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Plastics Hall of Fame to honor six leaders

By: Bill Bregar

February 25, 2014

Six new members of the Plastics Hall of Fame will be inducted posthumously at Antec 2014--including pioneers in materials, packaging, tooling and machinery.

The induction ceremony will take place in Las Vegas on April 27 during Antec, the annual technical conference of the Society of Plastics Engineers. The Plastics Hall of Fame is administered by the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. and the Plastics Academy.

New posthumous members are:

Robert L. Banks and John P. Hogan. Their ground-breaking discovery of crystalline polypropylene on June 5, 1951, led to the development of a new catalytic process for making a high density polyethylene and launched a new family of polyolefin plastics that included both the polypropylenes and polyethylenes.

Earnest C. Bernhardt. He was the quintessential plastics engineer devoting his life's work to the development of process applications for the injection molding and extrusion of engineering materials. Bernhardt contributed to a number of globally known companies including BASF AG and DuPont Co. Bernhardt also wrote and contributed to a number of publications on the advancement of the plastics industry.

Frederick N. Biesecker. He was one of the early pioneers in the plastic bottle industry. Along with his wife, the visionary entrepreneur enabled the growth of Drug Plastics and Glass Co. from humble beginnings to a world-recognized healthcare company.

Willi Müller. The German tool and die maker, whose plastics industry career ran more than 60 years, started W. Müller KG where he developed industry-changing extrusion heads that revolutionized the blow molding industry.

Hans Reifenhäuser. He helped refine and develop the modern-day extruder for use in a multitude of processes, bringing his namesake German company, Reifenhäuser GmbH & Co. Maschinenfabrik, a major manufacturer of extrusion equipment.

"The Plastics Hall of Fame inductees recognizes individuals who have a strong record of consistent dedication and extraordinary accomplishments, and who contributed to the stature and growth of the plastics industry," said Jay Gardiner, president of The Plastics Academy. "It is truly the highest honor to be bestowed on anyone who has served in the plastics industry. These individuals were true innovators who dedicated their lifelong careers to advancing plastics innovation."

Gardiner is president of Gardiner Plastics, of Port Jefferson Station, N.Y.