NASHVILLE, TENN. — Brookdale Plastics Inc. knew its Metacom music display station was impressive, but the company was elated when it won an award, the firm's first, in the Society of Plastics Engineers Thermoforming Division's annual parts competition in Nashville.
``This is a project we have been working on for more than a year,'' said Lynn Weiss, Brookdale sales and marketing. ``It involved a ton of time and a ton of creativity. We knew it was great.''
The Plymouth, Minn.-based company worked with one of its customers, Metacom Inc., also of Plymouth, to redesign and improve the point-of-purchase music display station.
``They came to us to be part of their team,'' Weiss said. ``They had been making it but were not happy with their vendor and were considering design changes. This has very much been a 50-50 partnership.''
The music display station received the point-of-purchase award in the cut-sheet division.
Brookdale vacuum-formed 22 different parts from glycol-modified PET and high-impact polystyrene to make the display station. The goal was to simplify the bill of materials to a few items while maintaining the integrity and aesthetics of the unit.
The new design eliminated seven components and uses common plastic fasteners instead of nuts and bolts. Overall assembly was faster and cheaper. Allen Extruders Inc. of Holland, Mich., is the company's sheet supplier.
The Metacom music station looks like a jukebox and is an interactive store merchandising display designed to enhance the sale of CDs and cassettes. It features a touch screen that enables the consumer to sample music from a variety of titles. The appearance is enhanced with back-lit transparencies and vacuum metalized parts. The music station is displayed at major discount stores and larger retail outlets.
Brookdale has been in business for 35 years and employs 62 at its 63,000-square-foot plant. The company operates nine vacuum formers, some in-line and some sheet-fed. Brookdale also does contract packaging. The company had sales about $6.1 million last year.
In all, 21 winners were selected — nine for roll-fed parts and 12 for cut-sheet items. Prent Corp. of Janesville, Wis., and Universal Protective Packaging of Mechanicsburg, Pa., came up big winners. Both companies walked away with three awards.
The people's choice award went to U-Haul International Inc. of Tempe, Ariz. Its ABS/Centrex Cap unibody construction plastic trailer also received the automotive award.
Category winners in the roll-fed division were:
Prent, in the consumer packaging category, for polycarbonate packaging for fragile glass ornaments. The company also received the critical barrier packaging award for a PVC package to protect medical components, and the critical medical-device packaging award for a PETG, two-panel medical container.
Universal Protective Packaging, in consumer electronics, for an anti-static PVC Web Camera box-filler clamshell package. The company also claimed the industrial packaging award for an electrostatic-dissipative PET memory-module tray and lid with anti-flex base, and the consumer housewares product award for a PET decorative saucer in a wheeled dolly caddy.
Union, Mo.-based Rexham Containers, which won the food container award with a 4-ounce, coextruded bowl made of copolymer polypropylene.
Creative Forming of Ripon, Wis., which took the promotional product award for a PET information dispenser.
Design Plastics Inc. of Omaha, Neb., whose HIPS sunglass display captured a point-of-purchase award.
For cut sheet, the other winners were:
Chicopee, Mass.-based Universal Plastics Corp., which won the consumer entertainment part award with an ABS projection screen.
Samsonite Europe of the Netherlands took the consumer product award for its ABS/acrylic Samsonite-brand suitcase.
Productive Plastics of Mount Laurel, N.J., received the industrial enclosure award for a fire-resistant ABS printer/embosser enclosure.
Worcester, Mass.-based Mayfield Plastics Inc. took the electronic enclosure award with an ABS/PVC spectrometer housing.
Profile Plastics Corp., headquartered in Lake Bluff, Ill., garnered two awards. One, a top and bottom cover for a device that measures bone density, received the Multipart Medical Diagnostic award. The company's hospital equipment enclosure was awarded the Multipart Medical Enclosure award. The Ergodyne On3 Lateral Transfer Device transfers hospital patients from beds to gurneys and back, eliminating the risk of back injuries. The device wraps the draw sheet around the transfer rod. A belt is clamped to the transfer rod and the patient is transferred by remote control.
Trienda Corp. of Portage, Wis., won the material-handling award with its high density polyethylene, rackable and convertable, twin-sheet storage pallet.
Independence, Ind.-based Triangle Plastics Inc. took the sports and leisure award for an HDPE twin base and case for a portable ice-fishing shelter.
Freetech Plastics Inc. of Fremont, Calif., won the multipart assembly award for a fire-resistant ABS, Hewlett Packard-brand panel cover.