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
Companies & Associations

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

Wittmann Battenfeld betting on big for future sales

April 24, 2015 12:34 pm ET

Five hundred visitors packed into MacroPower Days, about twice as many as Wittmann Battenfeld GmbH officials initially expected — proof, they...    More

Image

Plastics News Now: Ontario ditches paper for plastic

April 23, 2015 9:32 am ET

Ontario, Canada, moves to polymer-based birth certificates, Adidas tackles plastic ocean waste, and a year's worth of bloopers.    More

Image

Schaefer-Weaton focuses on recruiting, training talent

April 22, 2015 1:03 pm ET

Lori Schaefer-Weaton, the daughter of company founder Dick Smith, has taken the reins of Agri-Industrial Plastics Co. Schaefer-Weaton is 19 months...    More

Image

NPE reflects the pains of China's transitioning industry

April 21, 2015 6:00 am ET

More than 400 exhibitors came all the way from China to Orlando for NPE 2015, representing more than a fifth of total exhibitors. But the...    More

Image

Nylon 6/6 supplies might tighten as force majeure declared

April 20, 2015 1:37 pm ET

Invista declares force majeure on nylon 6/6 and feedstocks, and update on force majeure issues in Europe. Plus management changes at Star Thermoplasti...    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

Injection Molding Market Analysis & Processor Rankings

Plastics News BUNDLED package contains our in-depth Market Analysis of the Injection Molding segment. You will gain keen insight on current trends and our economic outlook.

As a BONUS this includes PN's updated 2014 database of North American Injection Molders RANKED by sales volume. Sort, merge, mail & prospect by end market, materials processed, region, # of plants and more.

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

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

September 15, 2015 - September 17, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events