BOSTON — A big blue 54-inch, 150-pound agricultural container attracted quite a bit of attention at Structural Plastics '99 in Boston.
``We call it the Stump the Judges Award,'' joked Brian Sumpter, a member of the Structural Plastics Division Executive Committee.
Mold maker FGL Precision Works Ltd. of Concord, Ontario, entered the container, and later earned kudos as the winner of the Materials Handling Award. The container, which can be supplied as a solid or vented box, is structural foam molded from polyethylene, and has a static load capacity of 15,000 pounds.
``The girth is incredible,'' Sumpter said.
The judges wondered how the mold designer put gates up the side of the 5-foot-high wall because the part requires slides that have to retract.
Frank F. Meisels, FGL president, said that despite its size, it could be stacked seven-high.
``The customer came up with an idea of what they wanted and we were in development for the mold design,'' he said, ``It was a very complex mold.''
Meisels said the mold featured aluminum inserts to speed heat transfer and decrease cycle time 40 percent.
The tool has 20 nozzles, with 12 at the bottom and eight around the edges.
The part was fashioned by Innova Packaging Systems of Ieper, Belgium, on its 1,000-ton Uniloy Milacron machine.
He said FGL designed the mold, passed on the dimensions for daylight, and the machine was redesigned to suit the opening for the mold.
FGL was founded in 1965 and carries the initials of the three founding brothers, Frank, George and Leslie. George died in an accident in 1972. The firm specializes in large and medium-size tools.
``We tried to get larger and larger, because there's less and less competition [at that level],'' Frank Meisels said.
FGL has 45 employees, working three shifts, 24-hours a day, and operates in a 23,000-square-foot plant with three cranes.
The firm makes molds for structural foam, injection and compression molding, thermoforming, rototmolding and blow molding.
FGL has made molds for such things as patio furniture, playground slides, garden-hose carts and pallet boxes.