PDC History – An American Story

The history of PDC is a classic story of the American Dream: immigrant brothers arrive in the United States after World War II as “Displaced Persons”, with only the clothes on their back. After working their way through school and entry level jobs, a small company is born, which then thrives for the next 50 years. That is the story of PDC and why the company, at its heart, is a microcosm of the great nation in which we live. An extended family of every race and culture, a family which includes our many long-term customers.

PDC’s founder, Anatole Konstantin, after fleeing postwar Eastern Europe, graduated from the Technical University of Munich. Then once in the United States, earned a graduate degree from Columbia University. Anatole Konstantin’s Memoirs, A Red Boyhood – Growing Up Under Stalin, and Through the Eyes of an Immigrant. You may purchase these books here.


Beginning in the den of Anatole Konstantin’s residence, Product Design Corporation offered services ranging from consumer product development to machine design. Its first years were varied and exploratory.


The Norwalk Lock Building at 18 Marshall Street became the first real company home, in a 400- square foot space in a then-rough industrial building. Anatole’s brother Bill joined the company as a draftsman.


Soon machine design and automation became PDC’s primary focus and its eventual direction was unknowingly determined in a large automation project — making, collating and packaging emery board nail files (gluing emery paper onto balsa wood, rolling and die cutting) for the Bassett company of Shelton, Connecticut.


A three-car garage, and the apartment above, at 8 Cove Avenue in East Norwalk, was the company’s second home. A Polish artist, in lieu of back rent, designed PDC’s logo, a derivation of the three-legged “Trinacria” symbol of Sicily, in honor of Anatole’s wife Rosaria and her family.


The company relocated to Hermanny Court in East Norwalk, a former furniture mill. Machine tools were purchased and machinists and assemblers hired as the business slowly grew.


The Tylenol incident in Chicago occurred, in which someone poisoned bottles of pain medicine, and suddenly the demand for tamper evident banding and sleeving machinery grew dramatically.

At the same time, a venture in Montdidier, France, headed by a talented design engineer, Jean-Claude Vandevoorde, eventually became PDC Europe. Anatole and Jean-Claude became close friends, as did their wives, and they traveled extensively together over the years.

PDC International and PDC Europe collaborated closely, holding technical and marketing conferences in both the USA and France, resulting in many technical innovations and new products. PDC Europe, now managed by Jean-Claude’s son, Derek Vandevoorde, has continued to thrive for over 35 years, building both shrink and stretch sleeving equipment.


Anatole’s son Neal, recently graduated from college, joined the company as its seventh employee. The company grew modestly, as PDC always hires people for the long term rather than hiring and then downsizing with each business cycle. An exceptional team of engineers, machinists and staff was assembled and PDC provided heavy duty, highly efficient packaging machinery to consumer markets throughout the Americas.


The F-Series was introduced; a line of machines for neckbanding tapered and straight-walled containers in food and dairy environments.


The R- Series was introduced; a line of mandrel style shrink sleeving machines that do not employ fragile spinning knives used throughout the industry, but rather PDC’s long-lived perforation and separation technology with blades lasting months rather than day between sharpenings, reducing downtime and maintenance.


Having outgrown Hermanny Court and the other support buildings, PDC contracted to purchase a new 17,000 sq. ft. building in South Norwalk at 8 Sheehan Avenue. Finished to suit PDC needs, it included offices, engineering, a large machine shop and assembly area.


Gary Tantimonico joined PDC as Marketing Manager and grew with the company through Sales and into the vital role of Vice President. All PDC managers now report to Gary, whose guiding hand keeps Operations, Sales and Aftermarket Service on their proper course.

The first PDC Steam Shrink Tunnel was introduced.


Under Neal’s guidance and Anatole’s oversight, a strong Management Team was put in place with leaders from every discipline within the company. This marked the transition of PDC from a purely entrepreneurial enterprise to a professional organization, ensuring longevity and stability for both employees and PDC customers.


PDC continued to grow, moving the machine shop across Sheehan Avenue in rented space and expanding the assembly floor within the main building. PDC machining operations remained there for 12 years, through 2008.


PDC’s expansion with the completion of a 10,000-sqare foot addition, including a new assembly floor and a third floor of offices overlooking Long Island Sound and the Norwalk Islands.

The subsequent Great Recession of 2008 was weathered by investing in R&D, keeping the core technical team together, realizing efficiencies -- emerging with new products and in position for continued success.


PDC continues to invest heavily in employee training and state-of-the-art CNC machining centers, in accordance with our Full Vertical Integration philosophy. Maintaining tight control of processes, quality and schedules, PDC continues to serve our growing family of customers.