Blendtec improves quality, development time with in-house injection molding

By Rhoda Miel
News Editor

Published: March 25, 2014 1:35 pm ET
Updated: March 25, 2014 2:13 pm ET

Image By: Blendtec Inc. Blendtec Inc. does nearly all of the manufacturing of its blenders at its plant in Orem, Utah.

Related to this story

Topics Consumer Products, Injection Molding

CHICAGO — About 10 years ago, as the makers of K-Tec Inc.’s Blendtec line of professional blenders prepared to enter the consumer blender market, company leaders decided they wanted to change the way they made their machines as well.

“We really wanted to take control of our quality, and who cares more about our quality than we do?” said Craig Taylor, CEO of Orem, Utah-based Blendtec during a March 16 interview at the International Home + Housewares Show in Chicago.

That in turn led them to bringing nearly all production in house, including developing in-house injection molding capabilities that allowed Blendtec to reshore manufacturing previously done in China.

The change was a big challenge, Taylor said. Orem is not exactly a plastics processing hotbed, so the company had to build up its staff and expertise, while also adding capabilities in metals and even the ability to build its electronic motherboards in house.

Blendtec now has nine injection molding presses at its 280,000-square-foot facility along with auxiliary and automation equipment. Out of the 350 employees, 10 percent are engineers, said public relations director Tim Provost.

The change is paying off, not just in quality control, the company says, but in faster speed to market.

For its newest blenders, the company wanted to make a slight change to the shape of its jar, which is molded from Eastman Chemical Co.’s Tritan copolyester. With molding right on the same property as design and engineering, Blendtec brought the new shape into production within two months.

“We can bring it to market quickly because we control everything,” Provost said.

At IHHS, the company introduced new blenders with an organic LED touch screen, with the potential for more than 100 different speed and power settings.

Blendtec operates at a higher end of the consumer line than its mass market competitors, with blenders priced from $299 to $999, but it is seeing growth from consumers who use its blenders as a replacement for juicers, because of the improved blade design and power within its products, Provost said.

Its blenders can also grind coffee and wheat.

Blendtec’s founder, Tim Dickson, has even become an Internet star with a video series called “Will It Blend?” in which he uses a Blendtec to grind up everything from marbles to soft drinks (still in the can) and even iPhones and iPads. The series grew out of Dickson’s own version of quality control testing, looking for things that would break one of his blenders.


Comments

Blendtec improves quality, development time with in-house injection molding

By Rhoda Miel
News Editor

Published: March 25, 2014 1:35 pm ET
Updated: March 25, 2014 2:13 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Gerresheimer opens first development center in China

October 24, 2014 1:34 pm ET

Medical molder Gerresheimer AG has launched a development center for medical plastic systems in Dongguan, China.    More

Image

German export sales strong, push for energy savings continues

October 24, 2014 12:34 pm ET

Germany is the engine that drives the European economy — and when it comes to the plastics industry, German machinery is a potent force, an...    More

Image

SRG opens second China auto parts factory

October 24, 2014 11:25 am ET

U.S. automotive supplier SRG Global Inc. said Oct. 23 it is opening its second plant in China, an injection molding, plating and painting facility in ...    More

Image

Plastics News Now: Arburg's 3-D printing machine hitting the market

October 23, 2014 9:03 am ET

Chrysler is hiding design elements in parts, Amcor teams up with Method for a molding and filling plant and Arburg's Freeformer attracts attention at ...    More

Image

Sales, orders climbing for Wittmann Battenfeld

October 22, 2014 4:04 pm ET

Equipment maker Wittmann Battenfeld GmbH expects sales this year to increase 7 percent, to 295 million euros, as it said some key markets, including i...    More

Market Reports

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

This report analyzes the $20 million dollar plastics industry in Mexico including sales of machinery & equipment, resins and finished products.

Our analysts provide insight on business trends, foreign investment, top end markets and plastics processing activity. The report also provides important data on exports, production, employment and value of plastics products manufactured.

Learn more

Plastics Caps & Closures Market Report

The annual recap of top trends and future outlook for the plastics caps & closures market features interviews with industry thought leaders and Bill Wood’s economic forecast of trends in growing end markets. You will also gain insight on trends in caps design, materials, machinery, molds & tooling and reviews of mergers & acquisitions.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events