Dr. James L. Throne Honored for Lifetime Achievements by European Thermoforming Division in 2004

At the European Thermoforming Conference on 26 March 2004, in Viareggio, Italy, Dr. Throne received the European Thermoforming Division’s first Lifetime Achievement award “for his technical contribution to the world-wide Thermoforming Industry.” This was the fourth biennial conference. Previous conferences were held in Gent, Belgium and Zurich. In an open letter in the Third Quarter Thermoforming Quarterly 2004, Dr. Throne thanked the European Thermoforming Division and the European Thermoforming Community. His letter follows:

The award you presented to me at the March ETD conference in Italy reads “Jim Throne – For his technical contribution to the world-wide Thermoforming Industry, Conference 2004 – Viareggio.” I was delighted to receive this most prestigious award at the Conference Diner 26 March 2004. I thank you, the board of directors of ETD, and you, fellow Thermoformers, for recognizing the importance of technology in our industry.

Nearly two decades ago, I wrote a small thermoforming book in which I stated “Thermoforming is not an easy process. It just looks easy.” I am proud to be one of many who have contributed to the technical structure of our industry. The result continues to be penetration not only into traditional nonplastic material markets but into other “traditional” plastics technologies such as injection molding, blow molding, SMC, and rotational molding. Our knowledge base is growing. Newer materials, equipment, and techniques are becoming available at an increasing rate. Global demand for our products is growing. It is an exciting time to be a thermoformer.

“Again, thank you for the honor! On to 2006!”

Below left, Manfred Jacob presents Jim Throne with his plaque. Below right, Donna Davis, 2003-2004 SPE President congratulates Manfred Jacob and Jim Throne on their awards.

Jim Throne Jim Throne

Dr. James Throne is 2000 Thermoformer of the Year

The Thermoforming Division of the Society of Plastics Engineers has selected Dr. James L. Throne, PhD, President as their “Thermoformer of the Year” for the year 2000. Dr. James L. Throne, PhD, President is the eighteenth person to receive this honor. He received his award at the Annual Awards Dinner, September 10, 2000 at the Hyatt Regency Ballroom in Columbus Ohio, during the Tenth Annual Thermoforming Conference.
Dr. James Throne is 2000 Thermoformer of the Year!

The Thermoforming Quarterly noted Dr. Throne’s accomplishments in this manner:

The process of thermoforming has made remarkable advances in the past two decades or so. Jim Throne has been there as a participant and as a reporter. His earliest thermoforming effort, end-caps for hot water baseboard heaters at American Standard, never made it to market. But his Amoco Chemicals 1980 patent with Bob Dempsey did, helping to define the basic technology for the current 150 million pound crystallizing PET TV-dinner tray market. In 1985, Jim started Sherwood Technologies, a consulting company specializing in thermoforming and foam processing.

Over the years, Jim has helped his clients thermoform films less than 1 mil in thickness and sheet greater than one-half inch in thickness. He has formed nearly every type of plastic, from RPVC for refrigerator liners, to linear polyurethane for condoms, from low-density PS foam to carbon-fiber reinforced PEEK, in plants from the United States to New Zealand to Korea to Ireland. Along the way, Jim has tracked the rapidly changing technical aspects of the industry, documenting them in many technical papers and four books on the subject – Thermoforming in 1986, Technology of Thermoforming in 1996, Understanding Thermoforming in 1999, and Thermoformen (in German) with J. Beine in 1999.

Jim says, “This is an exciting time to be in this industry. My credo has always been ‘Thermoforming isn’t easy. It just looks easy.’ In fact, we are quickly learning that all the ‘easy pieces’ have already been done. Ratcheting up to the next generation product requirements will once again test our abilities to understand the nuances of what is a most complex technical process. As a 10 billion dollar industry growing at 6% per year, we can no longer be considered a ‘minor art.'”

Dr. James L. Throne

Dr. James L. Throne

Jim was a Fellow of SPE and of the Institute of Materials (England) and was Technical Editor of the SPE Thermoforming Division Thermoforming Quarterly and Editor of the SPE Rotational Molding Division Newsletter. His degrees are in Chemical Engineering.

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