The first thoughts Piper Plastics Corp. began in the mid 1950’s, while Piper’s founder, Larry Weiss, was working for his father’s company Sterwood Industries. Among other things, Sterwood manufactured commercial dishwasher racks. These racks were initially made of wood, but being unhygienic, they were soon made from metal. Metal rusts and stainless steel was expensive, so Larry began playing with plastisol, and he began dipping metal racks in liquid PVC. (Nowadays, these rack are completely made from plastic, using very large injection molding machines that weren’t around in the 1950s.)
Larry quickly figured out that there were more applications for plastisol, and branched off from Sterwood and began formulating his own plastisol and selling it to others. Since plastisol was a new material, his customers really didn’t know how to use it, so they asked Larry to do the coating work for them. Starting in his apartment and using his cooking oven, Larry began developing procedures for plastic coating metal. Finally in 1963, Piper Plastics Corp. was born!
Working diligently in his first rented space in Copiague, NY, Larry soon became the expert in dip coating. In fact, Larry was instrumental in developing the MIL-P-20689, which is now A-A-59464. Business was good, and Larry added fluidized bed powder coating to his arsenal, which was fantastic in the metropolitan NY area because there were so many POP display companies near him that wanted this work done.
In 1972, Larry purchased his first building, 6000 square feet, around the corner from his old space. Around that time, as small local startup company came around asking Larry if he would take a crack at dip molding nasal cannula nosepieces and rotationally molding anesthesia mask cushions for them. Never one to dismiss a challenge, Larry was soon making components for medical device manufacturers.
In late 1988, Larry asked his son, Andrew, to come back home from California, where he was working as an electrical engineer designing and building semiconductor capital equipment for KLA Instruments (now KLA-Tencor) in Silicon Valley after graduating from MIT in 1985. Andy complied, and together Larry and Andy began growing Piper. In 1998, they purchased and grew into an additional 10,000 square foot building and a vacant lot located directly next to their current space. With Larry’s experience, and Andy’s engineering pedigree, they began creating more and more sophisticated automatic dip molding and dip coating equipment and processes. Just before the turn of the century, Larry really began his path to retirement, and turned over the reigns of Piper completely to Andy.
To this day, Piper continues to be at the forefront of plastisol dip molding and coating technology, shipping products worldwide into all major markets.