The Society of Plastics Engineers’ Thermoforming Division has named Thomas Haglin its 2019 Thermoformer of the Year.
A native of Brainerd, MN, Haglin began his professional career in sales with Acrometal Companies—Larco Div. in Brainerd after obtaining his bachelor’s degree in management from the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, MN, in 1987.
One of Haglin’s assignments at Acrometal was identifying potential acquisition targets. However, in 1993, Haglin spotted a good acquisition for himself: Shovel Lake Industries in Remer, MN. The company manufactured outdoor air conditioner covers, and after an in-depth analysis of the company’s performance and growth potential, Haglin and his wife purchased it. They were now in the thermoforming business.
In 1994, after building a new facility, the Haglins changed the name of the company by combining his and his wife Ellen’s (nee Darkow) last names—Haglin and Darkow—to create Lindar Corp. Over the past 18 years, Lindar has grown to 175 employees and operates nine roll-fed machines, eight sheet-fed formers, six CNC routers, four robotic routers, one label line and one extrusion line in its 165,000-square-foot plant, driving annual revenues in excess of $35 million.
Haglin’s commitment to innovation has fueled the company’s growth. Patented products and technological breakthroughs include single-serve cupcake and dessert packaging with a built-in freshness seal that are manufactured with recycled and renewable materials. Lindar also pioneered “tamper-obvious, two-piece pie and cake containers featuring tabs that snap into place to secure products on store shelves.” Lindar’s Good Natured products feature bioplastic materials in its single-serve and Simply Secure biodegradable packaging.
Lindar’s Optica lenticular lens extrusion for plastic sheet creates a parallax, making an object’s appearance change when seen from different positions. Optica provides vivid, 3D motion graphic images, creating eye-catching labels for use on salad containers, cereal boxes and other consumer products.
In 2012, Haglin acquired what was then called Lakeland Mold (now Advantech) in Brainerd, a supplier of tooling for the rotational molding and thermoforming industries. Haglin has since made a significant investment in a new, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Baxter Industrial Park, which opened in 2016.
Haglin also established in-house rotational molding capabilities at the recently launched Tri-Ven (Baxter, MN).
Today, Haglin’s businesses employ more than 250 people, and provide an innovative single-source product development solution to the global marketplace.