Published: April 29th, 2010
Quarter-to-quarter investor expectations can dramatically shorten long-term strategic planning, forcing companies interested in the long view to rein in their horizon. In 1990, having hit a wall in its growth, Berry Plastics laid out a new plan that fundamentally rejected the business world’s shortsightedness, and set out to chart the packaging company’s course for the next century. That’s right, a 100-year plan.
Published: April 28th, 2010
Japanese lighting company Furukawa Electric (Tokyo) says its has reduced production costs and improved light output by introducing thermoformed versions of its OptoDesign UniBrite technology for LED applications. Based on its MCPET (microcellular polyethylene terephthalate) reflective sheet technology, Furukawa says UniBrite, when thermoformed into complex shapes, has proven beneficial in backlight LCD TV systems; fluorescent and LED signage; and progressive LED designs. The company says MCPET serves to increase illumination intensity between lamps for more balanced lighting.
Published: April 21st, 2010
One of MPW's recently named Notable Processors, customer thermoformer Prent Corp. (Janesville, WI), has been recognized again, this time winning an AmeriStar Award from the IoPP (Institute of Packaging Professionals) for its "universal package." The new clamshell package is designed to help its medical device customers pack up to 35 different SKUs.
Published: March 25th, 2010
Thermoforming machine manufacturer Kiefel had a tough 2009, but not as tough as it reckons its competitors did, and now its prospects are looking pretty good. That according to Thomas Halletz, managing director at the Freilassing, Germany-based company, spoke with MPW this week at the Medtec show in Stuttgart, Germany.
Published: March 18th, 2010
A technology initially developed to absorb impact in running shoes now protects soldiers, seeing use in everything from helmets and kneepads to blast-limiting sheets and seat cushions, with development of ballistic grades for vests currently under way.
How much protection? During an interview with Mike Buchen, president and CEO of Skydex, at its Centennial, CO headquarters, he covered one hand with the company’s new thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) sheet padding and used the other to repeatedly slam a ballistic helmet into the material. This reporter was convinced.
Published: March 15th, 2010
The Thermoforming division of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) has elected its new board of directors. The new chairman of the board is Ken Griep, VP of Portage, WI-based Portage Casting and Mold Inc., a leading manufacturer of thermoforming tools. His two-year term officially begins in May, when he succeeds Brian Ray, president of industrial parts thermoformer Ray Products Inc. (Ontario, CA).
Published: March 2nd, 2010
Sheet, compounds, and packaging products supplier Spartech Corp. (St. Louis, MO) will open a new technology center in St. Louis, combining its material, product, and packaging development centers into one location. The new center will expand to an 80,000- to 100,000-ft2 facility that Spartech plans to have operational by mid-summer 2010.
Published: February 25th, 2010
Consumer and foodservice packaging major Pactiv has acquired thermoformer PWP Industries from holding company HPC Industries for $200 million. HPC is the holding company run by Leon Farahnik, who just two years ago sold his stake in the world's largest shopping bag processor, Hilex Poly, another company he founded.
Published: February 24th, 2010
Small particles of gas-generating additives infused into the polymer melt during processing can reduce resin requirement by up to 50% and carbon footprint by up to 45%, according to its developer, Polyfil Corp. (Rockaway, NJ). The additives create a microcellular structure (cells less than 100 µm in size) via a chemical reaction that releases a small volume of gas, producing a cellular structure at a size unachievable with present-day chemical foaming agent (CFA) technology.
Published: February 18th, 2010
A new high-clarity, high-gloss, non-stress-whitening olefin capstock material can be directly co-extruded onto polyethylene (PE), creating sheets with a painted plastics appearance for a cost-effective, decorative, and durable thermoformed product. A.