SAN DIEGO - Allen Carmien continues to gain recognition for his contributions to the growth of the plastics industry with his election this year to the Western Plastics Pioneer Hall of Fame at the annual meeting of the Western Section of the Society of the Plastics Industry, held May 9-11 in San Diego. Two years ago, Carmien was named Man of the Year by the Western Section. At age 77, Carmien maintains his daily activities at Nupla Corp. in Sun Valley, Calif., where he manufactures more than 1,200 varieties of hand tools, including shovels, rakes, hoes, axes and sledgehammers, as well as re-placement handles.
As an inventor,Carmien has a long list of patents to his credit, and continues to put new ideas into the marketplace. He got into the fiberglass industry in 1943 at a firm called New Plastic, where he created products for the aircraft industry, including a coated fabric using phenolic resins. North American Aviation used that fabric in fabricating the trim tabs for the P-51 Mustang fighter aircraft used in World War II.
After the war, Carmien bought New Plastic and changed its name to Nupla Corp.
In 1956 he and another West Coast plastics innovator, Brandt Goldsworthy, succeeded in using a new process called pultrusion. He built a pioneering pultrusion machine and began manufacturing handles of pultruded glass fibers.
At Nupla, Carmien manufactures his products using both pultrusion and injection molding, in addition to die casting. The company also has assembly operations in Belgium, England and Australia.