Richard Lloyd Hockmuth, president of American Plastic Machinery Corp., died of pneumonia March 28 at age 46.
An expert in thermoforming, Hockmuth was active in the academic world. He had been chairman of the Plastics Engineering Technical Advisory Committee at Pittsburg State University in Great Bend, Kan., for the past three years.
"We had two advisory meetings a year, and he normally came several days in advance and worked with the students. He helped us with the suppliers and to get molds," said George Graham, professor in the Pittsburg State University plastics engineering program.
Graham added that Hockmuth "developed a thermoforming machine just for our use, and in so doing got other manufacturers involved in upgrading the parts for the machine."
Hockmuth formed American Plastic Machinery Corp. in 1992. The company manufactures thermoforming machines to customer specifications.
He graduated from the University of Massachusetts with a degree in mechanical engineering. Hockmuth worked with thermoplastics and redesigned metal parts and earned several gear patents.
He was a member of the Society of Plastics Engineers, secretary of the Mid-America Manufacturing Technology Center and secretary/treasurer of the Western Kansas Technology Corp.
He is survived by his wife, Susie, and a daughter.