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Don Paulson Inducted into the Plastics Hall of Fame

We are thrilled to announce that Don Paulson, Founder and Chairman of Paulson Training Programs, Inc., has been inducted into the 2021 Plastics Hall of Fame.

Don has been recognized for his outstanding contribution to the plastics industry and specifically for his decades of research and technical training. The Plastics Hall of Fame was established by the Plastics Academy in 1972 to recognize those Americans who, through their dedication, work, and accomplishment, have contributed most significantly to the growth and success of the plastics industry.

Paulson, who holds engineering degrees from both the University of Minnesota and Villanova University has nine US and foreign patents. He is being recognized for his life-long dedication and contribution to the research and education of the industry. Paulson has previously been honored with SPE’s Lifetime Engineering and Technical Achievement Award for his research into the structure and causes of plastic part variations. This research led to developing control systems that would automatically maintain precise part dimensions based on cavity pressure measurement.

The success of Paulson’s first company (Control Process, Inc) led to his start-up of another company, Paulson Training Programs (PTP), in 1980. For over 40 years, PTP has been teaching the fundamentals as well as advanced molding topics based on Paulson’s research at General Motors Institute. Over a five-year period, he proved that molded part properties are determined by just four basic plastic conditions in the mold, not the specific machine settings.  (For those who want to delve deeper, they are the plastic: melt temperature, flow rate, pressure and cooling rate).

This was a fundamental shift in understanding what must be controlled – the plastic conditions, and lead him to coin the phrase, “Molding From The Plastics Point of View”. This understanding of the molding process allows the injection molder to understand the true causes of part problems in order to lead him or her to a solution. This simple shift in the thought process results in quick solutions to problems and leads to other productivity improvements. The next generation of molding experts, so needed by the industry, is being developed by this science-based understanding of the molding process.

Paulson’s research and innovative approach to plastics education has profoundly impacted the lives of thousands of individuals and companies. It has provided a means for advancement, workforce development, and company growth.

Paulson said, “This award is an honor, but what I am most proud of are the many times individuals have thanked me for their ability to advance in their jobs because they received the Paulson training. That to me is the true reward.”

According to an article in Plastics News, Jay Gardiner, Plastics Academy president, “We are proud of the 2021 class of the Plastics Hall of Fame. The winners come from all across the globe and represent many different disciplines,” adding, “in this difficult year, we look to these individuals as a reaffirmation of the vitality and strength of the plastics industry.”

Karen Paulson, president of Paulson Training, and the youngest of Paulson’s five children, said, “This is a great honor for my father, and we couldn’t be more proud of him. He is someone who was born to do research and seek knowledge. He possesses the uncanny ability to take complex information and distill it down to useful information. He is an example of hard work and the power of education. He is a man of excellence and well-deserving of this award.”

In a pre-Covid-19 world, the Hall of Fame induction ceremony would normally include a gala dinner presentation of the award at the Plastics industry’s largest tri-annual international expo NPE, an event that draws over 50,000 individuals world-wide, that is now cancelled. Details on how the award will be presented have yet been announced.

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