PHOENIX - Several parts that push the envelope of the thermoforming process were winners in the Thermoforming Institute's annual design compet-ition. The Thermoforming Institute National Awards drew a record 41 entries in nine categories. Winners were announced at the awards dinner on Feb. 28 in Phoenix. The institute is a division of the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. of Washington.
Winners in each of the categories are:
Heavy-Gauge Pressure Form-ing. Gregstrom Corp. of Woburn, Mass., for its Opera automated blood analyzer.
Heavy-Gauge Thermoform-ing. Kintz Plastics Inc. of Howes Cave, N.Y., for its Aroma Steam II, a two-person sauna, which uses steam to deliver aromatherapy in a lightweight (70 pounds), portable design. Kintz designed the unit and produced the drawings in a redesign of the single-user sauna. Aroma Steam II will be featured at the Imagineering display at Epcot Center at Disney World in Florida.
Heavy-Gauge Twin Sheet. TriEnda Corp. of Portage, Wis., for its Intersite Medical Cart. The part incorporates twin-sheet forming around a steel frame that must maintain tolerances within 30 thousandths of an inch, said President William Dresen.
Light-Gauge Components Parts. Plastic Art Products of Greeley, Colo., for the Exact Re-Usable Compliance Dosing System, which incorporates multiple-plane die cutting. PAP was able to take a matched-metal trimming operation and convert it to in-line trimming using a steel rule die, which resulted in lower cost. The product is made from recycled PVC, a requirement of the customer.
Light-Gauge Industrial Packaging. Pactuco Inc. of Lompac, Calif., for its 100-Pin Universal Shipper. Small-diameter pins enable the customer to ship delicate computer components called suspension assemblies while maintaining the integrity of the parts. The product can hold a variety of suspension assemblies, thus eliminating the need for part-specific containers.
Plastic Ingenuity Inc. of Cross Plains, Wis., made a clean sweep of the remaining light-gauge categories:
Consumer Packaging. A clamshell for the Snakelight flexible flashlight. It features a coined-hinge design that produces a cleaner, neater package that folds more easily in the assembly operations and has a flat back to allow for graphics.
Displays. Cosmetic display tray.
Food Packaging. A roast chicken container is part of a family of deli packaging for Mobil Chemical. It uses a talc-filled polypropylene that is microwavable and features a leak-proof seal. The lid is oriented polystyrene with an anti-fog coating to allow consumers to see the product.
Medical Packaging. Surgical stapler.
``All the products pushed the envelope of the thermoforming process, especially in the tooling area, which is our strong suit,'' said Plastic Ingenuity President Joseph Kuehn.
Best Application in the Light-Gauge Category went to Plastic Art Products for the Exact Re-Usable Compliance Dosing System.
Best Application in the Heavy-Gauge Category went to TriEnda for its Intersite Medical Cart.