From May Issue 2019
Written and submitted by Melissa Raskin
Plastic Concepts Inc. (PCI) was started in 1991 by Michael Thompson. His original business started by designing and fabricating plastic cabinets for the semi-conductor and computer industry. Today, while they still supply solutions for these industries, they have expanded their focus to include laboratory, Biotech and the pharmaceutical industry.
The product line includes custom made fume hoods, chemical tanks, storage cabinets (desiccators, chemical, garment), clean room equipment ( pass-thru ports, casework, glove boxes) wet process stations, animal research equipment, totes, casework, mobile storage solutions and accessories across many industries.
Plastic is the preferred choice for custom furniture and equipment in a lot of laboratories and shops because plastics are less likely to become damaged due to chemicals or chemical reactions, unlike metals which can oxidize or rust, or wood that can degrade. The other advantage of using plastic is that it is easier to fabricate into more complex shapes and therefore can be more easily customized.
Plastic Concepts can fabricate products using most of the popular plastic materials, such as: Polypropylene, Acrylic, Lexan, ,Teflon, PFA, ABS, Flame Retardant Polypropylene, CPVC, Delrin, HDPE and LDPE (High density polyethylene and Low density polyethylene), Halar, Kydex, PET, PVC, Kynar® , and more.
Plastic Concepts has precision tools to perform the steps necessary to create custom plastic products; Machining, Milling, Turning, Routing, Welding all happen in the shop every day to produce their products.
Not only will Plastic Concepts create a custom product for your lab or shop, but they will often service/repair or enhance the performance of existing equipment already in place.
There are a lot of plastic molded off the shelf products, plastic furniture, totes, tanks etc. So, why use a company like Plastic Concepts? What sets Plastic Concepts products apart is that they are built more durably and can be customized for your specific application requirements. Most off-the- shelf products are not made to withstand constant use over long periods of time and so they are constantly in need of replacement. Companies come to PCI to get durable products, that are customized for their use and guaranteed to last.
Also, when it comes to fabricating custom plastic pieces, Plastic Concepts products are exceptional because of the high quality of the plastic weld. The welding process at Plastic Concepts sets them apart from many other plastic fabrication companies.
Welding plastic is a similar process to welding metal but welding with metal requires an electrical arc to adhere the surfaces together. With plastic, the welding process uses hot air and gases to heat and seal the plastic together. The plastic weld, at first impression, seems simple enough… you have a gun that heats air or nitrogen, and the plastic welding material is fed through and adheres to whatever you’re working on.
But it’s much more than that – not all plastic welds are created equally, and therefore, not all plastic products are created equally. Understanding the material you’re working with, the correct temperature and air pressure, the manner in which you feed the welding material through the gun, the gas that you use and the rate at which you do it all can make or break the fabrication.
It takes years of experience, dedication, attention to detail, patience, a steady hand and focus, to get it right. And getting it right is what sets Plastic Concepts apart!
Lastly, Plastic Concepts has an insightful and experienced staff of sales people, engineers and designers. With over 3 decades of experience serving multiple industries they can offer creative solutions to any problem. Also, PCI’s 3D drawing capability software allows clients to visualize their product and take part in the process so they know exactly what they’re getting before it arrives at their facility.