DALLAS — Rototek Ltd. received product-of-the-year recognition from its peers for the Invinca internally illuminated road sign.
Members of the Association of Rotational Molders chose the product achievement award winners at ARM's fall meeting in Dallas, held Oct. 18-20. The products' molders remained anonymous until the winners were chosen.
The lighted road sign also took the prize in the innovative state-of-the-art category.
Behlen Engineered Plastics and Diamond Plastics Inc. tied for the conversion award: Behlen for an engine cover and Diamond for a PVC shift-lever boot. Both products have been in production since September.
The winner in the PVC category was a heron statue submitted by Dutchland Plastics Corp.
The Invica internally illuminated road sign is a one-piece, two-color molding that uses Rototek's patented two-color process. The technique eliminates the need to join and seal the product.
Custom, in-house software allows the use of two separate powders of differing colors — as well as mold-in graphics — to produce a one-piece, seamless molding. The Invica signs are made from Dow 2431 compounded white and Rotec R300 low-melt-flow compounded grey and black.
The internal lighting electronics can be accessed through a small, rear panel. The sign is nearly unbreakable and vandal-proof, Rototek claims. Rototek worked with SimmonSigns and Alpha Patterns on the design.
Rototek makes the sign using a cast aluminum mold on a custom-made, computer-controlled rocking oven. Production began in January.
Rototek is in Newark-on-Trent, England.
Behlen's one-piece rotomolded engine cover for step vans was made using the Rotolite OS one-shot foamable polyolefin system from WedTech Inc. of Toronto. The covers have been approved by UPS, RPS and FedEx for use in their delivery vehicles.
Formerly, the product was made using a structural-fiberglass inner shell and vacuum-foamed ABS outer cap that was filled with insulation.
The winning cover's one-shot skin and foam process provides structural strength, thermal insulation, sound deadening, a flat writing surface and the ability to fasten on a cup holder or clip boards.
Behlen said its customer has realized a cost reduction and an improvement in features.
The cover was made with a fabricated aluminum mold on a Ferry 280. Behlen is headquartered in Goshen, Ind.
Dunkirk, Ohio-based Diamond Plastics' winning entry was a shift-lever boot that has been converted from cut-and-sew leather to rotationally molded PVC. A division of Mecedes-Benz and Diamond designed the boot for use on an undisclosed truck. A cast-aluminum mold made by Plasticast of Akron, Ohio, was used on a McNeil 1000 machine.
Dutchland Plastics of Oostburg, Wis., took the PVC award category with its heron figurine made of semirigid PVC. It was rotomolded in an electroformed mold on a McNeil 800 machine. The major feat of this product is its extreme undercuts, which were pulled through the bottom of the mold. The only seam line or opening on the statue is on the bottom of its round base. It is filled with a cement-foam mixture and then air brushed. Production began this year; 5,000 pieces have been made.