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

Plastic products win Best of IBS awards

January 30, 2015 1:36 pm ET

LAS VEGAS — A year ago, inventor Jeremy Smith of Utah took his idea for an electrical outlet cover plate with LED lights on the bottom edge to...    More

Image

Falcon Plastics expands in South Dakota

January 29, 2015 11:45 am ET

Falcon Plastics Inc. is putting the final touches on a 60,000 square foot addition that will nearly double the size of its Brookings, S.D.,...    More

Image

Plastics News Now: Losing weight with style, plastics in the Dragons' Den

January 29, 2015 6:00 am ET

A 19-year-old entrepreneur brings business to a U.K. injection molder after winning support on TV's Dragons' Den, auto suppliers combine...    More

Image

African equity fund invests in Kenya's General Plastics

January 28, 2015 4:24 pm ET

An African investment fund specializing in agriculture has invested in Kenyan packaging firm General Plastics Ltd. to provide funds to expand in the...    More

Image

Plastics help Volt hit new target

January 28, 2015 1:54 pm ET

The 2016 Volt, unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January, features a sportier exterior design — GM calls it &...    More

Market Reports

Plastics in Automotive: Innovation & Emerging Trends

This special report newly released by PN and sponsored by The Conair Group examines current trends in the use of plastics in automotive, materials innovations and the changing landscape. It includes a review of legislative/regulatory activity impacting vehicle development and lightweighting, market opportunities & challenges for mold and toolmakers, innovative design strategies being implemented by major OEMs and suppliers, as well as a review of key indicators in Canada, Mexico, Brazil and China.

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

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

Upcoming Plastics News Events

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