Plastics News correspondent Roger Renstrom gathered the following at the Industrial Designers Society of America conference, held Oct. 27-30 in Pasadena, Calif.
2007 design congress set for San Francisco
In October 2007, there will be a major international design congress in San Francisco's Nob Hill Masonic Center.
The International Council of Societies of Industrial Designers awarded the 2007 congress to IDSA and the City by the Bay.
IDSA strongly backed the proposal to bring the congress to the United States for the first time since 1985, when ICSID met in Washington. That congress had 2,200 attendees, said Bill Moggridge, co-founder of design firm IDEO and chairman of the 2007 event. He hopes to attract more than 3,000 registrants for the congress Oct. 17-19, 2007.
Scandinavia is ICSID's destination next year. The 2005 schedule includes separate conferences held simultaneously Sept. 21-24 in Oslo, Norway; GÃ¶teborg, Sweden; and Helsinki, Finland; and the joint congress Sept. 26-28 in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Separately, ICSID will hold a Latin America regional meeting Jan. 20-21 in Santiago, Chile.
After an extensive site competition, ICSID and the International Council of Graphic Design Associations have decided to move their collective offices to Montreal in early 2005 from an interim secretariat in Essen, Germany.
IDSA elects president for the two-year term
IDSA members elected Ron Kemnitzer as the society's president for a two-year term that began Jan. 1. Kemnitzer is a professor at Virginia Polytechnic Institute in Blacksburg, Va.
Michelle Berryman, principal of Echo Visualization LLC of Atlanta was elected executive vice president, and Eric Anderson, associate professor at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, was named secretary-treasurer.
Outgoing IDSA President Bruce Claxton will serve as chairman. Claxton is senior director of design integration for Motorola Inc. in Plantation, Fla.
Inclosia providing fashionable options
Inclosia Solutions has added plastic-backed wood and metal options for electronic housings in its drive to satisfy fashion-conscious consumers.
Formed in 2001, the business unit of Dow Chemical Co. has produced seven commercial products including a $149, rugged TC1100 tablet case with synthetic leather for Hewlett-Packard Co. and a $60 wireless IntelliMouse Explorer with black synthetic leather for Microsoft Corp.
Inclosia launched its next generation of aesthetic samples in October. Potential uses include housings for cellular telephones, personal digital assistants, notebook computers or flash memory devices.
The process, for example, can marry a wood veneer and ABS sheet backing with a total thickness of 0.052 inch and use the component as an insert in molding a housing with a compatible plastic, not necessarily from Dow.
Also, stainless steel, aluminum or thin metallic foil can be laminated to a plastic backing for similar applications.
The annual global market for custom-made enclosures is roughly $10 billion, according to Tom Tarnowski, global business manager with Midland, Mich.-based Inclosia. ``We have opened a new area in taking luxury materials into mass production'' through Inclosia or contract licensees, he said.
``The design community wanted real wood for grain texture and real metal for its cold touch,'' Tarnowski said.
The product additions extend on Inclosia's initial fabrics in leather, suede, metallic or denim. Currently, design and engineering work is under way for mobile phones, laptops and other devices incorporating Inclosia packaging concepts in time for Christmas 2005.
Inclosia's patent-pending manufacturing process - the Exo overmolding system - links the base enclosure of injection molded thermoplastic with a permanently bonded decorative covering that is sealed to prevent fraying or peeling.
On the production floor, a molder can shift between decorative inserts without retooling or significant equipment changes.
Mack manufacturing Orbit stacking chairs
Mack Molding Co. produces Bernhardt Design's new stress-free plastic Orbit stacking chair in a fraction of the time needed to make a wood version. Both styles have a chrome base.
Unlike deviations with wood, ``plastics accurately captured 100 percent of the complex geometry of the original design,'' said Zack Lyon, project manager with Bernhardt in Lenoir, N.C.
The original Orbit chair consists of a sculpted plywood shell with an ash or zebrawood veneer. Manufacturing takes more than 90 minutes per part, and the chair retails for $500, said Brian Sumpter, business development director with Mack's southern operation.
The new chair, made of polycarbonate and ABS, reinforced with long glass fiber, is molded in three minutes and costs $250, said Sumpter. GE Advanced Materials of Pittsfield, Mass., customized a high-flow LNP Verton amorphous compound in working with Bernhardt and Mack on the project.
Mack uses a gas-assisted process on a 720-ton Toshiba press in Statesville, N.C., in low-volume molding of the chair's unified seat and back.
Tests of the back passed twice the normal load requirement of the Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturer's Association of Grand Rapids, Mich., and the back showed no sign of fatigue or failure, the company said.
The structural cross section of plastic and a gas channel creates a backbone that absorbs three times more impact than wood. ``We had to be able to hyperextend the chair - to bend it backwards,'' Sumpter said.
Mack built a production mold and tested eight materials including ABS, PC and nylon, with various levels of reinforcement. Trials started at 30 percent glass and ended at 20 percent. ``We were too stiff initially,'' Sumpter said.
Bernhardt Design introduced the wood chair in early 2002 and the plastic chair this year.