An electric city car won the top award in the Association of Rotational Molders' annual products competition.
The SAM Car, submitted by Bonar Plastics, won 2002 Product of the Year after delegates voted on contest entries displayed at ARM's Rotoplas '02 conference, held in Oct. 6-9 in Toronto. Bonar rotational molds the car's six body panels at its Hockenheim, Germany, facility.
Bonar rotomolds the panels using high density polyethylene. The car, designed to sell for less than US$8,000, is assembled by Cree AG of Biel, Switzerland. The three-wheeler weighs about 1,200 pounds and can travel up to 43 miles on a charge, at speeds of up to 53 miles per hour.
ARM also announced product category winners chosen by delegates.
In the conversion category where rotomolded plastic replaced conventional materials, the winner was the Callaway Custom Fitting Golf Cart submitted by Meese Orbitron Dunne Co. of Madison, Ind. The three-wheel cart includes space for a computer system.
For innovation and state-of-the-art technology, simulated stone wall sections called Stonehenge took the prize. The product is made by Crossarm Inc. of Gainesville, Texas, using linear low density PE and a special treatment to achieve stonelike color and surface feel.
The PVC category winner was the Bosu Balance Trainer, a plastisol-based exercise and balance trainer. The flexible, hollow hemisphere is molded by Hedstrom Corp. of Ashland, Ohio.
The recycled category winner was the English Rain Barrel made from post-industrial LLDPE by Hedstrom.
The Yuppie Wagon won the large product category. The trailer, designed for towing by cars and trucks, is made by General Shelters of Texas S.B. Ltd.
Among nonwinning entries, Roto Plastics Corp.'s vinyl oxygen mask featured a one-piece construction that includes a hollow cushion molded onto the face mask body. Joe Carroll, director of engineering for the Adrian, Mich., firm said the mask's one-piece construction requires very fine production control to make the thin, hollow cushion. The proprietary product eliminates the extra step of attaching a cushion onto a mask. It can replace silicon masks.
An industry panel judged entries in the student design competition. Brian Potempa's fishing shanty won first place and the $2,000 cash prize. Brian's twin brother, Michael, took second prize for his sound barrier. Both attend the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design.