Bemis Manufacturing Co.'s Kristin Charlton believes cowboys and farmers should get along. That's her analogy for promoting friendly interaction between designers and engineers two groups of professionals that tend to speak different languages, approach problems from differing perspectives and frequently suffer from, shall we say, creative tension.
Charlton, manager of market and business development for the Sheyboygan Falls, Wis., injection molder and extruder, discussed her philosophy at last fall's Industrial Designers Society of America's conference in Miami.
She obviously has bought into the philosophy of CEO Peter Bemis, whose mantra is fulfill the dreams of industrial designers.
In a 2003 interview with Plastics News, Bemis said, It's a simple formula. If you hamstring the designer to the point where the product loses that sizzle that is needed to sell [it], then you've really shot yourself in the foot from a business standpoint.
Charlton is helping her employer walk the walk. She used to sell industrial and mechanical design and prototyping services to Bemis before joining its team a couple years ago. She also recently was named co-chair of the Materials & Processes Section of IDSA.
Bemis' philosophy, she said, is to move further upstream in the development cycle and become more of a collaborative team with designers.
I think more processors really should get involved with IDSA and learn how products are brought to market through design. It's important.
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