CHICAGO — Techform Inc. customers get their thermoformed packaging on time, even if President Richard Wimbish has to take to the skies to deliver it himself. Techstar, his Machen Superstar 700 airplane, was refurbished recently, with new engines and a paint job.
``I use it to visit customers, to make sales calls, to expedite an occasional delivery,'' said Wimbish, who flies the plane himself.
The Mount Airy, N.C., firm is set to expand by mid-1997, when it will add a new thermoformer and edge folding machine, an investment of $300,000-$400,000, Wimbish said in an interview during Pack Expo in Chicago.
The 33-year-old company started out pressure forming oriented polystyrene packaging for men's hosiery, a blister pack with three compartments that snapped into a box. Now Techform makes precision packaging both for consumer products and the medical market, using a host of materials, including high-impact PS, PET and PVC for clamshells, trays and blisters.
Keeping its equipment updated is an ongoing concern, and in 1986, the firm installed its first computerized controls to help make quick tooling changes, Wimbish said.
In April 1995, the company became ISO 9001 certified.
The new thermoformer will have a larger bed size for larger clamshells for consumer products, he said.
At its 55,000-square-foot plant, Techform operates 12 thermoformers and employs about 50. Also a contract packager, the company hires temporary help for that business, which ``requires a massive effort for a short time,'' Wimbish said. He would not disclose sales.