BOSTON — It may seem simple, but all Michael H. Caropreso wants to do is design a better part.
That's probably the reason his colleagues took time to honor him as the 1998 Industry Recognition Award winner at the Structural Plastics Division annual business meeting, held April 19 in Boston. The award is presented each year for an individual's contribution to the industry.
``Talk about being blindsided,'' said Caropreso, a low-pressure injection molding specialist who runs Caropreso Associates based in Chester, Mass. The firm offers consulting, training and application development. ``To be put in the same class [with the 21 previous winners] is a tremendous honor,'' he added.
Joseph A. Bergen, of Sajar Plastics Inc. in Middlefield, Ohio, the previous award winner, cited Caropreso for his contributions to the conference and the industry.
Caropreso worked for General Electric Co. for 28 years, starting as a cable stacker in the Power Transformer Business. He went on to mix resins and then to sharpen his skills as a problem solver for low-pressure molding, including gas-assist injection molding and structural foam.
He left GE to form his own business in 1995.
``I saw an opportunity. My product is information,'' Caropreso said. ``And my customers are looking for information to design a better part.''
He said that he works with original equipment manufacturers, molders, resin suppliers and compounders.
Caropreso was at the conference to deliver a paper titled, ``Combining Resin Conversion Technologies for Achieving Optimal Part Performance. A Gas Assist Molding Case Study.'' It received an award as the conference's best paper.
It is a study of how Hewlett-Packard Co. converts sheet metal doors with plastic panels, developed through a combination of gas-assist molding with sequential-assist molding.
H-P designer Brian Tsuyuki said Caropreso was instrumental in reducing the clamping tonnage required to make the parts. Initially, the specifications called for a machine with 1,500 tons of clamping force.
``Not too many have 1,500, so Mike helped us to bring it down to 650 tons.'' said Tsuyuki, a mechanical design engineer with the Networked Computing Division of Hewlett-Packard in Roseville, Calif.