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PolyOne Collaborates with JonesZylon to Maximize Safety in New Food Service Trays for Correctional Institutions


Custom TPE provides enhanced usability, giving manufacturer a competitive advantage in a niche market

McHENRY, Ill. - PolyOne GLS Thermoplastic Elastomers, a global leader in high-performance, custom-formulated thermoplastic elastomer solutions (TPEs), today announced that The JonesZylon company is using a high-performance GLS™ TPE to produce safer food service items for correctional institutions.

PolyOne worked closely with The JonesZylon Company and its molder, Controlled Molding Inc., to formulate a material that met exacting requirements. Designers were searching for a cost-effective alternative to silicone that would provide flexibility, addressing security drawbacks of existing rigid plastic service items, which can be fashioned into weapons. They also needed a grade that would meet the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requirements for fatty food contact, provide an ideal balance of properties and could be custom colored.

Todd Kohl, president of JonesZylon, said, “Our company is noted for innovation and we wanted to be first to market with a great solution to the safety challenges of conventional food service materials. PolyOne has helped us overcome all hurdles, enabling us to offer the correctional market a safer product at a competitive price. We are very happy with the performance of this material and appreciate PolyOne’s dedication to finding new solutions to specific market needs.”

JonesZylon used the custom PolyOne material to create its own material, called MAX-FLEX, which is used for three-compartment serving trays with clear lids and other serving items. Temperature resistance is rated from -40º to 300ºF. The launch of serving products made from MAX-FLEX was extremely successful, according to JonesZylon, and sales continue to grow. Serving items are offered in two colors – chocolate and teal – and with transparent lids to prevent inmates from hiding contraband.

Feedback indicates that corrections officials are pleased with the benefits provided by the material, including a flexibility level that prevents use as a weapon yet provides sufficient stiffness to hold food effectively. Other advantages include easy removal of graffiti, institutional dishwashing durability, formulation without bisphenol A (BPA) and recyclability.

For JonesZylon and Controlled Molding Inc., the specialty TPE delivered additional benefits, including the ability to use existing molds from a previous line of copolymer products.

According to Rick Noller, director of global marketing, PolyOne GLS Thermoplastic Elastomers, “This niche application demonstrates the versatility of our TPE technology and the wide range of benefits it can offer manufacturers and end customers. Whether the need is safety, comfort, ergonomics or a host of other qualities, we can customize TPEs to meet highly specific requirements of different industries and applications. We are very pleased that our collaboration has enabled JonesZylon to achieve business success in its target market sector.”

About The JonesZylon Company

Based in West Lafayette, Ohio, JonesZylon is a diversified marketer and manufacturer best known for an innovative line of plastic service trays, serving dishes and flatware for high-volume food service operations. JonesZylon maintains a national sales organization and ships products to customers in North America, Canada and Europe. The firm donates two percent of every MAX-FLEX sale to the Correctional Peace Officers Foundation, a national charity that supports the families of correctional officers who lost their lives in the line of duty.

About PolyOne

PolyOne Corporation, with 2010 annual revenues of $2.6 billion, is a premier provider of specialized polymer materials, services and solutions. Headquartered outside of Cleveland, Ohio USA, PolyOne has operations around the world. For additional information on PolyOne, visit our Web site at


CAPTION: Serving trays from The JonesZylon Company leverage the flexibility of PolyOne’s custom GLS™ TPE to provide a safer substitute for correctional institutions. The trays surpass existing alternatives such as silicone and traditional copolymers by delivering cost efficiency, enhanced properties and recyclability.


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