Quarterly Mags: 2011 2nd

®
Thermoforming
Quarterly®

A JOURNAL OF THE THERMOFORMING DIVISION OF THE SOCIETY OF PLASTIC ENGINEERS SECOND QUARTER 2011 n VOLUME 30 n NUMBER 2

The Future Is Now
Thermoforming Center of Excellence at Penn College

Workforce Development: New National Study Findings page 8

INSIDE … University News: Two Top-Tier Student Papers page 14
Sustainability: Placon Opens New Eco-Star Facility page 30

WWW.THERMOFORMINGDIVISION.COM

Thermoforming
Quarterly®
SECOND QUARTER 2011
VOLUME 30 n NUMBER 2
Contents
SECOND QUARTER 2011
VOLUME 30 n NUMBER 2
Contents
n
Departments
Chairman’s Corner x 2

Thermoforming in the News x
4-5
The Business of Thermoforming x
8-10
University News x
14-17; 21-29
Thermoforming and Sustainability x
30-32

Page 22
Front Cover

Thermoforming Center of Excellence at Penn College
The Future Is Now
nIn This Issue
Save the Date – 2011 Conference x19
Council Summary x33
Page 33
A JOURNAL PUBLISHED EACH
CALENDAR QUARTER BY THE
THERMOFORMING DIVISION
OF THE SOCIETY OF
PLASTICS ENGINEERS
Editor
Conor Carlin
(617) 771-3321
cpcarlin@gmail.com
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 published
four times annually as an informational
and educational bulletin to
the members of the Society of Plastics
Engineers, Thermoforming Division,
and the thermoforming industry. The
name, “Thermoforming Quarterly®”
and its logotype, are registered trademarks
of the Thermoforming Division
of the Society of Plastics Engineers, Inc.
No part of this publication may be reproduced
in any form or by any means
without prior written permission of the
publisher, copyright holder. Opinions
of the authors are their own, and the
publishers cannot be held responsible
for opinions or representations of any
unsolicited material. Printed in the
U.S.A.
Thermoforming Quarterly® is registered
in the U.S. Patent and Trademark
Office (Registration no. 2,229,747). x
Thermoforming
Quarterly®
Cover Photo courtesy of
Penn College
All Rights Reserved 2011

www.thermoformingdivision.com
Thermoforming QUArTerLY 1

Thermoforming
Quarterly® Chairman’s Corner Chairman’s Corner
Ken Griep
During the past 4 years, your
board has been engaged in a major
undertaking to help fund and develop
The Thermoforming Center of
Excellence at the Pennsylvania College
of Technology in Williamsport, PA.
We recently returned from our Spring
board meeting which was held on the
campus. On behalf of the board, I want
to thank Dr. Hank White, Director
of the Center, as well as the staff
members of PCT for their hospitality
during our visit. I am pleased to report
that the future of our industry looks
promising.

The Center is by far the most
technologically advanced center
dedicated to the art and science of
plastics processing. The facility
offers services in material testing,
weather testing and analysis, as well
as material compounding. The board
members were also able to see the
range of processing capabilities on
display, including injection molding,
rotational molding, sheet and film
manufacturing, blow molding and,
naturally, thermoforming. The
thermoforming machine is a MAAC
Machine Model 43SPT, a 36″ x 48″
Single Station Pressure Former with
Twin Sheet capabilities and 3rd motion
plug assist. This machine will give the
students first-hand, practical expertise
on processing, machinery operation
and material testing.

Committed to the
Next Generation

The Center has received $10,000
in seed money from your division
along with $50,000 for equipment.
In addition, the SPE Foundation
has donated $10,000. Several board
members, Mark Strachan and Jay
Waddell, deserve special recognition
for their contributions to the Center.
MAAC Machinery continues to
deliver equipment for educational
purposes. Finally, I want to offer a
special word of thanks to Roger Kipp
and McClarin Plastics for all the hours
and devotion to the success of this
important project.

It is truly remarkable to see these
young men and women roll up their
sleeves and get directly involved in
all elements of the thermoforming
process: developing working models,
running detailed experiments and
producing high-quality technical
papers. Two such papers appear in this
issue of the Quarterly as a testament
to our continued focus on workforce
development.

“Thermoforming High Density
Polyethylene Sheet Using
Temperature-Controlled Aluminum
Tooling,” presented by Brett
Braker, illustrated the differences
of thermoforming HDPE using
temperature-controlled and nontemperature-
controlled tooling. In so
doing, the paper aimed to prove that
HDPE can be used with success in
the thermoforming industry as long
as temperature controlled aluminum
tooling is used.

The second presentation was
given by Aaron Lapinski, entitled
“Thermoforming ABS for
Dimensional Consistency.” This
project was aimed at mold comparison
in which dimensions, shrinkage
and mechanical properties of
thermoformed ABS were compared on
two different mold types. The purpose
of this project was to demonstrate
to the thermoforming industry that
a temperature-controlled mold is
essential for maintaining dimensional
consistency in the finished product.

It is critical that our industry
understand the importance of training
the next generation of toolmakers,
designers and machine operators.
Understanding the manufacturing
process is key to maintaining a
competitive edge and should not be
overlooked as the core of this new
workforce enters the job market.
This should be a primary goal for all
thermoforming companies. As our
industry grows, we need to bring
in new, educated and trained talent
that is equipped with the tools and
knowledge to advance our industry for
years to come.

Thank you for your continued
support and get the word out – Do
Thermoforming!

Please feel free to contact me with
your views and comments. I would
like to hear from you!

ken@pcmwi.com

2 Thermoforming QUArTerLY

Marc Tangway
Bainultra
Saint-Nicolas, QC,
Canada

Thermoforming
Quarterly® New Members
Greg Hart
Global Tool & Automation
Corporation
Laotto, IN
Mark Haworth
Spartech Plastics
La Mirada, CA
Andrew Horsman
Otario Tire Stewardship
Toronto, ON, Canada
Marty Rodriguez
Printpack Inc.
Williamsburg, VA
Aaron J. Lapinski
Pennsylvania College of
Technology
Bloomsburg, PA
Joe McCaleb
Heritage Plastics
Atlanta, GA
Wendell Gabbard
Stone Plastics, Inc.
Cadiz, KY
Mathew P. Barr
Faurecia Interior Systems
Auburn Hills, MI
Jon Larson
Krones Inc.
Franklin, WI
Antonio Marcucci
Poly-Vac
Sao Paulo, Brazil
Jim Dolan
J&J Performance Powder
Coating
Carlock, IL
Aster Teo
Milliken Asia Pte Ltd.
Singapore
Brian Cristea
International Automotive
Components
Troy, MI
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 …
Peter Rye
Brentwood Industries
Inc.
Reading, PA
Donald A. Berrill
Michada Resources
Cambridge, ON, Canada
John Keirstead
WAL Consulting (HK) Ltd.
Leduc, AB, Canada
Michel Labonte
Montreal, QC, Canada
Matt C. Smallwood
Pittsburg State University
Pittsburg, KS
Bill Goldfarb
Universal Dynamics Inc.
Woodbridge, VA
Ted Bickel
amros industries, inc.
Cleveland, OH
Joan Ruiz
ESCAURE IBERICA, S.A.
Sta Perpetu Mogoda,
Spain
Jody M. Morrow
GoodVillage Foundation
Friendship, WI
Rhonda L. Funmaker
GoodVillage Foundation
Friendship, WI
Adriane Wiltse
Plastic Engineer
Pittsburg State University
Midland, TX
Brett Landen Wehner
Weco International Inc.
Clio, MI
Justin Fowler
Dart Container
Corporation
Mason, MI
Brian Tidwell
Polyvel Inc.
Hammonton, NJ
Robert M. Stack
Hasbro Inc.
East Longmeadow, MA
Aleesha P. Pruett
Capitola, CA
C. Matthew Brown
Poly Flex Products
Knoxville, TN
Martin Bollands
Seaborne Plastics Ltd.
Cranleigh, United
Kingdom
Thermoforming QUArTerLY 3

Thermoforming in the news
Chinese Computer
Giant Accused of
Stealing Packaging
Patent

Reflex Packaging

says Lenovo stole

intellectual property

By Matthew Robertson, Epoch Times,
March 29, 2011

K
K
enny Doyle was out on a
routine sales call in southern
California when he noticed
something odd in the corner. The
customer he was visiting had just
purchased new computers for the
office, and the packaging was in
the trash heap.

“Something caught my eye,”
he says, as he looked at the
plastic cushions used to protect
the computers when they’re
inside the cardboard boxes.
“It was a different color and it
looked different to me,” he said.
“They were Lenovo boxes.”

The plastic cushions he removed
seemed almost identical – except
that “they had just cut the top off”

– to those made by the company
that Doyle works for, Reflex
Packaging. And they came with
one of Reflex’s main customers,
Lenovo. But they weren’t made
by Reflex. Similar incidents
began occurring around Forrest
Smith, general manager of the
firm and inventor of the packaging
patent. People he knew who had
just purchased a Lenovo PC would
email him asking “When did you
start making your parts in green?”
He hadn’t. And now he is suing
Lenovo – China’s largest personal
computer manufacturer, and fourth
largest in the world (its income
was $16.6 billion in 2010) – for
stealing his design. When he saw
the pictures, “I thought, ‘Great,
they took our product and made
some modifications to it and
started producing it,’ ” he said in a
telephone interview. “There was no
doubt in my mind, as the inventor,

SPOT THE DIFFERENCE: Lenovo’s alleged copy (L) alongside the product patented by Forrest
Smith of Reflex Packaging (R). Smith says it is obvious that Lenovo in China simply copied his
design. Lenovo says there are many differences between them. (Courtesy of Reflex Packaging)

that this was clearly a copied
product,” he said. He forwarded
the photos to a patent agent, who
agreed. Then he got a lawyer and
started talking to Lenovo.

Lawsuit Filed

Reflex Packaging
designs and produces
thermoformed cushions for
packaging fragile goods, like
computers and hard drives.
Thermoforming is a process
that uses heat and pressure
to make plastics; Smith uses
recycled plastics, and Lenovo has
won environmental awards for
using his products.

For around 30 years the
primary means of shipping
computer parts had been foam. “We
were the first to take a thermoform
part and make a cushion that was
able to function,” Smith said.
Reflex had been “grandfathered”
into Lenovo’s supply chain when
the Chinese company came out of
nowhere to buy IBM’s computer
division for U.S. $1.75 billion
in 2005. Business was coasting
along comfortably, at the rate
of 5-10 thousand systems per
week, with Reflex supplying the
patented cushions – until around
2008, Smith recalls.

Every year, typically, computer
companies spruce up their product
ranges. With new designs comes
the need for new cushions to
protect them when shipping.
Usually Smith talks with Lenovo

4 Thermoforming QUArTerLY

personnel about the fresh specs.
But in 2008 the conversation
went slightly differently. Lenovo
wanted Reflex to remove its
name and patent number from the
products. Smith didn’t consent
to the second part, “so they
stopped doing business with us
and started their own version,”
he says. Reflex’s business with
the computer giant in China has
essentially “been eliminated.”
He believes that Lenovo simply
took his patent to a thermoform
manufacturer in China and got
them to make something very
similar. A year later Lenovo was
shipping its products to the U.S.
using stolen intellectual property,
Smith says. The case was filed
with the California Northern
District Court in March 2010, after
discussions broke down. The local
Orange County Register reported
on the story.

“Outrage”

When a customer sues its buyer,
that’s usually the end of the
relationship, “but on the other
hand, you have to protect your
property or else anyone will walk
in and take it,” Smith said. The
legal process is moving “painfully
slow” for Smith. “We’re probably
right in the middle of the case
against them,” he said. The two
parties are combing the minutiae of
each other’s claims before the case
goes to trial.

Lenovo has presented several
versions of events. Initially they
said that one of their own people,
packaging engineer Christopher
Sattora, was involved in the
product development. But when he

worked at Lenovo all he did was
tell Reflex the weight and sizes of
the computers, for testing. “The
guys in China were saying just
stuff that a normal person would
think, ‘What? That’s crazy, what
are you talking about?’ ” Smith
said.

Lenovo in the U.S. did not return
calls or emails requesting they
clarify the matter when contacted
by The Epoch Times. Smith says
he is not exactly upset, but that “the
blatancy of it kind of aggravated
me.” Aside from what he sees as
the brazen theft, he was roused by
something else. “The commentary
from our counsel over in China was
even more frustrating, which was
that your odds of suing successfully
in China because of this are very
low, because Lenovo is one of the
‘great sons of China.’ That was the
message that I got back.”

Lenovo has close ties with the
Chinese Party-state. It is held up as
a model of China’s development,
an ideal “China Story,” writes the
author Ling Zhijun in her book
“The Lenovo Affair.” Originally
a state-owned entity, it was later
spun out as a private concern, but
the regime still owns the largest
share and exerts control. The
company became well-known in
the West only after its bold 2005
acquisition of IBM’s personal
computer business, which it soon
resuscitated and spring-boarded
from. The IBM buy-out was
understood within China as a
“powerful blow” to the “plot by
global Western enterprises” to take
over the Chinese computer market,
Ling writes. It makes Lenovo, or
Lianxiang in Chinese, a standard
bearer among the new cohort of
nationalist Chinese companies that

succeed in the domestic market
before launching out to tackle the
global competition. The Chinese
communist leadership wishes
to stake out key commercial
territory for Chinese companies,
Ling writes, and Liu Chuanzhi,
the founder of Lenovo and
“godfather” of China’s IT
industry, was able to market
himself in that mold. He won the
support from Party leaders crucial
for his business’s success.

The official connection
is particularly galling to
Congressman Dana Rohrabacher
(R-CA), a long-term crusader
against Chinese predations
against American companies.
“You have a situation where
private companies are doing
this, and that’s bad enough, but
to know that companies where
the government has a stake are
directly engaged in these types
of predatory practices, it makes it
even worse,” he said in a phone
interview. He added: “When the
public learns the full details about
what’s going on to American
companies … we’re going to
have not just upset but outrage.”

Smith plans to pursue legal action
in other countries that Lenovo
ships to. Ideally he would like
them to stop copying the product
and buy it from him instead.
Failing that, the court may
only be able to stop the product
entering the United States.
Lenovo, in emails to Smith, said
that there are many differences
between the two products.
They wrote: “We all respect
and protect your intelligence and
work.” x

Thermoforming QUArTerLY 5

PROSPECTIVE
AUTHORS

Thermoforming
Quarterly® is an
“equal opportunity”
publisher!
You will notice that
we have several
departments and
feature articles. If you
have a technical article
or other articles you
would like to submit,
please send 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.

6 Thermoforming QUArTerLY

Need help
with your

REDUCE! REUSE! RECYCLE!

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 7

Thermoforming
Quarterly®

T
T
he National Study of

Business Strategy and

Workforce Development

surveyed organizations about

their responses to the aging

workforce including the adoption

of a range of flexible work

options. Information was gathered

about a range of factors that could

explain variation in workplace

responsiveness, including:

characteristics of the business

environment, priority business

strategies, HR challenges,

workforce development,

and workplace culture and

workforce demographics. Data

were collected to distinguish

“early adapters” from other

organizations.

Key Research
Questions

•
To what extent have
employers considered if/how
the aging of the workforce
might affect their business
operations?
•
What steps have employers
taken – including the
implementation of flexible
work options – to recruit,
engage, and retain talented
employees at different career
stages?
•
Do employers see
relationships between their
key business strategies and
different approaches to talent
management, including the
engagement of late-career
employees?
The Business of Thermoforming

The following is excerpted from a comprehensive study on workforce development conducted
by The Sloan Center on Aging & Work at Boston College. We are grateful to the authors for
giving us permission to reprint the main findings in this issue Thermoforming Quarterly which
features technical articles from students of thermoforming science and process. As the division
chairman states in his remarks, the success of our industry depends on our ability to attract and

retain a new generation of practitioners.

Selected Findings

Phase I

Phase I of the National Study of
Business Strategy and Workforce
Development surveyed a
benchmark sample of employers
responding to the aging workforce.

•
41% of the respondents
indicated that their companies
had analyzed their workforce
demographics “to a great
extent.”
•
On average, these Benchmark
employers noted that they
expect that 15% of their
employees will retire over the
next four years.
•
61% of the respondents
indicated that age diversity is
important to their organizations
“to a great extent,” compared
to the 83% who indicated
that gender diversity is that
important and the 78% who
reported that cultural diversity
is important. Employers
were also more likely to
indicate that it is important
“to a great extent” to recruit
employees with diverse cultural
backgrounds and to recruit both
men & women than to recruit
employees of diverse ages.
•
Twice as many of the
Benchmark employers (64%)
indicated that it is important
“to a moderate or great extent”
to encourage early career
employees to remain with the
organization as did the 29%
who indicated that it was
important “to a moderate or
great extent” to encourage late
career employees to remain
with the organization.

•
The top three HR challenges
“to a moderate/great extent”
noted by the Benchmark
employers were: providing
effective supervision,
knowledge transfer, and
recruiting competent job
applicants. Despite the fact
that 59% of the Benchmark
organizations reported
that knowledge transfer is
a challenge, a substantial
proportion (approximately
two of every five) had either
not developed processes to
transfer institutional memory/
knowledge “at all” or had only
developed these processes “to a
limited extent.”
•
More than half of the
respondents to the Benchmark
Study felt that: Early-career
employees tend to take
initiative and be creative;
mid-career employees tend
to be loyal to the company,
be productive, be reliable,
have established networks of
professional colleagues, and
have high skills relative to
what is needed for the job;
8 Thermoforming QUArTerLY

and late-career employees
tend to take initiative, be loyal
to the company, be reliable,
have established networks of
professional colleagues, have
high skills relative to what is
needed for the job, have strong
work ethics, and have low
turnover rates.

•
50% or more of the Benchmark
employers indicated that the
following flexible work options
are available to their full-time
employees: request changes in
starting and quitting times on a
daily basis; reduce their work
hours and work on a part-time
basis while remaining in the
same position or at the same
level; control when they take
breaks; and choose a work
schedule that varies from
the typical schedule at their
organizations.
•
45% of male workers aged
50 or older have access to
guaranteed benefits plans at
work in comparison to the 35%
of the females.
•
Approximately one of every
five of the Benchmark
respondents state that their
organizations link workplace
flexibility to overall business
effectiveness “to a great
extent” with another half (47%)
indicating that this link is made
“to a moderate extent.”
•
The barriers to flexibility
identified by 50% or more of
the Benchmark respondents
included: implementation
costs too much; administrative
hassles; concerns about possible
employee complaints or
liability; employees don’t seem
to want these programs and
policies; no productivity payoff
anticipated; not cost-effective;
concerns about increased
absenteeism; concerns about
treating all employees equally;
the organization has other more
pressing business issues.

Phase II

Phase II of the National Study of
Business Strategy and Workforce
Development surveyed a more
representative sample of United
States businesses.

•
Only a minority of employers
in the National Study (34%)
reported that their organization
had made projections about
retirement rates of their
employees to a moderate
or great extent. One-fourth
(26%) reported that their
organizations had not analyzed
the demographics of their
workforces at all. In contrast,
only 12% felt that their
organizations had analyzed
their workforce demographics
to a “great extent.”
•
Since older workers’ prefer
flexible work options, it is
important that employers
also acknowledge the key
role of workplace flexibility
in recruiting and retaining
employees of all ages. More
than half of employers (59%)
indicated that flexible work
options were available for their
employees to a “moderate” or
“great extent.”
•
The flexible work options
offered by the highest
percentage of employers to
“most/all” of their full-time
employees include employees’
ability to: request changes in
starting and quitting times
from time to time; choose a
schedule that varies from the
typical schedule at the work
site; have some control over
when to take a break; and take
extended leave for caregiving.

•
Employers are beginning
to make a link between
flexibility options and their
core business. More than
half of employers (55%) link
workplace flexibility and
overall business effectiveness
to a “moderate” or “great”
extent.
•
Employers’ motivations
for flexibility varied, but
key motivators included:
(percentage agrees to a
moderate or great extent)
-To increase employees’
commitments and job
engagement (67%)

-To do the right thing for
your employees (66%)


To improve morale (63%)

-To help retain highly skilled
employees (62%)

-To retain employees, in
general (61%)

-To increase productivity
(61%)


To help employees manage
work and family life (60%)

•
When it comes to retention
and recruitment of older
employees, again only a
minority has taken the lead:
Only 37% of employers
had adopted strategies to
encourage late-career workers
to stay past the traditional
retirement age. Less than
(continued on next page)

Thermoforming QUArTerLY 9

one-third of respondents
(31%) indicated that their
organizations adopted
practices to recruit employees
of diverse ages to “a great
extent.”

•
Employers identified career
stages defined by three sets
of factors: education and
training; prior experience; and
intention to pursue work in
their career.
•
Employers associated age
ranges with career stages:
early career employees
(ages 21-38); mid-career
employees (ages 31-47); and
late career employees (ages
46-53). It is important to note
that these stages and ages
overlap, suggesting permeable
boundaries between stages.
•
Employers said that latecareer
employees, “have
high levels of skills and
strong professional and client
networks, a strong work ethic,
low turnover, and are loyal
and reliable.” In addition,
contrary to some stereotypes
of older workers, similar
percentages of employers
felt it is “very true” that
late-, mid-, and early-career
employees take initiative.
And a similar percentage of
employers felt it was “very
true” that early-, mid-, and
late-career employees are
productive.
•
Professional services firms
and social service agencies are
two industry sectors that offer
a greater scope of workplace
flexibility (taking into
consideration the number of
flexible work options and the
extent to which these options
are available to employees in
the workforce).

•
Factors that predict the scope
of workplace flexibility
include: having conducted
analyses of their workforces
(e.g., demographic analyses,
projections of retirement, and
examination of employees’
career plans); having top
managers aged 65 and
older; having a “culture of
commitment” with regard
to workplace flexibility; and
reporting more motivators for
adopting flexible work options.
Along with selected control
variables, these variables
explain 26% of the variance in
workplace flexibility.

•
Although perceptions of union
considerations (as a barrier) are
not a statistically significant
predictor of the scope of
flexible work options, union
presence is related to a more
limited scope of workplace
flexibility. x
10 Thermoforming QUArTerLY

Thermoforming QUArTerLY 11

Society of Plastics Engineers
Thermoforming Europe Division

Eric Sasselaan 51 ~ BE-2020 Antwerpen ~ Belgium
Tel. +32 3 541 77 55 ~ Fax+32 3541 84 25
spe.etd@skynet.be ~ www.e-t-d.org

First Announcement & Call for Papers

8th European Thermoforming Conference

Organized by SPE Thermoforming Europe Division

Thursday 26 April –
Friday 27 April 2012
Venice, Italy

The European Thermoforming Division of the SPE has commenced its preparation for the
8th Thermoforming Conference which will be held in Venice, Italy.

The highly successful parallel commercial presentation session in Antwerp will again be
included in Venice. This is in recognition of member feedback which valued the commercial
track. This programme allows each sponsor an open forum to present their new developments
to the conference attendees for duration of 5 minutes. This opportunity complements their
marketing strategy at the event adding yet more value to the package.

It is important for us as organizers and for the thermoforming industry as a whole to benefit
from this event. In order to do so, we need to ‘tailor’ it in the most efficient and economical
fashion. You can help us do that by indicating the likelihood of your sponsorship
involvement. We stress that this response would be recognised as an indicator only and would
not constitute a firm commitment at this stage.

The main technical lecture programme is under development and promises to be the best ever
with a number of eminent speakers already agreeing to participate.

Intention to submit a paper should be communicated to the Conference Secretariat as soon as
possible. Please include the prospective title and a general outline of the work.
Authors are invited to provide an abstract (300 words maximum) of their paper before
30 August 2011 by email spe.etd@skynet.be or by fax +32 3 541 84 25.

12 Thermoforming QUArTerLY

From the Editor

Juliet Oehler Goff, President/
If you are an educator, studewe want to hear from you! Tworking with academic partprograms, the division seeks
Thermoforming Quarterly is
business of thermoforming:
• New materials dev• New applications
• Innovative technol• Industry partnershi• New or expanding
• Endowments
We are also interested in heyour school or institution has
content. We publish press rwould like to arrange an inteelopment
ogies
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CEO, Kal Plastics
nt or advisor in a college or university with a plastics program,
he SPE Thermoforming Division has a long and rich tradition of
ners. From scholarships and grants to workforce development
to promote a stronger bond between industry and academia.
proud to publish news and stories related to the science and
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aring from our members and colleagues around the world. If
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Thermoforming QUArTerLY 13

UNIVERSITy NEwS
MET 496 Senior Project

Thermoforming ABS for Dimensional Consistency:
Effects of Temperature versus Non-Temperature Controlled Tooling

Aaron Lapinski, Pennsylvania College of Technology, williamsport, PA

Abstract

This project was a mold comparison project
in which dimensions, shrinkage and mechanical
properties of thermoformed ABS were compared
on two different mold types. The two molds are a
temperature controlled aluminum mold and non
temperature controlled Ren Shape mold. A design of
experiment (DOE) was also preformed on this project.
The purpose of this project is to demonstrate to the
thermoforming industry that a temperature controlled

mold
consistis essential for maintaining
ency in the finished product.
dimensional
Introduction
In the thermoforming industry high part

dimensional variation has always been a problem.
This project will demonstrate that the specification
range on thermoformed parts doesn’t need to be near
as wide as it is. The scope of this project is to determine
the effects of using temperature controlled aluminum
mold with and a non temperature controlled Ren Shape
mold on an industrial size MAAC thermoformer. The
variables being evaluated are part quality, dimensions,
shrinkage, and cycle time on amorphous ABS sheets
of the same color and thickness.

My project has four basic goals. The first is to
determine how a temperature controlled aluminum
mold and non temperature controlled Ren Shape
mold of the same dimensions will affect shrinkage
of a thermoformed ABS part. The second is to
gain experience on the set up and operation of the
industrial scale MAAC thermoformer. A third goal
for this project is to develop a thermoforming lab
experiment on the MAAC thermoformer for student
education in Pennsylvania College of Technology’s
BPS program. The fourth is to demonstrate to the
thermoforming industry that a temperature controlled
mold is essential for maintaining consistency in the
finished product.

Procedure

The first stage of this project was to obtain a
temperature controlled aluminum which was supplied
by McClarin Plastics, Inc. The next step was to obtain a
non temperature controlled mold with the same shape and
dimensions. The non temperature controlled Ren shape
mold was supplied at no charge by Tooling Technology.
The Ren shape mold is a Ren Shape 472 Medium-
Density high temperature Polyurethane Fixture Board
mold. The next step was to obtain the ABS material
for my project. The material that obtained was 1/8 inch
ABS; it was supplied at no charge by Spartech Plastics.
The sheets needed to be prepared for the forming study.
First, a 1-inch-by-1-inch grid was marked on the back
of the sheet. The sheet was then dried at 180o F. for 24
hours before forming. The sheets were dried off-site at
Kydex LLC.

Once the sheets were dried, the Ren Shape mold was
centered and hung on the top platen to better help utilize
the sag of the heated sheet. This was done by placing the
mold upside down on the bottom on platen and sliding
it until the clamping rails could be set symmetrically
around the mold. Then a new cycle to form the best
possible part needed to be created. The MAAC machine
parameters for this cycle were an infrared eye setting of
360 o F. for the sheet temperature, the heating time was
set to 120 seconds, forming time was set to 100 seconds,
ejection time was set to 2 seconds, the vacuum pressure
was 24 in Hg and the ejection pressure was 5 psi.

After creating a good cycle, I began forming parts.
The first study was a production run of thirteen samples.
The first three samples were to allow everything to
equilibrate and then I collected data on the next 10
samples.

The data that was collected included humidity,
room temperature, mold front, mold back, mold top,

14 Thermoforming QUArTerLY

sheet temperature at molding, sheet temperature at demolding,
and clamp temperature. Once the production
run was done, I collected dimensional data from each
part. Dimensional data included height, length, width,
and thickness. After 24 hours the dimensions were remeasured
in the same way which showed how much
the part had shrunk. The measurements were taken
using a specially designed measurement jig to better
assure that each part was measured consistently.

After the REN production style run samples were
formed and measured, the REN mold was removed
and replaced by the aluminum mold. The next study
was done on the aluminum mold. The same data was
collected for this run as for the REN production style
run. There were a few differences that needed to be
made to the cycle with the aluminum mold to be able
to achieve acceptable parts. The first of these changes
was to increase the infrared eye setting from 360o F.
to 380o F. The other change that was made was the
reduction in the cooling time from 100 seconds to 55
seconds. This was done because at any time longer than
55, the samples cooled too much and began sticking
to the mold. Due to the decrease in cooling time total
cycle time is then in turn shortened. This can is very
beneficial for increasing production rates.

A design of experiment (DOE) was also preformed
on the aluminum mold. The DOE contained two levels
and three factors, so it was considered a 2×3 factorial
experiment. The design of experiment can be noticed
below in Figure 1.

y p
Cooling Time
Circulator Temp
I.R. Eye Temp
High
100
205
400
Low
40
170
340
Run Cooling Time Circulator Temp
I.R. Eye
Temp
1 —
2 –+
3 -+ –
4 -+ +
5 + —
6 + + –
7 + -+
8 + + +

Figure 1 shows the variables that were chosen for the DOE. It
also shows the parameters that were chosen for these variables.

The purpose of the DOE was to gain valuable
data that would show which cycle parameters created

the best part while also creating the least amount of
dimensional change. The variables were cooling time,
circulator temperature, and I.R. eye temperature.

After completing all the forming, ASTM D638
Type 1 tensile specimens were die cut out of each
side of the first, fourth, seventh, and tenth part on both
production style runs. These were used to evaluate and
compare the tensile strength in both the machine and
transverse direction through the cycles. The gauge
length for the samples was set to two inches. The
ASTM method D638 – 10 was followed during the
tensile testing. The load cell used was 25 KN and the
extension rate was 0.2 in/minute. Alaser extensometer
was placed opposed to the test specimens which had
reflective tape placed two inches apart; the purpose
of the laser extensometer was to more accurately
measure the elongation and modulus values.

Materials

The material that was used to conduct this
experiment was Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene
(ABS). The ABS is a 1/8-inch thick premium
grade, natural polish, and was supplied by Spartech
Plastics.

The molds that were used are an aluminum mold
supplied by McClarin Plastics Inc. and a Ren Shape
472 Medium-Density high temperature Polyurethane
Fixture Board mold supplied by Tooling Technology.

The machine used was a custom manufactured
MAAC thermoformer, model number 43SPT. The
circulator that was used is a Sterlco VISION 4410-C
with a maximum temperature of 250° F. Tensile
testing was performed on a Tinius Olsen H25KS.

Results

This was a very successful project in terms of my
project objectives. The data shows that the samples
collected from the aluminum mold exhibit much
more stable dimensions than samples collected from
the non temperature controlled Ren Shape mold; this
can be seen in Figure 2, Figure 3, Figure 4, and Figure
5 (shown on the next page).

(continued on next page)

Thermoforming QUArTerLY 15

Figure 2 shows the difference in width between the aluminum mold
at 2 minutes after forming and then 24 hours after forming.

Thickness differed an extreme amount between
the Ren shape mold and the aluminum mold. The
thicknesses from the top of the sheets that were removed
from the Ren shape mold were much greater than the
thicknesses of the sides of the same sheet. This may be
due to the differences in thermal conductivity between
aluminum and Ren material. The thermal conductivity
of aluminum is 144.447 Btu (IT) foot/hour/square
foot/° F. and for Ren material or Polyurethane it is only
0.011556 Btu (IT) foot/hour/square foot/° F.

Figure 6 shows the difference in the thickness throughout the parts
on both the aluminum mold and the Ren shape mold.

Figure 3 shows the difference in width between the Ren shape mold
at 2 minutes after forming and then 24 hours after forming.

Figure 4 shows the difference in length between the aluminum mold
at 2 minutes after forming and then 24 hours after forming.

Another variable that was noticed is an increase
in mold temperature and sheet temperature at demolding.
The increase in temperature explains why the
dimensions of the parts on the Ren shape mold vary
so much more than the dimensions of the parts from
the aluminum mold; this can be noticed in Figure 7
(below) and Figure 8 (shown on the next page). As the
mold temperature increased, bumps around the edges
of the sheets began to form especially on the back of
the sheet, towards the ovens. The bumps were actually
blisters or bubbles that were caused by either uneven
heating or too rapid heating.

Figure 5 shows the difference in length between the Ren shape mold
at 2 minutes after forming and then 24 hours after forming.

Figure 7 shows the temperature of the front, back, and top of
the aluminum temperature controlled mold. It also shows the
temperature of the sheet temperature at de-molding.

16 Thermoforming QUArTerLY

Figure 8 shows the temperature of the front, back, and top of
the Ren shape mold. It also shows the temperature of the sheet
temperature at de-molding.

The DOE showed which settings were the correct
settings, it also showed which settings yielded the most
consistent dimensions. For the best settings, the I.R.
eye should be set to 400° F., the circulator temperature
should be set to 170° F., and the cooling time should be
set to 100 seconds. Run 5 actually had better dimensions
then run 7 which contained the optimum settings, but
there were issues with run 5, in particular, the material
cooled too much and stuck to the mold causing stress
marks and cracks in the corners of the sample.

Other issues that were noticed were the combination
of high I.R. temperature and low cooling time that
didn’t cool the part enough leaving it pliable. The result
was once they were formed, they dropped out of the
clamps.

Conclusion

In conclusion this project was a successful project
in terms of having achieved each of my four senior
project objectives, the first three of which were:

•
To determine how a temperature controlled
aluminum mold and non temperature controlled
Ren Shape mold of the same dimensions will affect
shrinkage of a thermoformed ABS part.
•
To gain experience on the set up and operation of
the industrial scale MAAC thermoformer
•
To develop a thermoforming lab experiment on
the MAAC thermoformer for student education
in Pennsylvania College of Technology’s BPS
program.
Finally my fourth and major object was achieved
which demonstrated and proved that using a temperature

controlled aluminum mold is essential in the case of
ABS at the very least, to producing thermoformed
parts with predictable and consistent dimensions.

This project outcome portrays vital information
to the thermoforming industry and should be greatly
considered when designing and purchasing molds for
the production of thermoformed parts.

x

References

“Acrylonitrile, Butadiene and Styrene (ABS) –
FormTight Plastic Thermoforming.” Custom
Packaging – Clamshells, Food Packaging, Blister
Packaging – FormTight Plastic Thermoforming.
Web. 27 October 2010. .

“Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene.” Wikipedia, the
Free Encyclopedia. Web. 27 October 2010.
.

“Acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene Copolymer (ABS)
(chemical Compound) – Britannica Online
Encyclopedia.” Encyclopedia – Britannica
Online Encyclopedia. Web. 27 October 2010.
.

“ASTM D638 – 10 Standard Test Method for Tensile
Properties of Plastics.” ASTM International
– Standards Worldwide. Web. 24 April 2011.
.

Acknowledgements

1.
Mr. Roger Kipp, McClarin Plastics Inc.
2.
Mr. John Bartolomucci, Pennsylvania College of
Technology
3.
Mr. Gary McQuay, Pennsylvania College of
Technology
4.
Brett Braker, Pennsylvania College of
Technology
(More “University News”
on page 21.)

Thermoforming QUArTerLY 17

18 Thermoforming QUArTerLY

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20 Thermoforming QUArTerLY

Thermoforming High Density Polyethylene Sheet Using
Temperature-Controlled Aluminum Tooling

Brett K. Braker, Pennsylvania College of Technology

Abstract

Previous research has shown that thermoforming
high density polyethylene (HDPE) is something that
has been shied away from in the plastics industry. This
paper will show the differences of thermoforming HDPE
using temperature-controlled and non temperaturecontrolled
tooling. In doing that, it will aim to prove that
HDPE can be used with success in the thermoforming
industry, as long as temperature controlled aluminum
tooling is used.

Individual Performance
Objectives

1. Show the importance of temperature-controlled
molding in thermoforming.
2. Prove that HDPE can be a relevant material to use in
thermoforming, instead of just amorphous materials.
Introduction

High density polyethylene isn’t usually thought
of as a usable material when thermoforming is talked
about. It is not a material that seems like it would work
with that type of process. Companies in industry have
shied away from HDPE, because of its crystallinity
and shrinkage rate. The thermoforming industry almost
always uses amorphous materials, because they are a
lot easier to control than crystalline materials.

Also, a lot of companies use wooden or urethane
tooling to run their parts, because it is a lot cheaper to
do that than to get aluminum or steel tooling. Instead of
heating up their mold with water or oil, and keeping it at
a constant temperature, they will just let the heat of the
machine and material heat up the mold over time, but
will run into problems at the start and end of their runs.
The mold will either be too cold for the material and
cool it too quickly, or be too hot, which will lengthen
cycle time, and increase the chances of part defects.

Increased cycle times and part defects will cost the
company a lot of money in the long run, when they
could’ve just used a temperature-controlled aluminum
mold. A temperature-controlled mold will stabilize
mold temperature from the start, and will not have the

variation a non temperature-controlled mold will.
This will give the company much needed control of
the tooling to help give them a chance at producing
better quality parts for their customers. With better
quality parts coming off of the temperature-controlled
mold, there will be much less scrap sheet, stabilized
cycle times and oven temperatures, and the company
will be paying the cost of the tooling off with material
savings.

Temperature-controlled tooling opens the doors
to numerous materials that were once thought to
never have a place in the thermoforming industry. It
minimizes the increase in percent crystallinity that a
material goes through when it is heated up and let to
relax.

Material

Black HDPE sheet was used for this project. The
sheet was 40 inches wide (machine direction), 22.5
inches long (transverse direction), and 0.125 inches
thick. The material has a levant finish on one side and
a smooth finish on the other, which would be the side
used to touch the mold. The HDPE should be formed
in between 285 and 385 degrees Fahrenheit, with the
optimum forming temperature being 330 degrees
Fahrenheit. The optimum temperature to take the
sheet out of the mold is 170 degrees Fahrenheit.

Thermoformable high density polyethylene sheet
has an average density of 0.0345 pounds per inch
cubed (0.955 grams per cubic centimeter). It also has
a 66.3 average Shore D Hardness, an average ultimate
tensile strength of 3,800 pounds per square inch (psi),
and an average tensile yield stress of 3,829 psi. The
average deflection temperature with 66 psi is 166.5
degrees Fahrenheit.

Procedure

This project started when the material was received
from the manufacturer. The first step after receiving
the material was to put a grid system on the smooth
side of the sheet, so that it could be measured to show
the stretching that the material goes through when it

(continued on next page)

Thermoforming QUArTerLY 21

is formed. With help from the Printing Department
at Penn College, the sheet was screen printed with
an inch by inch silver grid system (shown in Figure
1). After the gridding was complete on the 50 HDPE
sheets that were available for the project, they were
ready to be thermoformed. The first mold that was
to be used on the project was a replica mold of the
main aluminum mold for the project, and it was made
out of Renshape 472 medium-density Polyurethane
Modeling Board. The mold has a wooden base, and
then the machined polyurethane is made to be exactly
the same dimensionally as the aluminum mold, which
in relation to the material, is 15.25 inches long, 33.125
inches wide, and 4.2 inches high.

Figure 1. Gridding system on sheet after being formed.

The mold was first set on the lower platen (shown
in Figure 2) of the MAAC Thermoformer that was
used on the project. The first set of parts that were
made on the machine was to try and help set up a
process that would produce a quality part, so that a
production-style run could be started. After a few
parts were formed, it was easily determined that the
mold should be hung from the top platen rather than
the bottom platen.

Figure 2. Renshape mold on bottom platen.

The mold was switched from being set on the
bottom platen to being hung from the top platen,

because the sag in the pliable material coming from the
oven coinciding with the top of the cool mold would
cause a build-up of material in the four corners where
the material would drape over the side of the mold.
Switching to the top platen (shown in Figure 3) would
eliminate the build-up of material in the corners, and
create a better quality part.

Figure 3. Renshape mold on top platen.

Also by switching to the top platen, counter material
sag stretching was eliminated. When a material is run
in a thermoforming machine with the mold set on the
bottom platen, the sag of the material as it comes out of
the oven is met by the mold coming up into the pliable
sheet and going through it to help create a seal to be
able to vacuum the sheet around the dimensions of the
mold. This phenomenon stretches the material twice,
which could lessen some of the material’s important
physical properties. If the properties are compromised,
the part has a possibility of failing once it gets out to
its customer and starts being used. Hanging the mold
from the top platen eliminates this from happening to
the material. With the mold coming from the top of
the sagging material, there is only one stretch on the
material, which is in the same direction of the sag, and
then the vacuum created by the seal between material
and mold sucks the material back to the shape of the
mold. This type of molding minimizes the stress on the
material and theoretically eliminates the extra physical
property damage done by double stretching with molds
set on the bottom platen.

After the urethane mold was hung from the top
platen, the machine settings were altered so that they
were the exact same as the bottom platen settings and
it was time again to try and find the correct settings and
cycle to produce quality parts repeatedly. Once they were
found, a production-style run could be performed.

22 Thermoforming QUArTerLY

A few problems were run into when trying to find
the “perfect” cycle. The first problem was that the rails
that hold the sheet in place were set too close to the
mold and the mold was going too far through the rails.
This caused the back of the sheet to rip out completely.
After this, the rails were moved out to about one-half
inch from the mold and the mold was programmed so
that it didn’t go through the rails as far. The top of the
mold was then set to go down 5.5 inches from the sheet
in the rails. The sheet didn’t rip completely when the
mold came down through it, but it did leave a few small
tear spots, which were a sign of the side of the sheet
closest to the oven being too hot when it came out to be
formed (shown in Figure 4). This problem was fixed by
lowering the oven percentages in the back of the oven
so that part of the sheet wouldn’t be as hot as it exited
the oven. After the cycle was finalized, the productionstyle
run was ready to be started. A production-style
run is basically just a certain number of sheets run one
right after another. This production run was set for 10
sheets, and there were a number of variables that were
measured related to the machine during the production
run. They were: temperature of the front of the mold,
the top of the mold, and the back of the mold (all of
which were taken right before the next sheet in the run
was loaded in the rails), sheet temperature as it came
out of the oven right before forming, and temperature
of the sheet after the rails opened after cooling and the
formed part was ready to be taken out of the machine.
Room temperature and humidity were also measured
before every sheet was loaded.

Figure 4. Tears in back of formed sheet.

After the formed sheet came out of the mold, it
was set into the measuring jig that was made for the
dimensions of what the sheet should be as it comes
off the mold. The aluminum jig (shown in Figure 5) is

33.500 inches wide and 15.875 inches long. The sheet
was placed in the jig the exact same way every time,
and measured in 10 different places along the lengths
and widths of the part (shown in Figure 6) using dial
calipers set at the edge of the jig and being extended
into the formed sheet.

Figure 5. HDPE sheet in aluminum jig.

Also shown in Figure 5 is how thickness
measurements were taken on each of the sheets after
they had been measured using the jig. A drill and hole
saw attachment were used to cut one-inch holes in
the top, front, left, back, and right sides of the sheet.
The discs that were produced were then measured for
thickness. Figure 5 also shows that the holes were
drilled in the left side of each side immediately after
the sheet was taken out of the machine. Measurements
taken 24 or more hours later were drilled out of the
right side of each side.

Also shown in Figure 5 is how the height
measurement was taken for each part after the 10 jig
measurements were taken. Two aluminum blocks
were placed on the long sides of the aluminum jig,
and an aluminum meter stick was placed on top of the
blocks. The dial calipers were then extended from the
top of the meter stick to the top of the formed sheet.
That number was then plugged into a formula (5.5625

– x = height) to obtain the actual height of the part.
The number 5.5625 comes from the jig thickness,
aluminum block height, and meter stick height.
After all of the measurements were taken, they
could be plugged into formulas that would give

BL 8(Y1) 7(Y2) 6(Y3)

9 (X2)

MD
TD
5 (X2)

10 (X1)

4 (X1)

FL 1(Y1) 2(Y2) 3(Y3)

Figure 6. Measurement points and formula labels.

(continued on next page)

Thermoforming QUArTerLY 23

the formed sheet lengths and widths at the given
measurement points. The original measurement points
and their corresponding formula labels are shown in
Figure 6.

The formulas were calculated by taking the
original jig Y (machine) direction (15.875 inches)
or the original jig X (transverse) direction (33.500
inches) and subtracting the two measurement points
that go together (1-8, 3-6, 5-9, etc.). An example for
the Y1 measurement would be 15.875 inches minus
the combination of measurements 1 and 8 (0.1025
and 0.4865), measured with the dial calipers, which
would equal out to a Y1 length of 15.2860 inches.
The caliper measurements help show the warpage of
the formed part and the formulas for the length and
width help show the overall shrinkage.

After the production style run was completed with
the Renshape urethane mold, the aluminum mold
needed to be prepared so that it too could be hung
in the machine and used for a production-style run
to compare with the production run performed with
the Renshape mold. The aluminum mold was sealed
and then was switched out with the Renshape mold
so that a production-style run could be performed.
The aluminum mold has water lines inside of it, so
a circulator was used to send hot water into the mold
to control the temperature of the sheets, so that there
wouldn’t be an increase in mold temperature as there
was in the Renshape production run. All of the same
measurements were performed during the aluminum
production-style run, with the only additions being
the circulator temperature and the inlet and outlet
temperatures to and from the mold and circulator.

A Design of Experiment (DOE) was also
performed for the project using the temperaturecontrolled
aluminum mold. The main purpose of the
DOE was to show if extreme high and low values were
mixed and used in a cycle could produce quality parts
like the production-style run. The three factors used
in the DOE were cooling time, circulator temperature,
and infrared (I.R.) eye temperature. The infrared eye
is a laser that measures the temperature of the sheet in
the oven. Figure 7 shows all the different set-ups ran
for the DOE. The MAAC thermoforming machine
allows for either a time or temperature-based oven
time. The cycle that was used in this project was
temperature-based. The high and low values for
cooling time were 150 and 90 seconds, respectively.
The high and low values for circulator temperature

were 205 and 170 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively, and
the high and low values for I.R. eye temperature were
330 and 400 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively.

Run Cooling Time Circulator
Temp
I.R. Eye
Temp
1 —
2 –+
3 -+ –
4 -+ +
5 + —
6 + + –
7 + -+
8 + + +

Figure 7. DOE Table.

Results and Discussion

The first results that were obtained were from the
production-style run of the Renshape (REN) mold.
When the machine was first heated up, five parts were
run to solidify the cycle so there wouldn’t be a lot of
variation during the production run. Since the five parts
were ran, the mold already started to heat up. Appendix A
shows the temperatures measured during the production
style run. The graph shows that every measured mold
temperature increased by at least 10 percent and up to
25 percent, and the forming temperature increased by
6 percent without any parameters being changed. The
ejection temperature also increased by 12 percent in 7
runs until cooling time was increased to help make the
parts easier to handle out of the mold.

The measurements that were taken on the REN mold
parts right after forming and 72 hours after forming are
shown in Figure 8. The most noticeable thing about the
REN mold measurements was how much the part shrank
in only three days. The length of the formed sheet shrank
about one-half inch in three days and the width shrank

REN
2 mins 72 hrs 2 mins 72 hrs
Dimensions Average Average St. Dev. St. Dev.
Y1 15.2772 14.7679 0.0737 0.0817
Y2 15.2703 14.6292 0.0916 0.1319
Y3 15.2146 14.6189 0.1027 0.1786
X1 32.8077 32.5823 0.0680 0.0540
X2 32.7825 32.5545 0.0604 0.0547
Z 3.6531 3.5861 0.1874 0.0854
Thickness Average Average St. Dev. St. Dev.
Front 0.0728 0.0640 0.0066 0.0063
Right 0.0699 0.0541 0.0072 0.0036
Back 0.0693 0.0590 0.0086 0.0056
Left 0.0733 0.0536 0.0105 0.0034
Top 0.1280 0.1207 0.0068 0.0037

Figure 8. REN mold measurements.

24 Thermoforming QUArTerLY

about one-quarter inch in three days. The standard
deviation of the length averages about 80 thousandths
of an inch and the width’s standard deviation averages
64 thousandths of an inch. The height shrank about onesixteenth
of an inch in three days.

The thickness of the sheet also shrank dramatically
after three days. The front thickness shrank about 12
percent, the right shrank 23 percent, the back shrank 15
percent, the left shrank 27 percent, and the top shrank
6 percent. The standard deviation for the thicknesses
averages around 8 thousandths of an inch right after
forming, but only around 5 thousandths of an inch after
72 hours. This shows that the thicknesses vary a lot
right off of the mold, but get to a more stable state after
they shrink.

After all of the data was collected and measured for
the urethane mold, the temperature-controlled aluminum
mold was ready to be switched out. Appendix B shows
the forming temperatures during the production-style
run using the aluminum mold. This mold required a
few more measurements: rail temperature, circulator
temperature, and inlet and outlet temperature of the
circulator.

The production-style run was started with a 100
second cooling time and a 370 degree Fahrenheit

I.R. eye. Before sheet 4 was loaded, the cooling time
was extended to 120 seconds, because the sheet was
consistently coming out at around 200 degrees. It came
down to about 190 degrees, and then before sheet 5 was
loaded, the cooling was increased to 150 seconds and
the I.R. eye was changed to 360 degrees Fahrenheit,
because at 370 degrees the sheet was coming out in a
consistent pattern of 343 and 330 degrees Fahrenheit.
Before sheets 7, 8, and 9 were loaded, the cooling time
was decreased to 130 seconds, 120 seconds, and 110
seconds respectively to see what kind of effect it would
have on the ejection temperature. This can also be seen
in Appendix B. As seen on Appendix B, the top of the
mold barely changed at all during the production run,
while the front and back of the mold increased slightly,
with the back increasing the most, because it is closest
to the oven (which reaches upwards of 700 degrees
Fahrenheit). The rails, circulator, and inlet and outlet
temperatures all stayed virtually the same throughout
the production run.
Appendix C-1 shows the part lengths after 72 hours
over the course of the production run. The REN mold
parts have a downward sloping trend for the lengths.
The temperature-controlled aluminum mold parts

basically stayed the same overall, but have a slight
upwards undulation in the middle of the run.

Appendix C-2 shows the part widths after 72 hours
over the course of the production run. The REN mold
part widths both have downward sloping trends, while
the temperature-controlled aluminum mold part widths
have one upward and one slightly downward sloping
trend. This shows that even though the aluminum has
differing trends, it is still closer to staying the same
than the REN mold part widths.

The measurements of the formed sheets (shown
in Figure 9) showed much better results than the
REN mold. While the REN mold widths shrank an
average of one-half inch in 3days, the aluminum mold
widths only shrank about one-tenth of an inch. The
REN mold and aluminum mold lengths both shrank
about one-quarter inch. The REN mold height shrank
about one-sixteenth of an inch and the aluminum mold
shrank less than one-thirty second.

Aluminum
Al 2 mins Al 72 hrs Al 2 mins Al 72 hrs
Dimensions Average Average St. Dev. St. Dev.
Y1 15.1864 15.0772 0.0532 0.0629
Y2 15.3429 15.2224 0.0556 0.0498
Y3 15.2405 15.1412 0.0387 0.0494
X1 32.7307 32.4864 0.0815 0.0799
X2 32.6969 32.5176 0.0234 0.0627
Z 3.5513 3.5266 0.0566 0.0451
Thickness Average Average St. Dev. St. Dev.
Front 0.0939 0.0903 0.0021 0.0047
Right 0.0838 0.0807 0.0064 0.0054
Back 0.0846 0.0918 0.0028 0.0055
Left 0.0810 0.0835 0.0021 0.0044
Top 0.1029 0.1083 0.0017 0.0055

Figure 9. Aluminum mold measurements.

The aluminum thicknesses only changed at most

8.5 percent, and averaged about 3.5 percent, while the
REN mold thicknesses changed up to 27 percent and
averaged 16.5 percent.
Figure 10 (shown on the next page) shows the
overall shrinkage percentages for the REN and
aluminum mold. The REN mold widths shrank over
5 times more than the aluminum, the lengths shrank
only one-half percent more, and the heights shrank
over 3 times more than the aluminum.

Warpage was also a key factor in the REN mold
parts after 72 hours (shown in Figure 11 on the next
page). These measurements come directly from the
aluminum jig, and show the difference from the edge
of the jig to the edge of the part. Each formed sheet
that was brought off of the thermoformer and placed

(continued on next page)

Thermoforming QUArTerLY 25

OVERALL SHRINKAGE
REN
72 hrs Aluminum
72 hrs
Width 3.816% Width 0.719%
Length 0.691% Length 0.647%
Height 1.836% Height 0.696%

Figure 10. Overall Shrinkage.

Warpage
REN 72hrs Al 72hrs REN 72hrs Al 72hrs
Measurement Pt. Average Average St. Dev. St. Dev.
1 0.2195 0.2134 0.0551 0.0687
2 0.2342 0.1188 0.0719 0.0131
3 0.2000 0.1339 0.0481 0.0192
4 0.2427 0.1639 0.0281 0.0686
5 0.2485 0.1583 0.0394 0.0278
6 1.0562 0.5999 0.1765 0.0538
7 1.0117 0.5339 0.1038 0.0514
8 0.8877 0.5845 0.0681 0.0609
9 0.6971 0.8242 0.0510 0.0454
10 0.6751 0.8498 0.0659 0.0605

Figure 11. Warpage measurements.

in the jig was pushed in the bottom right hand corner
(in between measurement point 3 and 4 as seen in
Figure 6. Points 1, 2, and 3 made up the front of the
part. The REN mold seems to be better on the front
as it only changed about 34 thousandths while the
aluminum changed 100 thousandths from point 1 to 2,
but that is the only instance of the REN being slightly
better than the aluminum. Points 4 and 5 make up the
right side of the part, and the warpage was about six
thousandths for both the REN and aluminum mold.

The back is where the REN mold really warped.
It varied about 75 thousandths where the aluminum
mold only varied about 65 thousandths. The left
sides of the parts both varied about 20 thousandths.
The standard deviation for the REN mold show how
much the warpage varied on any one part. The front
varied an average of 60 thousandths on the REN mold
and only about 40 thousandths on the aluminum. The
right sides were about the same, with the aluminum
having a slightly higher standard deviation. The back
of the REN mold parts varied an average of 110
thousandths of an inch, while the aluminum only
varied an average of 53 thousandths of an inch. The
left sides of the REN mold parts varied an average of
58 thousandths, while the aluminum only varied an
average of 52 thousandths. All these averages show
that the REN mold was much more unpredictable
when it was measured in the jig, because every part
shrank and warped differently, while the aluminum
mold was much more consistent.

The grid that was placed on the bottom of the sheets
was to show stretching in the machine and transverse
direction. The grid on the Renshape mold expanded an
average of 10 thousandths of an inch on the top of the
mold in the machine direction and shrank an average of
20 thousandths in the transverse direction. On the drawn
part of the sheet, the material expanded an average
of 1.500 inches over the original inch in the machine
direction and shrank an average of 25 thousandths in
the transverse direction. The aluminum mold expanded
an average of 100 thousandths in the machine direction
and 120 thousandths in the transverse direction on the
top of the part. On the drawn section of the part, the
material expanded an additional inch in the machine
direction and shrank an average of 20 thousandths in
the transverse direction. All grid measurements were
taken after 72 hours. These measurements show that the
temperature-controlled aluminum mold parts held their
dimensions a lot more than the Renshape mold parts,
as the Renshape mold parts stretched and then shrank
back down below the original grid measurements after
72 hours.

The Design of Experiment results showed that only a
couple parts off of the aluminum temperature-controlled
mold would be deemed quality. Run 1 with all the low
settings, Run 3 with just a high circulator temperature,
Run 5 especially with just a high cooling time, and Run
6 with high cooling time and circulator temperature, all
produced a part that was too cold when it was ejected.
The top of the part stuck to the top of the mold, and
permanently deformed the part by stretching it (shown
in Figure 1). Run 2 with just a high I.R. eye temperature
and Run 7 with a high I.R. eye and high cooling time,
produced full parts that ended up with a lot of warpage.
Run 4 with a high circulator temperature and high I.R.
eye temperature produced a full part that only exhibited
a small amount of warpage, and Run 8, which had all
high settings, produced the best part of the DOE. This
shows that the cycle that was set up for the production
run is the best for this material.

Tensile tests were run on a number of the parts, with
samples being cut out of the front, back, left, and right
portions of the formed sheet. The results are shown in
Appendix D. Unfortunately, the data that was collected
from the temperature-controlled aluminum tool parts
was too random to determine whether one mold produced
tougher parts than the other. Overall, the results look

26 Thermoforming QUArTerLY

similar. The yield and maximum stresses, yield and
maximum elongation percentages, and maximum energy
were all similar. The modulus measurements from the
parts of the temperature-controlled aluminum mold
were very random and ranged from 3410 to 1.2 million,
so it was deemed irrelevant for the comparison.

Conclusion

Overall, the temperature-controlled aluminum
mold showed a much more consistent process than the
Renshape mold did. It shrank less, warped less, and
had a much higher dimensional stability. With that,
this project proves that there is a huge importance
in temperature-controlled aluminum tooling in the
thermoforming industry. This also shows that HDPE can
be a relevant material in the thermoforming industry,
instead of just amorphous polymers. In conclusion, if
a company wants to run a crystalline material that has a
high shrinkage rate, then they need to use a temperaturecontrolled
aluminum tool if they want to continuously
make quality parts. x

References

1.
Defosse, Matthew. “Thermoforming.” Modern
Plastics Worldwide World Encyclopedia 2006. Los
Angeles, CA: Canon Communications, 2006. 106.
Print.
2.
Harper, Charles A. Handbook of Plastic
Processes. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Interscience,
2006. Print.
I3. llig, Adolf, and Peter Schwarzmann.
Thermoforming: A Practical Guide. Munich:
Hanser, 2001. Print.

4.
Peacock, Andrew J. Handbook of Polyethylene:
Structures, Properties, and Applications. New
York: Marcel Dekker, 2000. Print.
5.
“Sheet/Thermoforming Grade HDPE.” www.
matweb.com. Material Property Data. Web.
.
Acknowledgements

John Bartolomucci, Pennsylvania College of
Technology

Patrick Bundra, Pennsylvania College of
Technology

Todd Chrismer, McClarin Plastics

Todd Kennedy, McClarin Plastics

Roger Kipp, McClarin Plastics

Aaron Lapinski, Pennsylvania College of
Technology

Gary McQuay, Plastics Manufacturing Center

Appendices

160
180
200
220
240
260
280
300
320
340
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Temperature (°F) Part Number
A: Renshape Forming Temperatures
Mold Front
Mold Back
Mold Top
Ejection Temp
Forming Temp
Linear (Mold Front)
Linear (Mold Back)
Linear (Mold Top)
Linear (Ejection Temp)
(continued on next page)

Thermoforming QUArTerLY 27

100
150
200
250
300
350
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Temperature (°F)
Part Number
B: Aluminum Forming Temperatures
Mold Front
Mold Back
Mold Top
Sheet at Molding
Sheet at Demolding
Rails
Circulator
Inlet Temp
Outlet Temp
14.2
14.4
14.6
14.8
15.0
15.2
15.4
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Part Width (in)
Part Number
C-1: 72hr Part Length
REN Y1
REN Y2
REN Y3
Al Y1
Al Y2
Al Y3
32.375
32.425
32.475
32.525
32.575
32.625
32.675
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Part Length (in)
Part Number
C-2: 72hr Part Width
REN X1
REN X2
Al X1
Al X2
Linear (REN X1)
Linear (REN X2)
Linear (Al X1)
Linear (Al X2)
100
150
200
250
300
350
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Temperature (°F)
Part Number
B: Aluminum Forming Temperatures
Mold Front
Mold Back
Mold Top
Sheet at Molding
Sheet at Demolding
Rails
Circulator
Inlet Temp
Outlet Temp
14.2
14.4
14.6
14.8
15.0
15.2
15.4
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Part Width (in)
Part Number
C-1: 72hr Part Length
REN Y1
REN Y2
REN Y3
Al Y1
Al Y2
Al Y3
32.375
32.425
32.475
32.525
32.575
32.625
32.675
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Part Length (in)
Part Number
C-2: 72hr Part Width
REN X1
REN X2
Al X1
Al X2
Linear (REN X1)
Linear (REN X2)
Linear (Al X1)
Linear (Al X2)
28 Thermoforming QUArTerLY

Thermoforming High Density Polyethylene Sheet Using
Temperature-Controlled Aluminum Tooling (continued)

Appendices (continued)

D: TENSILE TESTING
Type Yield Stress (psi) Max Stress (psi) Yield Elongation (%) Break Stress (psi) Modulus (psi) Max Energy (in*lb/in3) Max Elongation (%) TE Auto (%)
REN front 2830.00 2830.00 14.23 1157.23 53133.33 275.33 13.79 664.00
Al front 2610.00 2610.00 13.74 760.50 514600.00 276.50 13.47 270.60
REN back 2860.00 2860.00 13.72 1142.50 65250.00 278.75 12.88 486.25
Al back 3086.67 3086.67 14.78 806.20 456900.00 351.67 14.40 249.33
REN left 2835.00 2835.00 12.82 2169.67 42125.00 310.25 15.69 853.00
Al left 1809.67 1813.33 17.89 899.33 19570.00 198.00 16.83 1040.67
REN right 2765.00 2765.00 16.06 2109.25 31950.00 283.00 15.53 1032.50
Al right 2776.67 2783.33 17.43 2032.33 131100.00 313.67 16.73 1039.00

REDUCE!
REUSE!
RECYCLE!
REDUCE!
REUSE!
RECYCLE!
Thermoforming QUArTerLY 29

Thermoforming
Quarterly®

Placon Opens
$14 Million
Recycling Facility
for Post-Consumer
Bottles and
Thermoforms

EcoStar – Recycle,
Replastic, Results

FITCHBURG, WI (May 4,
2011) – Placon Corporation, a
thermoformer and plastic sheet
extruder, announces the opening
of its EcoStar® closed-loop
recycling facility.

Placon becomes one of the
first thermoforming companies
in the food and consumer
packaging industry to implement
its own in-house recycling to
process post-consumer bottles
as well as thermoforms. With
this new 70,000 square foot
facility, Placon accomplishes
its plan to create a standalone
manufacturing location with its
own brand identity under the
EcoStar name.

EcoStar purchases bales of
curbside collected post-consumer
PET bottles and mixed bales
of post-consumer thermoform
packaging, grinds them, washes
them, and processes them into
sheet and flake. EcoStar recycled
PET products include flake,
LNO (letter of non-object)
flake for food packaging, and
sheet products for the food and
consumer products markets. At
full capacity, EcoStar will process
36 million pounds of inbound
material.

Thermoforming and Sustainability

“We are excited about our new
EcoStar facility as it enables us
to produce consumer packaging
from 100% post-consumer PET
recyclate,” said the company CEO
Dan Mohs.

Along with the ability to wash
and recycle PET, half of the new
facility is engineered for sheet
extrusion. This operational layout
eliminates non-value-added
activities and reduces the total
carbon footprint by bringing the
material supply chain closer to
sheet production. Moreover, the
supply of post-consumer plastics
processed by the facility are
collected primarily in the Midwest,
streamlining local and regional
operations at every step of the
process.

“Our $14 million investment
demonstrates our commitment
to sustainable packaging and
the reduction of solid waste.
We believe that the best way to
reduce energy consumption and
conserve resources, from a cradleto-
grave perspective, is to recycle
plastic packaging back into plastic
packaging, thereby closing the
loop,” Mohs said.

For nearly two decades, Placon has
pioneered the use of post-consumer
recycled polyethylene terephthalate
(RPET) in the consumer packaging
industry. In the past seven years
alone, it has diverted more than
one billion discarded bottles
from landfills. According to the
Environmental Protection Agency,
recycling one pound of PET instead
of using virgin material saves

approximately 12,000 BTUs of
energy.

The new facility has created
44 new jobs. Currently, Placon
employs more than 400 people

worldwide. x

Claiming
Recyclability: Tips
and Tricks for the
Unwary

By Sheila A. Millar, Partner

J. C. walker, Partner
Keller and Heckman LLC
I
I
n a much anticipated action,
the Federal Trade Commission
(“FTC” or “Commission”),
released proposed revisions
to its Guides for the Use of
Environmental Marketing Claims
(16 C.F.R. Part 260) (“Guides”)
last fall, soliciting additional
public comments on the changes
which will be evaluated before
finalizing the updated Guides. In
preparing for these revisions, the
FTC conducted several workshops,
sponsored consumer research,
and reviewed extensive public
comments submitted through
several different proceedings
to identify emerging issues
in environmental claims. The
proposed Guides offer guidance
(sometimes limited) on new terms,
including “renewable,” “renewable
energy” and “carbon offset” claims.
The revisions, however, do not
provide guidance for the increasing
claims of “sustainability,”
“organic,” or “natural.” Guidance
on terms already covered was
largely left unchanged.

30 Thermoforming QUArTerLY

The proposed Guides reflect the
FTC’s current thinking on the
adequacy of certain claims, the
need for qualification, and the
amount of substantiation needed
to support such claims. Notably,
the proposed Guides provide
clarification on the Commission’s
current approach to recyclable and
recycled content claims.

Recyclable Claims

Claims for recyclability
and recycled content are
addressed in both the current
and proposed Guides. Despite
criticism of the FTC’s approach
to recyclable claims from
organizations seeking greater
international harmonization,
the FTC maintained its threetiered
distinction for qualifying
recyclable claims depending on
whether a “substantial majority,”
a “significant percentage,” or
fewer consumers or communities
have access to recycling facilities.
To make an unqualified claim
about recyclability, recycling
facilities must be available to a
substantial majority of consumers
or communities where the item
is sold. The proposed Guides
reference FTC’s informal position
that a “substantial majority”
means 60%. Advertising for
products that do not meet the
“substantial majority” threshold,
but are recyclable to a “significant
percentage” of consumers must
be qualified; products or packages
with limited recyclability require
added qualifiers to assure that
consumers are aware of the
limited recyclability. FTC also
requested comments on whether
it should quantify a “significant
percentage.”

The Commission’s proposed
60% threshold received mixed
review, with some in support,
some suggesting it should be
lowered, some urging adoption
of the International Standards
Organization’s “reasonable
proportion” standard, and one
suggesting higher thresholds for
each of the three levels. Most who
support quantifying a “significant
percentage” generally suggested
20% or 30% as the standard, but
most suggested that the FTC avoid
a percentage reference.

A longstanding criticism of the
FTC’s approach is the rather
consumer-unfriendly qualifiers
that it recommends. The FTC
continues to maintain that,
standing alone, “recyclable
where facilities exist,” “check
to see if recycling facilities
exist in your area” and “please
recycle” do not adequately qualify
recyclable claims. In essence,
these statements are treated as
unqualified claims which the
FTC will view to be misleading
if the product or package is not
recyclable to a substantial majority
(60%) of consumers. A number
of commenters to the proposed
Guides urged FTC to reconsider
the use of positive disclosures,
noting that with the increased use
of the internet and mobile devices,
it is likely consumers would
interpret positive disclosures
differently today.

Recycled Content
Claims

Guidance on recycled content
claims also remains relatively
unchanged. These claims continue
to remain subject to a critical
prerequisite – the material claimed

as recycled content must have
actually been diverted from the
solid waste stream, either during
the manufacturing process (preconsumer)
or after consumer use
(post-consumer).

The proposed Guides do address
suggestions about expanding
the definition of post-consumer
material to include the ISO
14021 approach. In declining
to adopt such an approach,
the FTC noted that under ISO
14021, material returned from
the distribution chain (e.g.,
overstock) would qualify as
post-consumer recycled material.
Because this material never
actually reaches the consumer, it
is unlikely that consumers would
interpret such material as “postconsumer.”

Further, the FTC declined to
prohibit pre-consumer recycled
content claims, as suggested by
some workshop commenters,
noting that this information may
be important to consumers. At
the same time, however, the
revised Guides do not require
advertisers to specify whether
the recycled content is preor
post-consumer content.
To the extent a pre-consumer
content claim is made, the
Guides continue to remind
advertisers that they must be
able to substantiate that the
pre-consumer material would
otherwise have entered the
solid waste stream, the recycled
material was required to undergo
significant modifications, and
the recycled material will
not be reused in the original
manufacturing process. So long
as marketers can substantiate

(continued on next page)

Thermoforming QUArTerLY 31

these claims on a reasonable
basis, the FTC continues to
allow pre-consumer recycled
content claims to be made.

In its proposed Guides,
the Commission requested
comments on what changes, if
any, it should make to existing
guidance on pre-consumer
recycled content claims, and
requested relevant consumer
perception evidence. In
reviewing the public comments
submitted in response, only
10 out of 340 comments dealt
directly with the definition of
pre-consumer recycled content.
Critically, the sole commenter
opposing the use of preconsumer
recycled content did
not provide consumer perception
evidence. Based on FTC’s past
response to comments that failed
to include consumer perception
evidence, it is not expected that
the Commission will change
its position regarding recycled
content claims for products
manufactured with pre-consumer
recycled materials.

Combined
Recyclable and
Recycled Content
Claims

Marketers must remain mindful
that, by itself, the use of the
Möbius loop likely conveys that
the product or packaging is both
recyclable and made entirely
from recycled material. Unless
a marketer has substantiation
for both messages, FTC requires
this distinction to be conveyed.
Such a claim may require
further qualification, to the
extent necessary, to disclose the
limited availability of recycling

programs and/or the percentage
of recycled content used to
make the product or package, if
less than 100%. With regard to
implied claims suggesting both
recyclability and recycled content,
the proposed Guides declined
to advise marketers making an
unqualified recycled content
claims to affirmatively disclose if
their product is not recyclable.

RIC

The FTC also did not change
its position on the Resin
Identification Code (RIC), now
an ASTM International standard.
Inconspicuous use of the RIC is
not deemed to be a recyclable
claim. Makers of plastic
packaging, however, should be
careful to use the appropriate
code in reference to the material
used. [Ed. emphasis]

Conclusion

The FTC’s views on how to assure
that recyclable and recycled
content claims are truthful and not
misleading in essence has changed
little from the current Guides.
One reason is that the FTC’s views
on false and deceptive advertising
are driven by consumer
perception. The FTC is still in the
process of reviewing comments
submitted to the proposed Guides,
including input on how to quantify
the substantial majority threshold.
It will likely issue final guidance
later in the year.

For more information on the
revised Guides, or how your
company can comply, please
contact Sheila A. Millar at (202)
434-4143, or millar@khlaw.com,
or J.C. Walker at (202) 434-4181,
or walker@khlaw.com. x

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

COUNCIL SUMMARy COUNCIL SUMMARy
Roger Kipp
Councilor

S
S
PE Council continues to provide
stable direction for the society. Our
outgoing President Ken Braney brought
further global recognition to SPE with
significant membership stimulation,
global corporate outreach, and a
broader depth of technology growth.
Ken is a “globalist thinker” with
plans in place for worldwide technical
conferences including EUROTEC 2011
(14-15 November in Barcelona, Spain)
and two exciting new conferences
in India and Japan (ANTEC ASIA).
Incoming President Russell Broome
will build on the solid foundation put
in place by Ken. The two leaders are
working to ensure continuity during the
transition phase. Russell’s vision is to
maintain the global / corporate growth
while focusing on the three key areas
Ken outlined a year ago: Membership,
Revenue, Member Value.

While Ken focused on global and
corporate growth, Russell will put
emphasis on expansion of the student,
early career, and Generation Y groups.
He has added an ad hoc student
member to the Executive Committee,
created the Next Generation Advisory
Board and the Academic Outreach
Committee that I am proud to chair.

I noted in the last Quarterly the
importance of SPE regaining and
retaining financial stability if we are
to continue our mission. I am pleased
to report that with the hard work and
commitment from staff and Council the
recent trend toward financial stability
has continued. The 2010 fiscal year
ended with revenues up and SPE in the
black with a $134,000.00 net positive
balance. These increased revenues are
the result of increased membership,
continued global expansion, further
corporate sponsorship and increased
technical product sales. The first
quarter of 2011 is the best first quarter
since 1999 with income up 28% and
expenses down 2%. Webinar sales are

up 33% and ANTEC income tracked
ahead of budget with expenses at
budget. A great start!

Membership has grown above
15,000 with 822 new members and
membership retention rate of 77%.
The source of new members includes
conference registrations, Wiley
Authors, website, and Section and
Division growth. However, the primary
recruitment tool has been New Member
Campaigns where over 35% of new
members were signed up. Members
need to reach out to colleagues and
promote membership in the society that
is the “trusted technology information
source” for the plastics industry. If you
are interested in obtaining a discount in
your membership you can do just that
by bringing in new members.

Member value is paramount.
The SPE Foundation is an excellent
opportunity to find member value.
Since 1997 the Foundation has awarded
$1.6 million dollars in grants to
educational and continuing education
programs for plastics research and
education. Scholarships totaling
$107,000.00 were awarded in 2010
to 31 students. The new Association
Management System software
AVECTRA and accounting system,
INTACCT, went live at the end of the
first quarter and will begin to provide
member value through service and
billing options.

ANTEC 2011

ANTEC ran from May 1st-5th at the
Hynes Convention Center in Boston,
MA. This ANTEC was a huge success
with attendance up by 31% from
2010. Exhibitors, sponsorship, and
registration revenues are all above
forecasts. Even more exciting is that
there was a flurry of activity relating to
our Division.

The Thermoforming Division was
awarded the Gold Pinnacle Award for
Outstanding Division performance as
well as the Communications Excellence
Award for providing unique and
varied communications to members
and the industry. These awards are the

result of the leadership of Ken Griep
(Division Chair) and Clarissa Schroeder
(Communications Committee Chair) as
well as the continuing support of our
members.

On Monday May 2nd, I served as
moderator for the Thermoforming
Division’s technical session. The five
papers presented were excellent and
featured outstanding attendance. The
topics included:

•
Thermoformability of Radiation
Cross Linked Polyamide 12
•
Syntactic Foams For Use As
Plug Assists in Heavy Gage
Thermoforming
•
Multi-Layer Films for
Thermoformed Food Container
Applications
•
Influence of Processing
Conditions on the
Thermoformability of PP Sheet
Material
•
Optimization of Molding
Conditions of Plug Assisted
Thermoformed Thin Containers
Each of these papers will be
presented as technical articles in
future Thermoforming Quarterly
publications.

As in the past, our Division was
pleased to be a sponsor for the Student
Luncheon. The financial support was
amazing this year with Divisions and
Sections providing over $30,000 to
cover the cost of student attendance
and awards. One notable award for our
Division was the Outstanding Student
Chapter Award that went to the chapter
at Penn College, the home of the
Thermoforming Center of Excellence.
With a standing room crowd of over
200, the students and guests were
enlightened by a panel of entrepreneurs
sharing advice on the challenges and
rewards for start-up ventures.

There is still time to present technical
papers for consideration at EUROTEC
2011. Please contact me for complete
details. x

Best regards,

Roger

rkipp@mcclarinplastics.com

Thermoforming QUArTerLY 33

Executive
Committee

2010 – 2012

CHAIR

Ken Griep
Portage Casting & Mold
2901 Portage Road
Portage, WI 53901
(608) 742-7137
Fax (608) 742-2199
ken@pcmwi.com

CHAIR ELECT

Phil Barhouse
Spartech Packaging Technologies
100 Creative Way, PO Box 128
Ripon, WI 54971
(920) 748-1119
Fax (920) 748-9466
phil.barhouse@spartech.com

TREASURER

James Alongi
MAAC Machinery
590 Tower Blvd.
Carol Stream, IL 60188
(630) 665-1700
Fax (630) 665-7799
jalongi@maacmachinery.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 2010

Roger Kipp
McClarin Plastics
P. O. Box 486, 15 Industrial Drive
Hanover, PA 17331
(717) 637-2241 x4003
Fax (717) 637-4811
rkipp@mcclarinplastics.com

PRIOR CHAIR

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

2010 – 2012 THERMOFORMING DIVISION ORGANIZATIONAL CHART

Chair
Ken Griep
Chair Elect
Phil Barhouse
Finance
Bob Porsche
Technical Committees
Materials
Roger Jean
Machinery
Don Kruschke
Secretary
Mike Sirotnak
Nominating
Clarissa Schroeder
Publications /
Advertising
Laura Pichon
Newsletter / Technical
Editor
Conor Carlin
OPCOM
Phil Barhouse
Treasurer
James Alongi
AARC
Rich Freeman
Student Programs
Brian winton
Councilor
Roger Kipp
Prior Chair
Brian Ray
2011 Conference
Schaumburg, IL
James Alongi
Antec
Brian winton
Membership
Haydn Forward
Communications
Clarissa Schroeder
Recognition
Juliet Goff
Green Committee
Steve Hasselbach
2012 Conference
Grand Rapids, MI
Haydn Forward &
Lola Carere
Conference
Coordinator
Consultant
Gwen Mathis
Processing
Haydn Forward
34 Thermoforming QUArTerLY

Board of Directors Board of Directors
MACHINERY COMMITTEE
James Alongi
MAAC Machinery
590 Tower Blvd.
Carol Stream, IL 60188
T: 630.665.1700
F: 630.665.7799
jalongi@maacmachinery.com
Roger Fox
The Foxmor Group
373 S. Country Farm Road
Suite 202
Wheaton, IL 60187
T: 630.653.2200
F: 630.653.1474
rfox@foxmor.com
Hal Gilham
Productive Plastics, Inc.
103 West Park Drive
Mt. Laurel, NJ 08045
T: 856.778.4300
F: 856.234.3310
halg@productiveplastics.com
Don Kruschke (Chair)
Thermoforming Machinery &
Equipment
31875 Solon Road
Solon, OH 44139
T: 440.498.4000
F: 440.498.4001
donk440@gmail.com
Mike Sirotnak
Solar Products
228 Wanaque Avenue
Pompton Lakes, NJ 07442
T: 973.248.9370
F: 973.835.7856
msirotnak@solarproducts.com
Brian Ray
Ray Products
1700 Chablis Drive
Ontario, CA 91761
T: 909.390.9906
F: 909.390.9984
brianr@rayplastics.com
Brian Winton
Lyle Industries, Inc.
4144 W. Lyle Road
Beaverton, MI 48612
T: 989-435-7714 x 32
F: 989-435-7250
bwinton@lyleindustries.com
Stephen Murrill
Profile Plastics
65 S. Waukegan
Lake Bluff, IL 60044
T: 847.604.5100 x29
F: 847.604.8030
smurrill@thermoform.com
Dennis Northrop
Soliant LLC
1872 Highway 9 Bypass
Lancaster, NC 29720
T: 803.287.5535
dnorthrop@paintfilm.com
Mark Strachan
Global Thermoforming
Technologies
1550 SW 24th Avenue
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33312
T: 754.224.7513
mark@global-tti.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
Director Emeritus
Art Buckel
McConnell Company
3452 Bayonne Drive
San Diego, CA 92109
T: 858.273.9620
artbuckel@thermoformingmc.com
Clarissa Schroeder
Auriga Polymers, Inc.
Film & Sheet Division
1551 Sha Lane
Spartanburg, SC 29307
T: 864.579.5047
F: 864.579.5288
Clarissa.Schroeder@us.indorama.net
Eric Short
Mytex Polymers
1403 Port Road
Jeffersonville, IN 47130-8411
T: 248.705.2830
F: 248.328.8073
eric_short@mytexpolymers.com
PROCESSING COMMITTEE
Haydn Forward (Chair)
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
Roger Kipp
McClarin Plastics
15 Industrial Drive
PO Box 486
Hanover, PA 17331
T: 717.637.2241
F: 717.637.2091
rkipp@mcclarinplastics.com
Bret Joslyn
Joslyn Manufacturing
9400 Valley View Road
Macedonia, OH 44056
T: 330.467.8111
F: 330.467.6574
bret@joslyn-mfg.com
MATERIALS COMMITTEE
Jim Armor
Armor & Associates
16181 Santa Barbara Lane
Huntington Beach, CA 92649
T: 714.846.7000
F: 714.846.7001
jimarmor@aol.com
Phil Barhouse
Spartech Packaging
Technologies
100 Creative Way
PO Box 128
Ripon, WI 54971
T: 920.748.1119
F: 920.748.9466
phil.barhouse@spartech.com
Lola Carere
Premier Material Concepts
2715 Maple Park Drive
Cumming, GA 30041
T: 567.245.5253
F: 770.406.8217
lcarere@rowmark.com
Juliet Goff
Kal Plastics, Inc.
2050 East 48th Street
Vernon, CA 90058-2022
T: 323.581.6194
Juliet@kal-plastics.com
Donald Hylton
McConnell Company
646 Holyfield Highway
Fairburn, GA 30213
T: 678.772.5008
don@thermoformingmc.com
Roger P. Jean (Chair)
Rowmark/PMC
PO Box 1605
2040 Industrial Drive
Findlay, OH 45840
T: 567.208.9758
rjean@rowmark.com
Laura Pichon
Ex-Tech Plastics
PO Box 576
11413 Burlington Road
Richmond, IL 60071
T: 847.829.8124
F: 815.678.4248
lpichon@extechplastics.com
Robert G. Porsche
General Plastics
2609 West Mill Road
Milwaukee, WI 53209
T: 414-351-1000
F: 414-351-1284
bob@genplas.com
Thermoforming QUArTerLY 35

Thermoforming
Quarterly®
SECOND QUARTER 2011
VOLUME 30 n NUMBER 2
Sponsor Index These sponsors enable us to publish Thermoforming Quarterly
Thermoforming
Quarterly®
SECOND QUARTER 2011
VOLUME 30 n NUMBER 2
Sponsor Index These sponsors enable us to publish Thermoforming Quarterly
n Allen……………………………13
n Brown Machine……………….29
n CMT Materials ………………..10
n CMG ……………………………13
n GN Plastics ……………………..6
n GPEC 2011 ……………………20
n Kiefel …………………………..13
n KMT…………………………….20
n Kydex ……… Inside Back Cover
n MAAC Machinery……………..20
n McClarin Plastics……………….6
n Nova Chemicals………………11
n PCI……………………………..34
n PMC………………….Back Cover
n Portage Casting & Mold……….6
n Primex Plastics ……………….10
n Productive Plastics …………..13
n Profile Plastics Corp. ………..13
n PTi…………..Inside Front Cover
n Ray Products………………….13
n Solar Products………………….6
n Tempco ………………………..36
n Thermoforming Machinery &

Equipment Inc……………..34
n Thermwood……………………..7
n TPS ………………………………7
n TSL……………………………..18
n Zed Industries………………..13

Thermoforming Division Membership Benefits

n

Access to industry knowledge from one central location: www.thermoformingdivision.com.

n

Subscription to Thermoforming Quarterly, voted “Publication of the Year” by SPE National.

n

Exposure to new ideas and trends from across the globe

n

New and innovative part design at the Parts Competition.

n

Open dialogue with the entire industry at the annual conference.

n

Discounts, discounts, discounts on books, seminars and conferences.

n

For managers: workshops and presentations tailored specifically to the needs of your operators.

n

For 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.

Join D25 toDay!

36 Thermoforming QUArTerLY

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