Commodore was conceived by George Braddon in the late 1970's when he was a process engineer at Mobil Chemical in Canandaigua, NY. At that time, the foam industry was growing rapidly, and George realized that there was a market for foam products that the large companies in the industry were ignoring. Setting out with a clear goal in mind, George left Mobil in 1980 and started Commodore. He bought a used 4½-6" extruder from Amoco and some used Portco thermoformers from the local scrap yard in nearby Canandaigua. It took some time to get this old equipment set up and running but with lots of hard work it made ended up making great products, mainly meat trays for grocery stores such as Wegman's and Tops.
By the late 1980's, George's vision had truly become a reality, and Commodore was filling a void in the industry. Commodore had become good at refurbishing old equipment and the plant continued to grow by maintaining this sensible approach. One secondary result of these efforts was the creation of a well-equipped machine shop right next door to the foam plant. Besides refurbishing old thermoformers and extruders, the shop also made custom tooling, which allowed the foam plant to bring new products to market quickly and inexpensively.
One day, a salesman in the foam business noticed the work going on in the shop and had an idea: Why not offer those rebuilt machines for sale to customers? Soon thereafter, in 1988, a Gloucester extruder and two Portco thermoformers were sold to a customer in Puerto Rico, marking an important milestone in Commodore's history - expansion into the machinery market.
Next, never content to embrace the status quo, George set out to develop an alternative to heavy, expensive punch and die trim tools. Commodore developed a trim tool that utilized all aluminum construction with a serrated steel rule knife. This new trim tool proved to be revolutionary, and earned a U.S. patent. Thanks to the low cost and light weight, demand for the Commodore trim tool has been steady ever since.
In the late 1980s, the company's foam production continued to grow. Commodore entered into the custom packaging market with products like ice cream cone shells and toner cartridge holders made of foam. On the machine building side, we began to design and build a line of thermoformers and patented tooling in addition to rebuilding machines.
In 1991 a disastrous fire destroyed the entire Commodore facility. Despite the setback, the machine building operation returned to production within a week, using rented equipment and a "friendly" workshop nearby. The foam plant partnered with another manufacturer to continue production during the rebuilding process, and within six months the entire facility had been rebuilt and reopened for business.
During the 1990's, the machinery division shifted its focus from the renovation of old machines to the design and construction of new thermoformers and extruders. Our engineering staff continued to refine the designs that had been incorporated in to the rebuilt equipment and produced a line of machines that are affordable and extremely productive.
Now, 30 years later, Commodore Technology continues to build on our reputation as a supplier of affordable, high-performance machines that are second to none. Yet the same principles on which the company was founded 25 years ago - fairness, honesty, affordability and high-quality - continue to guide us every day.
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