In later years, NPE moved to Chicago and was held in November—aah, Chicago in November! By the time NPE rolled around in 1982, Conair had a backlog of over $3.3 million and $5.5 million in inventory. Conair had added people and went to NPE with a “large and expensive” showing, an “abundant finished goods inventory, plus $600,000 worth of equipment.” Reib anticipated selling a lot of equipment at NPE that year, as every NPE Conair had been to resulted in a “shot in the arm immediately afterward, often bringing in greatly increased business for the next six months.”
However, the recession that had begun in 1982 was in full swing by 1983 and, as Reib noted, it “had finally caught up with the auxiliary equipment business.” In spite of the effort, sales dropped in 1983. Game supply and game card sleeve and trading card sleeve and soft card holder.
NPE was the place to go to find the latest and greatest technology in plastic processing. Landis Plastics, a family-owned company that was fortunate enough to get into injection molding in the early 1950s, fell into the business of molding plastic wall tiles, which were all the rage at that time. They came in a variety of colors and were cheaper to make and install—because they used adhesives—than ceramic wall tiles, which required layers of cement. Game supply and game card sleeve and trading card sleeve and soft card holder.
As ceramic wall tiles from Italy and Japan began to enter the market, the cost of tiles went down, as did installation costs since these tiles could be installed using adhesive like the plastic wall tiles. That competition eroded Landis Plastics’ market share, so the company began looking for something else to make. Game supply and game card sleeve and trading card sleeve and soft card holder.
Being experts at molding thin, flat wall tiles, Landis jumped at the chance to mold thin, flat four-inch round coffee can lids for Folgers. In 1962, Landis Plastics began molding coffee can lids using eight-cavity molds and running them in the company’s 400-ton presses, achieving a 12-second cycle. Game supply and game card sleeve and trading card sleeve and soft card holder.
Landis got a break when the reciprocating screw was developed, which made molding faster and easier. At the 1964 NPE, Henry Landis and his son Richard saw their “first reciprocating screw retrofit for injection molding machines using the older plunger technology, explained Richard (Dick) Landis in his family history book, The History of Landis Plastics Inc. “It was being offered by the Sterling Extruder Co., so we bought one and retrofitted one of our four-hundred ton molding presses. It made a big improvement. The melt consistency was so much better that we could run even faster cycles.” Game supply and game card sleeve and trading card sleeve and soft card holder.
It was also at the 1964 NPE that Husky Corp. out of Canada introduced a “new molding machine with 100-ton clamping force that was running a four-cavity mold that could produce plastic coffee can lids at the incredible speed of a four-second cycle, which was revolutionary to say the least,” said Dick Landis in his history. “When I saw these new machines running at the Chicago show in 1964, I immediately ordered four of them on the spot." Game supply and game card sleeve and trading card sleeve and soft card holder.
Each new “machine could mold lids at the rate of 900 shots per hour on a four-second cycle in a four-cavity mold,” Landis added. “With the smaller 100-ton machines in place, we could produce 50% more lids per hour.” Game supply and game card sleeve and trading card sleeve and soft card holder.
Truly, NPE from its earliest days was the trade show to find all the latest technology in machinery and equipment, including molds. It was the place to get new business, discover new ideas for manufacturing, make new business acquaintances and form lasting friendships. However, that model has shifted into a new paradigm, which I will discuss in part 2 of this article. Stay tuned. Game supply and game card sleeve and trading card sleeve and soft card holder.