It started with a simple kitchen stool.
In late 1963, Peter T. Schurman was working to develop a new blow molded step for a Hamilton Cosco kitchen stool. Designed to replace the steel and rubber steps then in use, the top surface of the new molded step was flat and textured, while the bottom surface was ribbed – providing greater rigidity, and making it easier to attach the step to the stool’s metal frame. While inspecting two prototype parts one day, it dawned on Schurman that if he joined two of those steps together with some kind of hinge, he would create a rectangular box with interior compartments that could be used as a package – in other words, a double-wall blow molded case.
In the two years that followed, Schurman started his own company, developed his invention further, and then sold both the company and the rights to his original invention to W.R. Grace Corporation. Then, in 1966, Schurman founded The Plastic Forming Company in Woodbridge, Connecticut. Initially, PFC focused on machinery development and specialty custom blow molding. Then, in 1969, PFC entered the double-wall blow molded carrying case business using a new process.
For the following decade, and driven by continuous product and process improvements, PFC-type cases gained wide acceptance owing to their unique combination of extreme durability, product protection, styling freedom, and moderate cost. The market and the Company grew rapidly as the cases became the preferred method to package a wide variety of consumer and industrial products, including hand tools and power tools, chain saws, camping lanterns, and postage meters. To accommodate that growth, PFC established and licensed other companies in the U.S. and in Europe, and eventually ceased case manufacturing to concentrate on product design and development, mold building, and the design, development, manufacture, and sale of blow molding equipment for its licensees.
In the early 1980s, PFC resumed case manufacturing with an emphasis on the development of a proprietary line of cases to package the broad array of products sold by small and medium-sized manufacturers and distributors. Among the many products now packaged in PFC cases are: professional hand and power tools, portable test instruments and meters, microscopes, surveying transits and other optical devices, heart monitors and medical instruments, educational kits, and more. To complement its proprietary line of cases, PFC also manufactures foam inserts and thermoformed inserts and trays.