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The Conair Group has appointed Partners Plastics Equipment to represent its full line of plastics auxiliary equipment in New England. The firm is headed by Ed Freier and Fred Charpentier.  The agency, which was founded by Freier, serves customers in the states of Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island. The territory is managed by Conair Regional Manager Roger Hultquist.

PlasticsToday Staff

August 25, 2014

11 Min Read
Names in the News: Conair, Meredith-Springfield, Engel and more

The Conair Group has appointed Partners Plastics Equipment to represent its full line of plastics auxiliary equipment in New England. The firm is headed by Ed Freier and Fred Charpentier.  The agency, which was founded by Freier, serves customers in the states of Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island. The territory is managed by Conair Regional Manager Roger Hultquist.

Ed Freier, who covers Connecticut, Western Massachusetts and Vermont, started in plastics in 1979 and worked for injection molding machine manufacturers Arburg, Van Dorn Demag and Haitian, starting in machine assembly, then moving into a service engineer position and finally entering sales management position in 1995. He opened Partners Plastics Equipment in 2009. Fred Charpentier covers Maine, New Hampshire, Central and Eastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island. He joined Plastics Partners Equipment in 2014. He worked in inside and outside sales for Cincinnati Milacron beginning in 1987, eventually rising to National Sales Manager. From 2009 until he joined Partners Plastics Equipment this year, he was an independent sales representative with Northeast Plastics Equipment and Coastal Plastics Equipment.

Meredith-Springfield Associates Inc., a plastics manufacturer specializing in extrusion blowmolding and injection stretch blowmolding, announced the addition of Drew McNary as director of engineering at the Ludlow-based manufacturing facility.


Drew McNary, director of engineering  

McNary, a resident of Longmeadow, has over 30 years of broad-based industry experience driving the development of highly successful, market-leading consumer products, packaging and medical devices. In his new role at Meredith-Springfield, McNary will oversee all technical functions and staff.

"We are pleased to welcome Drew to our team of plastics professionals and trust that he will apply his knowledge of manufacturing technologies to allow Meredith-Springfield to offer both new and existing customers high quality and sustainable packaging," said Mel O'Leary, Jr., president and chief executive officer of Meredith-Springfield. "Since manufacturers today are cognizant of the environmental benefits that sustainable packaging offers, it is imperative that as we grow, we increase our talented team of engineers, all of whom have hands-on experience and problem solving capabilities."

Prior to joining Meredith-Springfield, McNary applied his leadership and management skills to overseeing the technical and developmental activities of a Chicopee-based company. 

"I look forward to applying my skillset toward building on the stellar reputation Meredith-Springfield has not only in this region, but across the globe," McNary said. "The name Meredith-Springfield is synonymous with quality in plastics engineering and I welcome the opportunity to be a part of such a distinguished team."

McNary joins Dwight Lowe, who assumed the role of director of sales at Meredith-Springfield in April 2012. Lowe, a resident of Belchertown, has over two years of experience in the plastics industry and over 20 years of experience in paper and flexible packaging. Before Meredith-Springfield, Lowe spent over 20 years at MWV Packaging.

"Over the last 30 years, Meredith-Springfield has built an incredible reputation for itself within the plastics industry, and we continue to strive to be the best, not only in the northeast, but across the country," Lowe said. "Drew comes to us with a wide range of industry experience that can be utilized to propel Meredith-Springfield into the future of sustainable plastics packaging."

Engel North America, member of the Engel group, a leader in the design and manufacture of injection molding machines and parts-handling automation, has made additions to its sales and customer support staff. At its Engel West facility in Corona, CA they have added Tony Avaloz as account manager covering Southern California and the Maquiladora area in Mexico, and Eric Fuentes as account manager for Los Angeles, Arizona, southern Nevada. In the Midwest, account manager Travis Kiel has joined the company, covering Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota.

Tony Avaloz joins Engel with 20 years experience in the injection molding industry, beginning his career as a molding and process technician, through positions including molding manager and operations manager for several medical molding manufacturers in Southern California. Tony has a degree in Plastics/Composites Manufacturing Technology from Cerritos College, his white belt certification in Lean Manufacturing, as well as RJG training in Decoupled and Systematic Molding.

Eric Fuentes has held positions in quality engineering, production planning, production and account management for a variety of firms in the plastics industry. Eric has extensive knowledge and experience in the manufacturing processes of specialty plastics for medical product manufacturing, cleanrooms and supply chain management will serve him well as he provides sales support to Engel customers in his territory.  

Travis Kiel Is a graduate of Bemidji State University, Minnesota with Bachelor of Arts in Business Management / International Relations. He is Six Sigma green belt certified, with eight years experience in manufacturing operations and production management.  Travis is a member of SPE and the Twin Cities Rubber Group/ACS.

Liquid Light announced that its co-founder and chief science officer, Emily Cole, was recognized by MIT Technology Review as one of its Innovators Under 35. For over a decade, this award has recognized exceptionally talented technologists whose work has great potential to transform the world. Emily has been recognized for her accomplishments in developing a practical, economic way to convert carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, into major chemicals, like those used to make every day items like plastic bottles and antifreeze.


Emily Cole, co-founder of Liquid Light 

Emily and Liquid Light are advancing this work toward commercial use, developing process technology to electro-catalytically convert CO2to chemicals. Their first process is for the production of ethylene glycol (MEG), used to make PET-based plastic bottles, and their technology can be applied to the production of dozens more chemicals, including propylene, isopropanol, methyl-methacrylate and acetic acid. The overall process was described recently in the MIT Technology Review article: A Cheaper Route for Making Chemicals from CO2.

Emily was selected from hundreds of candidates across a wide range of industries and endeavors. She joins a prestigious group of 'Innovator Alumni' whicthath includes Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the cofounders of Google; Mark Zuckerberg, the cofounder of Facebook; Jonathan Ive, the chief designer of Apple and JB Straubel, the chief technology officer of Tesla Motors.

ACS Group, a manufacturer of auxiliary equipment for the plastics industry, has hired Paul Grekowicz as VP of marketing & product development to support the company's ongoing commitment to enhancing its product lines to meet customer's expanding needs through the AEC, Cumberland and Sterling brands.

In this new role, Paul will focus on enhancing new product development processes and revitalizing marketing efforts to drive increased demand for the company's products. 

"Having been a past customer and user, I know that the AEC, Sterling and Cumberland brands represent a great legacy of dependable equipment that is critical to the manufacturing environment today," Grekowic said. "I am excited to join the ACS team and help drive future growth for the company."

Grekowicz joins an increasingly strong team at ACS Group that is comprised of industry-leading experts in material handling, process cooling, temperature control and size reduction equipment that help customers get the most out of their auxiliary equipment. 

Grekowicz brings more than 15 years of experience in process improvement and product management. After beginning his career at GE Power Systems and taking on roles of increasing responsibility in marketing and operations, he has led significant efforts at leading global companies, including Cooper Power Systems as a global product manager and RF Technologies as the director of product management.

"Paul's significant experience in product management, new product development and lean manufacturing is a significant addition to the team." said Jim Holbrook, President of ACS Group. "His experience with global companies will help us to develop the strategies and processes to deliver the products our customers need to compete in their markets."

Plastics Color Corp. (PCC), a supplier of color concentrates, compounds, custom-functional masterbatches, and other polymer technologies for the plastics industry, announced continued investment in its liquid color business with the appointment of a LiquiSol product manager.

PCC President Joe Bryne is pleased to announce the appointment of Mark Hass as the new LiquiSol product manager. "PCC is dedicated to offering solutions and innovative business approaches for our customers," said Bryne. "This new role will provide additional support to our customers looking to find solutions with liquid color; it is one of many investments PCC continues to make with liquid color."

Hass has over 20 years of experience working in both technical and business development roles with a focus on key accounts. He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Management from David N. Meyers College. Hass will report directly to Dave Minor, North American director of sales, with a dotted line to Timothy Workman, vice president of business development. He will manage the sales and development of the LiquiSol product line.

Cincinnati Process Technologies (CPT), a supplier of machinery, parts, services and technology for the plastics molding industry, has appointed Bob Willenborg as its new territory manager for Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky. Willenborg, who holds both bachelors and masters degrees in business administration from Xavier University, replaces Sales Manager Dane Bales in the region. Bales is opening new sales territory for CPT in the Carolinas, Alabama, Georgia, Florida and Tennessee.

Bob Willenborg, new territory manager 

CPT now employs six sales professionals as it continues to aggressively grow, according to Bales. "The addition of Bob, a seasoned sales professional with over 25 years of experience in the plastics industry, will help us penetrate more markets and help more molders maximize their machinery's productivity and life span."

CPT is a leader in supplying parts and service, new technologies and machine retrofits that extend the usable life of existing molding equipment. Recently CPT retrofitted several large-format 6,000 to 8,000 ton presses. "This is a specialized area of expertise for us," said Bales. "To my knowledge, no one else has the capability to do complete retrofits on these presses from top to bottom like we do." These retrofits save the manufacturers from purchasing new presses by overhauling the controls, software, hydraulics and other major components and returning them to factory specifications.

Before joining CPT Willenborg served in senior sales positions with several packaging and machinery companies, focused mainly in the plastics arena. "I know the products and the customers and am really looking forward to helping CPT grow their business," said Bob. "Our ability to retrofit older molding machines and develop custom hardware and software solutions, provides a competitive edge in the market and a great value to our customers."

Novomer Inc., a sustainable materials company pioneering a family of high-performance polymers and other chemicals from renewable feedstocks such as carbon dioxide (CO2), has appointed Nordmann, Rassmann GmbH, a leading distributor of specialty chemicals, as its authorized distributor of Converge polypropylene carbonate (PPC) polyols in Germany.

Nordmann, Rassmann will distribute commercial quantities of Novomer's new 1000 and 2000 molecular weight Converge PPC polyols for use in polyurethane formulations targeted at adhesive, coatings, sealants, elastomers, and rigid and flexible foams. The distribution agreement represents Novomer's initial commercial entry into the German market.

"We're excited to announce this new distribution agreement with Nordmann, Rassmann which is a leading supplier of polyurethane products and we look forward to expanding our reach into their markets," said Peter Shepard, Chief Business Officer for Novomer Inc. "Nordmann, Rassmann has well-established relationships in the polyurethane industry and the necessary resources that will help us grow our position in Europe."  

In response to strong interest for its new Converge polyols, Novomer is lining up distribution agreements which will accelerate the commercial adoption of its materials. Novomer recently announced the commercial introduction of Converge PPC polyols. Nordmann, Rassmann has a broad distribution product portfolio and extensive knowledge in polyurethanes, according to Shepard. The company will provide all support services including technical marketing, account management, application development, customer service, warehousing, and logistics.

"We welcome this new distribution arrangement and are very pleased to be the exclusive distributor for Converge polyols in Germany," said Gerd Bergmann, managing director of Nordmann, Rassmann. "We look forward to expanding the portfolio options for our customers and securing commercial opportunities for Novomer's innovative CO2 based polyols."

In terms of performance, Novomer's Convergepolyols have a unique polycarbonate backbone which increases the strength and durability of polyurethane products. Incorporating these new polyols into existing formulations yields foams with higher tensile and tear strength, and increased load bearing capacity; adhesives and coatings with improved adhesion, cohesive strength, and weatherability; and elastomers with greater tensile and flexural strength.

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