Category Archives: Orthotics and Prosthetics

Business Development Team – Adds Value to Buying Through Distribution

TKMNA AIN Plastics Business Development Team Is Dedicated to Providing Solutions to Your Engineered Plastic Needs.

As a Distributor of Engineered Plastics we serve many Industries.  We supply Fabrication Machine Shops as well as OEM Manufacturers.  We work with Design Engineers, Product Developers, Maintenance Specialists, and more. Serving so many industries provides many challenges, so how does AIN Plastics maintain a high level of customer service, satisfaction, good value, and keep up with the thousands of options available in engineered plastics? We have a team. That team includes the Inside and Outside Sales people everyone works with on a day to day basis. We also have 11 branches throughout the US operated by Branch Managers and Fulfillment teams. But we also have an additional team of Industry Segment Managers, (aka Business Development Team) who work across all AIN Plastics locations. This team is comprised of members that between them hold an incomparable amount of knowledge and passion in key industries we serve. Their goal is to assist both the AIN team and our customers by providing knowledgeable support. That support may include training and education, evaluation of applications for material selection and problem solving. In addition the Business Development team uses their depth of Engineered Plastics to find applications that may benefit from an Engineered Plastic solution over traditional materials like metals.

Each Industry Segment Manager focuses on one of the following industries:

  • Oil and Gas / Pump and Valve
  • Power Distribution
  • Medical and Life Sciences
  • Orthotics and Prosthetics (O&P)
  • Transportation

In addition we have an Industry Segment Manager that focuses solely on the high performance DuPont™ Vespel® materials which are often specified by Design Engineers for applications in Aerospace, Plastics Processing, Semiconductor and other highly demanding industries.  By focusing on how we can assist people and educate others in the proper selection and use of engineered plastics we have found we can help customers find ways to improve or enhance applications, reduce costs, and improve efficiency and safety. The AIN Plastics Business Development team all have hands on experience within the plastics industry and in machined parts that provide a base of knowledge they each build on. Because we work with all the major manufacturers of engineered plastic materials, we have the widest selection of products to consider for solutions.  Our Industry Segment Managers also have the opportunity to constantly add training and knowledge to their skills directly from the manufacturers and then share it with customers. We see our job as a distributor as an opportunity to make your job easier and your business successful. In essence we see ourselves as a bridge between customers and suppliers and a partner who brings value.

Meet the Business Development Team

Oil and Gas / Pump and Valve –

Kendall Montague - Business Development Oil and Gas Industry Segment ManagerEmail:

Phone: 314-502-0813

Kendall Montague is a veteran of the plastics industry with over 15 years of experience. He earned a degree in Economics from Southern Illinois University.  Previous to that Kendall enjoyed a 10 year career as a PGA Club Professional in the greater St. Lous area. After that he transitioned into the plastics industry. Through the IAPD, he has earned the Level 1 and 2 Professional Sales Certifications. Kendall was attracted to AIN Plastics after meeting thyssenkrupp Materials NA, AIN Plastics Division President John Shepherd during a national materials conference.  John’s enthusiasm and vision were shared with Kendall during a team building exercise, and Kendall was left with an impression of the organization that directly aligned with his value-added selling approach. Kendall focuses on working with OEM and MRO Engineers throughout the Oil and Gas industry assisting them with application specifics in thermoplastics material selection. He has also helped develop custom design fabrications that work well with specific CNC equipment. His fabrication experience, a skill learned early in life from his father and developed during his career, is also a valuable tool he brings.  His typical focus applications include bearing, valves, and pump components found in the Oil and Gas markets.

In his spare time Kendall loves being physically active, and especially enjoys biking, running half marathons, and hiking. His passion for running connected him with a fitness group called Road Runners Club of America ( and he is now one of the over 4,600 members here in the USA, and 16 other countries. Team members can be distinguished by their signature purple camouflage apparel in races and club members range in age from 4 to 85. The group’s only requirement is that, “you have a true desire to maintain and improve your own fitness.” When he’s not participating in half marathons, Kendall enjoys spending time with his childhood sweetheart Jennie whom he met at the age of 13. Home base for Kendall is in the greater St. Louis area but he travels to customers throughout the US to provide hands on support.

Trevor Drake - Business Development - Power Distribution Industry Segment ManagerPower Distribution –


Phone: 248-233-5600

Trevor Drake is AIN Plastics Industry Segment Manager for the Power Distribution Industry. Trevor has a well rounded background in business and industry. He is a Canada native who got his start as a plant supervisor in the automotive industry after graduating from the University of Windsor. After completing his MBA in Business Finance, Trevor joined thyssenkrupp Materials NA where he worked as part of the finance team before focusing on Sales and Marketing. Trevor has been with the AIN Plastics Division for over 10 years.

Through his diverse career, Trevor has developed key skills that are of great value.  His vision on Proficiency, the importance of urgency, and his entrepreneurial spirit serve him well. In addition he brings valuable insights from his time in manufacturing plants. Trevor spends his time in the Transportation and Power Generation sectors, focusing on Insulating materials like GPO, Phenolics, Polycarbonates, and other Engineering Plastics.

When Trevor is not working to create solutions for his customers, he enjoys watching his two sons and his daughter develop their talents in sports. He appreciates that he can continue to do what he loves while still enjoying the climate and atmosphere of Canada.

Dave Piperi - Business Development - Medical Life Science Industry Segment ManagerMedical / Life Sciences –


Phone: 914-490-1438

Located in the New York, New Jersey area is Industry Segment Manager Dave Piperi.  Dave is an expert in the Life Sciences, Medical, and Analytical Instrumentation Markets.  Dave’s experience in our business is very deep.  Starting as an Inside Salesman gave him a strong education in Engineering Plastics.  Moving to Outside Sales, then Branch Management expanded his experience.  He was particularly interested in AIN Plastics because of its leading role in supplying High Performance Medical Grade Materials.

Dave has assisted customers and led AIN’s growth by developing applications for lab testing equipment used throughout the analytical and bio-pharma areas. Dave supports customers and design engineers by working with them and sorting through the many requirements (including specific industry certifications) and providing engineered plastic solutions. These solutions deliver real world benefits that help improve their products, increase service life and more.

Outside of his work at AIN, Dave enjoys time with his family, watching his son play sports, and relaxing on the beach.

Paul Hanson - Business Development - DuPont Vespel Industry Segment ManagerHigh Performance Materials / DuPont™ Vespel® –


Phone: 770-362-9712

For high performance DuPont™ Vespel® Material, Paul Hanson is the go to person. Paul has been working in the Plastics Industry for over 23 years, with experience in the Manufacturing as well as Distribution fields. After earning his Bachelors Degree in Business Finance and his MBA in Business Administration, he moved from Minnesota to Georgia to enter the Plastics Business. Paul has held management positions in Manufacturing and Distribution, as well as Field Sales and Training, Paul has a unique depth of experience in the field.  He was attracted to AIN Plastics because of the company’s long history as a leader in Engineered Plastics.  As an Industry Segment Manager Paul uses his expertise to support the AIN Sales team and their customers in the selection of the right materials for specific applications, often replacing metals and other traditional materials with plastics.  Paul works closely with the DuPont™ Vespel®  organization and brings that experience to our customers, focusing on the Aerospace and Semicon Industries.

Outside of AIN, Paul enjoys spending time with his wife of 32 years, Sara.  They enjoy golfing, traveling, and spending time with their families.  On many weekends you can find him at his brother in law’s drag-strip in Middle Georgia.  His goal is to be racing there soon in a hot Camaro!

Scott Moore - Business Development O&P Industry Segment ManagerOrthotics and Prosthetics –


Phone: 813-215-8323

Scott Moore is a Florida native who leads our efforts in the Orthotics and Prosthetics Marketplace.  Scott studied Criminal Justice Standards at Polk State College, but soon found his way into the Plastics Industry.  His 20 year career started as an Inside Sales Representative for one of our strategic suppliers, Quadrant Engineering Plastics.  That experience led him to promotions at Quadrant including Inside Sales Manager, Territory Manager, and Team Leader for the Power Transmission Division.

He joined AIN Plastics Business Development Team in 2010 where he focused on DuPont™ Vespel® and Medical Grade Materials. Scott moved back to Florida as the Branch Manager for AIN Plastics Tampa, where he became heavily involved in the growing demand for Orthotics and Prosthetics materials. His materials experience was valuable in rapidly growing our position in this market.

Scott has developed special labeling for our O&P thermoforming products which is of great help to the industry.  He has also expanded our offerings to include adhesives, foams and cork, creating a full market basket. Most recently Scott introduced a unique clear unbreakable material that is ideal for  check / test sockets. As our Industry Segment Manager for O&P, Scott spends his time working in the Field with our Sales team as well as managing the relationships with our National Accounts.  Scott leads our efforts to bring AIN Plastics O&P Materials online as an OPIE Integrated Supplier.

At home, Scott enjoys spending time with Diep, his wife of 14 years, and their two daughters Kayla and Kara. He also finds time to continue his passion for playing the drums, a lifetime enjoyment. He also loves to fish and hunt, and most recently teaching one of his daughters to fish as well.

Thomas Price - Business Development, Transportation Industry Segment ManagerTransportation –


Phone: 678-230-7944

When it comes to materials for the Transportation Industry, Thomas Price is our resident expert and Industry Manager.  Thomas has over 20 years of Plastics Industry Experience, from Key Account Management to Branch Distribution Management. A graduate of West Virginia institute of Technology,  where he studied Design Engineering, Thomas brings great skills to AIN Plastics.  His primary focus has been on Engineered Plastics used in Aerospace, but also is an expert in Transit and other related Transportation fields.  The newest of the AIN Business Development team, Thomas joined in 2014.  He was attracted to AIN Plastics because of the professionalism displayed by the company, and his familiarity with the transportation industry.  Thomas prides himself on being able to relate to the issues of his customers, as well as the product manufacturers.  He takes an active role in problem solving throughout the supply chain, which makes him a valuable member of our team.

Thomas works out of the Charlotte, North Carolina area, but you can find him most anywhere in North America where Aircraft Interior components are designed, manufactured, and installed.

In his spare time he enjoys being a loving father to his three girls, participating in competitive target shooting, and many other outdoor activities.

In the world of engineered plastics finding the right material can seem like looking for a needle in a hay stack. As an Engineering Plastics Distributor we look to add value not just by carrying the most demanded products, from all of the Major Manufacturers, but also by being experts in the use and selection of these materials.  We can also help you in the Fabrication of these materials into parts … from prototype to full production runs.  Through our Business Development Team and Sales Team we live in the manufacturing plants of America, and we are happy to consult and teach what engineered plastics can do for you. Do you need to reduce noise? Do you need parts that last longer?  Would you like to eliminate the need for lubrication?  If you answered yes, then we can help. As your trusted partner in the distribution supply chain, we look not just at selling a piece of plastic but at providing Engineered Plastics Solutions that help you to get the right plastic material for your application.


Scott Petrowski Director of Supply Chain Management ThyssenKrupp Materials NA AIN Plastics DivisionScott Petrowski
Director of Supply Chain Management
ThyssenKrupp Materials NA
AIN Plastics Division


Making a Better Check / Test Socket

To make a better test / check socket let’s first take a look at exactly what that is. A check socket (also known as a test socket) is a temporary prosthetic socket that is manufactured and used to diagnose an amputee’s dynamic alignment. They are typically made from a plaster casIMG_0938t of the area to be fitted. The prosthetist will then take that information and create a socket that provides optimal fit and function. This definitive socket is what patient’s will come into contact with every day. Why is all of this done instead of just building a prosthesis from a plaster mold? Because comfort is key! Just as a poor fitting pair of shoes can lead to problems, a poor fitting prosthesis can lead to serious issues including rubbing, sores, pinching that cuts off circulation and they can be so painful that patient’s sometimes do not use their prosthesis unless they absolutely must. Not to mention the hazards for diabetics or others where healing of wounds can be a potential life threatening issue.

A socket that does not have a comfortable fit or is not aligned properly can negatively impact the amputee’s stability and their ability to move naturally which can eventually lead to other physical issues. It may also leave the patient with an overall lack of confidence in their prosthesis. Ultimately poor fit and discomfort adds physical and mental stress and tension. This can also mean people are missing out on enjoying an active healthy lifestyle.

What all of this comes down to is one thing: The more accurate the check socket the quicker an amputee gains confidence and optimal mobility and is able to lead the healthy active style that is so important to a good quality of life.

Check Socket made from new Or-Pro Stiff

Check Socket made from new Or-Pro Stiff and using water to form instead of silicone


Using silicone adds cloudiness to plastic check socket materials

One of the things I enjoy most in my job at AIN Plastics is helping to solve problems, and as I listened to prosthetists in the field, I realized we could help solve a couple of check socket / test socket issues we heard about on a regular basis. Those issues were check socket clarity, and having a socket that could withstand testing on patients who fall into an above average weight range. The common test socket materials today have enough clarity to work, but they are subject to cracking or total failure if too much weight or pressure is put on them. I went back to my years of hands on work with plastics in other industries and began to research to find a material that would be both clear and tough. and I am happy to say we have now added Or-Pro Stiff to the AIN Plastics O&P Materials. I think you will like it too.

Or-Pro Stiff is an ultra-tough, clear plastic check socket material that resists cracking and breaking. Or-Pro Stiff thermoforms consistently and maintains outstanding clarity that allows the prosthetist to easily see and make adjustments where needed. It is also ideal for use with patients where they are above average weight.

Major Benefits of Or-Pro Stiff for Check / Test Sockets

  • Eliminates the fear of cracking or breaking
  • Excellent Clarity
  • High Stiffness
  • No Notch Sensitivity
  • No UV Sensitivity
  • No shrinkage
  • Pulls easily and uniformly
  • Eliminates the need to reinforce with fiberglass tape
  • Stocked in standard thicknesses: 10mm, 12mm and 15mm (others thicknesses available).

Our O&P Team knows your patients count on you to help them and we are here to help you by providing material solutions. There are thousands of plastic materials on the market, so if you have a specific need, we are happy to put our resources and plastics knowledge to use which saves you many hours of time and valuable resources so you can focus on what you enjoy most – providing great patient care.

If you are interested in learning more please contact me. I am happy to work with you and show you how this material can be pulled to maintain the beautiful clarity you see in the photos.


Dick Cubero and Scott Moore at the 2016 Hanger Charity Golf Outing

Dick Cubero and Scott Moore at the 2016 Hanger Charity Golf Outing

Scott Moore

Industry Segment Manager
Orthotics and Prosthetics

thyssenkrupp Materials NA
AIN Plastics Division

Scott Moore is a Florida native with over 20 years of experience in the plastics industry. In addition to Inside and Outside sales, Scott has been and a Leader for the Power Transmission Division of Quadrant EPP. Scott has been a Branch Manager with AIN Plastics and is now enjoying a full-time focus on the Orthotics and Prosthetics business.



Learn more about our O&P Materials at The O&P Corner or on our website.




Plastic Materials In Robotic Assisted Surgery

Over the course of the past fifteen years I have concentrated heavily on plastics for the medical device industry and I have been fortunate to have witnessed the incredible advancements that have been, and are still being made in this industry. Robotic assisted surgery is surly one of those advancements.

Advancements in Hip and Knee replacement technologies have grown by leaps and bounds from where they were when I began working with device OEM’s and likewise, polymers have advanced quite rapidly too.  Applications utilizing acetals were slowly surpassed by Polyetherimides and Polyphenylsulfones.  Fifteen years ago PEEK was barely known unless you were involved with the Oil and Gas or Aerospace industries.  Now, PEEK is used as a permanent implant in spinal, shoulder, and other applications.  The rapid advancements of plastics has been side by side with as the technology of surgical procedures has progressed.  Another area of growth for plastics in medical uses is that of certain polymers for both non-implant and implantable surgical procedures and these will continue to evolve as the technology moves ahead at warp speed.

Plastic Materials in Robotic Assisted Surgery

This brings me to Robotic Assisted Surgery.  Fifteen years ago as this type of surgery was being developed with funding from both DARPA and NASA (see below for links to information about these agencies) little was really known about it. I’m sure many of the device manufacturers were aware that one day it would be a reality but I’m not sure how many truly believed that by 2014 it would become as prevalent as it is in todays surgical theater and how much it more it will transcend over the coming years.  Today Robot assisted surgeries have been used in many procedures across many surgical disciplines including joint replacement, open heart surgery, oral surgery and a variety of others. These robot assisted surgeries are more precise than any human can perform and although there is still a surgeon at the controls he or she is performing the surgery from a platform that allows the robot to actually make the movements that were once performed by the surgeons hands. The benefits to the patient are numerous and include less bleeding, greater accuracy, and less invasive just to name a few.  The future of this technology is virtually unlimited.

This image shows a traditional incision (left) vs. a robotic assisted approach (right).

So why am I writing about robotic assisted surgeries in a blog devoted to Engineering Plastics?  Good question.  Because as we move into the next decade I believe we will see more and more polymers used in these robotic platforms.  Maybe the applications of yesterday will be replaced with applications for the polymers of tomorrow.  If a robot can determine that the UHMW implant for a knee arthroplasty is between  25 mm and 35 mm will there be a need to have eight knee provisional trials for that procedure?  Maybe there will only be a need for four or maybe two or maybe none at all. In this day and age of less being more, as in less material waste and less time to production,  robots could be the best new tool in the medical industry. One thing is certain and that is robotic arms will undoubtedly be using high performance plastics to ensure they can withstand the speed and precision ensure they can be deemed reliable for the long-term.  This leads to the issue of preventative maintenance which will also be imperative in maintaining the effectiveness of these units.  As we move forward, it looks as though robotic assisted platforms are here to stay as well as the plastic that is used in these platforms today and on into the future.

Dave Piperi
ThyssenKrupp Materials AIN Plastics Division
Sales and Marketing Manager
Life Sciences

About Dave Piperi 
Dave is the Sales and Marketing Manager for ThyssenKrupp Materials AIN Plastics Division Life Sciences product offering. His focus is on Medical Device, BioPharma and Analytical Equipment markets. Dave has been with AIN Plastics for 15 years and during his time has held several positions including Sales Manager of AIN Plastics New York and Territory Manager.

Related Articles:

Article looks at the difference in incision between robot assisted and traditional surgery methods.

Keep up on all the latest DARPA news on Twitter DARPA on Twitter

See how DARPA is part of developments in medical as well as advanced prosthetics DARPA on YouTube

Read more about DARPA the Robotics Challenge

Visit the NASA website to get the latest news, connect with their blog, and more

AIN Plastics Expands – New Branch in St. Louis, MO

After a year or more of research and hard work to expand, AIN Plastics is pleased to announce the opening of a new AIN Plastics Distributor Branch in the St. Louis Missouri area.

New Business Locations Don’t Happen Overnight

This week I had the opportunity to talk with Chris Urban, Branch Manager for AIN Plastics new St. Louis Area Distribution Facility. I asked him what it took to get a new branch opened up. Chris said they started with finding the right location, which turned out to be in the same building as the St. Louis area ThyssenKrupp Materials NA Facility (AIN Plastics parent company since 1993). Then came finding the right equipment which includes a brand new saw for custom cutting orders and finding just the right people with both customer service and previous plastics experience. Chris noted they wanted to hit the ground running from their first day of business. He went on to say:

“We have worked hard in preparation over the past year prior to our opening and we are very excited to see our hard work pay off. ThyssenKrupp Materials NA, AIN Plastics Division did a great deal of research regarding this project. St. Louis is an ideal location to further extend our distribution. From this branch we will be able to provide customer service and quick turn around on orders to Missouri and surrounding states.”

Chris also said he wanted to thank all the AIN people that came to St. Louis from other branches to support his team for the first few days. “Having the support of the entire AIN Plastics company has made starting the new branch a great experience for everyone. We feel truly supported and connected to everyone in the company.”

AIN Offers More than Materials – It’s about Value Added Services

I asked Chris about the services they will be offering. Chris says the new AIN Plastics distribution branch offers a comprehensive list of value added services including:

  • Close tolerance custom cutting of orders
  • Customized Inventory and stocking programs including just in time delivery solutions
  • A vast inventory of sheet and rod materials, some of them highly specialized
  • Professional team with years of plastics industry experience
  • ThyssenKrupp Nationwide Logistics for the best possible delivery

More Manufacturers are Choosing Plastic Due to it’s Many Benefits

Chris talked about how the selection of plastics is changing rapidly due to its value as a lightweight component in manufacturing, it’s ability to be reused and recycled, and it’s cost. Plastics are often an affordable material compared to more traditional resources such as metal, wood, or glass, and they often outlast and outperform those materials. Researchers are always developing even better plastics. “We have a team in place that can help customers sort through and not just find a plastic that will work, but rather the right plastic for their application.”

GPO, Materials for O&P, TeflonPlastics, Plastics, and More!

When it comes to what plastics the St. Louis AIN Plastics branch will stock, Chris gave me a short rundown and said this doesn’t come close to covering all the materials we have:

  • Industrial Plastics
  • High Pressure Laminates
  • Engineering Plastics including
    • ABS
    • Acetal
    • Cast Acrylic
    • Polycarbonate
    • Radel R
    • Semitron
    • Techtron
  • Composite Tooling products
    • RAMPF Styling, Modeling, and Tooling Boards
    • RAMPF Close Contour Paste and Casting Materials
    • Thermoform Materials
    • Epoxy Casting and Laminating Resins
    • Foundry and Pattern Materials
  • Plastic Tubing including Medical and Food Grade
  • FDA compliant plastics for medical and food service industries
  • Silicone
  • Rapid Prototyping
  • DuPont TM Vespel® (AIN Plastics is the Authorized Distributor)

Well, you get the idea, it’s a long list and that’s just the beginning. Chris says the best way to learn more is by visiting the website or better yet by giving them a call at 877.246.7700.
The AIN Plastics Distribution Facility is located next to the ThyssenKrupp Materials NA facility:

59 Interstate Drive
Wentzville, MO 63385

Hours of operation are Monday – Friday 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM.

For more information regarding the new AIN Plastics St. Louis Area Branch

CONTACT: Christopher Urban

TEL: 877.246.7700

DIRECT: 636-698-6295

FAX: 636-327-4369


That’s it for this week’s news. Look for our other posts where we look not at ourselves, but at the world of plastics. What’s new, what works, why certain plastics are good in specific applications and more. IF you do want to learn more about AIN Plastics and our history check out the “About Us” page on our site.

See you in the blogosphere again soon!

Lisa Anderson

Marketing Manager
ThyssenKrupp Materials, NA
AIN Plastics Division


39th Annual Meeting and Scientific Symposium for Orthotists and Prosthetists (AAOP)

AIN Plastics Dick Cubero and Phil Andriano are on hand at this year’s 39th Annual Meeting and Scientific Symposium for the AAOP (American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists).

O&P expert, Dick Cubero noted, “The Annual Meeting and Symposium of AAOP has become an important annual event for AIN Plastics. We get to sit down with orthotists and prosthetists from all over the country and focus on their needs and concerns for several days. It’s a great time to get to know each other better and to do some real problem solving.”

New Customer Service Features from AIN Plastics

Screen Shots of new O&P sectionThis year AIN Plastics will be unveiling several new enhancements to their services for orthotists and prosthetists. One we are very happy to announce are updates to our website We have always had a section dedicated to our orthotic and prosthetic materials and now we’ve made enhancements that will help make finding material information even easier.

New Tables – For a quick reference, take a look at the tables, sorted by general material types: Polyolefin, Clear Plastics, Rigid Plastics, Flexible Plastics, and Metals. Each table contains a short description, typical applications, and basic test data for Flexural Modulus and Forming Temperature.

More In Depth O&P Material Information – For more in depth information on a material, we’ve added a “Learn More” which takes website users to downloadable .pdfs of technical data, MSDSs and other information currently available. New and improved materials can greatly benefit the professional orthotist and prosthetist as well as the end user of the product developed just for them. But the number of new advances can also be a daunting thing to stay on top of. Our goal is to continue to update the new O&P section of our website as we obtain new information so you always have one easy place to access it all.

New O&P Material Labeling

Label---OandP-2x4Coinciding with the website enhancements are new material labels featuring QR codes! These popular codes work similar to a barcode except you can scan them from a smart phone. The new QR codes will take users directly to the ainplastics,com site and to the particular material they are looking at. If you don’t currently use a QR code scanner on your smart phone, you can easily add one for free by going to your phone’s app store and searching QR. We think this will make access to technical data, MSDSs and more faster and easier.

New Print Guide to Materials for Orthotics and Prosthetics AIN Plastics also revised O&P Material Selection Guidetheir Guide to Materials for Orthotics and Prosthetics. This handy print reference has been a great desk reference for our customers for quite a few years but it was time for a refresh. We took a look and thought – Hey! what if this could also be a handy poster that could hang on the wall so it’s there for you even when your hands are full of plastics! Dick Cubero and Phil Andriano will be handing out these free guides throughout the show along with some shop aprons, and other goodies we think everyone will find useful.


Camie 100 Spray Lubricant and Camie 300 Spray Adhesive

Camie 100 and 300 Spray adhesive and Spray on lubricant

Last but not least, Dick Cubero wanted to let people know about a product that many of his customers have had excellent results with. Results have been so good that AIN is sending out free samples for O&P professionals to try. “Camie 300 Spray Adhesive and Camie 100 Spray Lubricant have quickly become the product of choice for many of the orthotists and prosthetists I work with. The adhesive can be used to temporarily position materials, but it also works well as a permanent adhesive in O&P applications like scoliosis jackets.” Dick also said, “The spray on lubricant has really helped to make working with materials easier in all sorts of O&P applications including reducing or eliminating glove marks often left while plastics are being worked and toughened.” He added many users like to spray Camie 100 on the blades of their scissors because it keeps glue from building up and sticking. For more detailed information on Camie 100 and 300 download a pdf of technical data here –  TDS – Camie 100-300 02-13

If you are at the Annual Meeting and Scientific Symposium for AAOP I hope you made it to the AIN Plastics booth (#421). But if you are seeing this blog post after the show, it’s no problem. Our website is always available for your use 24/7 at The new guide is available as a .pdf download, but you can also contact Dick Cubero or Phil Andriano directly and they can get an original copy sent to you directly along with samples you might need. Of course they are also on hand to answer your O&P material questions whether it pertains to thermoforming, material selection or other related items.




See you in the blogosphere again soon!

Lisa Anderson

Marketing Manager
ThyssenKrupp Materials, NA
AIN Plastics Division

See our photo Gallery of the show –


How Amputees and Wheelchair Users Have Benefited from Plastics

In this week’s blog, we have a guest writer here to give us insight into how plastics have affected orthotics and prosthetics. Michael O’Connor has been an Occupational Therapist since 1994. He is now the Executive Director of O’Connor Occupational Therapy Services, PLLC. He works diligently to provide services to amputees, wheelchair users and others.

It’s Been a Big Year in Orthotics and Prosthetics In addition to celebrating holidays and setting New Year’s resolutions, as we end  2012 we tend to see year-in-review articles about significant stories during the past 12 months.  Not to be lost in the highlights of election year politics, extreme weather, and World Series disappointment, the year 2012 has been a remarkable year for individuals demonstrating accomplishments can be unlimited despite a “disability.”

Oscar Pistorius – “The Fastest Man on No Legs” In August, Oscar Pistorius (, a 25 year old South African sprinter,  made history  as the first amputee to compete in the Olympics running the 4×40 relay and 400 meter sprint.  Pistorius was born without fibulas (one of the bones in the lower leg).  His legs were considered not capable of bearing weight without fibulas, so both legs were surgically amputated before he was 1 year old with the intention he would develop more naturally into bilateral prosthetics. The carbon fiber blade prosthetics (called Cheetahs) that he runs on have earned him the nickname the “Blade Runner.”  Before this Summer Olympics Pistorius has been celebrated beyond South Africa and the Paralympic community for the 4 gold medals he holds from the 2008 Paralympic games.  He holds the world record in 200 and 400 meter events competing against single-amputee athletes.

Qualifying for this Summer Olympics to run on blades alongside able-bodied athletes required winning court hearings as well as winning track event trials to represent South Africa at this summer’s Games.  Pistorius was originally banned from Olympic competition by the International Associations of Athletics Federation who deemed the carbon fiber blade prosthetics give him an unfair biomechanical advantage over his able-bodied competitors.  As the appeal went on, reports from those hearings and media outlets detailed arguments on both sides regarding the biomechanical breakdown of formulas of momentum, acceleration and speed in comparing the blade prosthetics to human legs.

Pistorius did not medal in the 2012 London Olympics but his challenging and winning the opportunity to complete, and his physical and athletic prowess on the track as well as his grace in interviews stand as an inspiration to us all.

Tammy Duckworth

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Tammy Duckworth – From Iraqi Vet to Illinois House Candidate In September perhaps you saw Illinois’s 8th District U.S. House Candidate Tammy Duckworth ( deliver a speech at the Democratic National Convention.  You most likely paid attention when she walked on stage. If you didn’t recall her bright red blazer, you noticed that Duckworth is a double amputee. She walked on stage on bilateral prosthesis, using a single point cane. She is a decorated Iraqi War veteran. Both of her legs were traumatically amputated when a rocket propelled grenade exploded in her lap as she piloted a Black Hawk helicopter near Baghdad in 2004. She is like the individuals that I serve. She did not die. She survived. And she chose to continue to live. Those that I work with will tell you there is a distinction between surviving, and continuing to live. In her DNC speech Duckworth noted “At the hospital (Walter Reed), I realized my new responsibility: to honor the buddies who saved me by serving our military men and woman.” She went on to become the Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs.  In November Duckworth was successful in unseating the incumbent from Illinois 8th District to the U.S. House of Representatives. Duckworth stands as an example of both the war tactics of the insurgent enemy forces, as well as the advances in heroic trauma care our military medics provide on the front lines for our U.S. service men and women with increased survival rates of multi-limb traumatic amputations in the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. A recent USA Today article cites Army data counts of 36 triple amputees and 4 quadruple amputees in Afghanistan since the 2010 surge in U.S. troops alone.

Taylor Morris – Lost all Limbs and Learned to Dance Again Perhaps in 2012 you followed the story of Navy EOD (Explosive Ordinance Disposal) technician Taylor Morris ( who in May 2012 whose combat injuries resulted in loss of all 4 limbs.  His story is remarkable in terms of his significant accomplishments in just 6 months in using the most current technology of metals and plastics in orthotics and prosthetics which have allowed him to regain an active lifestyle that includes walking, dancing, kayaking, and driving. In November President Obama recognized Morris on Veteran’s Day via the President’s Tumblr account:

“As Taylor lay there, fully conscious, bleeding to death, he cautioned the medics to wait before rushing his way. He feared another IED was nearby. Taylor’s concern wasn’t for his own life; it was for theirs. Eventually, they cleared the area. They tended to Taylor’s wounds. They carried him off the battlefield. And days later, Taylor was carried into Walter Reed, where he became only the fifth American treated there to survive the amputation of all four limbs.  Now, Taylor’s recovery has been long, and it has been arduous, and it’s captivated the nation. A few months after the attack, with the help of prosthetics, the love and support of his family, and above all his girlfriend Danielle, who never left his side, Taylor wasn’t just walking again. In a video that went viral, the world watched he and Danielle dance again.” Morris received the Purple Heart in July. His 6:36 minute You Tube video “Unstoppable” will inspire you, may change the way you view people with disabilities, and may change how you view your role in plastics and plastic’s role in changing lives.

The Everyday Heroes – Who do You Know? The men and woman whom I treat as an occupational therapist are quiet heroes. Humble. Hardworking. Survivors. They are dedicated to their recovery and to their families.  They are ordinary people who do extraordinary things.  But you are not likely to see them on the evening news or sports highlights. However when stories of triumph and inspiration do make the news as they did in 2012, I believe it benefits the broader rehabilitation and disability community with increased awareness and dispelling stereotypes. Having worked in the field of rehabilitation since 1988 the past 24 years have been an exciting period with the technological advances that benefit individuals recovering catastrophic injury or illness to live safer and more independently.

We are seeing people accomplish things today that would have sounded like science fiction when I became an occupational therapist in 1994.
Computer related technological advances such as smart phones with an endless array of apps can provide scaffolding of compensatory strategies for person’s with cognitive disabilities. Assistive technology and environmental controls allow person’s with spinal cord injuries to turn on lights, adjust thermostats, and answer phones with voice command, puffs of air, use of trace muscle movement in hands, or through neck and facial muscle movement.
Advances with medical grade plastics and metals have revolutionized patient care as it relates to items such as wheelchairs, orthotics and prosthetics.
Current wheelchairs made of titanium and medical grade plastics are significantly lighter weight than their predecessors which allow less effort for the user to propel the chair as well as less effort for any family member or caregiver who may assist loading or unloading the wheelchair from the back seat or trunk of a car. These wheelchairs do not compromise durability for lighter weight.
Current medical grade plastics for use in orthotics such as splinting material for creating hand splints are superior to those available 20 years ago. Current plastics heat at a lower temperature and they are more pliable resulting in a material that allows a clinician increased ease to customize and modify in cutting and molding splints and orthotics.  These plastics are stronger than past generations of plastic which have resulted in design of lower profile splints and orthotics than in the 80’s and 90’s which results in improved fit, increased comfort, and increased patient compliance with progress recovery.
As with orthotics, the advances in metals and plastics with prosthetics have allowed individuals with amputations to accomplish extraordinary things.

Thanks to advances in plastics prosthetists can now create a prosthesis that has an improved fit on the residual limb, improving comfort for the patient. These prosthetics are lighter weight without compromised strength or durability, allowing the user to move with less effort for increased ambulation, which means carryover for functional use and increased independence.
The patients I work with, the neighbors in your community who benefit from current grade of medical plastics in orthotics and prosthetics, may not be competitive athletes breaking boundaries as they make history in the Olympics.
They may not be U.S Army veterans who have traveled the long road from the lying on the floor of dessert with their legs traumatically amputated by an R.P.G. to walk the stage at a National Convention and be elected to the U.S. Congress.
But their accomplishments measured in terms as it relates to daily function are no less meaningful.
There is dignity in the woman who, on her prosthesis, can walk to the bathroom through a door that her wheelchair won’t fit through, instead of using a bed side commode that someone else has to empty.
There is inspiration in a man who, on his prosthesis, can proudly walk his daughter down the aisle at her wedding. No gold medal, but no less inspirational.
The college student whose light weight wheelchair that allows him to begin to feel “normal” as he recovers from a spinal cord injury and independently access his dorm and classes at a local Big Ten campus, could be the catalyst that brings revolutionary change to the next 25 years.

Due to plastics for orthotics and prosthetics it’s looking like a very bright 2013. I wish everyone the best in 2013. Happy New Year!

 Michael Patrick O’Connor

Michael Patrick O’Connor, OTRL, CBIST, has worked in the field of rehabilitation since 1988 and completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Therapy with a minor in Gerontology from Eastern Michigan University in 1994. Michael is an Occupational Therapist and Executive Director of O’Connor Occupational Therapy Services, PLLC. He can be reached at

To learn more about plastics that are used in orthotics and prosthetics, contact AIN Plastics: 877.246.7700 or visit our website:


Join me for an introduction to the world of plastics!

Your Guide to Plastics Past, Present, and Future…

Lisa Anderson, Marketing Manager ThyssenKrupp Materials NA, AIN Plastics Division

It’s hard to believe it’s been over 6 months since I began working at AIN Plastics. Hard to believe because everyday is packed full of lots of projects and lots of things to learn about plastics. There have been new people to meet and old friends to reconnect with, and it’s all been really fun, so the time has truly flown by.

As I’ve gone through these months I developed a hunch. My guess is, when it come to plastics for manufacturing and specialty uses, a lot of you in many industries are in the same boat because there are so many material choices out there. So I’m inviting you to take the journey along with me to learn about plastics. What are plastics, what are the different types, why are they being used more and more, and what plastics will work for your applications. In fact, I hope you’ll share your applications and experiences as well.

While we are at it we’ll take a stroll through plastics history too. I’m a huge history buff so every time I hear about a plastic I like to dig in and find out how it all started. These days plastics seem to surround us, but it wasn’t that long ago we relied on other materials such as wood, metal, and glass for everything from IV ‘bottles’, to baby bottles, cooking utensils, sporting equipment. Hmmm – what were shower curtains before plastic? I’ll get back to you on that one, or if you know, please share! We love comments.

So let’s get started! Today I’d like to stay in the present and take a look at a helpful piece that came across my desk. As we all know there are literally thousands of types of plastic materials out there and more are hitting the market all the time, so anytime there is something that can help you to select the best one for the job we here at AIN will be sure to share it with you. After all, getting the right material helps everyone. The item that came across my desk is in regards to Materials for seals and gaskets.

So let’s start with a couple of questions –  
• Do you make seals or gaskets?
• Do you need your seals and gaskets to be Teflon®?
• Do you have a high temperature application?
• Do you need FDA compliant seal and gasket material?

The most common choices for seals and gaskets are UHMW – PE, Teflon, and PEEK. These are all great options, but another material called Fluorosint® has, until now been a little less known for seals and gaskets however, it is proving to give material specifiers another excellent option for certain higher temperature applications. Two Fluorosint® materials are FDA compliant giving you options for special applications in food or medical applications.

In selecting material for gaskets and seals temperature and pressure are the two biggest factors people generally consider. This chart easily shows where TIVAR® UHMW-PE, Teflon®, Ketron® PEEK, filled and unfilled PTFE, and Fluorosint® and Duratron® fit in as material options. Test results clearly show that Fluorosint® and Duratron® fit very well into a gap left for high temperature and high pressure applications. To make your selection even more exact, Quadrant (manufacturer of Fluorosint®) has developed several Fluorosint® materials (207, HPV, 500) and each was specifically developed with a certain application area in mind.

Below is a Material Selector Guide that covers all of these materials in two easy formats. One simply compares how a product does in relation to heat and pressure. The other compares Fluorosint® to Rulon®, another common material for seals and gaskets. You can also compare the FDA compliant materials.

Material Selector Guide for PTFE Seal and Gasket Material

From materials suitable for average heat and pressure to the highest, this chart will help you to easily cross reference common seal and gasket materials.


Chart comparing Rulon to Flurosint

Compare test results of Fluorosint and Rulon and see at a glance what material fits your application.

As we go forward I’ll be looking at each of these products on an individual basis. But, if you see something here you like and you want to know all the details right now, we do have more information available on our website: Fluorosint Product Information. You can also talk to one of people. We have a knowledgeable staff that can help with any questions you may have about seal and gasket materials. Just call 877.246.7700 and you will be connected with the AIN Plastics office nearest you.

If you are along for the journey that’s great!  If seals and gaskets aren’t your thing, no worries, I’ll be talking about all sorts of other materials as we go. In fact, you can sign up and get our posts in your mailbox so you don’t miss the latest.

I hope you find these charts helpful in your search for that just right seal or gasket material. We’ll see you in the blogosphere again very soon!

Lisa Anderson

Marketing Manager
ThyssenKrupp Materials, NA
AIN Plastics Division

Why Should our Business buy Material Through Distributors?

Aren’t I better off Cutting the Middle man out and Going Direct?
In our pop-culture world today we are barraged with phrases like “buy factory direct” or “manufacturer direct cost savings to you”.  Are these cost saving statements even true, or just snazzy marketing terms meant to get ones attention?  Furthermore, is it relevant to your business decisions?  I think its worth a laugh to imagine people traveling miles to stand in line for a gallon of milk outside of a dairy farm.  We don’t really think about distributors on a day to day basis, but companies like Costco and Wal-mart helped make the term “just in time” (JIT) part of our common vocabulary and those organizations, by definition, are distributors. They build relationships with the dairy farmer, the bread baker, the shoe maker. They then buy in bulk and move product you need to places where it’s easy to buy them all in one place. (The one-stop shop.)

Let’s Apply Distribution to the Industrial Market
Let me illustrate these same principles of the use of distribution into the industrial marketplace.  As an example lets consider a sector of the healthcare market. Medical

Medical Plastic Rod Colors

grade plastic shapes are used in the manufacture of surgical instruments and devices, healthcare equipment and the like.  The raw material for medical grade plastics come in a variety of colors, sometimes its for ease of identification purposes between various sizes, sometimes colors may be valued for the aesthetics of an individual brand.  The real problem could begin when a desired color isn’t a common/standard color.  For example we can get a ‘flamingo pink’ produced but it will likely require both a lengthy lead time for the resin and a minimum quantity to extrude the shape.  The volume needed for such customization is usually out of most individual customers reach especially while their end product is still in the proto-type stage.  Now imagine this special color, along with other common ones, used by a large volume OEM and they perceive their best price is to buy direct from the mill.  Let’s also keep in mind the price of material may not really be the same as the cost.  So why might this company consider buying via a distributor instead of direct?

The ‘What-Ifs’ of What Could and Sometimes Does go Wrong

  • There is a resin shortage in the market – it happens! Aside from the pain of the long lead time there’s now no room for error; in quality or inspection, quantity changes to accommodate an increase in demand.
  • Outside forces affecting production or shipping and delivery – power outages, hurricanes or blizzards, fire or flood, etc.
  • The mill accepted the order for the flamingo pink previously, but then there’s a capacity or another manufacturing issue.  Now it’s a triage situation.  Consider what then may happen with the common colors that this same customer needs or for that matter the whole industry is wanting to purchase.

The Benefits of Buying Through a Distributor

  • Manufacturers produce material and they are experts at it!
  • Our manufacturing partners are, and should be, the innovators of new and better plastic materials to the market.
  • Most often manufacturers are single location facilities and many have a limited

    Customers can benefit from the large steady inventory distributors keep. It can mean low minimum orders and shorter lead time to receive your order.

    logistical reach.

  • Tying up space in their facility in order to stock huge amounts of material for customers limits areas they could use to expand operations.
  • The same great application and technical resources are still available to customers through an approved distributor. In fact, sales staff at distributors can also be a great resource for technical advice as they have relationships with multiple customers using the same product.
What Exactly Does a Distributor Do?
  • A distributor ‘supplies’ material so managing and inventing inventory solutions and moving product to customers is what we do – its who we are.
    • Multiple Locations Close to you. ThyssenKrupp AIN Plastics Division has multiple facilities and more people in a local area that can assist customers, and still helps them in meeting vendor reduction goals.

      Distributors often have many locations stocked with product while manufacturers often have a single location. Multiple locations can mean shorter lead time, and product you need in stock.

    • Large Inventory all the Time. We already buy in bulk from all the world’s best manufactures of plastics shapes thus providing the same quality of material.
    • Enjoy the Benefits of low Minimums and JIT. Combining volumes of special material may alleviate large minimums to any one customer.  Keeping material in our warehouse and not the customer’s allows for product to be received only when its needed.  This not only frees up space but inventory dollars that could be used for other business purposes.
    • Less Lead Time, Fewer Headaches. A good stocking distributors who focuses on your particular industry helps ensure a smooth flow of product thus becoming a buffer between the end-user and the bumps in the market such as issues of lead-time, volatile pricing etc.

It Is Called a ‘Supply Chain’ –Let us Be Your Strongest Link!

Lin Poulin
Telemarketing Manager
ThyssenKrupp Materials NA
AIN Plastics Division


IAPD (international association of plastics distribution) “The Distribution Channel Value”, content provided from NAW (National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors) value

Know This, marketing tutorial  “Benefits Offered by Channel Members”

TexasA&MUniversity, Department of Engineering Technology and Industrial Distribution program,

Mergers, Takeovers, Healthcare Reform All Affecting Medical Device Market

Medical Device Manufacturers Delaying new Projects and Increasing Layoffs due to Unease Over Multiple Issues
CaduceusThe medical device manufacturers have had a volatile year so far with the impending device excise tax slated for 2.3% of total revenues generated to start 2013. In anticipation of this new tax many companies have delayed product development as well as New Product Introduction (NPI) until after the Presidential election in hopes that there is more clarity in regards to the excise tax.  Jitters within the EU have also contributed an overall uneasiness within the industry.  Major medical device companies like Stryker have already begun workforce reduction to the tune of 1,000 global employees from their workforce in the Orthopedics division with an estimated cost savings of approximately $100 million.  Former Stryker CEO Steve MacMillan in November of 2011, estimated the new tax will add an additional $150 million to their tax liabilities.  On Thursday, June 28, 2012 a spokesperson for Stryker stated that the added tax will eat into approximately one third of their R&D budget. Other companies such as Medtronic announced they will reduce their workforce by 1,000 employees globally across many of their business units, Smith and Nephew, and Covidien have also announced layoffs that began taking effect in 2011 and/or 2012 (see the Wall Street Journal for more)  With the House of Representatives recently  passing legislation (Health Care Cost Reduction Act H.R. 436) and the decision by the Supreme Court  on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act signed into law in 2010 by President Obama the excise tax slated for January 1, 2013 is starting to look like a reality. At this point it appears that the big guys are setting themselves up to operate more effectively and efficiently with expectations of continuing to meet market demands, while also trying to maintain the quality standards that are required. Who in your eyes are the best positioned companies as we move forward? Can you really reduce headcount without having a detrimental affect on quality? With yesterday’s ruling I think it is very likely we will see even more layoffs as the industry attempts to reduce staff to offset the additional tax liabilities.

The Upside to the Shifting Medical Device Industry
In addition to the health care reform debate and the recent Supreme Court ruling,  mergers and acquisitions have also played a large roll in making this a volatile year as large medical conglomerates continue to acquire competitors in order to balance and strengthen their portfolios and focus on areas where they currently do not have a strong market share position.  Most notably the acquisition of Synthes by J&J (DePuy) for $21.3 billion, strengthening their brand in the Spinal, Trauma and CMF segments.  The deal which was approved by the FTC on June 11, 2012 with a provision that it divest its wrist fracture system (DVR ) to Biomet. (see FTC article) Without the sale,  the new Synthes/Depuy portfolio for Distal radial fracture devices would have had 70% market share.  Synthes is the market leader for these systems with an estimated 42% market share,  Biomet also previously agreed to acquire Depuy’s trauma unit for an estimated $300 million. (click here to see Johnson & Johnson’s article) I believe we will continue to see market consolidation through the remainder of 2012 and through 2013 with a major focus on Chinese manufacturers being acquired for easier penetration into this emerging market for devices.  Other notable acquisitions: Asahi Kasei acquired Zoll medical ($300 million). Symmetry medical acquired Codman ($300 million) and Stryker acquired Orthovita for ($316 million), Memometal in France ($150 million) and Boston Scientific’s neurovascular unit ($1.45 billion).

Speaking of China…
With yesterday’s ruling by the Supreme Court to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, will we begin to see even more business transition over to China? Will it be India? How about Africa, where many of the MRO Aerospace operations have sprung up. Is this an option for the medical device industry? Will R&D transition over to Asia at a faster pace than was originally planned for these corporations? Not only did the device industry take a hit yesterday, but its been a tough week with the Senate passing the User Fee Act for Medical device manufacturers increasing it from $295 million over the last five years to $595 million over the course of the next five years. What’s $595 million over five years for the device industry? We shall see, it should be an interesting run up to the election and an even more interesting time after the general election.

What will Happen to the Growth we Have Seen?
Although there has been little in the way of growth for most of the last 12 months in the medical device industry,  there are some fairly sizable product developments churning at some of the larger OEM’s. There have also been some key innovators that have popped up over the last 36 months.  Will these new guys set new market trends and turn into a preeminent market leader on a new system or device?  Will the innovators be the ones that help turn around domestic manufacturing or will they be gobbled up by one of the big guys that is looking to acquire some IP to add to its portfolio and then shift the manufacturing offshore? We are in interesting times, how will it all shake out? Stay tuned, we will find out sooner rather than later and as things happen I will do my best to bring the facts to light so everyone can stay informed about changes to this very important industry.

Dave Piperi

Sales and Marketing Manager – East Region
Medical Materials
ThyssenKruppMaterials NA
AIN Plastics Division


Here are links to related articles and websites:

The Wall Street Journal – Excise Tax Article

Federal Trade Commission conditions on Johnson and Johnson

Johnson and Johnson article from their website

Synthes website