Protherm Tool

800 Union Ave.

Bridgeport, CT 06607

Philip Driskill

110 W. Morgan Ave.
Chesterton, IN 46304-2461

Timothy Graham

Merquinsa
351 Pleasant Street
Northampton, MAA 01060

Ty Hansen

Brown Machine LLC
330 North Ross Street
Beaverton, MI 48612

Dale A. Hogan

Visy Industries
13 Reo Crescent
Campbellfield 3016 Australia

Eric Huy

Ultra Metric Tool Company
2952 N. Leavitt Street
Chicago, IL 60618

Jennifer Kaye

Plastic Package Inc.
4600 Beloit Drive
Sacramento, CA 95838

Diana J. Knight

14 Ramsgate Road
Toronto, ON M8V 2HZ Canada

Eric Lattanner

51223 Hunting Ridge Trail N.
Granger, IN 46530

James K. Laugher

14 Ramsgate Road
Elobicoke, ON M8V 2H2 Canada

Jose Louvier, Ph.D.

MABE

Carretera Federal 51 Km 110
Poblado Ojo Seco
Celaya, Guanajuato 35158
Mexico

Albert Mayes

House of Packaging
13170 Temple Avenue
La Puente, CA 91746-1509

Dawn Melman

408 E. Dresser Road
Dekalb, IL 60115

Manuel Millian

Lormac Plastics Inc.

2225 Meyers Avenue

Escondido, CA 92029

Why Join?
®
Why Not?
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 will directly impact your future
and your career.
Active membership in SPE – keeps
you current, keeps you informed, and
keeps you connected.
The question really isn’t “why join?”
but …
Cory Newman

MityLite
1301 West 400 North
Orem, UT 84057

Adam Prentiss

2695 Regent Road
Carlsbad, CA 92010

Darryn F. Ross

Airform International Ltd.
9 Klondyke Drive
PO Box 16-474 Hornby
Christchurch, Canterbury
New Zealand

Genevieve Therrien

Soucy International Inc.
5450 Rue St Roch
CP 400
Drummondville, QC J2B 6W3
Canada

Lane M. Wescott

Mity-Lite
1301 West 400 North
Orem, UT 84057

Mark Wolfe

9299 Bennington Way
Centerville, OH 45458

Michael J. Zuroff

16367 Misty Hill Drive

Chino Hills, CA 91709

Thermoforming QUArTerLY

Thermoforming in the news
Packaging pushes
through economic
problems

By Tony Deligio

Bucking sentiments in other
plastics-heavy markets like
construction and automotive, more
than two-thirds of converters of
single-use foodservice packaging in
North America, and their suppliers,
expect sales volumes to be better
in 2008 than in 2007. That’s
according to the latest Foodservice
Packaging Industry Survey from
the Foodservice Packaging Institute
(FPI; Falls Church, VA). The survey
polls foodservice manufacturers
and suppliers in North America
and Europe. Nearly 66% of those
surveyed also expect profits to
improve in 2008, and almost 75%
plan to purchase new machinery
in 2008, while almost half plan to
expand operations in 2008.

In Europe, almost 75% of
foodservice packaging processors
expect an increase in volumes, with
almost all expecting profits to be
up. One-third will purchase new
equipment, and slightly more plan to
expand their operations in 2008.

Among common issues cited
by European and North American
foodservice-packaging firms were
increasing raw-material costs – the
top challenge according to North
America converters and raw-material
suppliers – as well as developing new
sustainable-packaging products.

The Packaging Machinery
Manufacturers Institute (PMMI;
Arlington, VA) released its own
survey in early March, the 2008 U.S.
Packaging Machinery Purchasing
Plans Study, which reported that

consumer and industrial goods companies
plan on spending $6.304 billion for
packaging machinery in 2008, a 0.6%
increase over 2007. Only two of the
eight tracked market segments will
show growth, with foods up 2-4% and
personal care to expand from 0-2%.
The study is based on interviews with
511 representatives of 1,564 U.S. plants

– tdeligio@modplas.com. x
Automation in
Thermoforming

Automation means much more
than pick-and-place robotics destined

for injection molding, with many
processes, including thermoforming and
blowmolding automating their lines. An
example of front-to-back automation was
recently put in place by Irish packaging
thermoformer Quinn Packaging,
which uses a vacuum tray unloader
as an extraction system for steel-rule
cutting machines. The automation
supplier, Mould & Matic, has fitted a
thermoforming machine with substantial
automation equipment for separate
forming and punching, with the vacuum
tray unloader extracting lids and trays
from the machines and placing them
in stacks. The system also enables the
automatic sleeving of the stacks. x

These articles are reprinted with the kind
permission of Modern Plastics Worldwide
and appeared in the February & March
2008 issues.

Reprinted with Permission of Plastics News, Copyright
Crain Communications Inc. Originally published in
Plastics News [February 25, 2008].
Thermoforming QUArTerLY

Thermoforming in the news

Reprinted with Permission of Plastics News, Copyright Crain Communications Inc. Originally
published in Plastics News [February 25, 2008].
PHOTO CONTEST WINNER Photo Taken by Tom Derrer,
Founder, Eddyline Kayak LLC
The winning photograph
was taken at the Eddyline
Factory in Washington. The
photo was taken during
the forming process and
shows the clarity and
definition of the kayak.
It is a great example of
what can be achieved in
thermoforming.
Thermoforming QUArTerLY

Thermoforming QUArTerLY
CMS North America, Inc.
Grand Rapids, MI
800.225.5267 Fax: 616.698.9730 www.cmsna.com
cmssales@cmsna.com
ARES
SERIES CNC
MACHINING
CENTERS
FOR
MACHINING
PLASTIC AND
COMPOSITE
MATERIALS
CMS North America, Inc.
Grand Rapids, MI
800.225.5267 Fax: 616.698.9730 www.cmsna.com
cmssales@cmsna.com
ARES
SERIES CNC
MACHINING
CENTERS
FOR
MACHINING
PLASTIC AND
COMPOSITE
MATERIALS
ISO 9001:2000
PROSPECTIVEAUTHORSThermoforming Quarterly®
is an “equal opportunity”
publisher! You will notice
that we have several
departments and feature
articles. If you have a
technical article, send it to
Barry Shepherd, Technical
Editor. All other articles
should be sent to Conor
Carlin, Editor. Please send in
.doc format. All graphs and
photos should be of sufficient
size and contrast to provide
a sharp printed image.

Thermoforming

Industry Practice

Quarterly®

Eddyline kayak llc

By Tom Derrer, Owner and Founder, Eddyline Kayak LLC

E
E
ddyline began making whitewater kayaks in the early
1970s. The only technology used at the time was in the
manipulation of fiberglass. The typical practice included
hand lamination using polyester resins, chopped strand
mat and cloth or roving. Then we began to explore vacuum
bag molding which involved putting the wet laminate
under vacuum and atmospheric pressure using a flexible
(2 mil) nylon film, the “bag.” We would then seal the bag
around the mold perimeter and pull a vacuum under it. This
allowed us to increase the glass/resin ratio from about 40%
(glass) in the hand lamination process to 70% in this new
“vacuum” process. Using this method (and adding Kevlar
and carbon fiber) we were able to build 13′ whitewater
slalom kayaks that weighed 13 lbs. and were suitable for
whitewater racing. High performance slalom kayaks are
still built this way today. The first company to introduce
rotomolded PE kayaks was High Performance Plastics in
California. They no longer produce kayaks; however, they
were followed by Perception Kayaks in Easley, S.C.

The big challenge posed by the material used to make
a whitewater kayak comes in the form of impact. The
hydraulic forces in rivers are immense and when those
forces collide with rocks, something has to give. We
experimented with vacuum bag lamination and exotic
fibers like Kevlar 49 and S-glass to improve the impact
strength of the boats. In the late 1970s, the first rotomolded
polyethylene kayaks developed by other companies
appeared on the market. The increase in impact strength
convinced everyone that the technology had evolved and
there was a landslide of sales of rotomolded kayaks. This
occurred despite the fact that the kayaks gained 10-15 lbs.
in weight and suffered a considerable loss of performance.

Some years later when the sea kayak industry began to
grow rapidly, we were still making fiberglass kayaks as the
first rotomolded sea kayaks began to appear. Being longer
and larger, they were quite heavy. Given the limitations
of linear low density polyethylene, the boats behaved
poorly but were less expensive to make. With low abrasion
resistance and low heat distortion temperatures, the boats
suffered rapid loss of performance from abrasion (scuffing)
and dimensional change. As a company that had always
been focused on performance, quality and innovation, we
scratched our heads and continued to “smell the styrene,”
so to speak. I knew something better would come along and
eventually it did.

Interestingly, it turned out to be a manufacturing
backlog that led us to the solution. It seems that companies
often think in terms of familiar technology. Therefore it
was natural that we not only built the kayak shells from

fiberglass, but all the interior components as well. There
are numerous small parts in a kayak including cockpit
rims, seats, backrests, bulkheads and hatch covers. In
1990, we found ourselves sitting on a large quantity
of unfinished inventory because small part production
could not keep up with the large parts (decks and hulls).
Inevitably, the realization dawned that these parts
need not be made from fiberglass. After visiting a few
spa companies, we started construction of our own
thermoforming machine. Power was limited so we settled
on “Vulcan” gas radiant heaters and added the rest. ABS
turned out to be a perfectly suitable material for the
small components and in no time our backlog issue was
resolved. There were other unintentional benefits that
really got our attention: no spraying, no dust, no mold
preparation, no need for multiple molds, no drying time,
no smell, and on and on.

At this point it was a relatively minor synaptic closure
(the light bulb thing) to the next rhetorical question:
“Can’t we make the kayaks this way?” This initiated
a two pronged search: one for an appropriate material
and one for a former large enough to do our testing.
This technology was new to us and no one else was
attempting to build a product like ours so the learning
curve was fairly steep. Mold construction was complex
because it made no sense to design and build metal molds
for untested prototypes made from untested materials.
We went through numerous iterations of material
configurations, adhesive concoctions, mold construction
and repair and so on, learning quite a bit on the way. The
few large machines that were in close proximity to us to
make testing practical were primitive calrod machines
with manual controls. We had problems with uneven
wall thickness, chill marks, cold-flow and other familiar
forming foibles.

At about the same time we had begun CAD/CAM
modeling of our new designs. Our software enabled us to
do multiple subtle reiterations of a design configuration
and this led to rapid improvements in performance.
Another real benefit however, was in the expedient and
accurate manner in which our masters were created.

Thermoforming QUArTerLY

We could move from a CAD file
to a prototype mold in a matter
of weeks with great dimensional
accuracy. Minor changes were easy
to implement on our prototype
molds allowing a fairly rapid path
from concept to product.

By 1996 we were ready to release
two models of kayaks designed
for thermoform production and
materials. They were well received
and we very quickly realized we
needed our own machine. We
contracted with General Plastics
Machines to build us a 4.5′ x 20′
thermoforming machine. The
multiple zones and computer
controls made life much better.
We used IR sensors to control
the forming and demolding
temperatures. With mated parts
of this size, it was imperative to
control shrinkage. We found ways
of plumbing our high volume
forming tools that minimized stress
on the tool from heat and vacuum
and expedited air removal. Our
tool design and the elaborate zone
structure of our oven facilitated
exceptional control of local
temperatures so we could increase
material thickness in heavy wear
areas.

Eddyline has since developed a
“lean” business strategy with justin-
time single part flow and our
involvement in thermoforming has
partnered well with that strategy.
Sticking with small batch or single
part flow helps us to dramatically
reduce rejects, rework and inventory
loss due to design changes. The
latter occur fairly rapidly given our
interest in keeping our product line
fresh and competitive. We pride
ourselves on our ability to deliver
rapidly, eliminating the need for our
dealers to overstock our product.

Today, we have eliminated all
fiberglass production, increased our
manufacturing volume by a factor
of ten in the same floor space, added
two CNC trimming machines and
currently produce eleven models
ranging in length from 12′ to 18′.
All models have been designed
expressly for
thermoforming
technology.
We
take
great
pride
in

Thermoforming QUArTerLY

Automated Part Removal
producingkayaksofextraordinaryqualitytothedelightofourgrowingcustomerbasearoundtheU.S.andEurope.
Lookingahead,Eddylinewillinvestevenmoreinleanprinciplesandconstantimprovement (Gemba
Kaizen).Andwecannothelpbutkeepaneyeontwinsheettechnology.Wedoentertainoutsidethermoformingworkandhavetheabilitytoproduceaffordableprototypeandshortruntoolingwhenitiscompatiblewithoureqipment.Infact,anumberofourcustomersareboatbuilders(notkayaks)thathavealsodiscoveredthatallthosepartsdonotneedtobebuiltof fiberglass. x

00 Thermoformer of the Year
Born April 2, 1929 in Central
Illinois, George Lueken served
in the Marines during the Korean
War and reached the rank of Buck
Sergeant. After leaving the service, he
received his business degree from the
University of Illinois in 1957.
George joined Dow Chemical
where he first developed an interest in
plastics. In 1965, with three partners,
he started a plastic extrusion company
called ALCHEM. He eventually
sold his interest to start Mullinix
in the back of a small machine
shop in Saginaw, MI. Mullinix was
incorporated in 1970 and remains a
closely-held manufacturer of custom
thermoformed packages serving the
disposable food packaging industry.
In 1976, Mullinix moved the
company to Fort Wayne, IN to be
closer to their primary customer,
Peter Eckrich & Sons Meat Company
supplying them a Barex luncheon
meat package known as the “Meat
Keeper.” Mullinix rapidly developed
a reputation for identifying new
applications for thermoformed
packages, including the use of
barrier films for the meat processing
industry. Superior design and rapid
George J. Lueken
Owner
Mullinix Packages, Inc.
Fort Wayne, Indiana
development of new manufacturing
technologies allowed Mullinix
to capitalize on new business
opportunities during the early stages
of a product’s life cycle.
In the 1980s and 1990s, the
company was recognized as a
leader in crystallized PET (CPET)
thermoforming for airline food
service applications and dualovenable
prepared foods packaging.
Allegheny Airlines (later US Air) was
an early customer. Mullinix worked
with Lyle Machinery on this project
and was the first to develop the twostage
CPET forming process. In 1982,
Mullinix became the first company to
conventionally form APET when they
developed a rim rolled cup for cream
cheese which by 1984 developed into
a two-layer coextruded silver/white
PET container which was doubleseamed.
Clear containers followed
including an ice-cream container for
Breyer’s Ice Cream. In 1988, Mullinix
developed the Impromptu Line
with General Foods. It was the first
retorted CPET shelf-stable package
ever developed for dinner entrees.
Mullinix was instrumental in forming
the package with sealing techniques
to stand the pressures of retorting.
Mullinix continues to work with most
of the major national food processing
companies.
By 1995, the company had
developed technology for wide-web
inline forming of polypropylene
giving Mullinix a significant
strategic advantage over the
competition. Gladware® was the
breakthrough product line where
the technology was applied and
the company was awarded several
patents for this development.
In 2000, Cryovac/Sealed Air
chose Mullinix to be its exclusive
supplier of barrier polypropylene
trays for the case-ready meat
market. The product is distributed
throughout the U.S.
George has been a member of
SPE since 1962 and in 1996 was
awarded the Jack Barney Award
for recognition of his contributions
to the sheet extrusion industry.
Specifically, Mullinix worked on
the development of the gear pump
(melt pump) with Eastman and
Welex which greatly enhanced the
ability to run PET quality sheet
and subsequently the quality of
thermoformed parts.
Mullinix Packages currently
occupies 400,000 square feet in Fort
Wayne, IN, and employs over 450
dedicated people. George Lueken
continues to play an active role
in the company and is known for
being one of the most progressive
and respected business owners in
the thermoforming industry. x

Thermoforming QUArTerLY

0 Thermoforming QUArTerLY
– 36 Standard colors
– 3000+ Custom colors
– Granite patterns
– Fluorescent colors
– Woodgrain and
Abstract Designs
8 Surface Textures
Membership Benefits
nAccess to industry
knowledge from one
central location: www.
thermoformingdivision.
com.
nSubscription to
Thermoforming
Quarterly, voted
“Publication of the Year” by
SPE National.
nExposure to new ideas
and trends from across the
globe. If you don’t think
your company is affected
by globalization, you need
to think again.
nNew and innovative
part design at the Parts
Competition.
nOpen dialogue with the
entire industry at the
annual conference.
nDiscounts, discounts,
discounts on books,
seminars and conferences.
nFor managers: workshops
and presentations tailored
specifically to the needs of
your operators.
nFor operators: workshops
and presentations that
will send you home with
new tools to improve your
performance, make your
job easier and help the
company’s bottom line.
JoinD25toDay!
– 36 Standard colors
– 3000+ Custom colors
– Granite patterns
– Fluorescent colors
– Woodgrain and
Abstract Designs
8 Surface Textures
Membership Benefits
nAccess to industry
knowledge from one
central location: www.
thermoformingdivision.
com.
nSubscription to
Thermoforming
Quarterly, voted
“Publication of the Year” by
SPE National.
nExposure to new ideas
and trends from across the
globe. If you don’t think
your company is affected
by globalization, you need
to think again.
nNew and innovative
part design at the Parts
Competition.
nOpen dialogue with the
entire industry at the
annual conference.
nDiscounts, discounts,
discounts on books,
seminars and conferences.
nFor managers: workshops
and presentations tailored
specifically to the needs of
your operators.
nFor operators: workshops
and presentations that
will send you home with
new tools to improve your
performance, make your
job easier and help the
company’s bottom line.
JoinD25toDay!

Thermoforming

The Business of Thermoforming

Quarterly®

The Economic Stimulus Package –
What It Means for Thermoformers

Deduction for capital equipment nearly doubles to $250,000

The information and examples provided in this article are courtesy of Stopol, Inc.

On February 13, 2008, President Bush signed into law the “Recovery Rebates and Economic Stimulus for
the American People Act of 2008.” This act provides business growth incentives by increasing Section 179
expensing and bringing back bonus depreciation.

What This Means For You

•
Increased Section 179 Expensing. Prior to the Act, small businesses could expense up to
$128,000 of the cost of new and used equipment placed in service during that year. The Act
increases the maximum expense amount to $250,000.
•
Return of Bonus Depreciation. The Act brings back the special rules of bonus depreciation by
permitting a bonus first-year depreciation deduction equal to 50 percent of the cost of the new
property placed in service during 2008.
How This Could Work For You

The following example illustrates how current tax rules regarding depreciation can benefit those making
capital equipment purchases in 2008:

Example

A company purchases a $400,000 machine. The company purchased no other capital equipment during
2008, so it may deduct $250,000 under Section 179. The remaining $150,000 is then depreciated,
generating an estimated additional deduction of $21,500. The sum of these two deductions is then
subtracted from the cost of the equipment, resulting in a total first-year deduction of $271,500 or 67.9
percent of the $400,000 investment. This deduction equals a real cash savings of $95,025, which means
the customer essentially spent $304,975 on the machine.

Snapshot View

Cost of Equipment $ 400,000
Section 179 Expense $ 250,000
First-Year Depreciation $ 21,000
Total First-Year Deduction $ 271,500

Real Cash Savings on Your Equipment Purchase $ 95,025

(assuming a 35% tax bracket)

Cost of Equipment After Tax Savings
$304,975

This example presumes that the mid-quarter convention does not apply.

Please note that your annual deduction cannot exceed your aggregate net taxable income for
2008.

Thermoforming QUArTerLY

Thermoforming

The Business of Thermoforming

Quarterly®

For Profit Thermoforming

Nick Mebberson, Scope Machinery Pty Ltd

H
H
ow we do we make a
profit in this game called
thermoforming? How do we make
decisions on how to play the game for
profit? Reinhold Niebuhr’s “Serenity
Prayer” from the 1930s is a great
place to start:

Lord,
Give us grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
courage to change the things that
should be changed, and the wisdom
to distinguish one from the other.

If we apply this wisdom to our
chosen profession, we have “The
Thermoformer’s Prayer”:

Give us the grace to accept with
serenity things that cannot be
changed (customers, material prices,
tool prices, part prices, labor rates,
birth, death, taxes); courage to
change the things that should be
changed (automation, machine rates,
scrap rates, efficiencies, tool change
time); and the wisdom to distinguish
one from the other.

In other words, let us examine the
areas where we do have the most
control in order to make a profit.

We all have spreadsheets to cost
jobs on existing equipment but these
are often limited to items we consider
“fixed.” How do we separate what
we can change, understand the profit
implications of the choice and thereby
select equipment to increase profits?

We are faced with seemingly
endless combinations of machines,
layouts and tooling. How do we
decide which combination is the most
profitable?

For example, here are some
examples of the questions that a
typical thermoformer might ask
himself every day on the job:

•
Am I better off spending
$100K on automation to
reduce labor from 1.2 to 0.3
people?
•
My labor costs have increased
20% – what can I do?
•
Am I better off running faster
or adding cavities?
•
Am I better off spending $10K
on programmed maintenance
or holding spares to get 3%
more machine time available?
•
What if I can get the cavities
closer and reduce scrap by
5%?
•
Should I buy cheap knives that
I must re-sharpen every run or
should I spend more on quality
knives?
•
What if I halved my tool
change time?
•
What is my economical run
length? Should I store parts?
•
What if I reduced my air
consumption by 25%?
•
Should I spend $25K in a valve
upgrade and get 5% reduction
in cycle times?
•
Do I spend $5,000 to flood
cool my cavities to run 3
cycles faster?
•
Do I use a manual machine or
do I fully automate?
•
Do I buy a cheap Chinese
machine that requires lots of
labor and maintenance?
•
Do I buy the latest million
dollar rocket from Europe that
makes coffee as well trays?
In this article we will examine
the variables and come up with a
spreadsheet that we can use to examine
our options. Being an engineer, not
an accountant, this will be a practical
approach.

It is limited to partial absorption
costing with costs directly related to
the equipment and the specific job. It
is not going to be perfect, but it can at
least give us an idea for what costs are,

what savings are available and what
increased profits are possible with some
informed equipment selection. (Note:
let’s not get caught up with the minute
details of what type of compound
interest calculation is the most
appropriate as this is for illustrative
purposes.)

There are two main schools
of thought on the business of
thermoforming:

1. There are those companies that
look to make a gross profit on the raw
material with the machine/labor/costs
as the expense, i.e. I buy APET for
$2/kg and I sell it for $3.50/kg. This
applies to both extruder/thermoformers
and pure converters with the
thermoforming being a means to sell or
convert sheet, i.e. I buy resin/sheet for
$1/$2 and sell it as sheet/product for
$2/$3.50 with its conversion to product
an expense.
2. Others look to the equipment
investment with an hourly return, i.e.
$150/hr. with material and labor being
the expense. The end result is the same
but the approach and analysis are quite
different. In the spreadsheet, we will
combine the philosophies and look to
make our product for the lowest net
price.
The aim is not to develop a costing
sheet but rather to illustrate a method
of evaluating “what if” sensitivities
on equipment in order to decide how
to make this part for increased profits.
I have setout and input data from a
typical roll-fed thin gauge machine,
with the option for robotic stacking,
and each entry is explained off to
the side. The layout is fairly self
explanatory and in a format that I am
sure is familiar to all.

The base case is a $350,000 base
machine with robotic stacking working
at good rates.

The run is a 1,000,000 part run,
20-up at 4.5 second cycle, 1/3 of an
operator with robotic stacking. From
here we will examine a number of

Thermoforming QUArTerLY

scenarios to determine what is the
“profit effect” of various decisions:

Q: Should I invest in automated
stacking?
If we don’t invest $100,000 and don’t
use a robot, labor increases to 1 person
full time. Keeping all else constant, the
part cost increases by 5%.

A: A robotic stacker is money wellspent.
Q: Should I invest the latest
technology with good resale value
or a buy basic machine with little
resale?
Here we see the effect of a slower
cycle, less resale value, higher labor

Q: What is the effect of a reduction
in cycle time, all else being equal?
Here we reduce cycle time by 1 second
(in 4.5) and see a 3% reduction in part
cost – this can be directly compared to
the cost of implementing these changes,
i.e. preheaters, flood cooling.
A: It is worth spending money to
reduce cycle times.
Maintenance
costs, longer uptime and slower tool
changes. Use of basic equipment with
these limitations will increase part cost
by 10%

A: The upfront cost is not the only
factor to consider and will cost more
in the long run.
Q: What if my scrap rate doubled
(even if I was recovering waste)?
Here we double scrap from 15 to 30%
and we see a 10% increase in part
price

A: Even if I recover my scrap,
keeping it to a minimum makes
financial sense.
Q: What are the economies of short
and long runs?
Should I run the year’s order and
store it or do 12 shorter runs? Here
we look at part cost for 1,000,000 part
run compared to 10,000,000 run. We
see a 5% part cost reduction for the
longer run.

This is an abbreviated version of

the spreadsheet.

It is designed to give examples of
how thermoformers can compare
variables and determine costs.

For a complete version, please
contact Nick Mebberson at
sales@scopemachinery.com.

Thermoforming QUArTerLY

A: Try to do longer runs, especially
if tool change causes long
downtimes.
Q: What if I don’t keep the
machine busy?
If we halve the available hours on the
machine (assume day shift only) we
see a 3% increase in part cost, maybe
not as bad as first glance.

A: We need to keep the machine
running but not for profitless
volume.
Q: What if my power costs
doubled?
If we double rate from 10 to 20 cents
per kw/hour, we see little change.

A: Power cost may not be as
significant as other factors?
Q: What effect does roll size have?
What if I can only get 100 kg rolls
instead of my usual 750 kg rolls? We
see an increase in part cost of over
10%.

A: Keeping roll change frequency
and down time to a minimum is
critical and has a big influence on
part cost.
Q: What if I don’t spend
any money on preventative
maintenance and the machine is
broken down or being fixed 25% of
the time?
The part price increases by 3.5%.

A: We can estimate the costs of
unreliable machine.
In summary, the initial capital cost
is relatively insignificant compared
with other hourly costs such as
material and labor. We have more
options to change in order to increase
our profits than we perhaps realize.
We can measure and analyze these
options and make informed decisions.

We must change what we can and
have the wisdom to focus on those
areas where we can have the most
positive impact on the bottom line.

x

Note: The spreadsheet and article
are intended only as guides for
thermoforming companies. They are
not intended for reproduction. Copies
of the full spreadsheet are available
by contacting the author directly at
sales@scopemachinery.com.

REDUCE! REUSE! RECYCLE!

Thermoforming QUArTerLY

Thermoforming QUArTerLY

need help
with your
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.

Within this past year alone, our
organization has awarded multiple
scholarships! Get involved and take
advantage of available support from
your plastic industry!

Here is a partial list of schools
and colleges whose students have
benefited from the Thermoforming
Division Scholarship Program:

• UMASS Lowell
• San Jose State
• Pittsburg State
• Penn State Erie
• University of Wisconsin
• Michigan State
• Ferris State
• Madison Technical College
• Clemson University
• Illinois State
• Penn College
Start by completing the application
forms at www.thermoformingdivision.
com or at www.4spe.com. x

Thermoforming
Quarterly®

Thermoforming 2.0

Thermoforming Pre-Printed Materials

Adolf Illig

Technical Editor’s Note: Thermoforming of pre-printed materials should
not be attempted without a thorough knowledge of factors such as
ink compatibility with materials and heat, distortion and form to print
registration. I designed and produced several runs of roll fed pre-printed
parts on in-line machines 20 years ago. Improvements in computer
simulation, inks, machines and materials have been made since then. If I
had the knowledge contained in this article by Adolf Illig 20 years ago, I

may have less grey hair today.

Printing ink SPeciFicAtionS

The
printer
must
be
familiar
with
the
thermoforming
process,

the materials being specified and the heats that the inks must

withstand.
Here
are
the
points
to
be
addressed:

•
Ink
must
match
the
material
for
adhesion
properties.
•
Ink
color
must
not
fade
or
crack
when
heated.
•
Ink
must
stretch
with
the
material.
•
When
contact
heat
is
used
a
coating
should
be
applied
to
prevent
transfer
of
ink
to
the
heater.
•
Ink
suppliers
can
recommend
the
ink
types
that
are
compatible
with
this
process.
PlAStic MAteriAl SPeciFicAtion

•
Some
plastics
such
as
PP
and
PE
must
receive
preliminary
treatment
of
the
surface
to
be
printed
to
create
good
ink
adhesion.
•
The
printer
will
require
the
plastic
material
to
be
free
from
twisting
and
warping
as
it
is
unwound,
have
a
width
tolerance
of
+/-0.25mm
(.010″),
have
a
thickness
tolerance
of
+/-0.1mm
(0.004”),
minimum
sag
characteristics
and
be
free
from
internal
stresses
under
heat.
MAchinery SPeciFicAtionS

•
Thermoforming
equipment
must
operate
with
repeatable
precision.
•
Material
temperature
must
remain
very
stable
throughout
the
run.
•
Tool
temperature
must
remain
very
stable
throughout
the
run.
•
Chain
and
press
movement
must
repeat
accurately.
•
For
sheet
fed
operations,
edge
stops
on
printing
press
and
former
must
be
accurate
and
consistent.
•
Roll
fed
machines
must
have
servo
chain
drives
that
are
indexed
by
way
of
a
photocell
that
reads
a
printed
mark
on
the
material.
This
feature
is
imperative
and
must
be
capable
of
backing
up
the
material
if
it
overshoots
the
mark.
Print DiStortion

The
printed
image
on
the
material
is
known
as
the
distorted
print because its final appearance becomes apparent only

after
thermoforming.
Distortion
can
be
done
using
computer
simulation
or
by
taking
a
formed
sheet
and
compensating
for
the
stretching
of
the
sheet
into
the
print
art
work.
Either
way,
the
process
can
be
best
understood
by
taking
a
sheet
of
material
to
be
thermoformed,
accurately
drawing
a
¼”
x
¼”
grid
pattern
over
the
full
sheet,
thermoform
it
over
the
mold
and
witnessing
the
stretching
in
the
printed
grid.
The
art
work
and
printing

plates must then be distorted accordingly. This is a simplified

explanation.
A
detailed
method
is
presented
here.

hintS For Printing iMAge
DeSign

•
Color
transitions
or
edges
should
not
coincide
with
the
corners
or
edges
of
the
formed
part.
This
makes
print
to
form registration very difficult.

•
Precise
symmetrical
and
straight
lines
and
designs
should
be
avoided.
•
Flowing
or
script
type
styles
are
preferred
to
avoid
a
distorted
look.
•
Keep
distorted
images
that
are
to
appear
on
a
side
wall
or cavity at least 10mm (0.5″) away from a flat surface or

edge
of
the
part.

DeterMining the correct
DiStorteD iMAge

There
are
some
preprinted
applications
that
do
not
require
a
lot
of
time
to
arrive
at
the
correct
distortion
on
the
art
work.
It
could
be
an
item
like
a
cake
dome
with
a
random
pattern
that
does
not
appear
out
of
place
after
the
material
has
stretched.
Or
it
could
be
an
item
like
a
very
shallow
draw
plate
that
will
not
stretch
very
much.
Even
with
shallow
draw
items
it
is
recommended
to
keep
the
web
width
as
narrow
as
possible
to
avoid
excess
sag
and
consequently
stretching
prior
to
forming.
Heat
must
be
uniform
throughout
the
oven
and
the
image
should
not
conform
to
the
geometry
of
the
part.

BASic ruleS BeFore StArting
the DiStortion ProceSS

•
Establish
material
specs
that
can
be
maintained
for
the
whole
production
run
(thickness,
shrink,
sag).
Thermoforming QUArTerLY

•
In
the
case
of
sheet
forming,
establish
sheet
dimension
tolerances.
•
Molds
and
plugs
must
be
temperature
controlled.
•
The
same
machine
should
be
used
for
every
run.
StePS to getting An
AccurAte iMAge on
the therMoForMeD
PArt

•
Print
a
1mm
x
1mm
grid
pattern
on
a
roll
of
material
or
number
of
sheets
in
the
case
of
sheet
forming.
•
Using
the
production
machine
and
form
tooling,
form
and
trim
the
material.
•
When
acceptable
parts
have
been
formed
with
this
material
stop
the
machine
and
record
the
machine
settings.
•
Take
3
indexes
or
sheets
of
acceptable
parts
and
mark
each
part
with
the
index
number
1,
2
or
3,
the
cavity
number
and
an
arrow
pointing
in
the
direction
of
transport.
•
Save
the
web
and
place
the
parts
back
in
the
web
in
their
correct
location,
see
Fig.
4.61
•
Prepare
a
sheet
of
thin
material
as
least
as
long
as
1.5x
the
index
length
with
1mm
x
1mm
grid
lines.
•
Draw
a
coordinate
system
(Fig.
4.62)
onto
the
as
yet
unheated
production
material
and
the
already
formed
blank.
This
is
done
in
the
scrap
area.
•
The
zero
points
of
the
2
coordinate
systems
must
have
identical
spacing
from
the
edge
of
the
material.
•
The
axis
lines
of
the
coordinate
system
must
coincide
with
the
lines
on
the
grid.
•
The
deformed
lines
of
the
grid
are
then
traced
on
the
formed
material.
•
Print
only
the
most
important
colors on the first distorted print

run
to
save
cost.

•
The
more
grid
points
transferred
from
the
completed
parts
to
the
coordinates
of
the
unformed
material,
the
more
accurate
the
distortion
will
be.
Refer
to
Fig.
4.63.
•
The resultant first print is the first
distortion
printing.
•
The
material
is
printed
with
the
established first distortion print

and
a
superimposed
grid
pattern.
With
roll-fed
material
the
reference
marks
must
be
established
in
the
coordinate
system
with
the
aid
of
the
feed
stroke.

•
This material with the first
distortion
print
is
then
thermoformed
with
the
established
machine
settings.
•
The
described
procedure
is
repeated
with corrections from the first

distortion
and
the
second
distortion
is
printed
using
all
of
the
colors
in
the
image.

•
In
all
probability,
the
described
process
will
have
to
be
repeated
in
the
case
of
complex
art
work
until
the
optimum
has
been
established.
As
in
all
multi-step
manufacturing
operations,
the
more
experience
one
gets
with
this
procedure
the
easier
it
becomes.
However
it
is
highly
recommended
that
the
initial
attempts
to
thermoform
preprinted
material
should
be
done
with
simple
print
images
on
shallow
draw
parts
until
a
reasonable
level
of

confidence is achieved. x

(See Figures 4.61, 4.62
and 4.63 on page 19.)

Thermoforming QUArTerLY

Thermoforming Pre-Printed Materials

a)
b)
b)
Index Length
Figure 4.61

Example of a section of web with
3 indexes of lids (6 up tool)

a) 6 up index shot from the #2 index with
arrows marking the direction of travel
b) Stacked lids from index #3
c) Lids replaced in the web

Figure 4.62

x/y coordination system for calculating distortion

a) Establishing the web coordinates
b) Transferring the coordinates to the unformed
material to establish the distortion print

Figure 4.63

Reading the x/y coordinates of a point on the print

a) Point at the edge of the print
b) Move along the distorted grid line to the x and y
axis of the coordinating system

Thermoforming QUArTerLY

0 Thermoforming QUArTerLY

UNIVERSITy NEWS
Alumni Gifts Help UML Plastics Program Go Green
Entrepreneurs Create Professorships with Million-Dollar Gifts
LOWELL–Twomillion-dollargiftsannouncedinFebruarywillhelpUMassLowelladvancethestudyofenvironmentallyfriendlyplasticsthroughteaching,researchandlaboratoryexperiences.MarkSaab’81andJimDandeneau’80,bothplasticsengineeringalumni,haveeachdonated$1milliontofundtwoprofessorshipsingreenplastics.
Eachgiftincludesa$500,000matchfroma$20millionstatetrustfundthatsupportsthecreationofendowmentsrelatedtotheenvironment.Thefundwascreatedin2004bythesaleof110acresoflandownedbytheUniversityofMassachusettsonNantuckettotheNantucketConservationFoundaton.
SaabandDandeneauarelong-timesupportersoftheUniversityandbothhavepreviouslyfundedscholarships,
andRheologicalPropertiesTestingLaboratory–ateachingfacilitydedicatedtopolymerpropertyevaluation.Heandhiswife,Elisia,alsoestablishedtwoscholarshipsatUMassLowell,oneforaplasticsengineeringstudentandtheotherforastudentinanymajor.SaabreceivedtheDistinguishedAlumniAwardin2007.
UnderDandeneau’sleadership,PutnamPlasticsbecameanationalleaderamongspecialtypolymer-extrusioncompaniesforthemedicaldeviceindustry.In2004,20yearsafteritsfounding,PutnamPlasticswasacquiredbyMemryCorp.
DandeneauwasnamedavicepresidentofMemryCorp.andwassubsequentlyelectedtothecompany’sboardofdirectors.
In1999,DandeneaucreatedtheDandeneauFamilyEndowedScholarshipProgram.HewasinductedintotheUniversity’sFrancisAcademyofDistinguishedEngineers.PutnamPlasticsalsofundedtherenovatedtheS.J.
ChenExtrusionLaboratoryinPlasticsEngineering.
“UMassLowellhasbeenaleaderinplasticsengineeringeducationandresearchforthepast50years.
Theseprofessorshipswillallowourdepartmenttoembracethenextgenerationoftechnology,onethataddressesthegrowingneedforenvironmentalsensitivity,”saysProf.
BobMalloy,chairofthePlasticsEngineeringDepartment.
SaabandDandeneauwerehonoredatalunchonThursday,February14inAlumniHall.
WithanendowmentsuchasthosebeingfundedbySaabandDandeneau,
theprincipalofagiftisinvestedinperpetuityandaportionoftheannualinterestisusedbyUMassLowellforthepurposeforwhichthefundwasestablshed.Fortheseresearchprofessorships,theproceedswillbeawardedonanannualbasistofacultywhoareteachingandresearchinggreenplastics.EndowedgiftsaremanagedforUMassLowellbytheUniversityofMassachusettsFoundationInc.
UMass Lowell Plastics Engineering alumni Mark Saab and Jim Dandeneau recently each
donated $1 million to fund new professorships to support study and research of “green”
plastics. Shown at the event announcing the donation on February 14th are (from left):
Chancellor Marty Meehan, Jim Dandeneau, Debbie Dandeneau, Elisia Saab, Mark Saab,
and Robert Malloy, chair of the Department of Plastics Engineering.
Thermoforming QUArTerLY

discretionary
endowments
and
laboratory
renovations
to
support
UMass
Lowell
students.
Saab,
who
lives
in
Lowell,
is
president,
co-founder
and
co-owner
of
Advanced
Polymers
Inc.,
in
Salem,
N.H.
Dandeneau,
from
Thompson,
Conn.,
is
founder
and
president
of
Putnam
Plastics
Corp.
in
Dayville,
Conn.,
and
serves
on
the
board
of
directors
of
Memry
Corp.

“These
two
successful,
innovative

alumni are not only leaders in their field,

they
are
leaders
in
giving
back
to
the
University.
We
appreciate
their
support
of
the
outstanding
research
work
being
done
here,
and
their
commitment
to
making
a
difference
in
the
lives
of
students
at
the
University,”
says
Chancellor
Marty
Meehan.

Saab
has
nearly
25
years
of
experience
in
the
plastics
industry,
including
20
years in the medical device field, and
holds
more
than
30
patents.
His
company,
Advanced
Polymers
Inc.,
manufactures
the
world’s
thinnest,
strongest
and
smallest
heat-shrink
tubing
and
produces
high-and
low-pressure
balloons
for
the
medical
device
industry.

A
2004
gift
funded
the
Mark
Saab
Advanced
Polymers
Physical

Thermoforming QUArTerLY
MARK YOUR
CALENDAR!!!
The Thermoforming
Board of Directors
has taken your advice
from your completed
surveys and beginning
in 2008 we will be
going back to our
old dates –
DATES:
Saturday, September 20th,
2008
through
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
Spartech Packaging
Technologies
ThesearethethirdandfourthprofessorshipscreatedatUMassLowell.TheothertwoaretheRoyJ.ZuckerbergLeadershipChairandtheHowardP.FoleyEndowedProfessorshipinworkforcedevelopment.xUMass Lowell, with a national
reputation in science, engineering
and technology, is committed to
educating students for lifelong success
in a diverse world and conducting
research and outreach activities that
sustain the economic, environmental
and social health. UML offers its
11,000 students more than 120 degree
choices, internships, five-year combined
bachelor’s to master’s programs and
doctoral studies in the colleges of
Arts and Sciences, Engineering and
Management, the School of Health and
Environment, and the Graduate School
of Education. www.uml.edu.
Contact:ChristineGillette,978-9342209,
Christine_Gillette@uml.edu.
Visit the
SPE
website
at
www.4spe.org
MARK YOUR
CALENDAR!!!
The Thermoforming
Board of Directors
has taken your advice
from your completed
surveys and beginning
in 2008 we will be
going back to our
old dates –
DATES:
Saturday, September 20th,
2008
through
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
Spartech Packaging
Technologies
ThesearethethirdandfourthprofessorshipscreatedatUMassLowell.TheothertwoaretheRoyJ.ZuckerbergLeadershipChairandtheHowardP.FoleyEndowedProfessorshipinworkforcedevelopment.xUMass Lowell, with a national
reputation in science, engineering
and technology, is committed to
educating students for lifelong success
in a diverse world and conducting
research and outreach activities that
sustain the economic, environmental
and social health. UML offers its
11,000 students more than 120 degree
choices, internships, five-year combined
bachelor’s to master’s programs and
doctoral studies in the colleges of
Arts and Sciences, Engineering and
Management, the School of Health and
Environment, and the Graduate School
of Education. www.uml.edu.
Contact:ChristineGillette,978-9342209,
Christine_Gillette@uml.edu.
Visit the
SPE
website
at
www.4spe.org

18th ANNUAL THERMOFORMING CONFERENCE
Minneapolis Convention Center
Minneapolis, Minnesota

For Reservations:
Call (612) 376-1000
Request: SPE Thermforming
Rate of $149.00

**Please note! The hotel will require a deposit of one night’s
room and tax at the time the reservation is made. Cancellations
made after August 15, 2008 will result in the forfeiture of one
night’s deposit. Any reservation made after August 15, 2008
will require a non-refundable one night’s deposit at the time
the reservation is made.

TWO DAYS FULL TECHNICAL PROGRAM

(PROGRAM SUBJECT TO CHANGE)

WORKSHOPS INCLUDED WITH FULL CONFERENCE REGISTRATION (Please Select One)

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2008

(Please Select One)
Hilton Hotel – 8:30am – 4:00pm
McConnell-Buckel Cut Sheet Workshop – Limited to 100

“Adapting to Form the Future & Interactive Troubleshooting Workshop” – Part I

SPE Decorating & Assembly Division – Limited to 100

“Innovations in Decorating Thermoforming Applications”

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 2008

(Please Select One)
Hilton Hotel – 8:30am – 4:00pm
Strachan Roll Fed Workshop – Limited to 100

“Advanced Cost Saving Techniques In Thin-Gage Thermoforming”

Mark Strachan, Global Thermoforming Training, Inc.

PLANT TOUR – Limited to 50

Wilbert Plastic Services, White Bear Lake, MN Facilities

Leave Hilton Hotel at 8:30am

MAKE YOUR PLANS TO EXHIBIT WITH US – SPACE IS STILL AVAILABLE
CONTACT: Gwen Mathis, Conference Coordinator at 706.235.9298 or gmathis224@aol.com

PARTS COMPETITION INFORMATION:
Contact Haydn Forward – 858.450.1591 or hforward@smi-mfg.com

FOR THE LATEST UP-TO-DATE INFORMATION ON THE MINNEAPOLIS CONFERENCE, CHECK OUT OUR WEBSITE:

www.thermoformingdivision.com

Thermoforming QUArTerLY SEPTEMBER 20 – 23, 2008 • MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA

THERMOFORMING 2008 TECHNICAL PROGRAM
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2008: JOINT SESSION

“Infrared Temperature Measurement Applications” – Jimmy Earle, Raytek

“Accelerated Package Development & Testing” – Hossam Metwally, Ansys

“Real Time Shop Floor Data Collection” – Brian Lynch, Dunsirn Industries

“Thermoforming Tooling” – Martin Haex, Bosch-Sprang
“The Latest in Thermoforming Equipment” – Bill Kent, Brown Machine

“A Brief History of Sheet Co-Extrusion” – Frank Nissel, Welex
“Achieving Optimum Production Results Through Sophisticated Control Systems” – Dana Hanson & Tom Limbrunner, PTi

“Thermoforming of Polypropylene – The Effect of Stabilization on Regrind and Part Performance”
Ronald Becker & Lyondell Basell
“Bio Materials” – Paul Uphaus, Primex Plastics
“Expanding Your Portfolio with PLA Materials” – Nicole Whiteman, Natureworks

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2008: HEAVY GAUGE SESSIONS

“Engineering Resins – Options and Opportunitites for Extrusion Market” – Roger Petit, Sabic Innovative Plastics
“Low Gloss Flexible Thermoplastic Polyolefins” – Laura Weaver, Dow Chemical
“The Next Generation of TPOs” – Todd Hogan, Dow Chemical
“TPO Innovation in Design” – Brad Rickle, Premier Materials

“Designing Parts Using Bayblend (PC/ABS)” – Prakash Vizzeswarapu, Bayer Material Science
“Improved Rigid TPO Sheet Products for Large Part Forming Applications”
Michael Mahan & Steve Campbell, Spartech Plastics
“It’s a Game of Inches” – Bob Marshall, ZMD

“Thermoformable CFR Composite Sheet: A Viable Alternative to Metal” – Peter Lindenfelser, Lingol Corporation
“Forming CFR Composite Sheet” – Art Buckel, McConnell Company

“Fluorex Bright Film – The Chrome” – Jeff Bailey, Soliant LLC
“The Latest in TPO & Ionomer: How They Can Help You” – Joe Schulz, Invision
“Next Generation of 5 Axis Trimming & Modeling” – Jim Bullis, Thermwood Corporation
“Robotic Trimming – Improve Your Competitive Advantage” – Paul Schuch, KMT Robotics
“Color Control for Extruded Sheet” – Axel Kronewitter & Larry DeBow, Senoplast
“Application Specific Equipment is Your Best Competitive Advantage” – Paul Ryan Alongi, Maac Machinery
“Halogen Heaters are Your Competitive Advantage” – Michael Roche, Geiss Thermoforming USA

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2008: ROLL FED SESSION

“Novel High Performance PP Products for Thermoforming: Stiffness, Toughness and Clarity”
Tim Pope & Jason Brodil, Dow Chemical
“High Stiffness High Clarity PP” – Tom Gallagher, Sonoco
“The Challenges of Closing the Loop with Thermoformed Plastic Packaging” – Michael Brown, Packaging 2.0

“Leveraging the Wal-Mart Scorecard to Increase Your Thermoforming Business” – Lawrence Dull, Marspkg LLC
“Providing Value with Thin Gauge Applications” – Jonathan Cage, Spartech Packaging Technologies
“Your Leading Edge – Today’s Weakness May Be Tomorrow’s Competitive Edge” – Mark Zelnick, Zed Industries
“Using Tools, Machines & Materials to Optimize Your Process and Maximize Profits” – Lars Ekendahl, Frimo

“Optimization of Thermoformed Products” – Thomas Stahl, Illig
“PVC and the Environment” – Richard F. Ali, The Vinyl Institute
“Dynamics of the PET Market” – Clarissa Schroeder, Invista
“Steel Rule Dies – Are You Building Them Properly?” – Julie Griswold, W.R. Sharples Co.
“Advances in OPS for Thermoforming” – Jeff Pristera, Reynolds Packaging Kama
“PLA & Pin Chains – From Problem to Possibility” – Charles Hildebrand, Kiefel Technologies

*Program is subject to change. Please check our website for updates and announcements: www.thermoformingdivision.com

Thermoforming QUArTerLY 18TH ANNUAL THERMOFORMING CONFERENCE

2008 PARTS COMPETITION ANNOUNCEMENT

2007 PeoPle’s ChoiCe
AwArd
& Twin sheeT AwArd

Spencer Industries Inc.
Dale, IN
Shelter Trailer

2007 roll Fed
MediCAl

Specialty Manufacturing
Inc.
San Diego, CA
Multi Probe Tray

Haydn Forward
Chair
Parts Competition

I
I
f our 2007 Parts Competition was an
indication of technical advancement
within our industry, we all should be
elated. The quality of parts submitted
was outstanding. This is building
the excitement for 2008 as we will
continue to showcase advancements in
thermoforming design, innovation and
capabilities.

Once again this year we are excited to
welcome all thermoforming businesses
to our prestigious competition. This
includes material suppliers, proprietary
product manufacturers, designers and tool
makers, as well as custom thermoformers.

We made a concerted effort last year to
provide greater media access to those
who submitted parts. This enabled each
representative to tell the story of their
part and highlight notable features. As
a result, submitters who may not have
received an award were still publicized in
trade print.

The industry considers the Parts
Competition to be a key element in
the educational efforts of the SPE
Thermoforming Division. This is a
direct result of your successful efforts in
producing state-of-the-art components.
This year’s conference again offers the
opportunity to showcase your most recent
innovations and advances.

History has shown that every part
entered deserves recognition, but
unfortunately not every entry receives
an award. In light of this, each
submission will receive a “Certificate of
Acknowledgment” from the SPE.

It will be easy to start thinking now
about how to take advantage of this
annual opportunity to showcase your
capabilities and introduce your firm to
and through the press.

We will be using a simplified entry
process which will be your first
opportunity to describe the innovative
part entered.

I encourage you to take a few moments
and forward your e-mail address to me
at hforward@smi-mfg.com. Once sent,
you will be on the list to receive the
necessary (short and easy) instructions
to enter the 2008 SPE Thermoforming
Division Parts Competition.

The official entry form will be available
on the web:
www.thermoformingdivision.com.

I look forward to seeing you all in
Minneapolis! x

Thermoforming QUArTerLY

Thermoforming
Quarterly®

Thermoforming and Sustainability

How to Structure, Fund and Finance a
Clean Technology Venture: Trends for
Developing Innovative Technologies in a
“Greening” Marketplace

Eric A. Koester, Esq., CPA, Heller Ehrman LLP,
Seattle, WA

Abstract

The plastics industry and related
markets represents a substantial
opportunity for entrepreneurial and
intrapreneural activity – particularly in
the emerging Clean Technology space.
Investment into clean technology is one
of the fastest growing markets. However,
the plastics industry is currently lagging
in its ability of startup technologies to
tap into those funds. In order to increase
access to capital, the plastics industry must
continue to foster innovation through
its development of clean technologies
companies. These companies will be built
on entrepreneurial and scientific talent,
broad market opportunities, and cutting
edge technologies. There are many
challenges faced by clean technology
companies, but with the right foresight
and planning, success can be achieved
and new technologies commercialized.

Introduction

Investment in clean technology is
no longer a niche play. According to
information released at the Clean-Tech
Investor Summit held January 23-24,
2007, venture dollars in this sector
represented over 10% of the total venture
dollars invested in 2006, the fastest
growing sector, and experts predict that
these investment totals stand to grow.
With bipartisan political support on the
issue and growing public interest in ecofriendly
products, investment dollars
continue to pour into the clean-tech
market and new technologies are quickly
moving from R&D or university labs to
commercialization.

Venture capital investment in clean
technology investment topped $2.9 billion
in 2006 according to data from the Ann
Arbor, Mich.-based industry tracker,
the Cleantech Venture Network. This
represents a 78% increase over the 2005
investments of $1.6 billion and a 140%
increase over 2004 investments of $1.2
billion. In 2006, IPOs from clean-tech
companies more than doubled over the
previous year, according to Skip Grow of
Cowen & Company. Investment dollars
have not been limited to the United States
as investors have invested heavily in
Europe, as well as throughout China and
India.

Clean Technologies

Clean technology represents a broad
range of products and markets including
technologies in alternative energy such as
wind or tidal power, advanced recycling
technologies, residential and commercial
solar projects, smart-grid technologies
for the utility grids, electric or hybridelectric
transportation, advanced materials

including biodegradable plastics, water
technologies, and alternative fuels
including biodiesel and ethanol. Clean

energy projects continue to receive the
most attention in the clean technology
space; however, the market appears to be
expanding into a variety of applications
and areas. Energy-related investments
accounted for $2.1 billion, or 74% of the
total, with large investments in bio-fuel
companies and new solar technology
developers dominating the category,
according to the Cleantech Venture
Network. Investments in technology
companies tackling recycling and waste
totaled $192 million and investments in
clean transportation technologies reached
$164 million.

Dow Jones Venture One has defined the
clean technology sector as “companies that
directly enable the efficient use of natural
resources and reduce the ecological impact
of production. Areas of focus include
energy, water, agriculture, transportation,
and manufacturing where the technology
creates less waste or toxicity. The impact
of cleantech can be either to provide
superior performance at lower costs
or to limit the amount of resources
needed while maintaining comparable
productivity levels.” As climate change
and carbon taxes have entered into the
human consciousness, so too have unique
solutions arisen. This broad diversity of
technology and seemingly limitless market
potential makes investing “green” a huge
opportunity for “green.”

However, this boom in clean technology
investment also offers a unique set of
challenges for investors and companies
in the space. Said Clean-Tech Investor
Summit keynote speaker Steve Westly,
“If you are going to be a player or an
investor in the clean-tech space, it is
absolutely critical to have a lawyer who
understands the unique and regulated
markets you have to play in.” This market
represents a convergence of emerging
technologies and old industries, extensive
government regulation and involvement,
global intellectual property strategies,
and international markets. And without
expertise in each of these areas, success
may never be attained.

Presently, most clean-tech investments
have needed some form of government
assistance to be competitive – including tax
subsidies and government mandates. Solar
power installations in homes and business
could not compete in the marketplace
without these subsidies. And investments
in ethanol and biodiesel require continued

Thermoforming QUArTerLY

government tax subsidies to compete
with traditional oil company products.
While the price of electricity from wind
farms and solar facilities continue to fall,
they still cannot directly compete with
traditional power production.

Westly also noted at Clean-Tech that
the current structure and relative age of
the clean-technology industry leaves it
poised for a wave of future consolidations
and acquisitions. “The company that will
be successful here,” said Westly, “may
not be the one with the absolute best
technology. It will likely be the company
with a good technology and the ability
to execute a plan to consolidate and
partner within its respective industry – to
create industry standard technology.” For
example, in January 2007 the solar power
industry saw SunPower finalize its deal to
purchase Powerlight with aims to enhance
profitability across the entire distributed
solar power line. And this consolidation
may come through purchases or joint
ventures by established companies.
Executives from both AES Corporation
and Dow Chemical stated that new
clean technologies for their companies
could likely be developed externally and
eventually acquired via direct acquisition
or partnering.

Venture investment into the cleantechnology
space has been compared to
investments in traditional life sciences

– where a long-term product life cycles are
the norm. For example, while technologies
currently being developed to convert wave
or tidal energy into electricity are now
receiving provisional licenses from the
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission,
experts believe that any material
energy production from these types of
technologies are likely ten to fifteen years
(or more) away. In addition, substantial
power production from these alternative
energy sources will require access to the
grid and some level of partnership with
utilities – a regulated partner that is often
slow to embrace changes. Likewise, the
transportation sector has recently seen
changes with the introduction of hybrid
vehicles, but consumers remain hesitant
to give up performance to help the
environment – hence the limited adoption
of any full electric vehicles. Said one
VC, “We have to throw out our models
for some of these companies. We like the
technology and the opportunity, but it is an
industry of ‘ifs’. ”
The “clean technology play” for a venture
capitalist is one that likely requires
involvement in the political process for
any type of sustained success. Many
of these clean technologies could not
exist without some level of government
assistance, and continuing that assistance
while technology develops is crucial. “It’s
very different from the business world,
where you come in with a good idea and
leave with a deal,” said Mark Baldassare,
research director for the Public Policy
Institute of California, a nonpartisan
research group, in a January 28, 2007
New York Times article. The question, he
said, is whether venture capitalists “have
the patience to be part of the political

How to Draw
Investment into New
High Technology
Plastics Companies

Today’s technology-based entrepreneurs
in the plastics marketplace needs
to have more than an novel or unique
product or technology. Investors look
for three things when evaluating where
to invest their capital: (1) Team, (2)
Market, and (3) Technology.

Team. Many successful entrepreneurs
will tell you that they would much rather
have a top-tier management team than
the most novel or unique technology.
Many new technologies are developed

process.”
Thermoforming QUArTerLY

in labs and universities around the globe

– but only a few successful companies
are able to leverage that technology
to build a successful company. Those
companies have a top tier management
structure.
Market. Investors are traditionally
looking for a company that has an existing
market for its technology of $100 million
dollars or more. While some companies
will consider a market of $50 million, the
real sweet spot for technology investors
is a marketplace of $100 million to $500
million and a company that intends to
capture $100 million in sales within five
years. These may seem to be extremely
substantial numbers, but the expectation
for a high technology company that
will receive outside investor funding
is that the company has a potential
market large enough for rapid growth

– and oftentimes lacking an established
competitor to tackle that market. Either
way, it is important for new technology
companies to identify and target the key
customers within this market.
Technology. Technology is the third
leg of the necessary platform for a
successful investment by a technology
investor. High technologies companies in
any space – from wireless to information
technology to biotechnology to clean
technologies – must have a technology
that is novel, protected, and scalable.
Without a technology that is a market
differential, your company is competing
in a commodity market.

How do innovative ideas from
current industry leaders and individual
entrepreneurs become successful
opportunities? It requires the
combination of these three key platforms
to leverage a business. But the plastics
industry must continue to establish itself
as an innovative market to draw talented
entrepreneurs. Companies developing
innovative bio-based polymers,
recycling and recovery techniques,
unique production methodologies,
efficiency tools, and many other cutting
edge technologies will be developed as
these companies are rewarded in the
marketplace.

In addition, established companies
should help foster innovation through
investment in internal and external
development. Researchers have noted
that the major advances in technology
in the past fifty years have been made

by startup businesses. Industry leaders
are not, by their nature, the best place for
innovative leaps to occur. Xerox developed
the platform that would become Microsoft
Windows, but was unable to recognize
and leverage the potential. Today’s
clean-technologies will be developed by
entrepreneurs, but must be fosted by an
entire industry.

Innovative startups in the plastics space
require licensed technology, talent with
experience in major industry companies,
and a marketplace that accepts new
technology.

Unique Challenges for
“Clean Companies” in
the Plastics Marketplace

As Steve Westly stated, in the
clean technology space the successful
companies may not be the one with the
best technology, but instead with the
best strategy to consolidate the space
and create a successful platform. Westly
should know, he was part of the team at
eBay that went on an acquisition wave to
ultimately develop today’s leading online
auction service.

Much like industry consolidation
and standardization of software and the
World Wide Web in the 1990s, the most
successful companies will be those that
create a leading edge company. In the Clean
Technology marketplace, companies will
require an expertise in traditional energy
and regulatory policy to be competitive.
In the clean-tech space, it is simply not
enough to develop a great technology;
you must navigate the regulatory
waters and pay your lobbyist well. For
example, development of the alternative
fuel production will require a sustained
government commitment to tax subsidies,
fuel standard mandates, and project
finance assistance. Solar project siting
requires a partnership with state and local
governments. Innovative development of
“clean” polymers or bio-based plastics will
need the support of the FDA. A sustained
commitment to the clean-tech space will
require partnership with governmental
entities and sidestepping of the potential
challenges. Accomplishing these goals in
a largely regulated marketplace requires a
unique level of finesse.

Second, clean-technology is and will
be closely linked with the traditional
energy, automotive, chemical, and natural

resources sectors and therefore will
advance more rapidly from handshakes
and partnerships rather than battles and
turf wars. Today’s solar or wind farms
are likely to be supported by traditional
utilities. The hybrid car industry grew
from traditional auto manufacturers. And
ethanol is being mixed with traditional
gasoline and delivered to your pumps by
traditional oil distillers (with a handsome
tax break).

As Bob Hemphill, Executive Vice
President, Global Development of AES
Corporation, stated, “We are serious
about the sector and that requires working
together.” The clean-tech space will
not grow in isolation from traditional
companies, but must get them on board.
Oil & Gas companies, auto manufacturers,
and utilities hold assets with long lives –
and clean technology adoption will not be
as rapid as may be seen in other industries.
But partnerships and collaboration may
speed adoption of clean technology
initiatives.

Third, the clean technology industry
will be driven by new and developing
technologies. Protection of that intellectual
property will require an aggressive IP
strategy and a systematic approach to
ongoing development. Particularly,
any IP strategy will need to take into
account the substantial markets in both
China and India, and the challenges
that will result. The importance of these
developing international markets cannot
be understated, but the potential for
investments to be lost due to a poor IP
strategy are significant.

Finally, clean technology companies
will require an expertise in emerging
company issues. As money continues to
be pumped into the sector, today’s great
idea will need to become tomorrow’s
sustainable venture. Any successful
company will need to navigate the
funding landscape from Angel investors to
government grants to VCs to joint-ventures
to acquisitions. Additionally, companies
interested in market-leading technology
will need to be aware of the potentially
ripe marketplace for consolidation and be
prepared to be both bold and aggressive.
Financing a clean-technology company
could require a blended strategy from
traditional capital sources, venture dollars,
private equity, federal grants, and others.
Many clean-tech companies are capital
intensive and faced with varied financing

Thermoforming QUArTerLY

models. Clean-technology investments
may require creative financing.

Conclusion

The Clean-Tech bet has been made. And
as new investors and companies enter the
fray, a new set of challenges and obstacles
will arise. According to one member of the
VC community, new rules are now being
written for clean-technology companies.
“The energy, transportation, chemical,
and fuel sectors are multi-billion dollar
industries. Clean-Tech is bringing
something new to these old industries –
and to be successful, you have to be ready
for that challenge and that discussion.”

The plastics industry must continue
to embrace technology from both
entrepreneurial activity and intrapreneurial
activity in the large industry players.
There is substantial money to be made and
opportunity to be had in the marketplace.
Today’s startup companies in the plastics
world may produce tomorrow’s key
technologies and advances. x

REDUCE!
REUSE!
RECYCLE!
REDUCE!
REUSE!
RECYCLE!
Plastics 101:

Defining
“Biodegradable”,
“Biobased” and
“Compostable”

Reprinted with the permission of the
Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI)

Many
are
confused
by
the
terms
“biodegradable”
and
“biobased.”
They
do
not
mean
the
same
thing
and
cannot
be
used
interchangeably.
The
fact
is
that
not
all
materials
that
come
from
renewable
or
biobased
feedstocks
are
biodegradable.
Manufacturers,
and
others,
need
to
use
the
appropriate
ASTM
tests
to
pinpoint
the
percentage
of
a
product
that
comes
biobased
resources.
Also,
they
must
use
the
correct ASTM specifications to
determine
if
the
products
are
biodegradable
or
compostable.

BioBASeD

Words
like
biobased and
renewable
refer
to
the
sources
of
the
raw
materials
for
products.
Wood,
corn,
soybeans,
and
grasses
are
all
forms
of
renewable
or
biobased
feedstocks.
The
agricultural
crops
like
corn
and
soybeans
can
be
harvested
every
year
and
are
annually renewable.
These
feedstocks
“renew”
themselves
on
a
predictable
timeframe,
ranging
from
annually
in
the
case
of
grains
or
grasses
to
as
long
as
a
human
lifespan
in
the
case
of
lumber
from
sustainably
managed
forests.
Think
of
these
products
as
biologically based.

The
American
Society
for
Testing

and Materials (ASTM) defines a

biobased
material
as
an organic
material in which carbon is derived
from a renewable resource via
biological processes. Biobased
materials include all plant and animal
mass derived from carbon dioxide

recently fixed via photosynthesis, per
definition of a renewable resource.

But
note:
just
because
a
product
is
labeled
“biobased”
or
contains
“renewable
resources”
does
not
mean
that
it
based
entirely
on
renewable
resources.
Rather,
many
of
these
products
combine
petroleum-based

materials
with
naturally
based
ones,
in
order
to
provide
the
properties
that
consumers
desire,
while
at
the
same
time
reducing
the
overall
amount
of
synthetic
polymers
contained
in
the
product.

The
United
States
Department
of
Agriculture
(USDA)
has
the
task
of
defining the percentage of renewable
resources
in
a
product
that
is
necessary
in
order
for
the
product
to
be
called
“biobased.”
ASTM
D6866
–
“Standard
Test
Methods
for
Determining
the
Biobased
Content
of
Natural
Range
Materials
Using
Radiocarbon
and
Isotope
Ratio
Mass
Spectrometry
Analysis”
–
is
a
method
that
accurately
determines
the
percentage
of
the
product
that
comes
from
renewable
resources.

BioDegrADABle

If,
under
the
right
conditions,
the
microbes
in
the
environment
can
break
down
a
material
and
use
it
as
a
food
source,
that
material
is
called
biodegradable.
Biodegradation
is
a
process
that
can
take
place
in
many
environments,
including
soils,
compost
sites,
water
treatment-facilities,
marine
environments,
and
even
the
human
body.
This
process
converts
carbon
into
energy
and
maintains
life.
Not
all
materials
are
biodegradable
under
all
conditions.
Some
are
susceptible
to
the
microbes
found
in
a
wastewatertreatment
plant,
while
others
need
the
conditions
and
microbes
found
in
a
compost
pile
or
in
soils.

For
plastics
to
biodegrade,
they
must
go
through
a
two-step
process.
First,
the
long
polymer
chains
are
shortened
or
“cut”
at
the
carboncarbon
bonds.
This
process
can
be
started
by
heat,
moisture,
microbial
enzymes,
or
other
environmental
conditions,
depending
upon
the
polymer.
This
is
called
“degradation,”
and
you
know
it
is
taking
place
because
the
plastics
become
weak and fragment easily. This first
step
is
not a
sign
of
biodegradation!

The
second
step
takes
place
when
the
shorter
carbon
chains
pass
through
the
cell
walls
of
the
microbes
and
are
used
as
an
energy
source.
This
is
biodegradation
–
when
the
carbon
chains
are
used
as
a
food
source
and

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are converted into water, biomass,
carbon dioxide, or methane (depending
upon whether process takes place under
aerobic or anaerobic conditions).
What Is a Compostable
Material?
When products are designed to be
composted, they should meet ASTM
Standard D6400 (for Compostable
Plastics) or ASTM D6868 (for
Compostable Packaging). Products that
meet the requirements in these two
specifications will:
• Disintegrate rapidly during the
composting process (so no large
plastic fragments remain on the
composter’s screens when the
process is finished).
• Biodegrade quickly under the
composting conditions.
• Not reduce the value or utility of
the finished compost. The humus
manufactured during the composting
process will support plant life.
• Not contain high amounts of
regulated metals.
Where Confusion
Exists
Some consumers and manufacturers
believe that if a material is based on
a renewable resource, then it must be
biodegradable and compostable. This is
not true. Some natural materials do not
biodegrade; for example, some forms
of cellulose are not biodegradable. The
only way to know if the material or
product is biodegradable or compostable
is if it meets ASTM D6400 or D6868.
Conversely, many people believe
that materials based on petroleum will
not biodegrade or compost. Again, this
is not the case. There are synthetically
based plastic resins that will biodegrade
and compost, just like paper and yard
trimmings. All these materials meet
ASTM D6400 or D6868. x
Thermoforming Quarterly® thanks the
Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) for
permission to use this article. If you have
questions or comments, email the BPI at
info@bpiworld.org or visit the website
www.bpiworld.org.

PHOTO CONTEST
ATTENTION!ATTENTION!ATTENTION!ATTENTION!ATTENTION!ATTENTION!ATTENTION!ATTENTION!ATTENTION!ATTENTION!ATTENTION!ATTENTION!ATTENTION!ATTENTION!
The Thermoforming Quarterly is sponsoring a digital photo
contest to highlight one or more aspects of the thermoforming
industry. One winner will be chosen to receive a new Canon
digital camera (value $250). The winning submission will also
be featured in the following quarter’s issue.
Criteria:
• We are looking for striking digital photos that feature some aspect of
thermoforming: the process, tooling, machinery or parts.
• All photographs should accurately reflect the subject matter and the
scene as it appeared. Photos that have been digitally altered beyond
standard optimization (removal of dust, cropping, adjustments to color
and contrast, etc.) will be disqualified.
• Entries should be submitted with the highest graphic quality in mind.
JPEG format is preferred with resolution of 300 dpi.
• Entries must include a brief description of the photo including
photographer name, company name and address.
• Images will be judged on originality, technical excellence, composition,
overall impact and artistic merit.
• The judges will be a panel of editors and SPE board members.
• Only one winner will be chosen. Based on the number of eligible entries,
the criteria may be modified in the future to award multiple prizes.
• All decisions made by the judges are final.
SUBMISSION:
ALL ENTRIES SHOULD BE SUBMITTED ELECTRONICALLY TO:
conorc@stopol.com
GOOD LUCK!!
~ THE EDITORS
TQ
ALL AMATEUR
PHOTOGRAPHERS!
Deadline:
The
deadline
for each
contest
will be
announced
in each
new
Quarterly.
The
deadline
for the
contest is
June
30th,
2008.
PHOTO CONTEST
ATTENTION!ATTENTION!ATTENTION!ATTENTION!ATTENTION!ATTENTION!ATTENTION!ATTENTION!ATTENTION!ATTENTION!ATTENTION!ATTENTION!ATTENTION!ATTENTION!
The Thermoforming Quarterly is sponsoring a digital photo
contest to highlight one or more aspects of the thermoforming
industry. One winner will be chosen to receive a new Canon
digital camera (value $250). The winning submission will also
be featured in the following quarter’s issue.
Criteria:
• We are looking for striking digital photos that feature some aspect of
thermoforming: the process, tooling, machinery or parts.
• All photographs should accurately reflect the subject matter and the
scene as it appeared. Photos that have been digitally altered beyond
standard optimization (removal of dust, cropping, adjustments to color
and contrast, etc.) will be disqualified.
• Entries should be submitted with the highest graphic quality in mind.
JPEG format is preferred with resolution of 300 dpi.
• Entries must include a brief description of the photo including
photographer name, company name and address.
• Images will be judged on originality, technical excellence, composition,
overall impact and artistic merit.
• The judges will be a panel of editors and SPE board members.
• Only one winner will be chosen. Based on the number of eligible entries,
the criteria may be modified in the future to award multiple prizes.
• All decisions made by the judges are final.
SUBMISSION:
ALL ENTRIES SHOULD BE SUBMITTED ELECTRONICALLY TO:
conorc@stopol.com
GOOD LUCK!!
~ THE EDITORS
TQ
ALL AMATEUR
PHOTOGRAPHERS!
Deadline:
The
deadline
for each
contest
will be
announced
in each
new
Quarterly.
The
deadline
for the
contest is
June
30th,
2008.
Thermoforming QUArTerLY

COUNCIL SUMMARy
January 2008Lola Carere
Councilor
TO: THE COUNCIL
This summary is intended to help you
review the highlights of the Council
meeting held in Savannah, Georgia,
on January 26, 2008. Please note that
all supporting documentation remains
available to Councilors and Section/
Division board members at:
http://extranet.4spe.org/council/index.
php?dir=2008.01%20Council%20
(Savannah)/
SPE President Vicki Flaris called the
meeting to order.
The Council weekend format was as
follows:
• Council Committee of the Whole
-there was a separate meeting
of the Council Committee of the
Whole.
• Council Meeting -a formal
Council meeting was held.
Officers were elected.
Key Agenda Items:
• Tom Martin’s presentation on the
passing of Jack Ryan
• HSM & Fellows election results
• Governance elections
• Bylaw reading
• Policy approvals
• Section changes
• ANTEC at NPE 2009
Elections:
Council elected the following individuals
as Society officers for the 2008-2009
term, which begins at ANTEC (May 4-8)
President-Elect – Paul Andersen
Senior Vice President – Ken Braney
Vice President (nominated by the
International Committee) – Jon Ratzlaff
In addition to these formal offices, each
year Council also elects a Chair for the
Council Committee of the Whole. Brent
Strong, Councilor for Great Salt Lake, will
hold this position for the 2008-2009 year.
Executive Director’s Update:
Executive Director Susan Oderwald
provided Council with a detailed staff
report, which can be viewed on the SPE
website at: http://extranet.4spe.org/council/
index.php?dir=2008.01%20Council%20(S
avannah)/.
Ms. Oderwald discussed activities for the
current year and major initiatives for the
coming year.
At the end of her report, she fielded
clarifying questions and comments.
Treasurer’s Update:
Treasurer Ken Braney reviewed the 2007
financial performance of the Society.
While final audited numbers were not
available at the time of the meeting, 2007
results were predictably down from the
prior two years, with a projected loss of
roughly < $250,000> for the Society overall.
Plastics Engineering magazine was the
main reason for the loss.
Mr. Braney reported that since the last
Council meeting, three staff positions on the
magazine have been eliminated, and that
SPE is actively pursuing a co-publishing
arrangement with Wiley Publishing for the
magazine as a means to significantly reduce
losses and have the magazine return to a
“break-even” or modest profitability within
5 years. In addition to the staff reductions,
the magazine will now publish 10 issues
per annum.
Mr. Braney 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
Readings and Votes:
Approval of Bylaw changes:
7.3.4 Specific Nominations – change
in wording.
7.3.4.3 was eliminated.
Approval of:
• Policy 013 – Section Establishment.
• Policy 018 -Establishment of a
Quorum for Council and Committee
Meetings.
• Council approved moving the
Annual Business Meeting in
2009 from San Antonio, Texas,
to Chicago, Illinois. Council also
provided a vote of confidence in
the ANTEC/NPE co-location in
2009 to enable staff to finalize the
details of an agreement with SPI.
Section Changes:
Council approved the following Section
changes:
• France Section was placed on
Provisional Status.

Thermoforming QUArTerLY

•
Rock Valley Section was placed on
Provisional Status.
•
Scandinavia Section was placed
on Provisional Status – with the
anticipated formation of smaller
independent Sections within the
Scandinavian bloc in the near
future (Norway, Sweden, Denmark
Sections).
•
A new Section-in-Formation in
Turkey was also approved.
A new Strategic Growth Committee,
which will replace the International
Committee, was proposed to the Council
by President-Elect Bill O’Connell and
approved at this Council Meeting.

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?dir=2008.01%20Council%20
(Savannah)/.

Contributions:

SPE is grateful to the following
organizations for their contributions in
support of SPE and The SPE Foundation:

•
Pittsburgh Section to the SPE
Foundation for the Pittsburgh
Section Scholarship, $5,000
•
Color & Appearance Division
to SPE for their Conference,
$20,082.24
•
Thermoforming Division to SPE
for their Conference, $56,251.69
•
Blow Molding Division to SPE for
their Conference, $4,972.81
The next formal Council meeting is
scheduled for Sunday, May 4, 2008, in
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA. x

Thermoforming QUArTerLY

Thermoforming QUArTerLY
Become a
Thermoforming
Quarterly Sponsor
in 2008!
Do you like the
new look?
Additional sponsorship
opportunities will
include 4-color, full
page, and 1/2 page.
RESERVE
YOUR PRIME
SPONSORSHIP
SPACE TODAY.
Questions?
Call or email …
Laura Pichon
Ex-Tech Plastics
847-829-8124
Lpichon@extechplastics.com
BOOK SPACE
IN 2008!
Visit us on the Web!
www.thermoformingdivision.com
Thermoforming Division
Board Meeting Schedule 2008
May 14-17 – Sedona, AZ
September 17-20 – Minneapolis, MN
Board meetings are open to members
of the thermoforming industry.
If you would like to attend as a guest of the board,
please notify Membership Chairman Conor Carlin
at conorc@stopol.com.
Become a
Thermoforming
Quarterly Sponsor
in 2008!
Do you like the
new look?
Additional sponsorship
opportunities will
include 4-color, full
page, and 1/2 page.
RESERVE
YOUR PRIME
SPONSORSHIP
SPACE TODAY.
Questions?
Call or email …
Laura Pichon
Ex-Tech Plastics
847-829-8124
Lpichon@extechplastics.com
BOOK SPACE
IN 2008!
Visit us on the Web!
www.thermoformingdivision.com
Thermoforming Division
Board Meeting Schedule 2008
May 14-17 – Sedona, AZ
September 17-20 – Minneapolis, MN
Board meetings are open to members
of the thermoforming industry.
If you would like to attend as a guest of the board,
please notify Membership Chairman Conor Carlin
at conorc@stopol.com.
Our website is continually being updated with news and events. Find
all the information about thermoforming in one convenient site: lists
of material suppliers and machinery builders, instructional videos,
useful links and much, much more.

You can download all important forms online including the
membership application and the nomination form for Thermoformer
of the Year.

Feel free to send us your comments, suggestions, etc.

2008
EditORial
calEndaR

Quarterly deadlines for

copy and Sponsorships

final cOpy fOR
EditORial appROval

7-dEc winter 1-Jul Summer

15-maR Spring 15-Oct fall

dEadlinE fOR
ad cOpy

15-dEc winter 15-Jul Summer

31-maR Spring 31-Oct fall

All artwork to be sent in
.eps or .jpg format with
minimum 300dpi resolution.

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Our mission is
to facilitate the
advancement of
thermoforming
technologies
through education,
application,
promotion and
research.
website:
http://www.4spe.org/communities/
divisions/d25.php
or
www.thermoformingdivision.com
SPE National
Executive Director
Susan Oderwald
Direct Line: 203/740-5471
Fax: 203/775-8490
email: Seoderwald@4spe.org
Conference Coordinator
Gwen Mathis
6 S. Second Street, SE
Lindale, Georgia 30147
706/235-9298
Fax: 706/295-4276
email: gmathis224@aol.com
Our mission is
to facilitate the
advancement of
thermoforming
technologies
through education,
application,
promotion and
research.
website:
http://www.4spe.org/communities/
divisions/d25.php
or
www.thermoformingdivision.com
SPE National
Executive Director
Susan Oderwald
Direct Line: 203/740-5471
Fax: 203/775-8490
email: Seoderwald@4spe.org
Conference Coordinator
Gwen Mathis
6 S. Second Street, SE
Lindale, Georgia 30147
706/235-9298
Fax: 706/295-4276
email: gmathis224@aol.com

Executive
Committee

2006 – 2008

CHAIR

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

CHAIR ELECT

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

TREASURER

Brian Ray
Ray Products
1700 Chablis Avenue
Ontario, CA 91761
(909) 390-9906, Ext. 216
Fax (909) 390-9984
brianr@rayplastics.com

SECRETARY

Mike Sirotnak
Solar Products
228 Wanaque Avenue
Pompton Lakes, NJ 07442
(973) 248-9370
Fax (973) 835-7856
msirotnak@solarproducts.com

COUNCILOR WITH TERM
ENDING ANTEC 2009

Lola Carere
Thermopro, Inc.
2860 Preston Ridge Lane
Dacula, GA 30019
(770) 592-8756
Fax (770) 339-4181
lcarere@bellsouth.net

PRIOR CHAIR

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

2006 – 2008 THERMOFORMING DIVISION ORGANIZATIONAL CHART

Barry Shepherd
Conor CarlinWalt Speck
2008 Conference
MinneapolisDennis Northrop
2009 Conference
Milwaukee
Phil Barhouse
……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

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Thermoforming QUArTerLY
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Board of Directors
MACHINERY MATERIALS PROCESSING COMMITTEE

COMMITTEE COMMITTEE
James Alongi Jim Armor (Chair)
Maac Machinery Armor & Associates
590 Tower Blvd. 16181 Santa Barbara Lane
Carol Stream, IL 60188 Huntington Beach, CA 92649
T: 630.665.1700 T: 714.846.7000
F: 630.665.7799 F: 714.846.7001
jalongi@maacmachinery.com jimarmor@aol.com
Conor Carlin Phil Barhouse
Stopol, Inc. Spartech Packaging
31875 Solon Road Technologies
Solon, OH 44139 100 Creative Way
T: 440.498.4000 PO Box 128
F: 440.498.4001 Ripon, WI 54971
conorc@stopol.com T: 920.748.1119
F: 920.748.9466
Roger Fox phil.barhouse@spartech.com
The Foxmor Group
373 S. Country Farm Road Donald Hylton
Suite 202 McConnell Company
Wheaton, IL 60187 646 Holyfield Highway
T: 630.653.2200 Fairburn, GA 30213
F: 630.653.1474 T: 678.772.5008
rfox@foxmor.com don@thermoforming.com
Hal Gilham Bill McConnell
Productive Plastics, Inc. McConnell Company
103 West Park Drive 3030 Sandage Street
Mt. Laurel, NJ 08045 PO Box 11512
T: 856.778.4300 Fort Worth, TX 76110
F: 856.234.3310 T: 817.926.8287
halg@productiveplastics.com F: 817.926.8298
billmc@thermoforming.com
Bill Kent
Brown Machine Vin McElhone
330 North Ross Street Stand Up Plastics
Beaverton, MI 48612 5 Fordham Trail
T: 989.435.7741 Old Saybrook, CT 06475
F: 989.435.2821 T: 860.395.5699
bill.kent@brown-machine.com F: 860.395.4732
vin@standupplastics.com
Don Kruschke (Chair)
Stopol, Inc. Dennis Northrop
31875 Solon Road Avery Dennison Performance Films
Solon, OH 44139 650 W. 67th Avenue
T: 440.498.4000 Schererville, IN 46375
F: 440.498.4001 T: 219.322.5030
donk@stopol.com F: 219.322.2623
dennis.northrop@averydennison.com
Brian Winton
Modern Machinery Laura Pichon
PO Box 423 Ex-Tech Plastics
Beaverton, MI 48612 PO Box 576
T: 989.435.9071 11413 Burlington Road
F: 989.435.3940 Richmond, IL 60071
bwinton@modernmachineinc.com T: 847.829.8124
F: 815.678.4248
lpichon@extechplastics.com
Clarissa Schroeder
Invista S.A.R.L
1551 Sha Lane
Spartanburg, SC 29307
T: 864.579.5047
F: 864.579.5288
Clarissa.schorn@invista.com

Art Buckel
McConnell Company
3452 Bayonne Drive
San Diego, CA 92109

T: 858.273.9620
F: 858.273.6837
artbuckel@thermoforming.com
Haydn Forward
Specialty Manufacturing Co.
6790 Nancy Ridge Road
San Diego, CA 92121

T: 858.450.1591
F: 858.450.0400
hforward@smi-mfg.com
Richard Freeman
Freetech Plastics
2211 Warm Springs Court
Fremont, CA 94539

T: 510.651.9996
F: 510.651.9917
rfree@freetechplastics.com
Ken Griep
Portage Casting & Mold
2901 Portage Road
Portage, WI 53901

T: 608.742.7137
F: 608.742.2199
ken@pcmwi.com
Steve Hasselbach
CMI Plastics
222 Pepsi Way
Ayden, NC 28416

T: 252.746.2171
F: 252.746.2172
steve@cmiplastics.com
Stephen Murrill

Profile Plastics

65 S. Waukegan
Lake Bluff, IL 60044

T: 847.604.5100 x29
F: 847.604.8030
smurrill@thermoform.com
Joe Peters
Universal Plastics
75 Whiting Farms Road
Holyoke, MA 01040

T: 413.592.4791
F: 413.592.6876
petersj@universalplastics.com
Robert G. Porsche (Chair)
General Plastics
2609 West Mill Road
Milwaukee, WI 53209

T: 414.351.1000
F: 414.351.1284
bob@genplas.com
Walt Speck
Speck Plastics, Inc.
PO Box 421
Nazareth, PA 18064

T: 610.759.1807
F: 610.759.3916
wspeck@speckplastics.com
Jay Waddell
Plastics Concepts & Innovations
1127 Queensborough Road
Suite 102
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464

T: 843.971.7833
F: 843.216.6151
jwaddell@plasticoncepts.com
Thermoforming QUArTerLY

Thermoforming QUArTerLY

Thermoforming
Quarterly®
SECOND QUARTER 2008
VOLUME 27 n NUMBER 2
Sponsor Index These sponsors enable us to publish Thermoforming Quarterly
n Alcoa …………………………….. 8
n Allen……………………………. 22
n Advanced Ventures in

Technology ………………… 22
n American Catalytic

Technologies ……………… 20
n American Thermoforming

Machinery………………… 20
n Arkma / Altuglas……………… 30
n Brown Machine……………….. 33
n CMS………………………………. 6
n CMT Materials ………………… 34
n Copper & Brass ………………. 35
n Edward D. Segen…………….. 30
n Fox Mor Group ……………….. 22
n Future Mold …………………… 20
n GN Plastics ……………………. 20
n Kiefel …………………………… 27
n Kleerdex……………………….. 10
n KMT Robotic Solutions ………. 40
n Maac Machinery………………. 35
n McClarin Plastics……………… 20
n Modern Machinery …………… 20
n Monark…………………………. 33
n MTI……………………………….. 6
n Octal………… Inside Front Cover
n Onsrud Cutter ………………… 14
n PCI ……………………………… 20
n PMC…………………………….. 16
n Portage Casting & Mold……….. 6
n Primex Plastics ……………….. 27
n Productive Plastics …………… 22
n Profile Plastics Corp……………. 6
n Protherm………………………. 16
n PTi………………………………. 10
n Ray Products………………….. 22
n SenCorp ……………………….. 30
n Solar Products………………… 40
n Spartech ……. Inside Back Cover
n Stopol……………18, Back Cover
n Tempco ………………………….. 6
n Thermwood……………………. 14
n Tooling Technology…………… 36
n TPS …………………………….. 36
n Ultra-Metric Tool ……………… 37
n WECO ………………………….. 10
n Xaloy, Inc. …………………….. 36
n Zed Industries………………… 20

0 Thermoforming QUArTerLY

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