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The Woodstock Independent Reports, Dordan Enters The Next Industrial Age

Posted by Chandler Slavin on May 23, 2019 11:05:54 AM

Dordan is based in Woodstock, IL-- the setting for Bill Murray's Groundhog Day; a cultural oasis for artists, musicians, and entrepreneurs alike, 50-miles outside Chicago.

The Woodstock Independent is the community newspaper, which just published an article on Dordan's move into medical packaging. Titled "Entering the Next Industrial Age," the article ties together Dordan's recent investments in cleanroom thermoforming and Industry 4.0 technologies to further extend its core capabilities of custom design and manufacturing excellence to the medical device industry. 

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Dordan Integrates Industry 4.0 Technologies for enhanced agility & how you can, too

Posted by Chandler Slavin on May 7, 2019 3:23:49 PM

For many small and medium sized manufacturers, the principles of the Fourth Industrial Revolution are abstract. Terms like interconnectivity, IoTT, customization, flexible automation, AI/machine learning, and Big Data are routinely referenced in the corresponding rhetoric. Yet, many don’t understand how these technologies can be applied to existing operations and systems to manifest the prescribed benefits of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. While improving quality, increasing productivity, and reducing waste has always driven manufacturers’ business decisions, when viewed through the principals of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, a more elegant approach is provided. Smart factories don’t have to be fully automated, fancy factories of the future; instead, an evolution of existing equipment and processes married with thoughtful investment in new technologies and talent.

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Dordan's ISO Certified Thermoform Design Process

Posted by Chandler Slavin on Mar 26, 2019 10:59:24 AM

Dordan Manufacturing has been designing custom thermoformed packaging since 1962.

In that time, we have developed a proprietary process for developing thermoform designs. Formalized within our ISO certified quality management system, Dordan's design process facilitates the production of highly-engineered and high-quality thermoforms that meet our customers' expectations in quick turnaround at competitive pricing. Gain insight into our ISO certified thermoform design process, 60-years in the making, below.

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Nike’s New Green Lobster Shoe Box by Dordan Tests Thermoforming Limits

Posted by Chandler Slavin on Feb 28, 2019 8:29:08 AM

Packaging Digest's new article, "Nike's new Green Lobster shoe box tests thermoforming limits," narrates the challenges that Dordan overcame in the design and manufacture of limited-edition packaging for the debut of Concepts x Nike SB collectable sneakers.

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Intro to New Series on Medical Device Design & Manufacturing

Posted by Chandler Slavin on Nov 12, 2018 4:54:09 PM

My family company, Dordan Manufacturing, has been designing and thermoforming plastic packaging and product solutions for almost 60 years. Our core capabilities, which we have refined over the years, are design and thermoforming excellence. We are not your typical mom and pop shop; we employ the highest quality and most sophisticated technologies, equipment, software, and talent, which allow us to cater to a variety of quality-critical end-markets.

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How to Expand Recycling of PET Thermoform Packaging in Europe

Posted by Chandler Slavin on Nov 15, 2017 9:01:51 AM

Check out my new article for Packaging Digest, "How to expand recycling of PET thermoform packaging in Europe" for an update on thermoform recycling in the EU. It begins,

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Dordan Featured in Plastics Today's Molder Spotlight Series

Posted by Chandler Slavin on Jul 28, 2017 10:55:20 AM

Hello, my sustainable packaging friends!

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Pack Expo Recap

Posted by Chandler Slavin on Sep 30, 2013 2:44:00 PM

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Pack Expo and Bio Resin Show N Tell

Posted by Chandler Slavin on Oct 16, 2012 4:56:00 PM

Hellllooooooo! Man, it has been a crazy week! I had no idea how much Pack Expo would take out of me!

Dordan now has over 30+ followers on Twitter, which makes me feel really cool, but I want MORE MORE MORE. So follow me @DordanMfg. Good times.
 

Good news: We have a ton attendees looking for us at Pack Expo via our online booth which is super cool, and I have booked interviews with three different packaging publications, so this show should be a grand occasion! We have events almost every night (CardPak’s Sustainability Dinner, AVMP networking event, Meet the Press, and more!) so I am totally PUMPED!

I was at McCormick Place yesterday to set up the booth and it was a rather enjoyable experience: our booth was where it was suppose to be; the Union workers were really helpful; and, I met the floor manager, Louie, who oozes old school Chicago. Dordan’s booth looks great, and I can’t wait for the Show to begin!

Before we get into the meat of today’s post, I came across some random industry tid bits that I thought I would share with you, my packaging and sustainability friends.

First, and this is sort of old news, but did you guys hear about the SRI Consulting study that determined that those countries with adequate space and little recycling infrastructure should landfill PET bottles as opposed to recycle in the context of carbon footprint reduction!?! The name of the report is “PET’s Carbon Footprint: To Recycle or Not to Recycle,” and is described as “an independent evaluation of the carbon footprint of PET bottles with analysis of secondary packaging from cradle to grave and from production of raw materials through disposal.” While the report cost an arm and a leg to download, an abstract of the report is available here: http://www.sriconsulting.com/Press_Releases/Plastic-Bottle-Recycling-Not-Always-Lowest-Carbon-Option_16605.html.

The report concludes:

• Shipping distances are not footprint crucial;
• Incineration creates the highest footprint;
• PET recyclate (HA, I thought I made that word up) has a lower footprint than virgin PET.

Weird bears; I wonder who funded this study…

Next, someone tweeted (yes, I said tweeted) this industry tid bit: “Biopolymers are Dirtier to Produce than Oil-Based Polymers, says Researchers” @ http://www.environmentalleader.com/2010/10/22/biopolymers-are-dirtier-to-produce-than-oil-based-polymers-say-researchers/ .

After perusing the article, I was surprised that PLA exhibited the maximum contribution to eutrophication, as every COMPASS LCA I have performed comparing paper and plastic shows that paper contributes WAY MORE to eutrophication than plastic…but I guess this makes sense in the context of PLA’s contribution because paper is based on a “crop” as is PLA; therefore, require similar resource consumption/toxin emissions?

Then there is this statement, which is crazzzyyyy: “biopolymers exceeded most of the petroleum-based polymers for ecotoxicity and carcinogen emissions.” What does that mean?!? Where are the carcinogens coming from? And, where did these researches get all this LCI data for these new bio resins in order to make the statements they do?

Wow the land of biopolymers is confusion.

And that provides a perfect segway into today’s post.

As you know, many of Dordan’s customers have expressed great interest in biopolymers because, according to a recent consumer research study, “biodegradation” is one of the most desired “green” characteristics of a package in the eyes of the consumer; I guess people don’t like the idea of things persisting for years and years in landfill…

As an aside, did you see this McDonalds Happy Meal biodegradation test?!? Apparently, after 180 days, a Happy Meal did not even begin to show signs of biodegradation! Check it out here: http://www.littleabout.com/Odd/sally-davies-mcdonalds-happy-meal/98413/ .

And, as we all know, it doesn’t matter if it is paper, plastic, or a banana peal; nothing biodegrades in a landfill because there is no oxygen and sunlight. But that is beside the point.

Where was I…?

Yes, we have been asked many questions about biopolymers, many of which, we didn’t have the answers to because depending on who you ask, you get different responses. So, first we did some background research on biodegradable/compostable plastics in general. You can download our report here: http://www.dordan.com/sustainability_ftc.shtml Then we began sampling the available resins and performing internal tests to see how they performed and what applicability they have to the sustainability goals of our customers. Though we have invested a considerable amount of time into trying to understand biopolymers, we still have much to learn; therefore, we decided that during Pack Expo we would share all our findings with attendees in hopes of opening the lines of communication and educating ourselves, our supply chain and our industry about the pros and cons of this new family of non traditional resins. After all, the last thing the plastics industry wants to do is flood the market with something they don’t really understand, from both an energy consumption/GHG emission and end of life management perspective, not to mention price and performance! So, if you come by Dordan’s booth E-6311 we will have 4 different bioresins on display for you to touch and see, accompanied by a lot of good information.

For those of you unable to attend Pack Expo, I have included most of the information below. Enjoy!!!

Cellulous Acetate

Typical Physical Properties:

• Acceptable for use in food contact packaging;
• High clarity and gloss, with low haze;
• High water vapor transmission rate;
• Good tensile strength and elongation, combined with relatively low tear strength;
• Good die cutting performance and good printability and compatibility with adhesives;
• Available in matt and semi-matt finishes.

Environmental Aspects:

• Feedstock: Cellulous from Sustainable Forestry Initiative managed forestry in North America; acetic anhydride, a derivative of acetic acid; and, a range of different plasticisers.
• Complies with EN 13432 and ASTM D 6400 Standards for industrial biodegradability and compostability; and, received Vincotte OK Compost Home certification.
• Complies with US Coneg limits for heavy metal content in packaging materials.
• Classified in the paper and board category in the UK, in view of its cellulosic base. As a consequence, the levy on cellulous acetate is lower than that on other thermoplastic films which are classified as plastics; however, levies only apply to those markets where EPR legislation exists.
• There is no post consumer or post industrial market for this resin. However, in principal, film is readily recyclable and because of its predominantly cellulosic nature, it is feasible that it can be recycled along with paper in a re-pulping process.

PHA:

Typical physical properties:

• A general purpose, high melt strength material suitable for injection molding, thermoforming, blow/cast film and sheet extrusion;
• Durable and tough;
• Ranging from flexible to rigid;
• Shelf stable;
• Heat and moisture resistant;
• Pending FDA clearance for use in non-alcoholic food contact applications, from frozen food storage and microware reheating to boiling water up to 212 degrees F. The pending clearance will include products such as house-wares, cosmetics and medical packaging.

Environmental Aspects:

• Feedstock: Poly Hydroxy Alkanoate (PHA) polymer made through a patented process for microbial fermentation of plant-derived sugar. PHA is unique in that it represents the only class of polymers that are converted directly by microorganisms from feedstock to the polymetric form—no additional polymerizations steps being required.
• Complies with EN 13432 and ASTM D 6400 Standards for industrial biodegradability and compostability; complies with ASTM D 7081 Standard for marine biodegradation; received Vincotte OK Compost Home certification; and, received Vincotte OK Biodegradable in Soil certification. The rate and extent of its biodegradability will depend on the size and shape of the articles made from it.
• There is no post consumer or post industrial market for this resin. However, in principal, film is readily recyclable.

PLA:

Typical physical properties:

• Acceptable for use in food-contact packaging;
• Good clarity but can haze with introduction of stress;
• PLA sheet is relatively brittle at room temperature; however, the toughness of the material increases with orientation and therefore thermoformed articles are less brittle than PLA sheet.
• PLA is frequently thermoformed using forming ovens, molds and trim tools designed for PET or PS; however, PLA has a lower softening temperature and thermal conductivity than PET or PS, which results in longer cooling time in the mold for PLA vs. PET or PS.
• Exposure to high temperatures and humidity during shipping or storage can adversely affect the performance and appearance of resin.
• At temperatures below its glass transition point, PLA is as stable as PET.

Environmental Aspects:

• Feedstock: Polylactide or Polylactic Acid (PLA) is a synthetic, aliphatic polyester from lactic acid; lactic acid can be industrially produced from a number of starch or sugar containing agricultural products.
• Derived 100% from annually renewable resources like corn.
• PLA resin complies with EN 13432 and ASTM D 6400 Standards for industrial biodegradability and compostability; however, after conversion, said Standards no longer apply.
• There is no post consumer or post industrial market for this resin. However, several recycling methods can be applied to waste PLA. Concern has been voiced that PLA is contaminating the PET bottle recycling infrastructure.
• Competition between human food, industrial lactic acid and PLA production is not to be expected.

PLA & starch-based product

Typical physical properties:

• Only available in one color and opacity due to the natural ingredients changing in color and intensity; known to have black or brown specs in or on the sheet due to said natural ingredients.
• Good impact strength;
• Demonstrates superior ink receptivity over petroleum based products;
• Heat sensitive; therefore, care must be taken when shipping, handling, storage, printing and further processing this material.

Environmental Aspects:

• Feedstock: PLA polymer is a major ingredient; however, through a supply partner, this material incorporates next generation technology of modifying PLA polymer with plant/crop based starches along with natural mineral binders to enhance its impact.
• Made by an EPA Green Power Partner with 100% renewable energy.
• Complies with EN 13432 and ASTM D 6400 Standards for industrial biodegradability and compostability.
• There is no post consumer or post industrial market for this resin. However, in principal, this film is readily recyclable.

Now, check out the comparative below: price is not literally dollar amounts but an internal calculation we have determined to allow you to contextualize the fluctuating prices with different resins.

Bio Resin Show N Tell Comparative

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The post of all posts!

Posted by Chandler Slavin on Oct 16, 2012 11:06:00 AM

Happy Friday! This Saturday is my sister’s bachelorette party at Cuvee in Chicago, which is a super posh champagne lounge. I will let you know if I see any celebrities!

So I FINALLY finished my work on PET recycling for a Canadian retailer, which is good, as I leave on Tuesday!

Check it out! It’s sort of a lot, and it’s really detailed, so sorry if I bore you! Oh, and it’s broken into a couple different sections:
    1. Summary of a super huge document titled, “Best Practices and Industry Standards in PET Recycling.”
    2. Supply and demand of PET bottles post consumer, North American context.
    3. Supply and demand of PET thermoforms post consumer, North American context.
    4. Interview with StewardEdge and Stewardship Ontario’s Plastics Market Developer.
    5. Case studies of PET recycling, bottle to bottle, bottle to thermo, and thermo to bottle.
Seriously, this is the post of all posts! And when I copied and pasted my report into the Blog software, it messed up my outline--sorry!

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