"We tend to jump on things early," says John Kittredge. "F-K has been a pioneer in a number of things. Our earliest example was converting HDPE margarine tubs to ABS. After that we were a leader in thermoforming polypropylene, and then APET." Now it's PLA biopolymer.
NPE had its share of innovations in thermoforming, notably a new machine that opens the small-bottle market to thermoformers. New trim stations offer more in the way of output and versatility. And more machines are now outfitted with off-the-shelf controls to facilitate servicing. A line of formers from Australia also arrived in the U.S. (Note: additional NPE thermoforming news appeared in May and June—see Learn More box.)
Energy efficiency is one of the “hot” topics of the 21st century and plastics processors around the world are trying to come to terms with it.
Inventory management may be too important to be left to people.
A new continuous roll-fed machine for high-precision forming and a flexible pressure former for prototyping were among the highlights of the recent 18th Annual SPE Thermoforming Conference in Minneapolis.