History in the Making

PFC's founder was the inventor of the blow-molded case

It started with a simple kitchen stool.

In late 1963, Peter T. Schurman was working to develop a new blow molded step for a Hamilton Cosco kitchen stool. Designed to replace the steel and rubber steps then in use, the top surface of the new molded step was flat and textured, while the bottom surface was ribbed – providing greater rigidity, and making it easier to attach the step to the stool’s metal frame. While inspecting two prototype parts one day, it dawned on Schurman that if he joined two of those steps together with some kind of hinge, he would create a rectangular box with interior compartments that could be used as a package – in other words, a double-wall blow molded case.

In the two years that followed, Schurman started his own company, developed his invention further, and then sold both the company and the rights to his original invention to W.R. Grace Corporation.

Establishing A Brand

In 1966, Schurman founded The Plastic Forming Company (PFC) in Woodbridge, Connecticut. Initially, PFC focused on machinery development and specialty custom blow molding. In 1969, PFC entered the double-wall blow molded carrying case business using a new process developed by Schurman.

For the following decade, and driven by continuous product and process improvements, PFC-type cases gained wide acceptance owing to their unique combination of extreme durability, product protection, styling freedom, and moderate cost. The market and the Company grew rapidly as these cases became the preferred method to package a wide variety of consumer and industrial products, including hand tools and power tools, chain saws, camping lanterns, and postage meters. To accommodate that growth, PFC established and licensed other companies in the U.S. and in Europe, and eventually ceased case manufacturing to concentrate on product design and development, mold building, and the design, development, manufacture, and sale of blow molding equipment for its licensees.

Proprietary Systems

In the early 1980s, PFC resumed case manufacturing with an emphasis on the development of a proprietary line of cases to package the broad array of products sold by small and medium-sized manufacturers and distributors. Among the many products now packaged in PFC cases are: professional hand and power tools, portable test instruments and meters, microscopes, surveying transits and other optical devices, heart monitors and medical instruments, educational kits, and more. To complement its proprietary line of cases, PFC also manufactures foam and custom blow molded inserts and thermoformed inserts and trays.

 

Employee Ownership – ESOP

Since 1989, a significant portion of PFC has been owned by its employees through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). An ESOP is not simply an employee benefit, it is real ownership, and it gives every PFC employee a stake in how well the company does. When you call PFC, you’re talking to “one of the owners” – no matter who you speak with – and that makes a big difference.

AllConditions™ Cases

In the spring of 2012 PFC introduced their AllConditions™ line of weather resistant cases. AllConditions™ cases are an affordable alternative for those looking to purchase a protective case. With a proprietary gasket sealing system to keep your gear clean and dry, AllConditions™ weather-resistant cases are designed to lock out dirt and moisture while still being affordable. AllConditions™ cases have been certified IP53 by a nationally accredited independent testing laboratory.

PFC Timeline

1960
First Company (AIRMOLD) started in Buffalo, NY
1963
Living Hinge Case patented
1965
Double Wall Cases Developed & Patented (with Living Hinge)
1965
AIRMOLD company sold to W.R. Grace
1966
PFC Opens on Lunar Drive in Woodbridge, CT
1978
M2 Latches developed & patented
1979
Modular tooling patented
1979
Reinforced mechanical hinges patented
1981
Multi-Compartmented totes patented
1982
PFC Begins in house production molding
1982
John Womer joins PFC
1983
Super Latch developed becoming industry standard for almost 20 years
1984
Second Connecticut factory opened on South Bradley Road in Woodbridge, CT
1988
South Bradley Rd. facility doubled in size & operation consolidated
1988
First CAD system Purchased
1989
Integrally formed hinges developed & patented
1990
SST Stock mold building program begins replacement of all 065 thru 120 case sizes
1991
Mold skirts patented
1991
First in-house CNC & CAM added to tool room
1993
MST Stock Mold Building Program begins replacement of all sizes 135 thru 170
1994
PFC Ohio opens
1995
LST Stock Mold Building Program begins replacement of all sizes 230 thru 275
1996
IST Stock Mold Building Program begins replacement of all sizes 180 thru 230
1998
Peter Schurman Retires from PFC
1998
John Womer Aquires PFC
1999
Small run Thermofoming capabilities added
2000
Lid Flaps developed & patented
2000
S2 & S3 latches developed & patented
2001
First Hot Stamped production cases developed
2002
Universal small mold mounting chases developed
2003
Stock internal case tray line developed for MST & IST cases
2005
Stock line increased by adding (4) new design thin molds
2006
Purchase (5) Sterling 36″x 48″ molder from defunct Delta Consolidated Raleigh
2008
Stock Line increased by adding (5) Living Hinge cases w/ slide latches
2009
AllConditions Cases developed & Released
2009
Helped develop and commercialize 1st 4 color heat bonded labels
2010
Case adapter shoes developed & patented
2010
EDM capabilities added to tool room
2011
Injection mold building brought in house