Plastics News correspondent Roger Renstrom gathered these items at the Industrial Designers Society of America 2002 National Conference, held July 20-23 in Monterey, Calif.
China sends dioxins to U.S. via burning
Improper open burning of plastics in China generates airborne dioxins that can reach the West Coast in about one week, said Ted Smith, founder and executive director of the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition in San Jose, Calif.
Smith showed portions of a 20-minute Basel Action Network video about the burning of plastics from electronic waste in Guiyu, China, to capture the metal inexpensively. The Basel, Switzerland-based network developed the film, Exporting Harm, which chronicles shipment of industrial waste to Asia.
``It is creating enormous amounts of pollution because virtually all electronic plastics have brominated flame retardants or polyvinyl chloride,'' he said. ``Concern over the dioxin creation is a huge one. It takes about six days for the air pollution from China to make it to the U.S. It is a global issue.''
Smith urged the plastics industry to address the dioxin issue and ``get a lot more serious about addressing recyclability issues.''
He identified electronics recycler MBA Polymers Inc. of Richmond, Calif., as ``one good plant,'' but said, ``they need a lot more support. We need more companies like that able to separate out the various polymers.''
The variety of plastics in computers, television sets and other electronic devices ``is very difficult to separate and get down to the individual polymers where you can reconstitute things,'' said Smith.
Aspect gets award for business savvy
IDSA has stepped beyond design to recognize business success - as a result of a good design.
The group recognized the A-2000 Bispectral Index Monitor from Aspect Medical Systems Inc. of Newton, Mass., as winner of the inaugural Design & Business Catalyst Award co-sponsored by IDSA and BusinessWeek magazine.
The award recognizes the business success of IDSA's Industrial Design Excellence Award winners. Or, in the words of Gianfranco Zaccai, it connects a creative design activity to what occurs in the marketplace because of that activity. ``Design in its fullest sense makes a huge contribution to that success,'' according to Zaccai, who is president and chief executive officer with Design Continuum Inc. of West Newton, Mass. Design Continuum partnered with Aspect to develop the portable system.
The anesthesia and sedative monitor lists for $8,900 - 63 percent less than the product it replaced in 1998, Zaccai said.
IDSA acknowledges personal achievement
* IDSA inducted Bruce Claxton into the organization's Academy of Fellows. Claxton is senior director for design integration in Plantation, Fla., with Motorola Inc.'s commercial, government and industrial solutions sector.
* The personal achievement award went to Viktor Schreckengost, 96, of Cleveland for seven decades of influence as a product designer, mentor, consultant, sculptor and painter. He founded the industrial design program of the Cleveland Institute of Arts in 1952 and remains active in critiques there. Schreckengost was on hand in Monterey with family members and colleagues to accept his award in person.
* IDSA presented its education award to Steven Skov Holt, chair of the industrial design program for the San Francisco-based California Center of Arts and Crafts. He has experience with major industrial design firms and as a writer and editor.
* The IDSA/ Plastics News design award was presented to Helix Design Inc. of Manchester, N.H., for its development of the BearHug Binding system for Tubbs Snowshoe Co. of Stowe, Vt. The lightweight, thermoplastic polyester elastomer-based system earned the honor from a jury of independent industrial-design judges at the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc.'s Structural Plastics Division new-product design recognition contest in April. Robert Grace, editor and associate publisher of Plastics News, presented the award to A.K. Stratton, Helix design manager.
* PTI Engineered Plastics Inc. of Clinton Township, Mich., near Mount Clemens, is offering a carrot to industrial-design firms to enhance its chance to quote on new molding and tooling jobs. PTI, a custom injection molder and mold maker, is offering funding for internships and scholarships for design students. It said it will contribute to those firms 5 percent of the net invoice value of tooling and parts for any new business it receives from those firms or their clients, and pay the funds for one year following the initial release of the project.