Barry Shepherd, of Shepherd Thermoforming and Packaging Inc., is the newest Thermoformer of the Year.
The Society of Plastics Engineers' Thermoforming Division will honor Shepherd during its awards dinner to be held with its 24th SPE Thermoforming Conference Aug. 31- Sept. 2 in Atlanta.
“Barry has demonstrated great dedication to the thermoforming industry over the years,” said Mark Strachan, SPE Thermoforming Division chairman, in a statement, “As a forward thinker and a visionary, Barry has a desire to further the industry and has generously and willingly shared his vast knowledge and experience with us.”
Shepherd started his career in the 1960s in sample making and design for several different packaging companies. He joined Kodak Canada in 1970 and was involved in the design of packaging for cameras, film and related products. While at Kodak, he was involved in the development of packaging for Kodachrome slides, an early ground-breaking use of thin-wall injection molding.
During the 1970s and 1980s, Shepherd worked in design and development for several corrugated packaging companies. In 1984, he was introduced to the Alloyd Co., which specialized in thermoforming medical, consumer packaging and sealing equipment. That turned his attention to plastics and blister packaging, and a year later he started his own company.
Shepherd launched Shepherd Packaging in 1985, selling plastic blister packs, trays, clamshells and sealing equipment, as well as other packaging materials. The company entered the heavy-gauge market in 1997, developing a custom thermoformed plastic pallet for Lear Corp.
Shepherd Thermoforming and Packaging opened its 43,000 square foot custom thermoforming facility in Brampton, Ontario, near Toronto, in 2006. The company operates seven thermoforming and two computer numerically controlled milling machines.
Now retired, Shepherd remains active on the board of advisers for the company he founded.
He joined the SPE Thermoforming Division board of directors in 1997 and worked on several committees including the executive committee before retiring from the board in 2010. During his tenure, he was the technical editor of the SPE Thermoforming Quarterly magazine.
Bill Kent of Brown Machine LLC was the 2014 Thermoformer of the Year.