T.O.Plastics: Empowering Organizations with State-of-the-Art Thermoforming Solutions
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Mike Vallafskey, President
Ted Ingersoll and Oren Beech founded T.O. Plastics (T.O. representing initials of their names) back in 1948 and thermoformed the parts in the garage and basement of Beech’s southwest Minneapolis home. The production since then has never stopped; it is taking place in an improved facility now, serving diverse verticals. In 70 years of operation, the company saw two acquisitions, one in 1993, and the recent one in 2001 where the Otter Tail Corporation (OTTR) of Fargo, North Dakota acquired T.O. Plastics. In the years since the last acquisition, the company has charted unprecedented growth in every measure: parts, people, facilities, and sales. Today, the company has expertise in product design and development, offering complete in-house design, engineering, prototyping, 3D printing, and tooling services, enabling customers to meet time-to-market deadlines. Besides, T.O. Plastics caters to a wide variety of markets such as medical, electronics, horticulture and more. They are capable of handling a range of thermoforming solutions be it sophisticated medical device packaging, panels or housings for electronics and industrial products, or horticulture pots and trays. In 2009, to meet the continued customer demand and to foster growth, a portion of T.O. Plastics’ Clearwater operation (ISO 9001:2015 certified) was relocated to Otsego. The facility is spread across an area of 57,500 sq. ft., it is ISO 13485:2016, and ISO 9001:2015 certified, and has certified Class 8 clean rooms. The facility is dedicated to T.O. Plastic’s medical device packaging and component operations.
T.O.Plastics offers their thermoforming solutions for medical devices packaging, laboratory packaging (vivarium & single-use laboratory trays), and medical enclosures. For custom thermoformed medical enclosures, they provide rugged and durable solutions made of thick-gauge textured plastic to hide scuffmarks and resist denting.
We listen and understand the pain-points that the client is facing and then being proactive we address to those needs
Their laboratory packaging solutions include high-speed in-line and cut sheet capabilities, thin- and heavy-gauge thermoforming, and precision finishing. T.O.Plastics also offers critical customer-specified secondary operations for lab tray and vivarium applications like five-axis trimming/routing, steel rule and heated forged die, line bending, and assembly operations. So, whether medical devices and products need blister packaging, clamshell packaging, packaging trays, plastic enclosures, or panels, T.O. Plastics designs medical packaging solutions that meet the unique requirement of the customers. “Moreover, we believe that listening is a critical factor in building the right solution for our customers. We are an extension of the customer’s team and leverage our customer centered design process which focuses on listening and understanding the pain-points to proactively provide best-in-class solutions,” says Mike Vallafskey, President, T.O.Plastics.
In an instance, T.O. Plastics worked along with a customer, a large publicly traded global medical device company, looking for custom thermoforming solutions. The company brought a challenging design concept for its medical equipment packaging — however, T.O. Plastics being expert in the field, not only were able to build as per the client’s needs but provided with an even better product after making some design tweaks. The prototype provided by T.O. Plastics proved to be much better in the surgical setting. As a result, the client was delighted with the improvised design and awarded the job to them.
Moving forward, T.O. Plastics is keen on upgrading their capabilities even further; they are improving their facilities with new state of the art thermoforming machines that are technically advanced. “We are adding 30,000 sq. ft. of additional space by the end of 2020 at one of our facilities,” states Vallafskey. Besides, T.O Plastics is introducing vertical integration to support the medical device packaging and extrusion capabilities.
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