Charles D. Moeller, founder of Flexible Foam Products, and the Albrecht Bäumer Company, early innovator of foam cutting equipment inducted
Loudon, TN — The Polyurethane Foam Association (PFA) announced the induction of two new members to the Flexible Polyurethane Foam Hall of Fame during its Spring General Business Meeting in Baltimore, Md. last week.
Inductee Charles D. Moeller, Chairman of Flexible Foam Products, Inc., of Spencerville, OH, was recognized as one of the flexible polyurethane foam industry’s leading entrepreneurs. Moeller built his business from a polyurethane pouring facility he originally acquired in a business exchange, into one of the largest flexible polyurethane producing companies in the world. Although Moeller, still actively involved with the business at the age of 85, was not able to attend the ceremony, his son Lewie Moeller, President of Flexible Foam Products, Inc. accepted the honor on his behalf. Three of Mr. Moeller’s daughters and one of his granddaughters also attended the ceremony.
Also inducted was the Albrecht Bäumer Company which
was recognized for its role in advancing the flexible polyurethane foam industry with the development of the loop slitting machine and other innovative foam cutting technologies. Accepting the honor was Philipp Schuster, General Manager of Bäumer America, Inc., the son of the late Matthias Schuster, former CEO of the Bäumer Company, and the great-grandson of Albrecht Bäumer, company founder and namesake.
The Flexible Polyurethane Foam Hall of Fame, housed virtually at www.pfa.org, recognizes individuals and corporations that have significantly contributed to the growth and betterment of the flexible polyurethane foam industry in North America.
Information about the two 2012 inductees:
As founder of Flexible Foam Products, Inc., Spencerville, Ohio, Charles D. Moeller is one of the flexible polyurethane foam industry’s best known entrepreneurs. Raised as a farmer in Ohio, Moeller worked in a sheet metal company after serving in the Navy. Once he had worked his way to foreman, the only way to advance was to buy the company, but when the price tag proved too high, he started his own, establishing Ohio Decorative Products in 1950 at the age of 23. At the time, Moeller was also selling wheat, corn, beans and livestock and created his own agricultural research laboratory. He made the leap into polyurethane foam when he traded the agricultural research company for a polyurethane pouring facility in 1971 in a business exchange with the Diamond Shamrock Company. Moeller commented that his instincts told him flexible polyurethane foam had serious potential. Two years later, he jumped in with both feet by starting Flexible Foam Products, Inc., and proceeded to grow the company into one of the largest flexible polyurethane foam producers in the world, with 13 production facilities and nearly 1,000 employees. The company remains a family-run business, with Moeller actively involved in daily operations.
The Albrecht Bäumer Company was recognized for its role in advancing the flexible polyurethane foam industry with the development of the loop slitting machine and other innovative foam cutting technologies. The Bäumer Company was started in 1919 by Albrecht Bäumer as a small mechanical workshop in Wuppertal, Germany and later relocated to his hometown of Freudenberg. It began as a sewing shop, but transitioned into manufacturing at the encouragement of Bäumer’s daughter Ursula, and her husband Hans Gunther Schuster. The company first made oil cans for sewing machines and other small lubrication applications, and evolved to manufacture felt cutting machines. The Bäumer Company’s felt cutting experience proved to be instrumental in the development of horizontal and vertical foam cutting machines, which were first shipped to the United States in 1954. Bäumer’s early loop slitter was the first machine that was able to produce continuous rolled foam sheet goods. This was accomplished by gluing polyurethane foam blocks end to end and loading the foam onto a Ferris wheel type of machine for peeling using a horizontal blade. The company’s loop slitter invention helped the flexible polyurethane foam industry later develop markets for carpet cushion, quilting foam, and other goods requiring sheet foam on a long roll. Still family-run, Bäumer continues to focus on specialty machines for cutting, processing, and transporting polyurethane foams and similar materials. It has 300 employees in its facilities in Germany, the United States, Japan and China; representatives in some 50 countries; and annual revenues approaching $60 million dollars.