BOSTON—It really took teamwork to get Hewlett-Packard Co.'s plastic side panels for a computer peripheral rack ready for production.
The panels won the Computer and Business Equipment category at the Structural Plastics '99 conference in Boston.
Consultant Michael H. Caropreso of Caropreso Associates in Chester, Mass., said the plastic panels replaced a heavy, stainless-steel door that cost $40 to make and $150 to ship.
Many times, the steel doors suffered damage in transit. The weight also made it difficult to remove and repair, Caropreso said.
``Aesthetics and functionality were the highest priority of the project,'' he added.
The modules were developed by combining gas-assist molding with sequential molding. They were designed to snap in place, to look good, to not need painting and to be light and durable.
Designer, Brian Tsuyuki, a mechanical design engineer at the Networked Computing Division of H-P in Roseville, Calif., said the mold maker, the designer, the gas-assist specialist and the resin maker all contributed to the project. He said the part changed three times along the way.
`There was a lot of cooperation, getting the molder and mold maker involved right up front with our industrial designer,'' Tsuyuki said.
Applied Power Inc.'s APW Enclosure Systems unit in San Jose, Calif., molds the parts in California and Ireland. L.B. Molds of Gardena, Calif., was the mold maker.