This article is also available online at Plastics Academy Hall of Fame [http://www.plasticsacademy.org]Edward F. Bachner - Hall of Fame Entry Edward F. Bachner Birthdate: March 1, 1888 Deceased: June 29, 1974 Induction: 1973 Industry Areas: Machinery, Process Custom molder, founder of Chicago Molded Products Corp., Chicago, IL, in 1919. Active in development of machinery and processing innovations. In 1926 Bachner's company produced the first phenolic washing machine agitators; pioneered in other plastics applications. One of the organizers and early officers of the SPI. Edward on his Induction: Since I entered the plastics industry as a custom molder in 1919, there has steadily emerged a significant pattern, which I feel offers reliable insight as to the future prospects for the custom molder: renewal of opportunity. From the earliest days, as the introduction of new materials and improved equipment and molding techniques made new applications possible, business opportunities were created for the custom molder. Because plastics were new, developments were more frequent and the opening of new business opportunities was being continuously repeated. This pattern is continuing, and has every prospect of expanding. As a result, the place of the custom molder in the structure of the plastics industry is very secure. Of course, the basic justification for the custom molder's existence is his ability to serve a customer better than the customer could serve himself. This service extends from the development of new applications to the production of satisfactory parts in required volume. The molder serves, in fact, as an extension of the customer's capabilities. This implies that the molder organize himself to provide adequate engineering, research and development, equipment, molding know-how, and innovative vigor. In this concept of custom molding, there is at one end the once innovational, although now commonly produced and highly-competitive product -- which is tending to move out of the original molder's exclusive hold. But at the other end, there is a steady flow of new applications replacing those that are showing diminishing returns. On balance, there is more coming in than there is disappearing. Of course, while this is true for the custom molding industry as a whole, it does not automatically follow that it will always be true for individual molders. And this is of the essence: the molder has to see himself in this positive role and be prepared to react to these opportunities. He has to alert himself constantly to the posture of remaining in the front line of development. Even while giving his best to obtain the greatest mileage from the older applications -- finding new ways to improve quality and minimize cost -- he must be aware that although these are yesterday's winners and they still may be today's sustenance, he must get on with the business of creating today's winners and preparing for tomorrow's. Aside from applications that will evolve from within the plastics industry in improved materials, equipment, and molding techniques, there will come -- from the technological advances of science and industry, in all fields -- what might be likened to an endless conveyor belt bulging with the products of tomorrow. Think of how much can come out of a few of the way-out techniques, such as fluidics, computer-aided design, chemical propulsion, optical communications, lasers, fuel cells, solar energy, light-emitting diodes, liquid crystals, explosive joining, controlled fusion -- to name a few. The plastics industry may not participate significantly in these developments directly, but new products that will be created as these technologies are applied will flow toward the "open end" of custom molding. Finally, if I may offer a word of counsel to young people looking for career direction: for the engineer, and for the technically minded, the custom molding industry can be a good choice, especially for the individual who thrives on change and who can shift gears readily. I can see the custom molder as, every few weeks or months, entering a new business -- undertaking constantly the manufacture of an entirely new product -- starting from scratch. If I may indulge myself in a bit of whimsy, I have every reason to believe that such a person may reasonably aspire to someday being nominated to the Plastics Hall of Fame.