PPAI staff members visited supplier Pioneer Balloon’s (UPIC: Pioneer) Dallas, Texas, manufacturing plant this week for a closer look at the process behind latex balloons. Mark Jenkins, MAS+, managing director, promotional products for the Wichita, Kansas-based supplier, and a former PPAI Board chair, led the tour and gave an overview of the facility’s operations.
The group watched as some of the 1.5 million balloons the factory puts out daily went through the process of compounding, molding, dipping in paint, drying and quality control. The balloons were then sent to the company’s Kansas factory for custom printing. Carl Hartschuh, Pioneer’s Dallas operations director, and Octaviano “Tavo” Valenzuela, Pioneer’s production manager, answered questions during the tour.
Jenkins explained that the balloons Pioneer creates at the Dallas facility are made from natural latex and they biodegrade when exposed to ultraviolet light. “When you see a balloon that’s kind of foggy or dusty, it’s starting to go away,” Jenkins said. “If you looked at it closely, you’d see little cracks in the surface. Other than paper, I have the most earth-friendly product on the trade-show floor.”
The company will celebrate its 100-year anniversary at The PPAI Expo 2017 in January.