Thermoformed Plastics Solutions Blog

Testing Capabilities at McClarin Plastics

Posted by McClarin Plastics on Sep 9, 2015 2:05:00 PM

At McClarin Plastics, we go out of our way to employ a number of testing capabilities above and beyond those used by other plastics manufacturers. We use both mechanical and molecular testing on materials to determine their strengths and weaknesses before the research and development phase.

mccpOur testing process helps us minimize the amount of trial and error during development of products for our customer, so that we can bring them to market quickly and effectively. It has also allowed us to develop a database of material properties, which we use to help our customers select appropriate materials for their projects.

While our labs are not certified the tests that we conduct on our materials, comply with the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) guidelines, include:

  • Flexural test — Used to determine material strength when bent
  • Tensile test — Used to determine material strength when stretched
  • Impact test — Used to determine material strength when impacted

Flexural Test

Flexural and tensile tests are the most common tests used to qualify materials for given applications.

Flexural testing provides two important values: flexural strength and flexural modulus. These values tell us the materials overall stiffness, and how much of a load it can support before bending.

Tensile Test

Tensile testing yields three important values: Modulus of elasticity, or general material toughness; elongation, or how much stretch and deformation a material can withstand; and tensile strength.

Tensile strength itself is divided into three separate measurements: Ultimate, or the absolute highest pull force a material can withstand; yield, or the pull force at which a material permanently deforms; and break, or the force at which a material breaks.

Impact Test

Impact tests are used to determine how a material reacts when impacted with various loads. This information helps us to identify materials suitable for what you need to package, and to design products to minimize points of stress concentration.

McClarin Plastics does all that we can to ensure that the materials we use and the products we design are of the highest quality possible. Visit the Mechanical & Molecular Testing Capabilities page of our website to learn about the other tests we use and how they lead to better end results for you.

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Blackford Capital’s McClarin Plastics, LLC Appoints Jerry Armstrong as CEO

Posted by McClarin Plastics on Jul 1, 2015 10:38:00 AM


McClarin Plastics, LLC, a Hanover, Pa.-based national manufacturer and provider of composites and fiber-reinforced plastic components, announced that it has named Jerry Armstrong as President and CEO of the company.

amtech-logo   blackford-logomcclarin-plastics-logo


 Armstrong will succeed Todd Kennedy and Doug Christie, who have served as co-CEOs of the company since the recent January merger of Amtech Corporation and McClarin Plastics. Christie and Kennedy will remain actively involved in the company as senior members of the team.

Armstrong has a long track record of growth at various publically traded companies. Most notably, in 2002, Jerry joined National Seating, a soon-to-be product brand of Commercial Vehicle Group, Inc. As Vice President and General Manager for National Seating, he was responsible for all aspects of the original equipment and aftermarket businesses. He was promoted to President, CVG Americas in 2004. Under his leadership, Commercial Vehicle Group grew from $250M to $916M in revenue. The company went public on August 5, 2004 and is now listed on the NASDAQ as CVGI.

Also of note, Armstrong spent a portion of his career with Arvin Meritor Inc. where he served as Vice President of Operations and Engineering for Gabriel Ride Control, Inc. He was promoted two years later to Vice President and General Manager of Gabriel Ride Control, Inc. While at Arvin Meritor, Armstrong helped grow sales by more than $400 million.

In addition to earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Arts from Berea College, Armstrong also holds a degree from the Executive Business Program at the University of Indiana Graduate School of Business.

“Jerry’s track record in the industry is outstanding and we are confident that his experience and leadership of McClarin will drive performance that will reward investors. He is a proven leader with success in acquisition integration, growth planning and implementation, reporting, private equity support, and manufacturing production, skills he has demonstrated at major publically traded companies,” said Blackford Capital’s Founder and Managing Director Martin Stein.  “Jerry is an expert in the transportation and specifically heavy truck markets, which directly overlaps both the Amtech and McClarin customer bases. Jerry is the right leader to implement our integration plan and cultivate our long-term strategic vision, which will benefit our communities, customers, employees, suppliers, investors, and other stakeholders.”

In an initial statement to employees, Armstrong stated, “The combination of Blackford and Amtech’s credibility in the industry, market and industry dynamics, and the solid foundation of these two organizations provides a unique opportunity to create a dynamic value proposition for our employees and customers. The market is trending towards consolidation and the public/private energy policy in North America is a game changer for manufacturing in our existing regions. This means more jobs and an exciting next chapter in McClarin’s history.”

About Blackford Capital 
Blackford Capital is a private equity firm based in Grand Rapids, Mich., that acquires, manages and builds middle-market manufacturing, distribution and service companies, with seven portfolio companies across the country. The firm has offices in Grand Rapids (headquarters) and Santa Monica, CA. Blackford reviewed roughly 4,000 transactions in 2014, and has closed 33 transactions in the past eight years. The firm’s investment criteria include mature, profitable businesses with revenues between $20 million and $100 million, with management teams that are either willing to remain with the company or are seeking to retire. For more information, visit

About McClarin Plastics
Founded in 1953, McClarin Plastics, LLC. is a national premier contract manufacturer of large thermoformed plastic and fiberglass reinforced plastic components including ABS, polycarbonate, PETG, Styrene, TPO and PC/ABS, polyethylene components, fiberglass, resin transfer molding (RTM), vacuum assist RTM (VARTM), large and small vacuum-form plastics capabilities, finishing, value-added assembly, and custom packaging for industrial equipment, construction, rail, transportation, agricultural and medical applications. The company also offers open, cold, or multi-cavity molding options for fiberglass reinforced plastic molding and fabrication, providing production throughout North America with international exports to Asia and Europe. In January of 2015 McClarin merged with the 28 year old Amtech Corporation forming a national composites manufacturer. For more information, visit


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McClarin Plastics: About Our Company

Posted by Jeffrey Geiman on Jan 23, 2015 10:03:08 AM

Many industrial professionals rely on plastics to meet their daily application needs. The use of plastics offers several benefits—some of which include enhanced impact and chemical resistance, adaptability to various environments, and high design flexibility.

Plastics are among the most popular materials used for industrial parts and components today. Due to harsher, more demanding applications, plastic products must provide the best possible quality. Many OEMs and engineers turn to McClarin Plastics for their product needs.

Founded in 1953, McClarin Plastics is a privately held, non-union organization that specializes in producing complex plastic assemblies. Many of our efforts focus on OEMs that outsource non-core manufacturing processes.

Production Methods

Our numerous facilities in Hanover, PA provide nearly 400,000 square feet of manufacturing space. With a team consisting of over 200 highly talented professionals, we mold plastic assemblies using various methods.

Thermosets are created with:

  • Vacuum Infusion
  • Resin Transfer Molding (RTM) & Light RTM
  • Open & Cold Molding

Thermoplastics are created with: 

  • Vacuum Forming
  • Thermoforming
  • Reaction Injection Molding

We utilize Robotic and 5-Axis CNC trimming and in-house wet-spray paint capabilities to enrich the value of our finished products. Additionally, we offer comprehensive mechanical assembly services for a wide range of materials, applications, and processes.

Industries We Serve

McClarin primarily serves the construction equipment industry, renewable energy industry, transportation industry, rail industry, medical industry, and agricultural equipment. Mass transit systems, wind turbines, and construction machinery frequently rely on our engineered assemblies.

As an ISO 9001 certified company, we are well-equipped to provide quality, reliable products that meet the requirements of any industry. Additionally, many of our employees have Six Sigma Black Belt and Green Belt training, and our company is soon to be ISO 14001 certified.

Learn More with This Video  

With over six decades of manufacturing experience, McClarin Plastics is more than capable of supporting diverse OEMs and engineers. In this short video presentation, you will learn about our company’s core principles, manufacturing techniques, product testing standards, contract services, and much more.

We can support your company from development through production, including process selection—this includes product design review to evaluate your specifications and determine the ideal process and materials for your application.

For more information about McClarin Plastics and the extensive plastic manufacturing services we offer, please contact us today.

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The Redesigned

Posted by Jeffrey Geiman on Apr 16, 2014 12:20:00 PM

McClarin Plastics is excited to announce the launch of our newly redesigned website, featuring a simplified design, enhanced navigation and more useful resources.

In a continuing effort to help you make the most of our offerings, we focused on creating a streamlined platform that allows you to find the information that you need, quickly. Our redesign facilitates an improved user experience for both new and previous visitors. 

A New Layout for Modern Technology

McClarin_SiteHeaderOne of the first things that you’ll notice is the simplified layout.  We kept our site user-friendly with a top navigation bar that’s visible without any scrolling. You can access all of our subpages at all times during your visit, which makes navigating through different pages of our site simple. 

Our website features a responsive design. That means that it is compatible with mobile devices of all sizes. The site will scale to size to fit any screen, so you’ll have the same user experience no matter how or when you view it. It’ll look just as great on a smartphone as it does on a desktop computer. 

All the Resources You Need

We also wanted our site to be a comprehensive resource for all your questions about the company, so we also added in-depth details on all our processes and capabilities. You can read the latest company and industry news and events, and learn about the various industries that McClarin serves. You can even browse through case studies of past work and download useful eBooks for free.

We encourage you to explore the new, sleek design and expanded content on our site.  The redesigned platform is an excellent place to start if you’re interested in McClarin’s custom thermoformed plastics and fiberglass reinforced plastic. 

And if you have questions or would like to learn more about our services, you can contact a McClarin representative below:

Contact McClarin Plastics

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The Auto Industry Embraces Plastics One Piece at a Time

Posted by Jeffrey Geiman on Oct 28, 2013 8:59:00 AM

We encounter plastics on a daily basis, from the pen we use to write to the bags that carry our groceries. This low cost, lightweight and versatile material has become so ubiquitous in modern society that it's hard to find an industry where plastic has not made its mark. Even the auto industry, which typically relies on parts made of metal, is slowly embracing the use of plastic in today's automobiles.

In an effort to meet the EPA's Fuel Economy Regulations, car engineers are now using plastic to build lighter parts without compromising performance.

Fotosearch k5908249Daimler Chrysler was the first automaker to integrate a polymer oil pan module, an oil pan with an aluminum upper shell and plastic lower shell. Made from thermoformed nylon resin, the plastic lower shell of the oil pan not only reduces the weight of the product, but also improves functionality and cost efficiency.

An oil pan made partially from plastic delivers several significant benefits. Because it is lighter than oil pans made entirely from aluminum, it increases fuel savings while reducing CO2 emissions. The flexibility of plastic material also permits more design freedom and opportunities to improve product performance. Lastly, the use of plastic instead of metal reduces the cost of tooling and simplifies production.

The successful integration of this thermoformed part opens the door for designers to expand the use of thermoplastic polymers for additional automobile parts. This lightweight material features both structural stability and ease of molding, making it an ideal material for continued use throughout the auto industry.  

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Topics: McClarin Plastics, Chrysler, Automotive Industry

Working Backwards: How Reverse Engineering Leads to Forward Thinking

Posted by Jeffrey Geiman on Sep 30, 2013 9:03:00 AM

Reverse engineering is a process used by some manufacturers to improve an existing product. As its name suggests, the process involves disassembling a product in order to analyze its operation, structure and design. It is a process of discovery that requires thorough examination and deductive reasoning—efforts that are rewarded by knowledge that can be used to cut costs, enhance quality and shorten production times.

Fotosearch k3676073 (1)At the start of the process, engineers will thoroughly inspect and disassemble a product to determine how it works. During this step, they analyze the workings of the product and gather technical information. This information is then used in the next step to design the plans for a new or modified version of the original product. The final step of the reverse engineering process is when the manufacturing process begins.

In many instances, reverse engineering leads to improvements in the original component or design. At McClarin Plastics, we are well versed in the process of reverse engineering.  Our expert engineering staff has been involved in multiple reverse engineering projects, all with great success.

We rely on the reverse engineering process to demonstrate how plastic components can be used in place of metals. We take all factors of the original material into account, such as strength, durability, and chemical resistance, and design a new piece in a plastic composite that equals the original. In some cases, the new plastic composites can even exceed the functionality of their metal counterparts. Reverse engineering allows us to show a client how plastics can successfully replace metals in an existing product.

If you would like more information on our engineering services, please contact McClarin Plastics today!


What Are The Benefits To Using a Manufacturer  In The Design Phase? Find out here!
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Topics: McClarin Plastics, Reverse Engineering

Streamlining the Process by Utilizing JIT Manufacturing

Posted by Jeffrey Geiman on Sep 17, 2013 12:20:00 PM

Popularized by Toyota in the 1970s, Just In Time (JIT) manufacturing is a production strategy that allows manufacturers to effectively manage inventory and business costs. Implemented correctly, this strategy minimizes waste in terms of time, inventory and scrap.

Fotosearch k12216608Companies that utilize JIT manufacturing do not make products until orders are placed. Put simply, production is driven purely by customer demand. One of the biggest advantages of this strategy is that it eliminates the hidden costs of maintaining an inventory, especially if inventory turnover is slow.

The successful implementation of JIT also confers a host of other benefits. Reducing or eliminating inventory improves the flow of goods from the warehouse to shelves. It saves money on overhead by removing the need to pay workers in times of low or no demand. It also reduces the risk of inventory expiring and minimizes the amount of storage space needed for successful operation.

The JIT model requires careful monitoring of prices, quality, demand and supply. For the model to work, the cost of parts must remain relatively stable to eliminate the need to buy in advance of price hikes. Similarly, quality must remain stable so there is no need to stockpile high quality parts.  Demand for products must be steady to ensure optimal operation. Lastly, supply must be stable so that the manufacturer can meet its production schedules.

McClarin Plastics follows the JIT model for all custom manufacturing projects. The streamlined service produces everything from individual plastic components to complete assemblies for OEMs, so that they are free to focus on their core business. Through this model, we are able to reduce overall costs by carefully managing orders and inventory levels. The JIT model enables us to successfully complete each order to exact specifications in a timely manner.

Accepted globally as a successful production strategy, JIT manufacturing allows manufacturers like McClarin Plastics to pass on the benefits of a streamlined manufacturing service to all of our clients.

For more information on McClarin’s contract manufacturing services, please contact us today!


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Topics: McClarin Plastics, Just in Time, Toyota

The High Value of Contract Manufacturing

Posted by Jeffrey Geiman on Aug 15, 2013 11:10:00 AM

In today’s challenging manufacturing environment, many industries are rethinking their processes and taking a closer look at their manufacturing methods. To stay competitive, many industrial manufacturers find they must streamline and consolidate. Working with a contract manufacturer like McClarin Plastics, Inc. is like having a partner that you can collaborate with to keep your core business your main focus.

McClarin Plastics’ contract manufacturing is a specialized area of manufacturing. It goes beyond just product manufacturing: As a full service contract manufacturer we incorporate designing as well, making for a hybrid Design-Build approach that increases the overall benefit to the customer.

McClarin Plastics is a Contract ManufacturerAs many manufacturers may realize when it comes to product development, it is often not viable to maintain a full-time design staff.  In working with McClarin, we offer those services in a cost effective way by providing expert design capabilities while maintaining reasonable product costs.

McClarin’s hybrid design-build capabilities provide custom contract manufacturing for a wide variety of industries. Our clients have come to understand and value the services McClarin brings to their businesses. One such client realized a 30% growth in their business after partnering with McClarin. How? By contracting out the manufacturing of a fiberglass housing component, they saved the money they would have spent on expanding fiberglass operations to accommodate the need for increased housings. McClarin now supplies this company with housings that are assembled and ready for integration onto a combustion unit.

Contract manufacturers have the ability to streamline core business and help manufacturers focus on productivity. With expertise and valuable resources available to us, McClarin Plastics’ contact manufacturing brings together designing and manufacturing capabilities under one roof. We will help you keep that competitive edge while partnering with you on any product or component.

Please contact McClarin Plastics today to learn about how our hybrid design-manufacture capabilities can benefit, and streamline your process. 

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Topics: McClarin Plastics, Contract Manufacturer, Design-Build