The Plastics Hall of Fame's class of 2009 covers a global spectrum of leaders in materials, machinery, screws and packaging.
The Hall of Fame will induct the nine new members June 22 at NPE2009 in Chicago.
The inductees are:
Barr is credited with major advances in screw technology, large-part blow molding machines and extrusion. His barrier-type extruder screw, since the patent expired in the 1980s, is the most commonly used screw design in extrusion, injection molding and blow molding.
As research and development manager at the Waldron Hartig division of Midland-Ross Corp., Barr in the mid-1960s obtained the U.S. patent for the first commercially available barrier-type screw.
Barr and several colleagues formed Barr Polymer Systems Inc. in 1972 to develop blow molding machinery. He oversaw development of an accumulator-head machine. Two years later, the firm was sold to the Uniloy Division of Hoover Ball and Bearing Co., now part of Milacron Inc.
Barr and Chan Chung founded Robert Barr Inc. in Virginia Beach, Va., in 1976. They patented the first solid/melt mixing screw for extrusion, the ET (for energy transfer), in 1982. Then in 2003, Barr developed an improvement on the ET screw, called the VBET (variable barrier energy transfer).
Paul N. Colby
Colby founded Spirex Corp. in 1978. As president from 1978 until 1998, he built Spirex into one of the world's largest screw and barrel makers. Innovations by the Youngstown, Ohio-based firm include vented-barrel screws for injection molding and new developments in screw and barrel cladding.
He has been active in the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc., Society of Plastics Engineers and the Plastics Pioneers Association. He co-founded SPI's Machinery Components Division.
Colby's plastics career began at Winner Manufacturing Co. in the early 1950s, where as a young engineer, he designed, built and helped test a reinforced-plastic pontoon bridge for the U.S. Army.
Colby took a sales position at Union Carbide Corp. then moved to machinery, working at extruder builder Sterling Extruder Corp. and Davis-Standard Corp. As a manufacturers' rep, he sold Lombard and Farrel injection molding presses. In 1966, he became product manager, then sales manager, at extruder maker Prodex Corp., and he helped move that company from New Jersey to Mount Gilead, Ohio, when it merged with HPM Corp. But he left HPM in 1970 to become vice president of sales and engineering, and then general manager, at Feed Screws Inc., which later became New Castle Industries Inc.
Colby left New Castle to found Spirex in 1978. He is now chairman of the family-owned business.
In a 41-year career, Evans rose from humble beginnings in 1967 as a lab assistant at the plastics division of Metal Box R.S.A to become chairman of Johannesburg-based Nampak Ltd., South Africa's packaging company.
Originally a paper packaging firm, Nampak expanded into plastics when it acquired Metal Box in 1983. By that time, Evans was managing director of the plastics division. In 1985, he became divisional chief executive of the merged plastics divisions of Nampak and Metal Box.
He became chairman of Nampak in 2003.
In the late 1970s, Evans negotiated and managed the first PET bottle for beverages outside of the U.S., for Coca-Cola Co.
Evans became a well-known proponent of plastics packaging in the region, speaking at conferences in South Africa and Zimbabwe.
The Black Management Forum gave him a special award as Most Progressive Chief Executive in South Africa, to recognize his leadership in the transition from apartheid to democracy under Nelson Mandela.
Galli is an Italian expert in catalyst technology who is described as one of the giants of polyolefins, along with Karl Ziegler and Giulio Natta. Galli developed technology that led to today 142 polypropylene plants using the Spheripol process, eight polyethylene plants using the Spherilene process and four Catalloy plants around the world.
Galli started his career in 1962 as a researcher at Montecatini, a unit of the Italian conglomerate Montedison SpA. Natta was his supervisor. He rose through the ranks in R&D, ending as president of the Montell Technology unit of Montell Polyolefins BV. He retired from Montell in 1999.
Currently, Galli is scientific adviser for Borealis Polyolefine GmbH of Vienna.
Galli invented highly efficient catalyst systems and discovered basic principles of catalysts-to-polymer replication, which made possible novel polyolefin materials. He created processes for Spheripol, Spherilene, Catalloy and Spherizone technologies.
He created a world-class polyolefin research center in Ferrara, Italy, which he headed for many years.
Hendry is widely regarded as the father of gas-assisted injection molding technology. He holds more than 20 patents.
Much of his career predated gas-assisted molding. In 1938, Hendry got a job running compression molding machines for Burroughs Adding Machine Co., and then became apprentice mold designer. In the 1940s, he worked at Electric Autolite in Bay City, Mich., and Pro-phy-lac-tic Brush Co. in Florence, Mass. He adapted injection presses to mold critical military applications.
Hendry patented the first press that could mold unplasticized PVC, and co-owned a maker of PVC pipe fittings and valves.
As vice president of equipment for Borg Warner Corp.'s Marbon Chemical Division from 1959-70, he worked on the emerging structural foam molding process, gaining several patents. He moved to Ex-Cell-O Corp. from 1970-81, where he began to focus on methods for low-pressure molding that would be free of sink marks and strain the start of internal gas-assisted molding.
He started a small company in Detroit in 1981 to develop gas-assisted molding.
Hendry's expertise in gas-assisted technology has taken him to several companies since then, including Cinpres Gas Injection Ltd., Gain Technologies Inc. and Sajar Plastics Inc.
Noble is a co-founder in 1961 of Carlew Chemicals, which later became Synergistics Industries Ltd., a compounder in Mississauga, Ontario.
He brought his previous experience in vinyl and polyolefins to the tiny company, where he became president and chief executive officer. The company grew to include four plants in Canada and two in the United States.
Noble pioneered plasticizers in flexible compounds, and cross-linked PE, in the wire and cable industry.
He supported long-term research at the University of McGill in Montreal and the National Research Council of Canada.
Noble became president of the Society of Plastics Engineers the first non-American to hold that office.
Noble also was active in SPI Canada, which became the Canadian Plastics Industry Association. He is a member of the Plastics Pioneers Association.
Schwarz helped expand his father-in-law's mechanical engineering company into a global leader in injection molding machinery manufacturing, now called Engel Holding GmbH in Schwertberg, Austria.
Ludwig Engel had formed his company in 1945. In 1951, Schwarz married Ludwig's daughter, Irene Engel and joined Ludwig Engel KG. Engel came out with its first injection molding press the following year. Schwarz became head of sales, building up a global sales networks to expand beyond Austria.
After Ludwig Engel's death, George and Irene Schwarz took over the management in 1965. Engel had about 380 employees.
Schwarz improved manufacturing, investing in state-of-the-art factories and cost-effective production methods.
Today, Engel's employment has grown to more than 3,700 people in 85 countries. Group sales were $983 million in the 2007/2008 fiscal year.
The Schwarz family continues to own Engel. Schwarz retired from day-to-day involvement in 2003.
Swain, who founded color concentrates maker Chroma Corp. in 1967, is also known for patenting technology and industry activism. Today he is managing director of the Plastics Pioneers Association.
A chemical engineer, he worked at Union Carbide Corp.'s Bakelite Division, in 1951. He later was assigned to the Vinyl Fellowship at the Mellon Institute in Pittsburgh. His innovations included the first commercial use of polypropylene in steering wheels by Ford Motor Co.
As reciprocating-screw injection molding presses became more popular in the mid-1960s, Swain was witnessing the birth of the domestic masterbatch industry. He started Chroma with three employees.
Swain developed more-concentrated masterbatches, creating more affordable forms of color.
Chroma, based in McHenry, Ill., grew into a two-plant operation employing 125.
In the early 1990s, Swain took on what he termed junk science about heavy metals in pigments, defending the color industry by writing articles and delivering technical presentations.
Swain is a longtime member of SPE, where he was active in starting the Rotational Molding Division.
He served on SPI's board of directors for six years, and helped found SPI's Color and Additive Compounders Division.
Witenhafer pioneered technical achievements at B.F. Goodrich Co. that helped save the PVC industry after it was discovered that vinyl chloride monomer causes cancer.
In 1969, Goodrich's plant physician at its Louisville, Ky., plant called a news conference to announce that several workers had acquired a rare form of liver cancer. These were workers who entred the PVC suspension polymerization reactors after each batch and scraped polymer buildup off the walls. The doctor announced the VCM was a likely human carcinogen.
Goodrich's board of directors created an emergency project to solve the problem. The team included Witenhafer, a scientist in the PVC polymerization research and development group.
The team thoroughly studied PVC production, looking at ways to eliminate emissions and reduce the residual, un-reacted VCM to very low concentrations before it left the plant.
Witenhafer made the key innovations to solve both of those problems.
He worked for Goodrich for 20 years and SC Johnson & Son Inc. as manager of polymer research for five years before starting a consulting business in 1992.