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

Plastics News Now: Polystyrene helps spur honey production

December 18, 2014 6:00 am ET

Bee farmers are crediting polystyrene with an increase in honey production, plastic toymakers lament shipping delays and plastic bag ban backers are...    More

Image

Indian auto parts maker set to buy assets in Germany, Mexico

December 18, 2014 10:35 am ET

Indian auto parts maker Samvardhana Motherson Gropup is buying the assets of insolvent German plastics car parts producer Scherer & Trier (S&T).    More

Image

Bubbles add some flair to 'Plain Jane' PET bottles

December 17, 2014 1:05 pm ET

Ron Puvak and the folks over at Plastic Technologies Inc. see big things coming from some very tiny bubbles.    More

Image

Shipping slowdowns add to season's stress

December 16, 2014 4:02 pm ET

Toy companies know what they want for Christmas: an end to crippling shipping delays at West Coast ports.    More

Image

Milacron opening Mexico technical center, considers another in Brazil

December 16, 2014 12:58 pm ET

Milacron LLC plans to officially open a new technical center in Querétaro, 140 miles northwest of Mexico City, early in 2015, and the company is consi...    More

Market Reports

Flexible Packaging Trends in North America

Our latest RESEARCH report examines trends in FLEXIBLE PACKAGING impacting the North American market including a review of economic conditions, key drivers of growth, materials pricing, M&A activity, sustainability challenges and the outlook for 2015.

Learn more

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 billion 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

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

October 27, 2015 - October 29, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - New York - 2015

More Events