By Tom Innis
VP Sales and Marketing
Recently I had the privilege of interacting with Industrial Design students at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD), and presented my perspective regarding the rotational molding industry (note the use of the word “interacting,” as, not surprisingly, the session was indeed interactive, and – also not surprisingly – I likely learned as much from the students as they did from me).
For a number of years, the Association of Rotational Molders and Society of Plastic Engineers Rotational Molding Division have held annual student design contests for rotational molding, which encourage up-and-coming industrial designers to embrace rotomolding as a commercially-viable product design medium.
So, in addition to sharing my roto-perspective during the MIAD visit, I also had the opportunity to review preliminary concepts for this year’s design competition, and was completely impressed by what the students have developed. Clearly, there’s excitement and a creative exuberance manifest in the designs that I reviewed, which left me feeling very optimistic about the near-term future of rotational molding product development.
What’s particularly energizing is that while the MIAD students understand the idiosyncrasies of rotomolding, they’re not limited by the constraints of conventional thinking, and consequently, their product designs extend beyond the boundaries of “typical” rotomolded products.
Personally, I believe the MIAD students’ mindsets are something the rest of the industry should nurture and emulate. Yes, it’s critical that product designs align with process capabilities; at the same time, we need to catalyze and facilitate their success, in turn, creating opportunities for all of us.
Thanks to MIAD Industrial Design leaders Pascal Malassigne and John Caruso and to the Industrial Design students for an engaging, enlightening and exhilarating interaction. By design, the future of rotational molding product design and development is being molded by some very capable minds.
Tom Innis is VP Sales and Marketing with Avantech and has been involved in the rotational molding industry for the better part of the past two decades. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and La Universidad Ibero-Americana in Mexico City, Tom leverages his knowledge of international business, multi-lingual skills, and sales and marketing experience to help drive Avantech and the global rotomolding industry forward.