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PDG Plastiques

PDG Plastiques: Turning Threats into Opportunities


It was in 1948 when the foundation stone was laid for a plastic production plant in Malesherbes, a town about 70 km south of Paris. Messrs. Dayné and Gaston were the founders, and their initials are still in the company name of today’s plant:  PDG PLASTIQUES. We learn that PDG is also the French abbreviation for CEO: Président-Directeur Général – an interesting pun.

Monsieur Gaston was a creative spirit. Problems inspired him, challenged him to develop solutions to issues he had encountered in his professional life before becoming self-employed. He was a barman. He was dealing with bottles and liquids. He sought a way to combine four or six bottles in one unit - and developed a transport tool with a handle. How innovative that was could be seen 60 years later: At the last Drinktec, a similar tool was presented as innovation. The first generation PDG invented the plastic crate, previously made of metal or wood. The owners let their business grow slowly, had only three employees at the end. Many of their developments have not been patented.

Family business

Specialist in specialities

Desfretier: “We have realized that we can become specialists in specialties. So, in 2006 we developed the lightest preform for Nestlé for a squeezable yogurt container and also produced the container. This was our starting signal for developments and opened doors for us. Our customers recognized our potential for development, as well as our willingness to take risks. We had proven our knowledge, both in injection moulding and in stretch blow moulding. In all modesty: our reputation rose. Another innovative product was a plastic jar with cut off shoulder for chocolate powder. And then, in 2008, came Prelactia, the two-layer technology.”

Prelactia is a joint development of several partners. According to Desfretier, beside PDG, Netstal and Molmasa, a Spanish mould maker, were the main players in this technology. Perhaps it was at this time when a special value for PDG was established: intensive, long-term, trusting relationships with partners. For Netstal, an experienced engineer was part of the team: Alain Viron had previously worked as Production Manager in the first and the second PDG plant. Desfretier: “The idea for the Prelactia technology was born when we wanted to develop, together with Molmasa, a mould without a preform cooling station. This should avoid the investment in this very cooling station.” The principle: The tool has 2 horizontally grouped levels. After the injection process on the lower level, the preform stays on the core, moves to the upper level and once again drives into the mould, where it cools down while the injection process repeats on the lower level. It quickly became clear that this design was not limited to avoiding the cooling station, but that the upper level could be used for another injection process: overmoulding. “Very funny,” says Desfretier, “initially we produced preforms with a blue and a clear part or preforms with stripes. Funny but expensive, nobody wanted to pay for it.” A very special request from a local customer, Laiterie Saint-Denis de L’Hotel, today LSDH, producer of fruit juices and dairy products, drove the development forward.

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