INDEPENDENCE, OHIO - SPE's Thermoforming Division has tapped James L. Blin, a 36-year plastics veteran and chief executive of Triangle Plastics Inc., as Thermoformer of the Year. The division will honor Blin's achievement at its annual conference, to be held Sept. 17-19, at the Holiday Inn in Independence, near Cleveland.
Blin founded Triangle in 1965 when he landed his first thermoforming job, a carrying case for veterinarians. To make the case,he built a machine from ingenuity and necessity, using a truck gas tank for vacuum storage, a milking pump for vacuum and plywood frames with hand clamps to hold the sheet. A kitchen stove supplied the heat.
Today his firm, based in Independence, Iowa, is one of North America's largest makers of cus-tom heavy-gauge thermoformed parts, with five plants and 1994 sales of $40 million.
Blin said he believes the last five years have been the most exciting in the thermoforming industry. The development of machines capable of doing pressure forming and twin-sheet forming have opened up tremendous opportunities, he said.
Blin will accept his award at a dinner Sept. 18 during the Society of Plastics Engineers' 1995 Thermoforming Conference.
Two days of sessions head its agenda. Topics will include energy management, maintaining equipment, thermoforming foam, retrofitting heating systems, electromagnetic interference shielding, tooling for roll-fed machinery and setting up a clean room.
Keynote speaker is William J. Tobin, who will discuss ``Perfect parts, on time, all the time, every time. What everybody wants (How to do it).'' Tobin heads WJT Associates, plastics industry consultants based in Louisville, Colo.
The conference ends Sept. 19, with attendees choosing between a day of plant tours or technology seminars.
On the tour list are several plants as well as the University of Akron's Polymer Science Institute.
Seminar topics will cover the seven fundamentals of thermoforming - part design, resin, sheet and film, heating, thermoforming, trimming and plant environment; basic methods - vacuum, pressure, mechanical, pre-stretch, slip and twin-sheet forming; and troubleshooting.
Advance registration runs until Aug. 31 and costs $250 per person. Those registering on-site pay $275. The fee includes breakfasts, lunches and dinners.
For more information, call conference chair Jim Throne at (216) 273-6463.
To register, contact SPE's Deb Cawley in Brookfield, Conn., at (203) 775-0471.