plasticsguy.com | a blog for the art of mass production
plasticsguy.com is hosted by Eric R. Larson. Here you will find a wealth of information on the art and science of mass production, including design, materials (especially plastics), and processing, as well as musings on the business of design.
Eric received his Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering magna cum laude from The University of Michigan in 1979. After graduating, Eric went to work for the late Bill Lear to help develop the LearFan 2100, the world’s first all-composite airplane. He soon realized his eyes were drawn not to the skies, but to the needs and desires of the American consumer. Combining his engineering skills with his love for athletics, he turned his attention to the sporting goods industry, where he worked on products such as boogie boards, water basketball games, and SCUBA diving equipment. It was his first experience with mass production technologies, and the cost constraints of the consumer market. It also provided a real-life education in how design affects the health, safety, and welfare of the public.
In 1986 he joined DuPont as an application engineer in their engineering plastics division, where he provided technical support and training to key customers in the sporting goods, office furniture, and consumer products industries. His ability to deliver clever, cost-effective design solutions earned him the nickname Design Wizard. Some of his design innovations include structural cushioning for athletic footwear, single piece support systems for office seating, and a child safety mechanism for the BIC® disposable lighter. He became a recognized technical expert in plastics engineering, and frequently lectured on topics such as Fundamentals of Plastic Part Design, Plastics Materials Selection, Coloring of Plastics, and Analysis of Plastic Part Failure. He authored a number of technical papers, and also contributed to the “Life Cycle Design Guidance Manual,” published by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He was invited to join the DuPont Center for Creativity and Innovation, and to manage an international project on creativity and teamwork.
In 1994 he left the corporate world to test his skills as a consulting engineer, and found a niche in helping companies bridge the chasm between development and production. In 2006 he founded Art of Mass Production™ (AMP), an engineering consulting service specializing in the technologies of mass production. AMP is dedicated to helping its clients get new products into production – and stay in production.