The world’s preeminent consumer goods company as a parent and a portfolio of 11 patent applications: from this enviable starting position, Procter & Gamble company iMFLUX is generating buzz in the plastics packaging space before it has even selected a location for its proposed injection molding plant.
Much of the buzz can be attributed to how tight lipped company officials have been with the media, with supposition replacing reported facts as many outlets try to guess just what P&G is up to. Here’s a taste from The San Francisco Chronicle in an Oct. 21 headline:
iMFLUX’s VP of research and development, Gene Altonen, does indeed have numerous patent applications pending, with 11 dating back to 2009, including five filed last Nov. 22. These are not for a new material, however, with most centering on the injection molding process itself. Titles include:
All discuss injecting thermoplastics at pressures of 6000 psi and less, which would allow cheaper more easily machined materials to be used in tooling. iMFLUX spokesperson Anna Hogan didn’t offer much in the way of details when asked about the company’s intellectual property portfolio, declining to reveal the number nor nature of the patents the company is pursuing. Asked about iMFLUX’s core competencies, she was equally evasive, perhaps understandably so given where the company is in its start up.
“iMFLUX plans to deliver new technology, software, and process engineering, delivered as an end-to-end solution with outstanding customer service,” Hogan wrote Plastics Technology in an e-mail response to questions. “Due to the competitive nature of our business, we cannot share more details at this time. Our technology and processes are currently undergoing the patent application process; accordingly, we cannot share more information.”
According to his bio, Altonen was a Research Fellow at P&G prior to joining iMFLUX. Over 23 years with P&G, the injection molding expert was granted more than 40 patents, and has at least 25 pending patent applications, according to iMFLUX.
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