"You know that if you use recycled material, it has odd colors. It's gray, you know, and we were thinking about how can we make that look a little better," he said. "And we thought about a possibility where we can put an additional outside layer to a product that doesn't look very nice."
That leads to the company's innovation, called Fading Color, making its debut at K 2019. BBM developed a die technology to coextrude an outside layer over the inner layer of recycled material. The outside layer can use recycled or virgin resin.
The outer layer can be either recycled or virgin plastic.
"We can place the colored parts in every section of the parison," Schulte said.
He said BBM is selling Fading Color technology for use on any brand of accumulator-head blow molders. Fading Color, of course, is not limited to the big plastic woman.
"Think about parts like a blow molded chair. If you could have a color change from blue to white or black to white on the chair," Schulte said.
Schulte, an electrical engineer, founded BBM in 1997, after working at companies including Moog Inc. and B&W Blowmolding Systems.
BBM did not mold any giveaways at its first two K shows, in 2001 and 2004. Meanwhile, the company introduced its first all-electric blow molder in 2006. Today, all of its machines with clamping force up to 150 tons are fully electric. Above that, the company builds hybrid presses that combine electric and hydraulic power.
When BBM leaders first decided to mold an item to hand out — a garden gnome at the 2007 K show — the reason was purely economic.
"Because, at the exposition, the problem is, the organizer, they charge you by the volume of waste that you produce. And whenever we have a big machine, we like to produce as big as possible part, and if people don't take it away, we have to pay for it, to the organizer," Schulte said. "It was really a financial thing.