Canadian Plastics

60th Anniversary Special Report: Time Capsules From Canadian Plastics

Do you remember Bolta Plastics? When Imperial Oil got into the bottle business? Do the names Harry Hutton or Sam Kauffman ring a bell? It's almost all here, including a cameo by Mr. Ben Cartwright him...

August 1, 2003   Canadian Plastics



Do you remember Bolta Plastics? When Imperial Oil got into the bottle business? Do the names Harry Hutton or Sam Kauffman ring a bell? It’s almost all here, including a cameo by Mr. Ben Cartwright himself, Lorne Greene, in the garb of Brutus….Better to not ask and read on.

The 40s

Prominent people:

Frank Samuels, Reliable Toy Co.; D.G. McNabb, Canadian General Electric; V.G. Bertram, Shawinigan Chemicals; N.R. Crawford, Dow Chemical Canada; Barney Danson, Danson and Associates; Eric Salmond (publisher) and Don Taylor (editor), Canadian Plastics

Noteworthy news/events:

Post-war material shortage; Society of Plastics Industry (SPI) holds its first national plastics exposition in New York in April of 1946 — over 87,000 people attend the show; The Maritimes opens its first molding plant at Sackville, NB (article does specify the company)

Companies in the news

Northern Electric (Lachine, QC); Dulev Plastics Co. (Toronto); Reliable Toy Co. (Toronto); Canadian General Electric (Coburg, ON); Wintrob (Toronto); Westinghouse (Toronto); Bakelite Corp., Division of Union Carbide (Belleville, ON); Maple Leaf Plastic Products (Toronto)

Profitable product lines:

Phone housings, toys, tableware, cigarette cases, combs, brushes, make-up compacts, buttons

Significant trends and developments:

Large tonnage injection presses; Steam-heated molds; Development of Alberta’s oil and gas fields

Hot button issues:

Trade with Japan; Flammable toys made of cellulose nitrate

The 50s

Prominent people:

W.S. Wood, F.F. Barber Machinery (Toronto); Don Clarke, Canadian Chemicals Co. (Toronto); Frank Rice, president SPI Canada; Harry Frankel, National Fibre Company of Canada (Toronto); Robert Schad, Husky Injection Molding Systems; Sam Kauffman, Kayson Rubber and Plastics (Galt, ON)

Noteworthy news/events:

Formation of Toronto section of SPE, 1950; DuPont Company of Canada introduces Delrin acetal resin to the Canadian market in 1957; The aftermath of Hurricane Hazel floods Woodbridge Moulded Products’ facility with six feet of water; Bolta Plastics Ltd. (Granby, QC) purchases the largest injection molding machine in Canada, an 80 oz. (shot size) HPM, to mold polyethylene garbage pails; Visking Company (Lindsay, ON), a division of Union Carbide, installs “the largest piece of equipment in Canada,” an extruder capable of producing rolls of polyethylene film 24 ft. wide

Companies in the news:

Canadian General Tower, Ltd. (Galt, ON); Joseph Stokes Rubber Co. (Welland, ON); B.C. Plastic Engineering Co. (Vancouver,); Columbia Plastics Ltd. (Vancouver,); Weyburn Plastics (Weyburn, Sask,); Canadian Industries Ltd. (Edmonton, AL); Kayson Rubber and Plastics (Galt, ON); Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing of Canada (3M) (London, ON); Davis Standard (Mystic, CT); Scepter Manufacturing Co. (Toronto, ON); Sherbrooke Machineries Ltd. (Sherbrooke, QC); General Plastics Ltd. (Cookshire, QC), division of Wallace Silversmiths (Canada) Ltd; Imperial Oil (Sarnia, ON); Naugatuk Chemicals (Elmira, ON)

Profitable product lines:

Vinyl tile, PVC and PE pipe, polyurethane foam, PE bottles for detergent and other products

Significant trends and developments:

The use of chemical additives, for example platicizers in vinyl, becomes widespread, enabling compounders and processors to fine-tune the properties of resins; PVC finds wider uses; Raw resin manufacturing in Canada increases significantly through the decade

Hot button issues:

Increased importation of foreign-made toys; Companies lobby the Tariff Board for increasing tariffs and duties on imported raw materials and plastics products

The 60s

Prominent people:

Leo Ryan, Monsanto Canada; Harry Hutton, Toronto Plastics; Paul Klopstock, Paulite Plastics; Earl Lince, Sterling Plastics; Art Hamilton, A.C. Hamilton; Don Halbert and Jim Faller, F&H Plastics; Shannon Hoover, Rubbermaid Canada

Noteworthy news/events:

Polymer Corp. (later Polysar) opened the first Canadian ABS resin manufacturing plant at Sarnia, ON in 1964; B.F. Goodrich’s Kitchener plant supplies Imperial Oil with 30,000 ft. of PVC pipe for its gas fields in Alberta; Imperial Oil buys Polybottle, one of Toronto’s largest blow molders; Union Carbide announces plans to open a plastics processing plant, with a core emphasis on packaging (1964); PE gas tanks introduced by GM Truck and Coach Div, (1967)

Companies in the news:

Plasti-Pak Containers, Ltd.; Accurate Tool & Mould; Smith & Stone Ltd.; Paulite Plastics Co.; Cords Canada Ltd.; Canbar Industrial Plastics; Trans-Canada Plastics Ltd.; Micro Plastics; Resco Ltd.; Rubbermaid Canada; Melfo Industries; Marwell Plastics (Brantford, ON); F & H Plastics Ltd. (Scarborough, ON); Mould-tek Industries (Toronto); Aclo Compounders (Preston, ON); Polyethylene Bag Ltd. (Orangeville, ON); Injection Molders Supply (Cleveland, OH).

Profitable product lines:

Bottles, industrial extrusions, household/ kitchen wares, containers and appliances, skylights; TV cabinets; roto-molded tanks and toys

Significant trends and developments:

Screw plastification replaces plunger units on injection molding machines; Blow molding technology comes of age; Vinyl use expands in automotive and furniture; Polystyrene foam; Molding of polypropylene gains popularity

Hot button issues:

Tariff protection; price cutting and “unfair” competition with U.S. plastic processors

The 70s/80s

Prominent people:

Mike Schmidt, ABC Group; Ron Evason, SPI Canada; Henry Finkle, SPE Quebec and Association of Canadian Industrial Designers; Len Miller, Nucon; Bob Beamish (Monsanto/Woodbridge Foam Corp.); Doug Winter, Aclo Compounders; Vic De Zen, Royal Group Technologies; Jim Edward, Monsanto/Bayer Inc.; Lorne Berggren, Mould-Tek; Gerry LeTourneau, Plastic Equipment and Accessories; Frank Stronach, Magna International; Karl Peiper, Engel Canada; Clay Elliott, Rubbermaid/Horizon Plastics; Jobst Gellert, Mold-Masters; Jack Swinimer, Uniplast Industries; Horst Horning, Horn Plastics; Bill Lynes, Leco Inc.;

Noteworthy news/events:

Union Carbide sells phenolic resins business to Bakelite Thermosets; General Motors orders more Krauss-Maffei presses for its Oshawa molding facility; Injection molding machinery manufacturers are not able to meet demand for new machines in 1973; Late-70s recession hits profits of many molders and moldmakers; Magna spends $80 million to build 15 auto plants near Newmarket, ON (1984); Innopac Inc. acquires exclusive rights to produce PET dual-ovenable tray from Plastona Ltd. of England; IPL expands plant in St.-Damien, QC; Twinpak opens PET bottle manufacturing facility in Mississauga, ON; Mitten Vinyl opens new 38,000 sq. ft. plant in Cambridge, ON (1979)

Companies in the news:

Standard Products Ltd. (Seaforth, ON); Poly-Wood Products (Saint John, N.B.); Twinpak (Montreal); Tarxien Co. (Ajax, ON); Texstar Plastics (Scarborough, ON); Brampton Engineering (Brampton, ON); Complax Corp. (Coburg, ON); Waltec Plastics (Midland, ON); Morval-Duofoam (Kitchener, ON); Deltaplast Machinery (Concord, ON); Stochem Inc. (Brampton, ON); Hercules Canada Inc. (Varennes, QC)

Profitable product lines:

PE stretch film; RIM fascias, Plastic grille and bumper components, Instrument panel parts, multi-layer industrial PE shipping bags, Plastic drums, yogurt containers, bathware, patio furniture, business/office machines, BOPP film

Significant trends and developments:

Raw materials handling and other auxiliary equipment becomes more advanced and more crucial to successful molding; Colorant technology expands offering processors more sophisticated options; Structural foam molding sees wider commercial use; Introduction of ribbing in PVC pipe adds strength; CAD/CAM software and CNC machining of molds; large-part, technical blow molding evolves into first commercial products

Hot button issues:

Autonomy for SPI Canada; Ozone depletion: blowing agents in EPS; Curbside recyclin
g

The 90s

Prominent people:

Susan McNerney, Extrufix Inc.; Werner Scheliga, Unique Mould Makers Ltd.; Jean-Luc Lavergne, Groupe Lavergne; Placide Poulin, MAAX Inc.; Al Power, Decoma International; Joe Lukian, Lukian Plastics; Paul Clark, Nova Chemicals; Pierre DuBois, CPIA; Gery Rent, Ipex; Sigurdur Johannson, Dynoplast Ltd.; Frank Maine, consultant; Robert Hryniak, Greenfield Plastics.

Noteworthy news/events:

U.S.-based Versatech purchases Tarxien Corp; Crila Plastics (Mississauga, ON) is named on of Canada’s 50 best managed companies by the Financial Post; Brampton Engineering builds and sells first 9-layer blown film line to a company in New Zealand; Ice storm in eastern Ontario and Quebec leaves homes and businesses without power for weeks; Amcor buys Twinpak Inc.; The Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA) is formed from four separate organizations.

Companies in the news:

Six Point Plastics (Mississauga, ON); Sertapak Inc. (Ingersoll, ON); L&L Tooling (Calgary, AL); Garrtech Inc. (Stoney Creek, ON); CCC Plastics (Don Mills, ON): Hunjan Moulded Products (Markham, ON); Groupe G.L.P. (Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, QC); Bombardier (Valcourt, QC); Glas Aire Industries (Vancouver, B.C.); Southmedic Inc. (Barrie, ON); Farnell Packaging (Dartmouth, NS)

Profitable products lines:

Plastic lumber, plastic corks, nylon intake manifolds, recreational products, pick-up truck bed liners, auto body moldings, thermoformed packaging

Significant trends and developments:

Solid modeling software; Rapid prototyping; Thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs) find hosts of new applications; Thin-wall injection molding; Processors buy more all-electric machines; Wood-fibre plastics composites; Metallocene-catalyzed resins; Two-platen and tiebarless injection molding machines

Hot button issues:

Plastics operator training/certification; Safety of vinyl pipes; Safety of plasticizers used in PVC blood bags.

Cameo

This picture of Lorne Greene appeared in a 1950 issue of Canadian Plastics under the headline “Polyester Hits Shakespeare”. Greene is wearing an armored costume made of reinforced polyester for his role as Brutus in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar running at the Stratford Theatre. The news item observes that polyester “is an ideal material for stage armor and not inconsiderable quantities of it may go into this field in the future.”


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