Oct. 2006 Martin Stark Lifetime Achievement Award
Martins 37 years of service in the Plastics Industry with over 25 years of his career specifically being spent in the blow molding industry, serve as the basis for his receiving this award. Martins legacy to the blow molding industry is not one of inventions and patents, but rather leadership and giving back to the industry.
The 1960s and 70s saw the rapid rise of shuttle type blow molding machine builders, particularly from Germany, with companies such as Bekum, Fischer, Kautex and Hesta supplying machinery out of Europe to a worldwide customer base.
Quickly, Bekum Maschinfabriken GmbH recognized the need to establish a strong U.S. manufacturing base. Bekum America was founded in 1979, supplying North America s blow molders with a domestic source for state of the art shuttle blow molding machinery.
In 1981, Martin Stark joined Bekum America Corporation to grow North America s preeminent shuttle blow molding machinery manufacturing operation. In his 25 plus years of leadership of the Bekum America organization, over 1000 machines have been built and numerous milestones were achieved:
- Expanded Bekums >U.S. manufacturing operations from one shuttle machine model to 13 models currently.
- The blow molding industrys first domestically built 6-layer plastic fuel tank machine, supplied in 1993.
- Bekum America Corporation manufactured the industrys first 2-layer accumulator head machine for 275 gallon IBC container production in 1994.
- Spearheaded the drive to integrate in-mold labeling into shuttle type blow molding machinery, the BM-505D, which debuted at NPE 1997.
- North Americas first U.S. built double sided, long stroke machine, the BM-905D, which debuted at NPE 2000.
- Establishment of the Bekum Blow Molding Learning Center at Bekum America in 2004.
- Commercialization of the industrys first 5-parison, 20-cavity tandem top & bottom blow, 6-layer co-extrusion BM-506DL machine to produce over 50 million 10.5 ounce (300ml) life-style drink bottles/year.
- At NPE 2006 Bekum introduced the Blow Molding Industry to a 6-parison, 24-cavity tandem neck to neck BM-406D machine to produce 8 ounce (236ml) lightweight HDPE (10.5 gram) School Lunch Milk Bottles. This small footprint machine has an amazing output potential over 90 million bottles/year.
- Regarding giving back to the industry, Martins contributions have been significant.
- 27 years of involvement with the Society of the Plastics Industry including Chairman of the SPI Machinery Division and Machinery Division Blow Molding Section.
- Continuous corporate support of the Blow Molding Division of the Society of Plastics Engineers with Karl Bruning, followed by Gary Carr serving on the Blow Molding Division Board for more than a dozen years.
- Developed Michigan s best Apprenticeship Program, and graduated youngest ever U.S. School to Registered Apprentice (STRA) journeyman.
- Support of plastics education at the university level with machinery installed at:
- Ferris State University
- Penn State University Erie
- Michigan State University School of Packaging
In summary, Martin has dedicated his career to the manufacture, service and support of plastics machinery, which make the blow molded products we use every day.
Congratulations to Martin Stark for his selection as the
2006 SPE Blow Molding Lifetime Achievement Award winner!