Chairman’s Corner x 2

Thermoforming in

the News x 4
The Business of

Thermoforming x 6
University News x
Thermoforming and

Sustainability x

Page 7
Front Cover
Thermoforming 2.0 x

Getting Uniform Heat Throughout the Sheet on Roll-Fed Thermoformers

Industry Practice x

Strong Opinions Clash Over Sheet Specifications

Lead Technical Article x

The Improvement of the Thermoformability of PC / PBT Blends

Page 15
In This Issue
Visit us on the Web x
2009 Editorial Calendar x 28
Sponsorship x



Conor Carlin

(617) 771-3321
Technical Editor

Barry Shepherd

(905) 459-4545 Ext. 229
Fax (905) 459-6746

Laura Pichon

(847) 829-8124
Fax (815) 678-4248
Conference Coordinator

Gwen Mathis

(706) 235-9298
Fax (706) 295-4276
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 1

Quarterly® Chairman’s Corner Chairman’s Corner
Brian Rayeverything related to thermoforming.
We will be registering attendees and
exhibitors for the Milwaukee Conference
and showcasing prior parts competition
winners. There will be information booths
staffed by suppliers and practitioners of
A glance at any major news outlet
today is all that is required to hear more
bad economic news. However, these
hard facts offer clear evidence that we
need to get more involved and be better
prepared for the future of our industry

It is hard to believe another

year is behind us and for many, 2008 has
been a year like no other. The financial
markets have seized up and credit has
tightened. Pricing pressures backed by
record oil prices in July 2008 have now
retreated to new lows in a short sixmonth
period. Bailouts, bankruptcies and
bitterness seem to sum things up, and
maybe the worst is yet to come.

As a Division, it is critical that we
continue to offer technical information
and support to ensure our process and its
technology emerge from this downturn
in a better position. However, it is said
that a crisis is a terrible thing to waste.
Now more than ever is the time to
upgrade capabilities: renew the focus
on your workforce; review and audit
your electricity, compressed air and
lighting requirements; look to the state
or other agencies to offer matching funds
to ensure that you can become a more
efficient manufacturer and a stronger
competitor. This is also the time to find
a way to incorporate technology and

In June, we will be sponsoring a
thermoforming pavilion at NPE. The
first-of-its-kind pavilion will offer
attendees a central place to learn about

the thermoforming process. This is going
to be a fantastic event and provide a new
opportunity to reach out to thousands
of people and showcase our process

September 19th – 22nd, 2009
will be the dates for our 19th Annual
Thermoforming Conference in
Milwaukee. The theme for the
conference is “Charting a Sustainable
Course” and will feature an inaugural
session titled “Sustaining a Profitable
Business,” sponsored by SPI and the
Thermoforming Institute.

• Renew the


and our country. We all must play our
role to ensure that the manufacturing
of thermoformed products remains an
engine for growth, continued innovation,
and quality employment for generations
to come.


Brian Ray

• Review and audit
compressed air
and lighting
• Incorporate technology
and automation
• Look to the state or other agencies
for matching funds to ensure more
efficient manufacturers and stronger
2 Thermoforming QUArTerLY

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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
The question really isn’t
“why join?”
but …
Thermoforming QUArTerLY 3

Thermoforming in the news
Penda and
Durakon merge
to create
bed liner,
tonneau cover

Heavy-gauge thermoformers
and suppliers of truck bed liners
and tonneau covers, Penda Corp.
(Portage, WI) and Durakon Industries
(Lapeer, MI), will merge the
respective No. 1 and 2 suppliers
in the market to create the largest,
global supplier of truck bed liners.
Penda, owned by private equity
firm Resilience Capital Partners
(Cleveland) since August 2007,
and Durakon, owned by private
equity firm Littlejohn & Co. LLC
(Greenwich, CT) since 1999, will
join in a new company that retains
the Penda name and is headquartered
in Portage, WI, with Resilience
acting as the majority owner by a
slim margin, according to Cathy
Cromey, VP corporate services for

Cromey described the merger
as complementary, especially from a
technology standpoint, with Durakon
bringing shuttle presses and twinsheet
thermoforming to the combined
company, and Penda adding coextrusion,
among other technologies.
In terms of combined revenue –
approximately $100 million – and
units, the new company will have a
commanding lead in the market for
truck bed liners. Cromey said at this
time there are no intentions of closing
any facilities, and that Penda will
retain Ulf Buergel as president and
CEO of the new company, while Ed
Gniewek, Durakon’s CEO, will step
down. Jim Smith, Durakon’s CFO,
and John Montagna, VP advanced
products, will be retained.

In addition to the sites in Michigan
and Wisconsin, the combined company
will also have manufacturing in Clinton,
TN, and Lerma, Mexico. Durakon, which
expanded its business in March 2004 to
include paint-film technologies at a site in
Clinton, TN supplies bed liners, tonneau
covers, and cargo van panels for OEM
and aftermarket supply. It used the paintfilm
technology to move into decorative,
thermoformed thermoplastic polyolefin
(TPO) exterior panels that applied
laminated paint films or co-extruded
color layers for Class A running boards,
stone guards, rocker panels, and bumper

Penda has been thermoforming
truck bed liners since 1983, doing so
independently since 1994, when it split
from its parent company of the same
name. The company’s manufacturing
footprint includes 13 rotary, sheet-fed,
four-station vacuum-forming machines;
mold and fixture capabilities; one 85-ton
injection molding machine; and in-house
sheet fabrication via five, 6-inch coextrusion
lines. In 2003, the company
launched Penda Premier Solutions as a
custom thermoforming unit.

A press release said the new
company would have three strategic units

– automotive components, automotive
accessories, and custom thermoforming.
The first business unit, Penda Automotive
Components, will serve automotive
OEMs as a Tier One supplier, while
the second unit, Penda Automotive
Accessories, will target aftermarket
products with items like truck bed liners
and tonneau covers. The company
describes the final unit, Penda Premier
Solutions, as a custom thermoformer
targeting a variety of industrial
Founded in 2001, Resilience has
acquired 14 companies with revenues
exceeding $750 million. Littlejohn & Co.
LLC was founded in 1996 and manages
three funds with committed capital of
approximately $1.6 billion. So-called

drop-in bed liners have come under some
pressure from spray-in polyurethanebased
systems. x

Tony Deligio, Plastics Today (Canon
Communications) January 2009

leading the way,
looks to top
6 billion pounds

Growing at a compound annual
rate of 4.3%, the global market for
thermoformed plastic will expand from

4.9 billion lbs. last year, to 5.1 billion
lbs. in 2008, and some 6.3 billion lbs.
in 2013. The data, culled from a new
BCC Research (Wellesley, MA) report,
broke the thermoforming markets
into packaging, appliances, building/
construction, automotive, aircraft,
industrial/commercial, and consumer
products, with packaging occupying the
largest share, consuming 3.4 billion lbs.
of materials in 2007. In 2008, packaging
is estimated to use 3.6 billion lbs., and
grow 4.6% annually to 4.5 billion lbs. in
Appliances ranked second, using 558
million lbs. of materials in 2007, with that
figure expected to reach 584 million lbs.
in 2008 and 682 million lbs. by 2013, for
a compound annual growth rate (CAGR)
of 3.2%. Building and construction ranks
third, using 286 million lbs. in 2007,
with 2008 estimated at 295 million lbs.,
and CAGR growth of 3.6% to reach 352
million lbs. in 2013.

Fellow research firm, The Freedonia
Group, described the U.S. thermoformed
plastics industry as a $5.2 billion market,
with six private firms accounting for a
27% share of the packaging segment, and
eight private companies holding 27% of
nonpackaging demand. x

Matt Defosse,,
October 2008

4 Thermoforming QUArTerLY

PLA stands up to heat

Biomax Thermal 300 is a proprietary
heat-stabilizing modifier from DuPont
Packaging that allows PLA thermoformed
packaging to withstand elevated
temperatures during transport, storage
and use. Its introduction extends the use
of PLA to applications beyond chilledstorage

The polymer modifier increases the
dimensional stability of PLA packaging
materials to temperatures of up to 95
degrees C (203 degrees F) when used
at recommended levels (between 2-4%
by weight) and in two-stage forming
processes, for above temperatures that
packages could be exposed to during
storage and shipping.

The addition of Biomax Thermal
300 to PLA at low levels has also been
demonstrated to have a minimal impact
on the material’s clarity, as well as to
accelerate cycle times during two-stage
thermoforming. The product contains 50%
renewably sourced content by weight.
However, due to its tendency to deform at
temperatures of 55 degrees C (131 degrees
F) and above, its adoption to date has
been largely restricted to the packaging of
chilled food and beverages. x

Plastics in Packaging, November 2008

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company’s bottom line.

Thermoforming QUArTerLY 5


The Business of Thermoforming

The Industrial Thermoforming Business

Review and Outlook 2009

Dr. Peter J. Mooney
Plastic Custom Research Services

f the recent past is prologue for the companies in the
North American industrial thermoforming business,
completed our 5th study, and we can share here some of
client reports in 1995, 1998, 2001 and 2004. We have just
tracking this business since 1995, publishing 4 multiPlastics
Custom Research Services (PCRS) has been
extremely challenging economic conditions lie ahead.Ithe primary findings from our research, based on extensive
interviews with processors, commercial sheet suppliers,
thermoforming machinery builders, and other participants in
this market space.

We probed several issues in this most recent research
program, yet we tended to focus on two issues of over-arching
importance – namely, 1) recent and likely future sales growth
and 2) technological changes of importance to the processors
and their customers. The consensus among the survey
participants can be succinctly summarized as follows. Most
processors experienced modest growth in 2007 up through
the middle of 2008 when orders languished. And in view of
the recessionary conditions coursing through all three North
American economies, there were few processors brave enough
to forecast meaningful sales growth in 2009; the common
expectation is a sales pullback.

In our 2004 report we determined that largely due to the 2001
recession and the subsequent recovery the regional industrial
thermoformers experienced no real (adjusted for inflation) sales
growth over the period 2000-2004. Published data relating
to sales of companies specializing in heavy-gauge sheet
forming point to a 4.1% average annual increase in nominal
sales for this group over the period 2003-2007; adjusting this
figure for inflation leaves little to no real volume growth.
Thus the composite database would suggest that industrial
thermoformers in this region have experienced no real growth
since the start of the decade.

What factors underlie this pattern? On the one hand, one could
point to challenging conditions in key markets for industrial
thermoformers – the bursting of the bubbles in building and
construction and electronic equipment, the rise and subsequent
collapse of consumer demand for boats and recreational

vehicles in the face of volatile fuel pricing and stagnant real
household income, and so on. On the other hand, one could put
forward the rather glib notion that the business of industrial
thermoforming has simply reached maturity.

However, we don’t regard either explanation as convincing.
Rather we tend to focus on the steady loss of the industrial
thermoformers’ market share to alternative plastics processors.
Every group of thermoplastic and thermoset processors capable
of producing structural and semi-structural parts has its own
traditional market space dictated by 1) the size and complexity
of the part and 2) the volume of part production. As a result of 1)
the gradual shift of consumer spending from manufactured goods
to services and 2) globalization (e.g., offshoring), the size of the
total structural plastics “pie” has shrunk, and so have all the pie
slices. Faced with costly over-capacity, all the structural plastics
processors have been forced to migrate into non-traditional
market “spaces”. This is particularly true of the injection molders
who with the dual benefit of cheap Chinese tooling and ample
capacity have been “infringing” on applications traditionally the
preserve of the heavy-gauge sheet thermoformers.

How should the industrial thermoformers counter this attack
on their traditional applications and markets? Credit conditions
likely to apply throughout 2009 are hardly propitious, but these
companies need to find some way to upgrade their machinery
and equipment to be in a position to produce parts with superior
aesthetics and functional performance. They need to devote what
limited time and resources are available to explore new sheet
materials that will permit them to defend existing accounts and
penetrate new ones. They need to research new markets, new
applications that have managed to maintain growth in the current
economic environment. And they will have to become “sharperpenciled”
in their bidding for new part programs to turn back
the challenge of the alterative plastics processors and the metalbenders.
In this way they just may be able to recover the growth
dynamic they enjoyed in the 1980s and 1990s. x

Dr. Peter J. Mooney is an economist and president of Plastics
Custom Research Services based in Advance, NC. Information on
his industrial thermoforming report series can be found on the
PCRS website

6 Thermoforming QUArTerLY

Education & Industry: A Critical Partnership

Dr. Majid Tabrizi, University of Wisconsin – Platteville

Editor’s Note: This article was completed prior to the recent tumultuous economic events therefore some of the
numbers referenced will have changed. However, the central thesis remains true: U.S. plastic manufacturing
companies are facing a shortage of skilled labor. In order to address this critical concern, it is imperative that
companies both invest in and take advantage of existing academic/technical institutes to develop relevant training
for future employees.

urrent available careers in manufacturing in the United
States are high-tech and high-wage. The National
Association of Manufacturers (NAM) projects the need for 10
million new, skilled workers nationwide by 2020. Yet a future
workforce shortage may be on the horizon. It appears that
negative public perception – one that brings to mind low wages,
assembly-line work and lay-offs – is thwarting young adults from
pursuing manufacturing careers across the country.

The U.S. plastics industry is the third largest industry with value of
goods shipped was $379 billion. The U.S. Plastics Industry offers
more than 1.1 million jobs, operating in every state in the U.S. The

U.S. plastics industry operates in 18,585 facilities with a $23 billion
annual payroll (Carteaux, 2008).
The average income in this industry is estimated to be $21,000/
year. It is predicted that by the century the United States, the plastic
industry will employ 1.5 million persons with an average income of
$37,000 per year. This represents payroll of almost $55 billion and
$14 billion in capital expenditures. The industry has been growing
at an accelerated rate of 7.2% since 1988. This growth rate has

doubled in less than 10 years. This indicates that by the year 2020
the industry potentially needs to employ 2.2 million persons. By
the year 2040, the industry will need 4.4 million employees.

Wisconsin, although considered the “Dairy State” and perhaps
known for the paper industry, is a powerful hub for the plastics
and plastics processing industries. In Wisconsin, the plastics
industry can be found in every corner of the state. Statistics
show that 80% of all counties in the state house a plastics-related
enterprise (Forward Wisconsin, 2007). Waukesha and Milwaukee
counties with 56 and 54 plastics companies respectively are
ranked first and second in the nation as the metropolitan areas
with the highest number of plastics-related industries.

The State of Wisconsin is the second-most dependent state on
manufacturing in the United States. About 20% of state income
comes from the manufacturing sector. In addition, 62% of the
1,000 manufacturers recently surveyed by WTCS (2004) expect
to boost employment during the next two years, providing an
additional 8,700 positions to the state’s manufacturing jobs.

(continued on next page)

Thermoforming QUArTerLY 7

According to the same study, “highly
trained manufacturing professionals
are in demand, yet enrollment
[in manufacturing programs] has
dwindled.” This situation potentially
can create a shortage of qualified
manpower in the manufacturing sector.
More broadly, it can also pose a serious
threat to the state’s financial strength as
well as to the lifestyle to which we are

If we look at the present time and
the year 2012 (the year that today’s
entering high school freshmen will be
attending prom and possibly joining
the work force), the industry will need
to employ several thousand qualified
production personnel in addition to what
is being employed today. This is almost
an impossible task given the lack of
structured educational programs related
to plastics and plastics processing in
middle school, high school and even in
great number of colleges and universities
in this nation.

Among all private and public universities
throughout the United States, only 140
have association with SPE (Society of
Plastics Engineers, 2009) and among
them only a handful of institutions offer
four-year degree programs in plastics
engineering or technology. Only three
other institutions offer two-year associate
degree programs. Thus, the institutions
of higher learning which produce
middle/high school faculty capable of
teaching plastics technology industry are
very limited.

The importance of the role taken by
the Center for Plastics Processing
Technology at the University of
Wisconsin-Platteville, SPE-Milwaukee
Section, and a number of progressive
plastics industries in promoting plastics
education programs in middle and high
schools throughout the state cannot be
emphasized enough.

To sustain such a level of industry is
highly dependent on the availability
and existence of a well-qualified and
competent workforce. Additionally,
attraction to and promotion of plastics
industries can eliminate the need

for young individuals to migrate to
industrialized cities, far from the comfort
of family. This is particularly true in states
with large rural populations. Workers can
stay in their home town, enjoy a local
support system and contribute to the
betterment of their communities and local
economies. x


Forward Wisconsin, Inc., Madison,


Global Tooling News -July 27, 2007

Management News Now.

Journal of Sentinel, Milwaukee
Wisconsin, May 2008.

William R. Carteaux, Sustainable
Thinking for the Plastics Industry: The
Key to a Competitive Edge, President
& CEO, The Society of the Plastics
Industry, Inc., Washington, DC, 2008.

National Association of Manufacturers


Tool Progress Report – November 17,

Wisconsin-Technical Colleges (WTCS)., Student Chapter.

8 Thermoforming QUArTerLY


Quarterly® is an “equal
opportunity” publisher!
You will notice
that we have several
departments and feature
articles. If you have a
technical article, send it to
Barry Shepherd, Technical
Editor. All other articles
should be sent to Conor
Carlin, Editor. Please
send in .doc format. All
graphs and photos should
be of sufficient size and
contrast to provide
a sharp printed image.


Quarterly Deadlines forCopy and Sponsorships


15-JAN Spring 15-APR Summer

31-JUL Fall 15-OCT Winter

Conference Edition Post-Conference

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

Thermoforming QUArTerLY 9


Thermoforming 2.0

Getting Uniform Heat Throughout
the Sheet on
Roll-Fed Thermoformers

Technical Editor’s Note: This article is taken from
Adolf Illig’s book “Thermoforming: A Practical
Guide,” Chapter 5 – Heating of Thermoplastic
Forming Materials. Achieving a uniform material
temperature throughout the sheet on a roll-fed
machine has some unique challenges that must be
addressed before the sheet enters the pin chains.
As always, we assume that readers are custom
thermoformers running a variety of materials and
tool sizes.

A Note on Thermal Imaging

(This paragraph was not taken from Illig’s book.)

Thermal imaging units (some with automatic zone
temperature adjustment) are now being installed in many
new machines, both roll-fed and sheet-fed. It is the best
way to determine any variations in temperature anywhere
on the sheet prior to forming. However, because the sensors
are reading temperatures on the sheet, the sheet must be fed
into the chains and a reasonable amount of material must be
indexed at the speed anticipated for production to be able
to provide a scan that will mimic production conditions.
Thermal imaging is ideal for fine tuning temperatures in
each heater zone and for providing instant feedback for the
duration of the production run. Defective heaters, changes
in ambient temperature, index speed adjustments and
minor fluctuations in material thickness can show up on the
thermal image and corrective action can be taken quickly.
However, there are oven set up procedures which should be
done prior to feeding a sheet into the pin chains in order to
minimize wasted material. Those procedures are as follows.

Compensating for Chain Rail
Heat Loss

Figure 1 shows a typical chain rail transporting the sheet
through the oven. Heating and convection losses in the outer
regions adjacent to the chain rails must be compensated

Figure 1. X – Heat loss caused by chain rails.

for by increasing the temperature settings on the heaters in
those regions. Generally zoning on roll-fed machines allows
for this temperature adjustment on the ceramic rectangular
elements that are 3″ wide or panel heaters 6″ wide that are
longitudinally mounted (in the machine direction) in the oven.

Compensating for Sag

Figure 2 shows a sheet sagging as it travels closer to the form
station. Depending on the material being formed and the web
width, this sag could result in the center of the sheet being 4
to 6 inches (100 – 150mm) closer to the bottom heater than
at the chain rails. Consequently the temperature settings on
the center zones of the bottom heater should be lowered. This
illustration shows shaded bars that depict temperature settings
in the center heaters lower than in the outer heaters.

Figure 2. X – Lower heat on center zones.

10 Thermoforming QUArTerLY

September 19th – 22nd, 2009
Should you have questions, please call
(706) 235-9298, fax (706) 295-4276
or e-mail to
Compensating for Oven/Form
Station Gap

Some machines and tooling configurations leave a gap
between the oven enclosure and the mold as much as 4 inches
(See Figure 3, GAP.) So consequently when the cycle is in the
cooling stage the material in that gap is stationary and exposed
to ambient temperature. Every effort should be taken to move
the form station or the oven enclosure as close together as
possible. Obviously there must be some gap to allow clearance
(ideally less than 1″ or 25mm) for press travel. It will almost
always be necessary to adjust the heaters adjacent to the form
press higher to compensate. Usually the machinery builder
will install a separate zone that runs across the machine in this
area instead of longitudinally so that this adjustment can be

Compensating for Index/Oven
Length Difference

This is the most difficult adjustment to make unless the
zoning on the machine is done in such a way as to allow
sections of the ovens at the in-feed end to be shut off in 3″
increments. Figure 3 (a) shows a side view of a typical oven

Figure 3 (a). Full indexes 30″ (760mm) in the oven.

set up with a proportional index length to oven length (index
length will divide evenly into the oven length). Assuming
the machine was built with an oven that will accommodate
3 – 30″ (760mm) indexes, if the mold dimension in the index
direction is 24″ (610mm), the index length on the chain drive
must index every 24″ (610mm). The maximum mold length
allowable on this machine is 30″, hence the oven length
would normally be built to 89″ (2.26m) long to provide 3 full
indexes of material in the oven plus a 1″ (25mm) clearance for
press vertical travel. Working back from the form station 24″
(610mm) at a time, 4 – 24″ (610mm) indexes would have the
first index into the ovens with 18″ (460mm) of material being
heated and the other 6″ (150mm) outside the oven, see Figure
3 (b), resulting in a 6″ (150mm) strip on the back end of the
shot colder than the rest of the shot. The longer the cycle time
or cooling time, the more pronounced this difference would

Without the luxury of a multitude of zones at the in-feed
end, the only way to compensate for this is to baffle or
screen the heat from the sheet in the first 18″ of the oven
leaving 3 full 24″ (610mm) indexes or 72″ (1.8m) of
material exposed to the heaters as shown in Figure 3 (b).
Screening can consist of metal pans supported by brackets
that shield the heat from the material and that can be moved
easily to adjust as necessary. x

Figure 3 (b). The first index into the oven only heats 18″
(460mm) of material. The solution is to screen off 18″

(460mm) of heat.

19th Annual Thermoforming
Conference & Exhibition
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Thermoforming QUArTerLY 11


Industry Practice

Strong Opinions Clash
Sheet Specifications

Technical Editor’s Note: Our Thermoforming 2.0 article
in the last issue titled “Specifying Sheet” was sparked
by a discussion in the panel session at the September
Minneapolis Thermoforming Conference. The article
drew a response from Mr. Michel Siekierski of PLM
Solucoes Em Plastico in Brazil who had asked the
original question in that panel question. We very much
appreciate Mr. Siekierski’s participation both at the
conference and recently by email. With his permission,
we have printed his comments below along with
responses from three of the panel members: Mark
Strachan (GTTI), Robert Browning and Don Hylton
(McConnell Associates). All comments have been edited
for formatting purposes only.

Dear Sir:

My name is Michel, I work for an extruding and
thermoforming company in Brazil and I was at the
2008 Thermoforming Conference, which by the way,
was a wonderful event, where I could learn a lot and
meet many interesting people.

The reason I am writing this e-mail is to complain
about a report called “Specifying Sheet” in
Thermoforming Quarterly [4th Quarter 2008]. In
this report, the writer refers to a discussion at the
conference where an extrusion company representative
told people it was not necessary for the thermoformer
to give the extruder detailed sheet specifications. Well,
I was the extruder involved in that discussion and my
comments were completely misunderstood.

The panel asked if there was an extruder willing to
answer some questions so I raised my hand. Then
someone asked what could thermoforming companies
do to confirm that the chemical formula of the sheets
was the same formula they specified. My answer
was that they shouldn’t have to specify the chemical
formula of the sheet to the extruder because that’s his
(the extruder’s) responsibility. What is really important

is to define the specifications of the sheet (exactly the
opposite of what was written in the magazine), where
and how the product is going to be used. Once you tell
the extruder which formula he has to use, YOU are
taking a lot of responsibility for something that you
shouldn’t be responsible for, so there is no reason to do

Instead, just tell them what you need and let them work it
out for you. If you do that with different sheet suppliers,
you can see which one presents you with the solution
with the best cost benefit. That way you can save money
and still have good sheet to work with. If something goes
wrong with the sheet, the extruder will have no argument
and you will have no responsibility for any mistakes
made during the sheet developing process.

Thank you very much for your time and I hope now that I
made myself clear.

Respectfully, Michel Siekierski

Mark Strachan (GTTI)

The conversation started with the use of regrind in the sheet. A
comment was made that if not specified by the thermoformer,
the extruded sheet supplier could “sweep the floor and add
the contaminated regrind to the mix.” This then prompted
the question as to whether the thermoformer has a right to
dictate how much regrind is allowed to be used in the sheet.
The panel unanimously agreed that the extrusion sheet
supplier should have to comply with such requests from the
thermoformer. At this point the moderator requested if any
extrusion sheet supplier would like to comment which is
where Mr. Siekierski fearlessly stepped in.

I agree 100% with Jim Throne’s comments made in his book
“Understanding Thermoforming”. The thermoformer must
become more involved with the sheet extrusion company and
must familiarize themselves with the sheet extrusion process

12 Thermoforming QUArTerLY

in order to take command of the sheet quality they are buying,
e.g., percentage of regrind used in the process.

The IV or MFI range required in the final blend is greatly
affected by the quality and quantity of regrind used during
extrusion and the amount of times it has been subjected
to a heat history (extrusion, thermoforming, grinding, repelletizing,
drying). If the thermoformer is sending his regrind
back to the extrusion company, he then also has every right to
request that only his regrind be used and at what percentage.
He also has the right to dictate the allowable orientation (MD
and TD) and gage tolerances for the sheet. As Jim Throne
states, moisture levels (PET, ABS, PC, etc.) are also important.
Sheet blemishes for out-of-spec material orders such as die
lines, fish eyes, and gels all have to be agreed upon.
I highly recommend that the thermoformer always keep a
sheet swatch (1′ to 2′ of material) from each shipment filed
away for later reference. If any discrepancies are found with
the sheet, the samples (proven sample and new problematic
sheet sample) should then be sent to a reputable and
independent lab for tests such as the Plastics Manufacturing
Center or a local college or university with a plastics
processing department. The report containing the material
data can then be presented to the sheet extrusion company to
resolve any disputes.

Don Hylton & Art Buckel

This subject – sheet specifications – is one that I try to address
each time I have an opportunity to speak to thermoformers. I
try to emphasize that establishing specifications is a mutual
responsibility between the extruder and the thermoformer.
They should approach the process as partners with open
communications with a synergistic goal in mind. Both are in it
for the same reason, that is, to make a profit.

My comment relative to the discussions at hand and what
I attempted to get across at the conference is that the
extruder and the thermoformer should sit together to develop
comprehensive specifications based on the thermoformer’s
and extruder’s needs and capabilities. This should include
material sources, formulations, aesthetics, dimensions and
performance criteria.

An important component of the process is the need for
measurements and controls with documentation. It is our
opinion that the outcome of this approach to doing business
will result in higher quality, more consistency, less rejects
and improved profitability.

Robert Browning (McConnell)

This is a very important and critical topic which deserves
the time and effort to make sure everyone understands

When I was in school, one of my professors was a retired
executive from both the government (military intelligence)
and Coca-Cola. The one thing that he emphasized over and
over was the need for complete and total documentation
on everything you do. When everyone is on the same page,
knows and has the same information, it eliminates errors and
problems and creates a history for correcting problems they
do come up. As they say, knowledge is power.

It is essential that the thermoformer sit down with the sheet
extruder to create a specification that everyone can and will
live with. One of the problems we have seen, especially
lately, is that promises are made for quality and consistency
in the sheet material which are not being kept by the sheet

In a recent project, with five different batches/runs of the
“same material,” independent test labs found wide variations
in the amount of regrind in the material (it was suppose
to be 100% virgin material); contaminates in the material;
blends of different grades of base polymer materials; and
inconsistent overall material physical properties. If the
extruded sheet material is not consistent from batch to batch
and run to run, the parts can and will vary in formability,
overall size, shrinkage, gloss, wall thicknesses, sag, impact,
etc. These variations have profound consequences for the
thermoformer who has already designed and built tooling for
the job. In many cases the thermoformed parts are unusable
and are rejected by the client/end users.

The point is clear: there must be checks and balances
with exact, agreed-upon sheet specifications between the
thermoformer and the sheet extruder. x

Thermoforming Quarterly welcomes and encourages comments from our membership.

Write to us at

Thermoforming QUArTerLY 13


Lead Technical Article

The Improvement of the
Thermoformability of PC / PBT Blends

Yantao Zhu and Donald Ellington, Sabic Innovative Plastics, 1 Lexan Lane,
Mt. Vernon, IN 47620


Polycarbonate / polybutylene terephthalate (PC / PBT)
blends are not typically used in thermoforming processes,
due to the poor melt strength inherent in semi-crystalline
materials. New PC / Polyester compositions presented here
can be used to make articles by typical thermoforming
processes, without equipment or process modifications. These
new PC / PBT blends offer the full advantages of mechanical
strength and chemical resistance typical of PC PBT alloys,
while allowing the use of cost-effective production methods,
such as thermoforming.


Thermoforming is a very useful and cost-effective way of
manufacturing plastic parts. [1] A plastics sheet is preheated,
and then brought into contact with a mold whose shape it
takes. This can be done by vacuum, pressure and/or direct
mechanical force. This process normally provides close
tolerances, tight specifications, and sharp detail. The tooling
cost is much lower than injection molding in many cases and
it is a great alternative for injection molding for large parts
with relatively small- to mid-size volume.

Most plastics sheets can be thermoformed. However, not
all can be formed equally easily, especially when the parts are
large and complex. To be a good thermoforming candidate, a
sheet needs to have a wide temperature window where it can
be soft enough to take the shape of the mold, yet have enough
melt strength to hold itself together. Amorphous materials
normally soften gradually at temperature above their Tg and
can usually provide good combination of melt strength and
softness at wide temperature range for thermoforming to
happen.. Semi-crystalline materials, on the other hand, are
more difficult to form due to the existence of the melting
point. They normally are not soft enough to provide a good
mold replication until the processing temperature is very
close to the melting point. When the processing temperature
passes the melting point, however, the materials tend to
flow too well and do not have enough melt strength to hold
themselves together against gravity. This normally leads to
excessive webbing at the hard-to-form corners. As a result,

semi-crystalline materials usually have very narrow processing
window if any at all (typically less than 10°C on small tools).

Polycarbonate / polybutylene terephthale blends are semicrystalline
blends. They are not typically used in thermoforming
applications due to the reasons presented above. Attempts
have been made to increase the melt strength of PC / PBT
blends using Teflon additives. Although the melt strength was
greatly enhanced, the surface quality of the formed parts was
not acceptable at all. (Figure 1.) Recently, we were able to
discover a polymer additive that not only significantly improved
the processing window for PC / PBT blends, but also provided
excellent surface quality.

Figure 1. Surface defect of thermoformed part using

Teflon additive.

Processing and Testing

The resin pellets were extruded into sheets (17″ wide and
0.125″ thick) through Davis Standard sheet extrusion line with
Cloeren sheet Die in monolayer configuration without feedblock.
The sheets were then formed on GEISS T8 thermoformer. They
were first cut to the dimension of 17″ x 26″, then dried in a
desiccant closed loop oven at 82°C for 12 hours and formed
using an aluminum thermoforming tool (4.5″ x 6″ x 3″). No prevacuum
was used. A sheet was heated to set temperature at 50%
heater setting, the oven was shut and retracted. The forming tool
was raised up and a vacuum was applied to force the softened
sheet to take the shape of the tool. The process was repeated at
different temperatures. The lower limits of the forming windows
were the lowest temperature at which a part can be formed
without the loss of details. The upper limits were established
as the highest temperature at which a part can form without

14 Thermoforming QUArTerLY

Results and Discussion

A base non-FR PC / PBT formulation was modified with either
SAN-encapsulated Teflon (TSAN) or another thermoforming
additive that we found very beneficial. While they both provided
enough melt strength to the blend to form parts, the TSAN
containing material could not provide a defect-free surface.
(Figure 2.) Fortunately, high surface quality parts can be easily

Figure 2. Surface of thermoformed part using
thermoforming additive.

obtained through thermoforming with the thermoforming additive
formulations. The amount of additive used in the formulation
is important in determining the size of the forming window.
As shown in Figure 3, the base formulation (not shown on the

Figure 3. The impact of additive level on the forming
windows of blends based on a non-FR PC / PBT blend.

graph) was not suitable for thermoforming using the process
we specified in processing and testing. The addition of 5% of
this additive allowed the material to be formed within a 5°C
window. As more additive was used, the window peaked out
at about 20°C with 10-12% additive. The use of more additive
led to the window to decrease back to 5°C with 15% additive
present. The same phenomena was observed when another base
formulation was evaluated. This formulation was a FR PC / PBT
blend. Without any additive, the base formulation showed a 10°C
forming window. (Table 1.) The use of 5% additive expand the
forming window to 30°C. Another 10°C was achieved by using
10% additive. This seemed to be close to the optimal amount
of additive since additional 5% additive led to a decrease of the
forming window from 40°C to 20°C.

While the forming of even a small part was difficult for the
non-FR base formulation, the modified formulation with 12%

Table 1. Effect of additive level on forming windows for
blends based on a FR PC / PBT blend.

Figure 4. A big part formed from a non-FR PC / PBT
formulation with 12% thermoforming additive (1390 x
280 x 135 mm3).

additive allowed the easy forming of a part from a car tool with
a dimension of 1390 x 280 x 135 mm3 (Figure 4).

The non-FR PC / PBT blends with and without the
thermoforming additive were tested under G26 conditions.
As shown in Figure 5, both formulations have the same DE*
profile. Therefore, the use of this additive does not have any
negative effect on the weatherability of the blend.

Figure 5. The effect of thermoforming additive on

weatherability based on a non-FR PC / PBT blend.


The use of a special thermoforming additive significantly
increased the thermoforming capability of PC / PBT blends.
It not only provided an excellent surface, but also widened
the forming window, allowing the production of big parts
using semi-crystalline blends. No negative impact on the
weatherability of these blends was observed.

(continued on next page)

Thermoforming QUArTerLY 15


We would like to acknowledge the
aid of Kathryn Garnavish, Glen Tryson,
Emmanuel Boxus, Piet van Eekelen, Jos
van Gisbergen, and Pete Zuber.


K. McPhillips, Modern Plastics,
Oct. 1st (2005). http://www.
J. L. Thorne, Thermoforming,
Hanser Publishers, Munich
J. J. Morad, SPE-ANTEC Tech.
Papers, 783 (1995).
Figures and tables are provided for
general information and are not for the
purpose of warranty or specification.
All resins and mixtures discussed herein
should be thoroughly tested in actual
parts under end use conditions before
incorporation into any device.


ANTEC, PC / PBT blend,



Visit the
SPE website at
16 Thermoforming QUArTerLY

19th Annual Thermoforming Conference & Exhibition
September 19 – 22, 2009
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Gwen Mathis, ConferenCe Coordinator

The 19th Annual Thermoforming Conference and Exhibition – Thermoforming 2009:
“Charting a Sustainable Course for Thermoforming” – plans are beginning to take shape.
This show will be a forum for the newest techniques, latest equipment, materials, auxiliary
equipment and current industry news. As an Exhibitor, this event will enable you to showcase your

products and services at the only show geared just to THERMOFORMERS! If your company
sells to THERMOFORMERS, then this is the place you must be. This industry event is a prime
opportunity for you to reach the decision makers in the field and create a brighter future for your
business as well.
Full exhibits will be offered. Our machinery section continues to grow each year. If you are not participating
in our machinery section, you are encouraged to do so. Each 10′ x 10′ booth is fully piped, draped, carpeted
and a sign will be provided. As an extra value, one comp full registration is included with every booth sold.
This gives your attendees access to all Technical Sessions, Workshops, Special Events, Plant Tours and
all meals. A great bargain at $2,250.00.
Where else can you make personal contact with more than 1,000 individuals who are directly involved with
our industry. Your SPONSORSHiP or participation as an ExHiBiTOR has demonstrated its potential to
help your sales and it is contributing to the strength and success of our industry as a whole.
We urge you to join us at THERMOFORMiNG 2009 in Milwaukee! Reserve your space early to avoid
disappointment. Booth assignments are made on a first come, first serve basis.

Should you have questions, please call (706) 235-9298, fax (706) 295-4276
or e-mail to

Thermoforming QUArTerLY 17

18 t hermoforming quarterly
. Outstanding for ABS, PC/ABS, PVC and HIPS
.Weatherable and easy to fabricate
. Excellent gloss control – from flat matte to
ultra high gloss
. Chemical- , scratch- and UV-resistant
. Available in metallic, clear or any color
Phone: 215.419.7982
Fax: 215.419.5512
Acrylic Capstock and Film
Capstock solutions for thermoformed sheet.
Altuglas® and Solarkote® are registered trademarks
belonging to Arkema.
© 2005 Arkema Inc. All rights reserved.
ISO 9001:2000
SEPTEMBER 19 – 21, 2010
SEPTEMBER 17 – 20, 2011

GPEC 2009

Plastics: The
Wonderful World of
Sustainability and

February 25-27, 2009

Disney’s Coronado
Springs Resort

Orlando, Florida USA

***NEW ThiS yEAR***

GPEC® 2009 is being held
“back-to-back” with the
Plastics Recycling 2009
(Tuesday and Wednesday)
at the same location.

GPEC® 2009 kicks off with
the Connections Reception on
Wednesday evening with the
balance of GPEC® 2009 on
Thursday and Friday.

For Up To Date information:


Thermoforming QUArTerLY 19

Creating an

The benefits of the

corporate “adopt-aschool”

Mary-Anne Piccirillo, Northstar Communications

ould it be that students and
corporations are asking for the
same thing? Students (our emerging
workforce) and corporations (their
potential employers) are seeking more
practical experience.

According to the Every Child Every
Promise* (ECEP) report from
America’s Promise Alliance, most
high school students want more
challenging work as well as work that
is relevant to potential careers, while
employers are looking for young
people to enter the workforce with a
higher level of practical skills.

“A school’s goal is to develop interests
and open avenues for students to
explore, and along the way gain
insight into the work world,” said
Dave Snyder, co-chair of the Career
and Technology Department at
Gettysburg High School. “Experiences
such as working in a manufacturing
cell concept, designing, problem
solving and finishing, in addition to
hands-on experience give our students
and their employers an advantage
when they enter the work force.”

Many schools have found the solution
in active cooperative partnerships with
corporations. Such a partnership exists
between Gettysburg High School in
Gettysburg, PA and McClarin Plastics
in Hanover, PA.

* The research behind the ECEP comes
from collaboration among America’s
Promise Alliance, Child Trends,
Search Institute and the Gallup
Last year, the school’s Career and
Technology Department was looking
for a way to expand their Materials
Processing Course to include more
experience with plastics via an industrial
quality thermoforming machine –
which was out of their budget and
expertise. Because of their established
relationship, they went to McClarin
Plastics who advised them of the Society
of Plastics Engineers’ Thermoforming
Division Machinery Grant process and
pledged to help where they could.

The thermoforming machine arrived
at the school in June of 2008 thanks
to the grant, federal funds from the
Perkins Fund and a generous discount
from Maac Machinery in Carol Stream,
IL. McClarin Plastics has also taken
an active role with the students by
providing personnel for set-up and
training, molds and sheet plastic

Since its arrival, the students have
designed and manufactured a flying
disk mold and embossing top plate.
The flying disk project has given
them experience not only with
thermoforming, but with design,
problem solving, mold making,
finishing, Auto-CAD Inventor and CNC
equipment. In addition to the practical
skills, the students will also receive sales
and marketing experience as they plan
to sell the disks.

The experience has also made an impact
on McClarin Plastics. According to
Morrell Myers, Corporate Production
Manager at McClarin, the program has
spurred enthusiasm within their work
force. “Working with the students has
given us a fresh perspective,” said
Myers. “It is also encouraging to know
that if some of these students decide to
work here [McClarin], they’ll be able
to start at a higher level and bring more
to the table at an earlier stage in their

But this isn’t the first positive
experience McClarin has had with
working with schools. For the past

six years, they have partnered with
chambers of commerce, industry
associations and other manufacturers
to offer programs designed to pique
students’ interest in manufacturing.

During the Fall of 2006, McClarin
Plastics partnered with MANTEC,
a nonprofit organization dedicated
to meeting the needs of small and
mid-sized manufacturing enterprises
in South Central PA, and the South
Western School District in Central PA
to offer Adventures in Technology.
Tenth- and twelfth-grade students with
diverse interests and backgrounds,
their instructors and their McClarin
mentor, Tim Dietz, identified an issue
for which the company was seeking
a solution. The students studied the
process, evaluated what was happening,
developed a couple of solutions, ran a
cost/benefit analysis and then presented
their findings and recommendations to
McClarin’s management. The students’
recommendation was deemed a viable,
innovative solution and management
decided to implement it. The solution
is projected to save the company about
$95,000 over the next five years.

“This program [Adventures in
Technology] was designed to give
‘bottom line’ exposure to the students
and trigger ideas for their future.
Manufacturing and corporate functions
were disassembled so the students could
understand how many disciplines fit
together to make a company work,”
said Rob McIlvaine, Vice President of

“The ‘adopt-a-school’ philosophy
is based on the fact that in order to
be successful we all depend on each
other: schools, students, and industry.
We’ve seen our personnel and bottom
line benefit from our involvement
with the schools and we’ve seen a
more prepared workforce come to our
door,” said Todd Kennedy, President of
McClarin Plastics. “All in all, it benefits
everyone to stimulate the intelligence,
imagination, and confidence of our
students.” x

20 Thermoforming QUArTerLY

Visit us on the Web

Thermoforming QUArTerLY 21


Getting Beyond
the Buzz of

Phil Barhouse, Market Development Manager,
Spartech Packaging Technologies

s chairman of the 2009 SPE
Thermoforming Conference in
Milwaukee, I can’t help but feel excited
and privileged to bring the topic of
sustainability to our Thermoforming
Conference. Over the last few months,
I have heard the collective sigh of
relief now that gas prices are below
two dollars a gallon and resin prices
have dropped from their record highs.
For those of us in the extrusion and
thermoforming business, we welcome
the lower resin and energy costs.
But, when cost savings are coupled
with lower sales volume, it presents
complex challenges for all of us.
I believe that one must look at the
opportunities that this economical
environment is presenting. Through
sustainable business practices, we
have an enormous opportunity to grow
our businesses. It is those companies
who choose to embrace sustainable
practices that will be the market
leaders. To fully embrace sustainable
practices, the entire organization must
be involved. But how can a company
incorporate sustainable practices into
their accounting, marketing, R&D,
operations and other departments when
the term itself seems so subjective?
When you take a broad definition
of sustainability like, “… using the
resources of today in a manner that
doesn’t compromise the ability of future
generations to meet their own needs,” I
can see how difficult the process would

Back in October 2005, the Sustainable
Packaging Coalition (SPC) developed
eight definitions that attempted to
eliminate the subjectivity and provide
a framework for organizations to
develop their own specific actions for

Thermoforming and Sustainability

sustainability. These definitions and the
“how to” are related to packaging but
they are applicable to just about any
product and market. Here is a summary
outline of the SPC definitions and how
you might implement them within your

Packaging and/or product is
beneficial, safe and healthy for
individuals and communities
throughout its life cycle. It involves
corporate social responsibility
including employee safety and

Review your own internal
policies and practices.
Implement a supplier code of
conduct if appropriate.
Understand your opportunities
to eliminate packaging waste.
Participate in or support the
development of material
recovery systems.
Support the development of end
markets for recovered materials.
Share your successes and
best practices in the form of a
Corporate Social Responsibility
Packaging and/or product meets
market criteria for performance and
cost through the end of life. It must
be competitive in the market place.

Review minimum packaging
specifications and evaluate for
Understand the fees or
regulations that apply to the
materials you sell or use in
Can you offer materials or
designs that offer environmental
advantages that save your
customers packaging fees or
improve their compatibility with
recycling systems?
Understand the “true” costs of
packaging over its life cycle and
integrate them into your product
development process.

Help your customers understand
the environmental performance
of your products.
Collaborate with your suppliers
to help identify opportunities
to improve materials and
packaging systems.
Packaging and/or product is
sourced, manufactured, transported,
and recycled using renewable
energy. Renewable energy
offers a solution to many of the
environmental, social and economic
issues we experience today.

Set energy efficiency and
renewable energy goals.
Identify opportunities for
Review the energy rating of
your equipment.
Purchase energy efficient
Consider investing in renewable
energy technologies at your
Make direct purchases of
renewable energy or indirect
purchases through renewable
energy credits (RECS).
Improve fleet performance
through optimized routing and
better fuel efficiency.
Consider bio-based fuels &
hybrid vehicles.
Packaging and/or product
maximizes the use of renewable
or recycled source materials. The
use of renewable materials ensures
that raw materials will not run out
and can reduce carbon emissions.
Recycled materials help to
eliminate waste, conserves energy
and resources and reduces the
environmental impacts associated
with virgin material production

Use renewable and recycled
materials in your packaging.
22 Thermoforming QUArTerLY

Non-renewable materials should
maximize recycled content.
For renewable materials, use
recycled content when feasible.
Source renewable materials
from certified sources.
ASTM D6866
Packaging and/or product
is manufactured using clean
production technologies and best
practices. Integrating a preventive
environmental strategy can increase
efficiency and reduce the risk to
humans and the environment. It
includes eliminating toxic and
dangerous inputs and reducing
emissions and waste during

Understand your own
environmental impacts.
Air, water, solid waste and toxic
Use best practices.
Reduce problematic chemicals
by looking into green chemistry
or green engineering.
Invest in closed-loop systems
and look for opportunities to
reuse or eliminate wastes.
Request supplier certifications.
Packaging and/or product is made
from materials healthy in all
probable end-of-life scenarios.
It refers to the use, presence and
release of harmful substances
to humans and the environment
throughout the entire life-cycle
including disposal or recovery.
Release or accumulation of
problematic substances in the
biosphere and in our bodies is the
subject of increasing concern.

Be proactive about developing
Help your customers understand
the impacts or benefits of your
materials in all end-of-life
Know the chemistry of the
Understand the potential adverse
human and environmental health
affects of your package from
manufacture to end-of-life.

Select and specify the safest
materials available.
Stay current with materials bans,
restricted substances lists, and
Develop tools and
methodologies to assess material
Transparent communication of
material characteristics.
Packaging and/or product is
physically designed to optimize
materials and energy. Design
decisions can influence the extent
to which a package ultimately
becomes waste or a resource for
future generations. Design is the
critical point that determines how
efficiently resources are used.

Implement design for
environment strategies, e.g.
source reduction or redesigning
for recycling.
Develop internal design
guidelines within the product
development process.
Design packaging that
optimizes the use of energy
and materials.
Understand the energy and
environmental profiles of your
packaging materials.
Consider the end-of-life
Packaging and/or product is
physically designed to optimize
materials and energy. Design
decisions can influence the extent
to which a package ultimately
becomes waste or a resource for
future generations. Design is the
critical point that determines how
efficiently resources are used.

Implement design for
environment strategies, e.g.
source reduction or designing
for recycling.
Develop internal design
guidelines within the product
development process.
Design packaging that
optimizes the use of energy
and materials.
Understand the energy and
environmental profiles of your
packaging materials.
Consider the end-of-life
Packaging and/or product is
effectively recovered and utilized
in biological and/or industrial
cradle-to-cradle cycles. Creating
the collection and recycling
infrastructure necessary to
close the loop on the package
and product materials. These
materials provide valuable
resources for the next generation
of production. Building the
appropriate systems for effective
materials management is critical
to the development of sustainable

Support the use of recycled
Work to develop and support
new avenues for collection and
Collaborate with area
recycling centers to develop
clean streams of feedstock.
Partner with innovative
programs or technologies that
incentivize post-consumer
As you can see from summary,
there is no product or process that
currently meets the definition of
100% sustainable. But it can provide a
framework for the development of your
own sustainability program.

Whether you are focusing on recycled
or bio materials, branding and
marketing your sustainable product,
reduction of your energy use or
improving your operations through
Lean Six Sigma practices, you can find
the tools and resources you need at the
2009 SPE Thermoforming Conference.
The Conference will be held September
19th – 22nd in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
and is a must-see conference for
anyone interested in discovering how to
sustain your business in an increasingly
challenging environment.


Thermoforming QUArTerLY 23

Need help
with your

technical school
or college

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:

Start by completing the application
forms at www.thermoformingdivision.
com or at x

24 Thermoforming QUArTerLY



Thermoforming QUArTerLY 25

Our mission is
to facilitate the
advancement of
through education,
promotion and

SPE National
Executive Director

Susan Oderwald
Direct Line: 203/740-5471
Fax: 203/775-8490

Conference Coordinator

Gwen Mathis
6 S. Second Street, SE
Lindale, Georgia 30147
Fax: 706/295-4276


26 Thermoforming QUArTerLY

Thermoforming Division

Board Meeting
2008 – 2009

February 17 – 22, 2009
IndIan Wells, Ca

June 18 – 21, 2009 – nPe & anTeC
ChICago, Il

Board meetings are open to members
of the thermoforming industry.

If you would like to attend as a guest of the
board, please notify Division Secretary, Mike
Sirotnak, at

Become a
Quarterly Sponsor
in 2009!

Do you like the
new look?

Additional sponsorship

opportunities will

include 4-color, full

page, and 1/2 page.


Call or email

Laura Pichon
Ex-Tech Plastics

IN 2009!




Thermoforming QUArTerLY 27


Quarterly Deadlines for
Copy and Sponsorships


15-JAN Spring 15-APR Summer

31-JUL Fall 15-OCT Winter

Conference Edition Post-Conference

All artwork to be sent in
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minimum 300dpi resolution.



28 Thermoforming QUArTerLY


2008 – 2010


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


Ken Griep
Portage Casting & Mold
2901 Portage Road
Portage, WI 53901
(608) 742-7137
Fax (608) 742-2199


James Alongi
Maac Machinery
590 Tower Blvd.
Carol Stream, IL 60188
(630) 665-1700
Fax (630) 665-7799


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


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


Walt Walker
Prent Corporation
P. O. Box 471, 2225 Kennedy Road
Janesville, WI 53547-0471
(608) 754-0276 x4410
Fax (608) 754-2410


Brian Ray
Chair Elect
Ken Griep
Bob Porsche
Technical Committees
Walt Speck
Jim Armor
Don Kruschke
Mike Sirotnak
Dennis Northrop
Publications /
Laura Pichon
Newsletter Editor
Conor Carlin
Technical Editor
Barry Shepherd
Lola Carere
James Alongi
Rich Freeman
Student Programs
Ken Griep
Roger Kipp
Prior Chair
Walt Walker
2008 Conference
Dennis Northrop
Don Hylton
2009 Conference
Phil Barhouse
2010 Conference
Grand Rapids
Clarissa Schroeder
Conference Coordinator
Gwen Mathis
Haydn Forward
Roger Fox
Hal Gilham
Web Site
Rich Freeman
Green Committee
Steve Hasselbach





Thermoforming QUArTerLY 29

James Alongi Jim Armor (Chair)
Maac Machinery Armor & Associates
590 Tower Blvd. 16181 Santa Barbara Lane
Carol Stream, IL 60188 Huntington Beach, CA 92649
T: 630.665.1700 T: 714.846.7000
F: 630.665.7799 F: 714.846.7001
Roger Fox Phil Barhouse
The Foxmor Group Spartech Packaging
373 S. Country Farm Road Technologies
Suite 202 100 Creative Way
Wheaton, IL 60187 PO Box 128
T: 630.653.2200 Ripon, WI 54971
F: 630.653.1474 T: 920.748.1119 F: 920.748.9466
Hal Gilham
Productive Plastics, Inc. Donald Hylton
103 West Park Drive McConnell Company
Mt. Laurel, NJ 08045 646 Holyfield Highway
T: 856.778.4300 Fairburn, GA 30213
F: 856.234.3310 T: 678.772.5008
Bill Kent Bill McConnell
Brown Machine McConnell Company
330 North Ross Street 3030 Sandage Street
Beaverton, MI 48612 PO Box 11512
T: 989.435.7741 Fort Worth, TX 76110
F: 989.435.2821 T: 817.926.8287 F: 817.926.8298
Don Kruschke (Chair)
Stopol, Inc. Dennis Northrop
31875 Solon Road Avery Dennison Performance Films
Solon, OH 44139 650 W. 67th Avenue
T: 440.498.4000 Schererville, IN 46375
F: 440.498.4001 T: 219.322.5030 F: 219.322.2623
Brian Winton
Modern Machinery Laura Pichon
PO Box 423 Ex-Tech Plastics
Beaverton, MI 48612 PO Box 576
T: 989.435.9071 11413 Burlington Road
F: 989.435.3940 Richmond, IL 60071 T: 847.829.8124
F: 815.678.4248
Clarissa Schroeder
Invista S.A.R.L
1551 Sha Lane
Spartanburg, SC 29307
T: 864.579.5047
F: 864.579.5288

Board of Directors

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

T: 858.273.9620
F: 858.273.6837
Lola Carere
1600 Cross Point Way
Suite D
Duluth, GA 30097

T: 678.957.3220
F: 678.475.1747
Haydn Forward
Specialty Manufacturing Co.
6790 Nancy Ridge Road
San Diego, CA 92121

T: 858.450.1591
F: 858.450.0400
Richard Freeman
Freetech Plastics
2211 Warm Springs Court
Fremont, CA 94539

T: 510.651.9996
F: 510.651.9917
Ken Griep
Portage Casting & Mold
2901 Portage Road
Portage, WI 53901

T: 608.742.7137
F: 608.742.2199
Steve Hasselbach
CMI Plastics
222 Pepsi Way
Ayden, NC 28416

T: 252.746.2171
F: 252.746.2172
Bret Joslyn
Joslyn Manufacturing
9400 Valley View Road
Macedonia, OH 44056

T: 330.467.8111
F: 330.467.6574
Stephen Murrill

Profile Plastics

65 S. Waukegan
Lake Bluff, IL 60044

T: 847.604.5100 x29
F: 847.604.8030
Robert G. Porsche
General Plastics
2609 West Mill Road
Milwaukee, WI 53209

T: 414.351.1000
F: 414.351.1284
Barry Shepherd
Shepherd Thermoforming
5 Abacus Way
Brampton, ONT L6T 5B7

T: 905.459.4545
F: 905.459.6746
Walt Speck (Chair)
Speck Plastics, Inc.
PO Box 421
Nazareth, PA 18064

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

T: 843.971.7833
F: 843.216.6151
30 Thermoforming QUArTerLY

Thermoforming QUArTerLY 31

Sponsor Index These sponsors enable us to publish Thermoforming Quarterly
Sponsor Index These sponsors enable us to publish Thermoforming Quarterly
n Allen……………………….. 18
n Advanced Ventures in

Technology ……………… 9
n Arkema / Altuglas……….. 18
n Brown Machine…………… 26
n CMT Materials ……………. 27
n Edward D. Segen………… 18
n Future Mold ………………. 25
n GN Plastics ……………….. 25
n GPEC 2009 ……………….. 19
n Kiefel ………………………. 16
n Kydex LLC ……… Back Cover
n KMT Robotic Solutions….. 32
n Maac Machinery………….. 28
n McClarin Plastics…………. 25
n Modern Machinery ………. 25
n Monark…………………….. 26
n NPE2009 ………. Inside Front

and Back Covers
n Onsrud Cutter ……………. 19
n PCI …………………………. 25
n PlastiVan ………………….. 31
n PMC………………………… 28
n Portage Casting & Mold…… 9
n Primex Plastics …………… 16
n Profile Plastics Corp……… 18
n Protherm……………………. 8
n PTi……………………………. 5
n Ray Products……………… 18
n Solar Products……………… 3
n Stopol……………………….. 8
n Tempco ……………………… 9
n Thermwood……………….. 19
n Tooling Technology………. 24
n TPS ………………………… 24
n Ultra-Metric Tool…………. 29
n WECO ……………………….. 5
n Xaloy, Inc. ………………… 24
n Zed Industries……………. 18

32 Thermoforming QUArTerLY

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