ATTLEBORO, Mass., September 5, 2017 – CMT Materials, the leading provider of plug-assist materials for the thermoforming industry, has announced the expansion of production capabilities at its Attleboro, Mass. headquarters to keep pace with global demand for its leading plug-assist products HYTAC® syntactic foam.
“We continue to see a steady increase in orders for our tough, thermoplastic plug materials,” says Conor Carlin, Sales and Marketing Manager for CMT Materials. Over the last nine months, dating back to the 2016 K show last October, the company has seen a global increase in new projects, new machinery purchases, and new tooling deliveries, according to Carlin. “We are doing our part to maintain rapid response times for our worldwide network of distributors and customers.”
Carlin noted that the increased growth is largely focused in packaging applications in Europe and Asia. The main driving trends are growing popularity in ready-to-eat meals, changing consumer habits, and growing disposable income in emerging Asian economies.
Last October, CMT added a second shift in Attleboro and increased production capacity by 30%. The recent expansion also includes a capital investment in three new ovens. In addition to productions assets, CMT continues to refine its manufacturing process to improve efficiencies. In January, the company earned ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management certification from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).
“Thermoforming continues to be a versatile platform for brand owners and designers, providing high output and flexibility for production of a range of items,” says Carlin. “Macro trends such as the increased use of new, multilayer films offer opportunities for differentiation.” At the recent AMI Thin Wall Packaging Conference in Chicago, Carlin delivered a data-driven study on the economic impact of plug material selection. “Consistency and repeatability can be achieved in thermoforming,” he says. “HYTAC plug assists play a key role by helping processors manage wall thickness variation.”
CMT Materials will be exhibiting at the SPE Thermoforming Conference in Orlando, FL from September 11-13. The company will also be presenting a paper at the 2nd Annual AMI Thin Wall Packaging Asia Conference in Singapore on September 18-19.
HYTAC syntactic foam is used by the majority of toolmakers and thermoforming processors around the world. Thin-gauge thermoformed parts such as drinking cups, coffee capsules, fruit trays, barrier trays, horticultural parts, and many more are formed with plug-assisted pre-stretching. HYTAC plugs are designed with specific material properties to optimize plastic parts and provide low thermal conductivity, low specific heat, and low coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE). The results are improved material distribution, enhanced clarity, reduced starting gauge, and faster cycle times. CMT offers a full range of materials allowing designers and operators to create high-quality plugs for a variety of polymers and their required geometries.