Two companies that are well-known to the PlasticsToday communityâDiversified Plastics (Minneapolis, MN) and RTP Co. (Winona, MN) )âare among the 10 finalists in the Supplier Innovation Challenge. The competition is open to all exhibitors at MD&M West, which comes to Anaheim, CA, this week. The finalists were selected by editors at UBM Canon, which organizes the MD&M West exhibition and conference and produces PlasticsToday. The grand prize winner will be announced at the event on Feb. 12.
Diversified Plastics was chosen for its 3D printing of injection molds. It was one of the first injection molding companies in the United States to use this process when it was introduced almost two years ago.
By molding prototype parts in production resins using 3D-printed molds rather than conventional soft steel or aluminum molds, Diversified Plastics saves its customers considerable time and money. Furthermore, because they are molded in the resin that will be used in the final product, the parts can be tested for function and sterilization performance.
Citing one recent application involving prototype parts for a new urology device, Diversified Plastics achieved an 88% cost saving and an 80% reduction in mold-build time. Growing a mold using 3D printing takes from 12 to 36 hours, depending on the size and complexity of the part.
RTP made the cut in the final 10 for an innovative test that accurately predicts friction behavior in single-use medical devices and the valuable tribological data that it generates. The procedure can test a selection of base resins in combination with friction-reducing additives and silicones. As previously reported in PlasticsToday, the company will present the results of friction test data to attendees of MD&M West at booth 2012.
The data can help medical device engineers and designers eliminate the need to engage in trial-and-error methods when choosing polymers, says RTP. By using the data, not only can OEMs select materials properly, they can eliminate the need for external lubrication and additional processing steps for the device, thereby decreasing manufacturing costs and time-to-market.
UBM Canon is inviting the general public to weigh in on selecting the grand prize winner by voting here. The voting deadline is 5 PM PST on Wednesday, Feb. 11. The winner will be announced at MD&M West on Feb. 12.
The other finalists are: Advanced Chemical Etching, CleanCut Technologies, Coto Technology, DG Interconnect, Interface Catheter Solutions, Professional Plating, Schurter Inc. and TE Connectivity.
â Norbert Sparrow