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Thursday, February 23, 2017
Plochman’s Partners with U of I Engineering for Iconic Squeeze Bottle R&D
As the company celebrates 165 years of mustard making – and 20 years at its Manteno, Illinois, headquarters – Plochman’s Mustard is investing in the future through the collaboration of education and industry.

This spring, Plochman’s is joining with a team University of Illinois Engineering students to analyze the design, process and distribution of their products. The project is focused on packaging optimization of the company’s iconic barrel-shaped yellow mustard bottle, with a focus on pressure differentials between the inside of the filled bottle and its surroundings. Students are working from their U of I lab as well as on site in Manteno to provide customized chemical, structural, economic and other analyses.

This is the first year that Plochman’s has collaborated with the University of Illinois’ Engineering School on a GE 494 Senior Engineering Project. The company intends to continue the partnership in the future.

At the University of Illinois, senior engineering students complete a major project that serves as a capstone experience. Each team of students, along with a faculty advisor, works with industry partners on real-world challenges submitted by industry partners. In the past, the university has teamed up with General Electric, McDonnell Douglas Aerospace and Dow Agrosciences.

Olivet Nazarene University’s Martin D. Walker School of Engineering in Bourbonnais similarly teams with local industry in an effort to enhance products, processes and/or facilities through its Senior Engineering Project course. ONU’s ABET-accredited Engineering program has grown 170% over the past 5 years, now offering 10 engineering concentrations.

Plochman’s produces more than 16 varieties of mustard at its Manteno, Illinois, headquarters facility.