The Bucket Liner

By:  Keith Baechle, Regional Sales Manager – Industrial Products

Have you ever had a project come across your desk and you looked at it and thought, “this is never going to go anywhere!”  Sure, we all have.  Here at ACH Foam Technologies we have a catch phrase associated for such a project.

A long time ago, even before my tenure, (and that means it’s been a while) the Kansas City facility was approached by a small start-up company who needed a molded EPS shape.  This item was to be placed between two injection-molded plastic pieces and serve as insulation for a hotel-type “ice bucket.”  This start-up company was attempting to acquire new business and as result they were pursuing any and all business leads possible.

ACH Foam Technologies (Contour Products, Inc. at the time) was well established, had technical expertise, and was completely convinced that the “ice-bucket” was a flash in the pan idea.  But this particular customer was adamant, wide-eyed, and sure they had a shot at acquiring new business from their product, so ACH went to work.  Using crude customer supplied drawings and prototype plastic samples, ACH Foam came up with a custom molded EPS solution that met both their needs and wants.  We even supplied hand fabricated samples (more than once!) but were still convinced we were spinning our wheels.

About 2 weeks after our last set of samples were delivered we got “the call”, and as it turns out, this “start-up” company had luck on their side and had secured some business for their “ice-bucket.”  Subsequently, so did ACH Foam Technologies.  This so-called waste of time project was going somewhere after all!  ACH Foam proceeded with tooling and then produced almost 1,000,000 custom molded EPS ice bucket liners.

The moral… the next time you are absolutely…positively…confidently sure that the project you are presented with is not going anywhere, you may hear me or some other old-timer call out the words “BUCKET LINER!!!” And hopefully you will remember this lesson….sometimes little projects or little companies go BIG places.

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