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IAPD Congratulates Plastics Application Design Competition Winners

IAPD Congratulates Plastics Application Design Competition Winners

Check out our presentation at the IAPD Design Competition!

Overland Park, KS — The International Association of Plastics Distribution (IAPD) is pleased to announce the three winners of the inaugural IAPD Plastics Application Design Competition, selected during IAPD’s celebration of plastics at its 57th Annual Convention and Plastics Showcase in Miami, FL.

First place: Nonspec, from the University of Massachusetts Lowell for their application for telescoping prosthetic arms designed for children, to help them have better muscle development and lead a more active life with a price point that would enable children in developing nations to benefit from the devices. Nonspec used PEEK and nylon rods for their prototype, sourced from IAPD distributor member company Total Plastics, Inc.

Second place: IAPD manufacturer member Vycom for a large-scale portable sculpture designed by Harvard School of Design graduate students that merges city architecture with greenscapes that engage the public. The sculpture is made from Celtec Ultra White, a solid PVC material designed for outdoor applications.

Third place: IAPD distributor member Cope Plastics, Inc. for a metal-replacement application, a bearing that reduces operating costs and improves production efficiency at a large food products manufacturer. The bearing is the first application of Ketron MD in use in North America. Ketron MD was chosen because it doesn’t require lubrication, is metal-detectable and can be safely used in food applications.

These three finalists presented their applications to a live audience of IAPD members, non-members and the media on October 2 in Miami, FL. In attendance was Rich Nass, brand director for Design News, the exclusive media sponsor of the IAPD Plastics Application Design Competition. “I’m impressed with the range and variation of the three applications presented here today, and I’m looking forward to telling Design News readers about Nonspec, Vycom and Cope Plastics, Inc.,” said Nass.

Earlier this year, a panel of five judges reviewed all the applications to the IAPD Plastics Application Design Competition and selected the top three finalists. While they ranked the top three finalists, that information was not revealed prior to the announcement of the winners. At the live presentation, the audience was invited to vote on their favorite application. Those results were consistent with the judging panel’s selections.

The independent judging panel represented the aerospace industry, the computer industry, the media, academia and the plastics industry:

  • Jim Griffing is a technical fellow for the material and process function of Boeing Research and Technology. Griffing was president of SPE from April 2012 to April 2013.
  • Spyros Michail is leading the worldwide operations team for soft goods at Apple Inc. He joined Apple in 2000 and has held various positions in the manufacturing design group responsible for the manufacturing and supply chains of enclosure parts for all Apple products. Previous to Apple, Michail held engineering, marketing and sales positions at GE Plastics.
  • Richard Nass is the brand director for Design News, a UBM Canon publication. Design News reaches a community of more than 300,000 design engineers and its website receives nearly one million page views per month. Design News was the exclusive media sponsor of the 2013 IAPD Plastic Application Design Competition.
  • Kathryne Newton, Ph.D. is a professor of industrial distribution, technology, leadership and innovation at Purdue University. Dr. Newton is also the University of Industrial Distribution coordinator.
  • Jay Gardiner is president of Gardiner Plastics, a thermoplastic resins company and a consulting services provider to the plastics industry. Gardiner is also the president of The Plastics Academy, member of the executive committee of the National Plastics Center, a past president of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE), a member of the Plastics Hall of Fame and a distinguished member of SPE.

“I congratulate Nonspec, Vycom and Cope, Plastics, Inc and thank them along with our distinguished panel of judges for participating in the IAPD Plastics Application Design Competition,” said IAPD CEO Susan E. Avery, CAE. “Our distributor, manufacturer and fabricator members are involved in many innovative projects, and these entries show three very different ways in which plastics are being used: to help children have a better life, to bring a plant ecosystem into urban environments and as a replacement for metal. This competition is a wonderful way to celebrate all the positive aspects of plastics and I look forward to making this an annual IAPD event. Plastics have incredible application stories to tell and the competition will help IAPD promote the uses and benefits of plastics to the broader end-using community.”

About the IAPD Plastics Application Design Competition
The IAPD Plastics Application Design Competition was a featured part of the “Celebrating Plastics” theme of the 57th Annual Convention and Plastics Showcase, held in Miami, Florida, September 30 – October 2, 2013. With glamorous and exciting South Beach as the setting, the three finalists demonstrated their designs at a special luncheon and the delegates were invited to vote on their top choice. The winners’ stories will be featured in IAPD’s publications and marketing campaigns throughout the year and by Design News until the end of the year to further evangelize plastics and their applications. Information about how to apply for the 2nd Annual IAPD Plastics Application Design Competition will be announced in February 2014. The finalists will present their applications at the IAPD Plastics Expo in Chicago on October 30, 2014.

About IAPD
The International Association of Plastics Distribution (IAPD), established in 1956, brings together distributors, manufacturers, manufacturers’ representatives, fabricators, recyclers and service providers in an environment which encourages a free flow of ideas and information that help members build their businesses. Every program and service we provide is designed with the simple goal of helping our members increase profitability. Membership in IAPD is an affordable business investment. IAPD provides training, connections with customers and suppliers and information about developments that impact the industry. What makes IAPD unique is a commitment to educating customers and other key end-users about plastics. In other words, IAPD works with members to build the demand for plastics. Central to this effort is the reinforcement of the value of distribution. For more information, visit


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