Todd Bryant is senior lead instructor for the Paulson Plastics Academy and in-house technical expert assisting in the development of Paulson’s interactive online and DVD courses. He teaches the ProMolder 1, 2, and 3 certification seminars.
Todd has over 40 years of experience in tooling design and optimization, polymers processing, production, and training and holds five US patents for plastic products now manufactured and readily available in the market place. He brings to the Paulson team a substantial background in both a theoretical and a practical “hands-on” approach towards injection mold design, tool building, and injection mold processing.
Todd started out in the plastics molding industry as a mold setup technician and quickly progressed to advanced positions including process technician, production supervisor, Quality Manager, Engineering Manager, Plant Manager, Technical Manager as well as being sought after as a plastics design consultant.
A graduate of Forsyth Technical Community College and North Carolina State University, Todd has also taught at the college level for a Plastics Technology Program at Davidson County Community College. In addition to his professional career Todd has been a long-standing member of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE), serving as Vice President, President and Councilor of the Piedmont Coastal Section. Prior to joining Paulson, Todd was Training Manager at the Polymers Center of Excellence in Charlotte, NC.
Mike Eikenberry is a veteran of the injection molding industry having literally grown up in his fathers tooling and molding business. He has decades of hands-on experience and is passionate about teaching processors how to improve their production floor performance plant-wide and developing operational excellence. Mike is tremendous at breathing life into the Paulson method of teaching from the “plastics point of view,” including explaining how to calculate raw material prices, assessing changes in cycle times and how to measure the affect of lost cavitation and the overall profitability of a molding job. As a Paulson Plastics Academy instructor, Mike teaches the ProMolder 1 and Managing a Molding Plant seminars.
Mike Eikenberry Instructs:
Rick Barnes brings forty years of experience to the Plastics Academy, both in industry and education. He holds degrees in Chemical Engineering and Polymer Chemistry from the University of Waterloo, along with Teacher Certification in Plastics Technology from Red River College in Winnipeg, Canada. Rick has applied this knowledge in positions ranging from Process Engineer, Plant Manager, and Production Manager in both Canada and the United States. At the Sturgeon Creek School in Winnipeg he developed and taught a three year Vocational/Industrial program covering most of the technologies and processes in the plastics industry.
Rick has a wide range of technical knowledge in both Injection Molding and Extrusion and has developed training programs for schools and businesses. He has a good knowledge of costing procedures and budgets, and has improved productivity and profitability at various companies, both as an employee and a consultant.
Rick currently is the owner of RGB Plastics & Design, offering bottom-line improvements to the plastics industry through in-house training, process engineering, and design.
Michael Eikenberry, Sr.
Michael Eikenberry, Sr., started his career as a junior tool engineer working with Thermoset and Thermoplastic molding in 1961. After spending some time on the boards, an opportunity to join an apprenticeship program became available, so Michael applied the engineering and draftsmanship he had already acquired to his new skill as a journeyman Moldmaker. When he completed his journeyman requirements, Michael became keenly aware that the real magic was in the mold design. Though it takes very highly skilled moldmakers to construct high precision molds, the mold design is crucial to the success of the project. So Michael found his way back to the boards and his experience as a moldmaker helped him to improve his designs.
In 1968 at the age of 26, he started his own tool shop with two friends, Bill and John. The company was called BMJ Mold and Engineering, located in Kokomo, Indiana. Eventually Michael bought his partners’ shares of the company, and with him at the helm, it continued a steady growth pattern even through the tough years of the mid 70’s.
After many years as a successful precision mold supplier to the automotive industry, Michael decided to purchase a few molding machines. The demand was high for quality molders and the tool shop gave him an advantage. So at the young age of 40 he started Adept Custom Molders and from there the rest is history. At one time Eikenberry and Associates owned and operated a full service tier-two supplier with 5 separate entities: two Injection Molding companies, one in Texas and one in Indiana; a product design facility Chelexa Design in Dearborn, Michigan; BMJ Mold; and an A2LA accredited metrology service company.
• Experience running a total of five companies employing 155 people
• If asked Michael will tell you, “I am semi-retired. However I don’t seem to be able to stay away from plastics. Reckon it’s just in my blood.”
• Most recently he became interested in 3D printing of plastic and steel mold cavities.
• Michael currently holds two patents.
Michael Eikenberry, Sr., recently joined his son as an officer in Global Molding Solutions, LLC, an international consultancy focusing on the Injection Molding industry. As part of this new endeavor the Paulson Plastics Academy is pleased to add him as an Instructor with special focus on the business of running a business.
Lew Ferguson has over 40 years of experience in the plastics and blow molding industry. He provides service to global packaging and industrial blow molding manufacturing clients in North America, Latin/South America, Europe and Asia.
His personal goal is to promote growth and development of the blow molding industry through technology development and education.
Lew’s extensive experience includes blow molding commodity and engineering thermoplastics using extrusion, intermittent and injection blow molding equipment. Clients include blow molding part manufacturers, equipment and material suppliers, designers, and end-users. He facilitates new application development, process/product troubleshooting and conducts in-house customized hands-on processing and classroom training.
As an active member of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) since 1966, Lew is a Fellow of the Society and an Honored Service Member, currently a member of the Blow Molding Division Board of Directors, and a past chairman of the Division.
Lew contributed more than 35 published papers and presentations related to blow molding, impact modifiers, plastic alloys and engineering thermoplastics processing and design. He annually presents the 101 course “Keys to Blow Molding Engineering Thermoplastics for New Applications” at the SPE Blow Molding Division Annual Conference and was an instructor for SPE sponsored ‘Blow Molding Engineering Thermoplastics’ in the SPE sponsored Large Part Blow Molding Workshops.
Lew retired from GE Plastics in 1997 to establish PARISONS as an advisor to the blow molding industry. Previously, he worked for Borg Warner in Parkersburg, WV, for 20 years before it was purchased by General Electric Plastics. He was also Plant Chemist and Quality Supervisor for Tennepak in PVC bottle development and manufacturing and for Escambia in PVC compound development and blow molding technical service.
Lew earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Chemistry from Rutgers University and an MBA in Marketing from West Virginia University.
Dan McWilliams comes to the Plastics Academy with forty years of experience in the plastics industry. He pursued his education at Cornell University, receiving M. Eng. (Chemical) and BS (Chemical Engineering) Degrees. He was employed at The Dow Chemical Company for over 25 years at several locations in Michigan and Ohio, starting in Process Engineering, progressing through supervisory and management positions, with his final position as Project Manager for a new material being developed by Dow and another company.
As one of four partners, he established Carolina Compounding in 1997 and was responsible for all phases of startup and operations of the new company. He then became Materials Science Manager for the Polymers Center of Excellence in Charlotte, NC, until 2009, and he continues as their instructor for all extrusion training classes.
In 2009 he began his own consulting business, Granville Plastics Associates, providing support to plastics businesses with an emphasis on training and troubleshooting process issues. He also serves as Vice President of Programs for Polymer Ohio, Inc., with the responsibility for defining and managing projects to assist polymer companies.
Craig Potter is an experienced polymer scientist and extrusion specialist. Throughout his career at Dow Chemical, Nordenia (Mondi) and Avery Dennison, Craig has conducted polymer research and product and application development for a variety of applications including films, labels and flexible packaging. Craig has held multiple technical and leadership positions from product development scientist, R&D Group leader, ISO9000 Leader, Principal Scientist to Innovation Manager.
In addition, Craig has conducted training on chemistry, polymers films and labels numerous times and now teaches fundamental and advanced concepts of extrusion technology for Paulson Plastics Academy.
Craig has a BS in Chemistry from Iowa State University and an MBA from Capital University (Columbus, OH). Craig also holds a Six Sigma Black Belt and is a certified Green Belt trainer.