about_art_2Art Buckel Biography

Arthur Buckel has spent thirty-six years overall in the job shop world of manufacturing. Twenty-eight years were spent operating his own companies in technical management with twenty years of that time in a custom thermoforming plant.


Art founded Specialty Manufacturing Inc. in San Diego, California, in 1972. By the mid 1980's SMI had become one of the country's most sophisticated thermoforming and fabrication companies. Art designed both commercial and military components, assemblies, electronic hardware, packaging, and containers. He has specified and worked with all of the engineering grade thermoformable materials. As Vice President of Engineering at Specialty Mfg. he designed and built parts, assemblies and tooling fixtures & molds for heavy gauge & roll-fed products. He directed sales toward many industries, preparing and presenting proposals, working with sales personnel, and directing costing & sales estimating procedures. He also directed the tooling and manufacturing operations.


Before he founded his own company he served a 4-year apprenticeship in San Diego in the plastics field, then went to San Diego State College where he majored in math. From 1957 through 1959 he served on active duty and taught mathematics and astronomy at the U.S. Army Artillery Survey School, Fort Sill, Oklahoma. He worked with U.S. Rubber in 1961-1962 in flexible vinyls and went into business for himself in 1963. He directed sales toward many industries preparing and presenting proposals, working with sales personnel, and directing costing and sales estimating procedures.                                                         


Art has organized, written, promoted, and presented numerous seminars on thermoforming technology and production procedures; tooling; and acquainting customers, engineers, and designers with the advantages of thermoforming. He has lectured at San Diego State University, Industrial Technologies Dept., University of California at San Diego Adult Continuing Studies Dept. and at present is a board member, and International Representative for the Thermoforming Division of the Society of Plastics Engineers. He has been active many years on the Board of the Thermoforming Division of the Society of Plastics Engineers.


Since selling Specialty Manufacturing in 1990, Art has been as Associate Consultant with McConnell Co., Inc. He has worked with many companies world wide in thermoforming problem solving, plant analysis, parts troubleshooting, in-plant personnel training, new facilities layout, and designs and new product and tooling development.  He has worked on numerous legal cases in research and expert witness for plaintiff and defendant positions. Cases have been material failures, product failures, including loss of life, and patent infringements. He has given depositions and in-court testimony.


In 1996 Art was awarded the "Outstanding Achievement" award from SPE and in 1999 was named "Thermoformer of the Year".


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