Slide Products Inc., which makes mold releases, mold cleaners, rust preventives, lubricants, purging compounds and other products in Wheeling, Ill., is celebrating its 60th anniversary.
It began in 1953, when a young man named Percy Harms was selling steel to mold builders when he saw a need in the young plastics and injection molding industry—helping them prevent plastic parts from sticking in the mold. Harms approached a cousin who was working in the rapidly growing aerosol industry. His idea: Put silicone oil in an aerosol can.
That evolved into the first mold release, and the foundation for the new Percy Harms Corp. Hundreds of innovations followed.
His sons, Jim and Henry, joined the growing company in 1953. In 1993, the firm changed its name to Slide Products, adopting the name of one of its most popular product lines and the nickname already used by its customers and distributors.
“These giveaways are our way of thanking customers for 60 years of success,” said Slide Products President Michael Muth. “In the early years, we had some tough times where a production run was fewer than 100 cans. But as the industry grew, so did the demand for new formulations that addressed new production issues.”
Among Slide Products’ innovations was a move to eliminate chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) from all their products. And after the Environmental Protection Agency issued its final decision in September 2011 that characterized trichloroethylene (TCE), a commonly used chlorinated solvent, as carcinogenic, the company eliminated those substances.
Not a single product in the entire line has any type of chlorinated solvent, officials said.
The company will continue to provide one-on-one service over the next six decades, Muth said.
“When a customer calls, they’ll still get a real person answering the phone who can answer their question or put them in touch with someone who can,” he said.