ATLANTA — Universal Protective Packaging Inc. of Mechanicsburg, Pa., captured four awards for plastic packaging it entered in the Society of Plastics Engineers Thermoforming Division's annual parts competition.
One UPP winner, a PVC tray and lid ensemble for an 18-pound circuit board assembly made by Qualcomm Inc. of San Diego, took the industrial packaging category plus the people's choice award for roll-fed applications.
UPP's packaging was just one of 41 entries on display at the division's annual meeting, held Sept. 13-16 in Atlanta.
To show just how strong the PVC package is, UPP encouraged conference attendees to stand on it, said Jim Breakey, the firm's design engineer, who boasts that the 0.035-inch-thick packaging can withstand more than 200 pounds of human weight. L.L. Brown Inc. of Enola, Pa., made the tray and lid tooling.
In all, 21 winners were picked for the competition, which serves as a showcase for thermoforming know-how, said division Chairman Steve Hasselbach. Last year's contest handed out just seven plaques in all. But this year, the group created as many categories as there were end markets represented, he said.
The group also abandoned its previous distinction between thin-and heavy-gauge sheet, instead dividing entries into roll-fed and cut-sheet applications. Judges looked at innovations, features, mold and trim complexity, material difficulty, market viability and other such criteria in evaluating parts. And who best to do that judging but thermoformers and their toolmakers, ``people who live in the business''—who can analyze how the part is made, guess at what the tooling is worth and determine whether any magic was worked, Hasselbach said.
For cut-sheet applications, two firms, Arrem Plastics Inc. of Addison, Ill., and Profile Plastics Corp. of Lake Bluff, Ill., won two awards each.
Arrem won the medical multipart assembly award and was the people's choice with its Image Point Enclosure for a Hewlett Packard ultrasound cart. The enclosure, which featured 10 pressure formed parts, plus molded-in color and texture, won an award in April at the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc.'s Structural Plastics design competition in Irvine, Calif.
Profile won the consumer entertainment small-part award for a flame-retardant ABS electronic game bezel. The firm also took the industrial enclosure award for an acrylic/PVC enclosure for a commerical label maker.
Other category winners in the roll-fed division:
UPP also picked up the consumer products win for its PET plant-stand saucer, and the consumer electronics prize with a PVC clamshell for an external modem.
Rodney Borst of Oregon, Wis., took the food container and packaging award for an upscale polystyrene carryout container.
Wilsanco Plastics Ltd. of Dungannon, Northern Ireland, won the critical barrier packaging award for a PS yogurt cup.
Method Associates Inc. of Keyport, N.J., captured the critical medical device packaging award for its glycol-modified PET medical cement system package.
Phoenix-based Flexpack Corp. won in consumer hardware packaging for a PVC retail lock-set base and lid package.
For cut sheet, the other winners were:
Universal Plastics Corp. of Chicopee, Mass., which won the consumer entertainment large-part award for an ABS cover set for a Keno machine.
Murfin South, a Bogart, Ga., unit of Menasha Corp., won the consumer safety award for a decorated polycarbonate safety helmet.
Hanover, Pa.-based McClarin Plastics Inc. won the automotive original equipment manufacturers award for its motorcycle dash assembly pressure formed from high-impact ABS.
Spencer Industries of Dale, Ind., won the appliance OEM award for its coextruded twin-sheet door-in-door assembly.
Allied Plastics of Tucker, Ga., took the point-of-purchase category for a three-piece panel set for vending machines made of glycol-modified PET.
Furon of Seattle won the electronics enclosure award for its ABS microsystems computer enclosure panel, which met critical paint and part requirements, including rigidity without exceeding the 50-pound weight limit.
Productive Plastics Inc. of Mount Laurel, N.J., won the large multipart assembly award for its flame-retardant ABS/PVC rapid mail extraction desk.
Apogee Designs Ltd. of Baltimore won the medical diagnostic multipart award for an ABS/PC assembly for a sequencing gel electrophoresis apparatus.
Freetech Plastics Inc. of Fremont, Calif., won the medical enclosure award for a two-plane ABS panel that required multiple breakaways in the tooling.
Next year's competition, to be held Sept. 19-22 in Nashville, Tenn., could bring even more categories and awards, as more end markets crop up among entries, Hasselbach said. He noted there were no cosmetic displays entered this year.