San Diego — Tech II Inc. is pursuing research and development for the thermoforming of in-mold labels of PET and, separately, thermoforming of expanded polypropylene, said Eric Shiffer, CEO of the Springfield, Ohio-based firm.
Other R&D initiatives for Tech II involve the potential uses of injection compression, plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition, biodegradable packaging and radio-frequency-identification technology.
A retail shopper who reacts within two-tenths of a second can make a “first reach” if “something on a shelf grabs your attention,” Shiffer said in remarks at the IMDA symposium. The shape and graphics of a package need to align with the consumer's preconception.
Family-owned Tech II has built its reputation as a major thermoformer of in-mold labels while continuing with its legacy involvement with the injection molding process.
In 2011, Tech II procured four machines from Thermoforming Systems LLC of Union Gap, Wash., near Yakima. Davis-Standard LLC acquired TSL in November.
Subsequently, Tech II has worked with that equipment on 18 commercial products, Shiffer said.
For IML work, thermoforming requires less capital investment than injection molding, he noted. Further, thermoforming is faster to commercialization, has injection molding quality, offers IML-quality graphics and performs better for the high-pressure-pasteurization filling process.
Variable-height tools allow for quick change of injector bottoms.
“It is easier to change package sizes,” he said.
Shiffer said Tech II competes globally for thermoforming IML business with RPC Superfos A/S of Randers, Denmark, and an operation in eastern Russia.
Tech II had 2018 sales of $40 million, employs more than 300 and occupies 500,000 square feet in two facilities in Springfield, and, less than 4 miles away, in Urbana. The injection molding side operates 40 presses of 110-600 tons.