You need the right tools to do any job, and SPI's Structural Plas-tics Division is seeing to it that fledgling industrial designers have the tools to create efficient parts and processes for plastics. The Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. division is cooperating with the Industrial Designers Society of America to provide ``Designers' Toolboxes'' to 55 leading industrial design schools.
Division Chairman Jack Avery said the idea grew from the division's recent conference in Atlanta, which featured concurrent conferences of the materials and processes section of IDSA.
``Since we started cooperating with IDSA two years ago we have been asking, `How can we pull industrial designers into the world of plastics materials and processes more?'*''
``The conferences in Atlanta brought out several points that had been made by recent design graduates. They said in most de-sign schools, students have only one semester of work in materials and processes, and that includes metals, glass, ceramics, and other materials besides plastics. This means they may only get eight hours of work with plastics, and in so short a time, it might be difficult to get a good feel for the materials, and processes.''
The Designers' Toolboxes will include design guides and product literature from processors, as well as actual plastic end-products for students to examine.
``We heard from some students that it would help them to have an actual part in front of them so that they could get a sense of how the material worked in processing, and for the surfaces, and properties,'' said Avery, who also is manager of operational assets for Pittsfield, Mass.-based GE Plastics. ``We are talking to Rub-bermaid Inc. about providing 55 of their larger toolbox products to contain the materials and literature, which can be sent out to the schools.''
The toolboxes should be available in time for the beginning of classes this fall. They will include examples of many processes, including blow molding, gas-assisted injection molding, reaction injection molding, thermoforming, and structural foam.
``Obviously we think there will be a payback,'' Avery said. ``When the design students have a better feel of how the materials and processes work in practice, in that they will be able to work better with our members in designing products and processes.''