Peter Bemis, 66, succumbs to cancer

By Robert Grace
Associate Publisher & Business Development Director

Published: October 11, 2013 2:34 pm ET
Updated: October 11, 2013 7:28 pm ET

Related to this story

Topics Housewares, Coinjection
Companies & Associations Bill Carteaux, Society of the Plastics Industry Inc.

SHEBOYGAN FALLS, WIS. — Plastics Hall of Fame member Peter F. Bemis, president, CEO and co-owner of Bemis Manufacturing Co., died of cancer Oct. 9 at his home in Elkhart Lake, Wis. He was 66 years old.

Bemis was already suffering from advanced, Stage 4 adrenal cancer when first diagnosed in March 2012.

He leaves behind a legacy of innovation and a reputation as an industry and civic leader and a forward-thinking processing maven who pushed the boundaries of technology. He joined his family's Sheboygan Falls, Wis.-based company in 1969 as a clerk, processing time cards and job tickets. He soon was promoted to manufacturing manager of the company's seven-press injection molding operations.

He rose through the ranks, and over the years earned 13 process patents, while pioneering the use of coinjection molding and coextrusion. He also introduced statistical process control throughout Bemis in 1975 — years before it was widely employed by plastics processors.

He formed a strong alliance with the plastics machinery maker Milacron Inc. and together the two firms developed and built the world's largest horizontal coinjection molding machine, with a clamping force of 6,600 tons. Bemis used the massive press to mold huge, 8-foot green hoods for John Deere tractors.

The firms teamed up again at the K show in 2007 to demonstrate more gee-whiz technology. During that show in Düsseldorf, Germany, a 450-ton Ferromatik Milacron injection machine ran a $1 million Foboha cube mold to spit out innovative hinges for use on Bemis' own, branded toilet seats. (Bemis Manufacturing pioneered the development of all-plastic, injection molded toilet seats in the 1960s and remains a brand leader today.) This brief video interview with Peter Bemis at K 2007 explains the back story to that hinge's development.

Note: Because this is an older flash-based video, iPhone/iPad users will be unable to view it. Our apologies.

Watch Video: Milacron highlights Bemis Mfg.'s novel toilet-seat hinge

Bemis served on the national and Midwest boards of the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. for many years, was past board chairman of the National Plastics Museum and was inducted into the Plastics Hall of Fame in 2006. His firm was a finalist for Plastics News' Processor of the Year Award and won a 2011 PN Excellence Award for its industry and public service.

"The plastics industry has lost a true legend as well as a friend," said Bill Carteaux, SPI president and CEO. "Peter made significant contributions to our industry, always willing to push the envelope and try different things — hence the coinjection that Bemis is so known for. I was very proud to be able to congratulate Peter when he was inducted into the Plastics Hall of Fame several cycles ago.

"Peter was a huge supporter of SPI," Carteaux continued, "and was actively engaged since 1973 when Bemis Manufacturing Co. joined the association. Peter was elected by his peers in the SPI Processors Council to our Executive Board in 2000 where he held his elected position ever since. Peter will always be remembered for his tremendous passion and innovative thinking."

Bemis Manufacturing — which in addition to bathroom products makes a variety of health-care, industrial and precision custom molded and extruded products — today generates more than $350 million in annual sales, with 1,800 employees in six locations worldwide. The 112-year-old company is equally owned by the families of Peter and Richard Bemis.

Peter Bemis is survived by his wife, Susan, sons Jonathan and Peter ("PK") and daughter, Rebecca.


Comments

Peter Bemis, 66, succumbs to cancer

By Robert Grace
Associate Publisher & Business Development Director

Published: October 11, 2013 2:34 pm ET
Updated: October 11, 2013 7:28 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story

Market Reports

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook North America

This in-depth report provides analysis and discussions of economic and political conditions, market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies. In addition, there are reviews of 25 leading thermoformers in the packaging segment, assessing their growth initiatives and performance metrics over 10 years.

Learn more

Automotive Market Review and Outlook 2014 The Americas

This 75-page report features in-depth analysis of the automotive industry for the Americas. It includes discussions of market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting production and threats as well as design strategies being implemented by the major automakers. Detailed charts and data tables outline North American automotive production over the last five years.

Learn more

Plastics Building & Construction Market Review and Outlook 2014 with MS Excel chart data

This report provides in-depth analysis of the plastic building and construction market for North America, including discussions of trends, opportunities, threats and the latest developments in construction trends that impact plastics processors.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

May 6, 2014 - May 8, 2014Plastics in Medical Devices 2014

May 12, 2014 - May 12, 2014Plastics News Brazil Pharma Summit

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

February 3, 2015 - February 7, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events