Today is the 46th anniversary of the founding of Confer Plastics.
It all started when the late Ray Confer took a job with Norton Laboratories in Lockport where he dabbled in plastics chemistry and product design during what were the formative years of the plastics industry. There, he caught the plastics bug and wanted to do more.
So, in the mid-1960’s Ray put down his savings – and leveraged his home and farm – towards the purchase of plastics molding equipment. Renting space behind a small machine shop in North Tonawanda, he and his business partner, Pete Schurman, created a small company called Air Mold where they further developed blow molding technologies. A few years later, Ray opened another firm, Air Lock Plastics in Tonawanda, and brought on a couple of associates/investors.
In the early 1970’s Ray decided to go out on his own. Well, actually he was forced out – by a partner at Air Lock who voted him out and said “take your little machine and leave”. (That little machine built in 1957? We still have it today and it runs like a clock. Air Lock, our competitor? They went out of business in the late 1990s.)
So, Ray and Doug founded Confer Plastics, Inc. on January 22nd, 1973 with the promise of it being a family business with no outside partners.
From 1973 to 1986 the company could be found off East Ave in North Tonawanda in the Roblin Steel complex. In 1986 we moved to our current location. Since then, we’ve expanded that manufacturing complex on three occasions, adding space for more – and larger – machinery, assembly operations and warehousing. In 2005 we purchased a second facility just minutes away in Wheatfield for our warehousing and distribution center.
Over the years, we’ve invested in world class machines, invented awesome products (including the common living hinge and flexible fuel funnel), changed the industry, weathered 6 recessions and 9 US Presidents and we have worked with a real cast of characters. It’s been fun. And it will continue to be fun for at least another 46 years.
Thank you for being there! 46 years is only possible because of you!