Research Project Information

Research Project Summary Information

Developing a Large-Scale Rapid Tooling Capability at Kintz Plastics(ST8701-1)

Kintz Plastics Inc.


Kintz Plastics, in Howes Cave, NY, specializes in design and fabrication of heavy-gauge thermoformed parts for the biomedical, computer, transportation and storm water containment markets. Kintz is collaborating with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, NY, which has developed a new Rapid Tooling technology called Profiled Edge Laminae (PEL) tooling. PEL tooling involves assembling an array of laminae – each having a uniquely profiled and beveled top edge by abrasive waterjet cutting –into a rigid tool by either side clamping or bonding.

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Project Description

This project entails demonstration of large-scale PEL tooling capability at Kintz Plastics. PEL tooling has been shown to have significant advantages for large-scale tools over current tooling fabrication methods such as computer-numerically controlled (CNC)-machining and sand casting.


More precise temperature control and higher cooling capacity afforded by imbedded temperature sensors and conformal cooling channels cut energy consumption per part by reducing the cooling cycle time and part scrap rate. Process productivity improvements include decreased tool fabrication lead-time and cost and increased flexibility with the incorporation of special tool features. This will lead to faster response time to customer requests and changes in the market and reduced costs.

Project Results

The project resolved the problem of sealing conformal channels rapidly and inexpensively while improving heating and cooling performance. The project also customized the PEL tooling method for design and fabrication of a thermoforming tool, developed guidelines and models to predict conformal channel and vacuum line performance, and demonstrated the ease of incorporating multiple-zone conformal cooling/heating channels, vacuum lines, and temperature sensors into the tool. It was determined that this new technology is best applied to large thermoformed parts with challenging geometrical features or difficult-to-form materials where more uniform temperature control or vacuum access is required. It is anticipated that using the PEL tooling method will save 25% of the preheating energy.


Kintz Plastics Inc.
165 Caverns Rd
Howes Cave, NY 12092

Principle Investigator

Wynn Kintz

Universities Involved

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute


Project Type:

On-site Process Improvement

Technologies Types:


NYSERDA Contact Information

Miriam Pye


R&D - Mfg Tech & On-Site Pwr

Contract Details

Start Date: 1/11/2010
Project Status: Active
Contract Number: ST8701-1

Last Updated: 7/30/2014