Attleboro, Mass. — CMT Materials Inc., the maker of syntactic foam materials for plug-assists used in thermoforming, has expanded production at its headquarters plant in Attleboro.
CMT recently invested in three new ovens, used to cure the foam into solid shapes. Last fall, the company added a second shift and increased production capacity by 30 percent.
During the past nine months, dating to the K 2016 show, the company has had a global increase in new projects, new machinery purchases and new tooling deliveries, said Conor Carlin, CMT's sales and marketing manager.
"We are doing our part to maintain rapid response times for our worldwide network of distributors and customers," he said.
CMT's Hytac material is used by toolmakers and thermoformers around the world. Plug-assists help with pre-stretching of thin-gauge thermoformed parts such as drink cups, coffee pods, fruit trays, barrier trays and horticultural parts.
Carlin said the increased growth is mainly coming from packaging applications in Europe and Asia, as packaging material choices shift toward new, multilayer films. The big drivers in emerging Asian economies are the growing popularity of ready-to-eat meals, changing consumer habits and a growing disposable income, he said.
"These more-complex polymers require more sophisticated plug assists beyond our basic epoxy-structured materials," he said.
CMT Materials will exhibit at the Thin Wall Packaging Asia conference on Sept. 18-19.
In the United States trade show circuit, Hurricane Irma has disrupted two September events, both in Orlando, Fla., where CMT planned to exhibit. The 2017 Thermoforming Conference was canceled by the Society of Plastics Engineers' Thermoforming Division. It will not be rescheduled. The CAMX show, highlighting composites and advanced materials, was canceled, but organizers said CAMX could be rescheduled.
At the last Thermoforming Conference, held in 2016, CMT co-founder Noel Tessier won the Lifetime Achievement Award.