GLS Corporation Announces Winners from NPE Innovative TPE Product Competition

CHICAGO, IL (Thursday, June 22, 2006) -- GLS Corporation of McHenry, IL, sponsors of the first annual Innovative TPE Product Design & Development Competition, today announced the winners at the NPE 2006 in Chicago.

The intent and goal of this competition, according to GLS officials, was "to find, recognize and reward contributions and efforts by design engineers, industrial designers, design teams, processors (injection molders, extruders or blow molders) and marketing firms/manufacturing companies (OEMs) who or which have incorporated TPEs (thermoplastic elastomers) into their existing or new products. Awards were based on products that showed innovation, creativity and usefulness utilizing TPEs."

First prizes in each of four categories were awarded to:

Most Innovative Consumer Product - the OxiClean® Detergent Toss-N-Go(TM) Ball designed by Jamar Resource, Inc. of Fort Worth, TX, which entered this innovative new concept in dispensing (in a TPE-encased ball) laundry detergent during 25+ washing cycles (eliminating the need for messy detergents). They submitted this product for Orange Glo International of Greenwood Village, CO.

Most Innovative Industrial Product - the Phraselator® 2 mobile translation device designed by Helix Design, Inc. of Manchester, NH, which entered this soft touch TPE-encased hand-held one-way translation device used by military, law enforcement and first aid personnel. They submitted this entry on behalf of Voxtec, Inc. of Annapolis, MD.

Most Innovative Medical Product - the VibraLung(TM) acoustic airway clearance percussor, molded by Rolco, Inc. of Kasota, MN, which submitted this medical device that disseminates sound waves to the lungs via a soft touch mouthpiece to dislodge secretions for easy expellation from the lungs. This entry was submitted on behalf of Vibralung, Inc. of Parker, CO.

Most Innovative Electrical/Electronic Product - the Archer Field PC (TM), designed and marketed by Juniper Systems, Inc., a Campbell Scientific Company, of Logan, UT. This rugged, TPE-enhanced handheld unit is used to collect data in the field in very harsh environments.

In addition, two honorable mentions (HMs) were given in each of the four categories, with the judges awarding a third honorable mention in the Consumer Products category:

HM, Consumer - Too Hot® Safety Spoons designed and marketed by WCB Products Inc. of Tampa, FL. These child safety spoons use TPEs that change color if food is too hot. They are sold by Wee Care Baby Products, Inc., AND

HM, Consumer - TPE Promotional Scrapers designed by ProCo Technologies and molded by Rolco, Inc. of Kasota, MN. These ice and cooking scrapers demonstrate the versatility of TPEs to be overmolded onto nearly any type of polymer substrate (plus wood composites), PLUS

HM, Consumer - the Corner Smart(TM) Shelving System for bath and décor use, designed and marketed by Shelfworks Technologies, Inc. of Englewood, NJ. These corner shelves use no adhesives or tools for mounting, but rather a patented friction system using TPEs.

HM, Industrial - the Heath RMLD(TM) (remote methane leak detector) designed by Helix Design, Inc. of Manchester, NH and submitted on behalf of marketer Heath Consultants, Inc. of Houston, TX. This unit is a portable laser-based gas sensor used to locate leaks in natural gas transmission and distribution pipelines, AND

HM, Industrial - blow molded TPE energy absorbing helmet liners for U.S. Navy pilots molded by ICM Plastics 9 of Rogers, MN, and submitted on behalf of designer and marketer Skydex Technologies, Inc. of Centennial, CO.

HM, Medical - the eTrap(TM) polyp trap retrieval device for endoscopic procedures with removable slide-draw strainer which is totally unique to the market. It is designed and marketed by U.S. Endoscopy, Inc. of Mentor, OH, AND

HM, Medical - soft touch handles for orthopedic surgical instruments, submitted by molder Mack Molding of Arlington, VT on behalf of marketer Stryker Orthopaedics Corporation of Mahwah, NJ.

HM, Electrical/Electronic - handheld and benchtop meter housing for PH meter for water analysis by molder Mack Molding of Arlington, VT on behalf of marketer Thermo Electron of Beverly, MA, AND

HM, Electrical/Electronic - Pantone Color Cue(TM) 2 handheld portable color scanner submitted by designer Helix Design, Inc. of Manchester, NH on behalf of marketer Pantone, Inc. of Carlstadt, NJ.

According to the judges from Injection Molding magazine, the Rubber Manufacturers Association of America (sponsors of the TPE/Rubber Pavilion where the products were displayed throughout NPE), the Plastics Institute of America and hundreds of show visitors who also were solicited to vote, "the decision to narrow down winners from such an impressive field of entries was most difficult." Entries came from as far away as New Zealand and represented designers, molders, processors, marketers and manufacturers across many industries.

Sponsoring company GLS Corporation of McHenry, IL notes that the competition, which is expected to be an annual event, was open to any and all types and brands of TPEs, with the emphasis on "innovative use of TPEs." GLS spokesman Walter Ripple, the firm's Director of Sales and Marketing, comments, "I am very pleased with the interest generated from our Innovative TPE Product Design Competition. We received more than 30 entries of just about every type of TPE technology, from many different TPE suppliers, and many different design and engineering functions. This reinforces the fact that TPEs have made major contributions across all industries to enhance products of all types."

For this "first ever" event, the entries from companies around the globe were displayed in special sealed/enclosed displays in a 20 foot booth at NPE in the TPE/Rubber Pavilion. In addition, many dozens of other typical and innovative products using TPEs were also on display for show visitors to view and enjoy.

GLS Corporation specializes in the manufacture of application-specific custom formulated soft and ultra-soft thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs) for injection molding and extrusion. GLS has supplied specialty TPEs to the industry since 1979, and is recognized as a global leader in TPE technology solutions. Specific products sold by GLS include proprietary DYNAFLEX® TPE compounds based on KRATON® polymers (available in injection molding and extrusion, as well as medical and FDA grades); VERSAFLEX® TPE specialty alloys (available in soft touch, lightweight, ultra-soft, ultra-clear and overmolding grades); VERSALLOY® TPV alloys; and VERSOLLAN(TM) TPU alloy compounds. GLS is also the exclusive distributor of KRATON® compounds and polymers for the compounding market in the United States, and also distributes KRATON compounds and polymers globally. Applications for these materials are found in consumer, medical, sports and leisure, automotive, lawn and garden, appliance, kitchen tool, power tool, personal care and industrial markets, among others.

For more information on the TPE Competition and (for editors only) more specific information on product entries and winners, contact: Marketing Department, GLS Corporation, 833 Ridgeview Drive, McHenry, IL 60050-7050. Telephone: (815) 385-8500 or (800) 457-8777. Fax: (815) 385-8533. E-mail: Web:

In Europe, contact: Mr. Jack Van Gaans, GLS International Inc. o Handelscentrum Oudenbosch o Bosschendijk 193, unit 020 o 4731 DD Oudenbosch o The Netherlands Phone: +31 (0) 165 331 293 o Fax: +31 (0) 165 331 296 o Mobile: +31 (0) 653 317 296 E-mail:

In Hong Kong, contact: GLS Hong Kong Ltd., Room 5, 5/F, Block B, Veristrong Industrial Centre, 34-36 Au Pui Wan Street, Fo Tan, Shalin, N.T., Hong Kong. Tel: 852 2690 5330. Fax: 852 2690 5223. E-mail: Web:

In Suzhou, contact: GLS Thermoplastic Alloys Suzhou Co. Ltd. No. 77, Shenggang Street SIP, Suzhou, China (215021) Tel: +86 512 6265 2600. Fax: +86 512 6265 2700. E-mail: Web:

In Taiwan, contact: GLS Taiwan, Room 1102, 11F, No. 69, Sec. 1, Yonghe Rd., Yonghe City, Taipei County 234, Taiwan. Tel: +886 9396 99740. Fax: +886 2 2929 1849. E-mail: Web:

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