The Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport, Pa., will unveil its new thermoforming center and expanded plastics wing during an April 7 grand opening. The technology college also will hold its first National Hands-On Thermoforming Seminar April 8-9.
Thermoforming is one area that is growing and has a lot of flexibility in terms of what you can do with it. There are a lot of things in flexible packaging and forming in general.
A lot of folks are excited about this center of excellence for developing technology, said Hank White, director of the plastics manufacturing center at the Pennsylvania college.
The center has been in the planning stages for about a year and a half, White said in a Feb. 2 telephone interview. The grand opening will celebrate the completion of the new plastics facilities after all equipment additions and the center have been completed.
PCT partnered with the Society of Plastics' Engineers Thermoforming Division and several organizations on the national level to complete the project, which includes 1,200 square feet for the thermoforming center and complete testing and design labs. Its services include material and mold trials, material development, process development and troubleshooting, physical and analytical testing and consultation.
This became kind of a national effort, White said. On the local level in Pennsylvania, a not-for-profit economic development group, known as Ben Franklin Technology Partners, played a role in the project.
We have all the latest technology in the field, White said. The center is to be used by thermoformers, sheet extruders, resin suppliers, mold builders and equipment makers.
The machine came from Maac Machinery Corp. in Carol Stream, Ill. It has a 35-ton thermoforming press capable of up to 100 pounds per square inch of form pressure. Each press platen has servo or servo-hydraulic third-motion actuators for accurate plug assisting and additional mold platen movements.
PCT's thermoforming seminar will include 50 percent instruction and 50 percent hands-on training, with expertise from Mark Strachan, president of Global Thermoforming Technologies Inc. of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Jay Waddell, founding partner and key management principal of Plastic Concepts & Innovations LLC of Mount Pleasant, S.C.
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