Foam innovator of the year (individual) section

Foam innovator of the year (individual)

Entries

Colin Kewell – Kewell Converters, UK

Tim Mulqueen – Ramfoam, UK

Mike Parsons – formerly of Karrimor International, UK

Bruce Whitman – Technifab, USA

Technical Department – Tecma (Gruppo Sogimi), Italy

Foam Innovator of the Year
Winner (Technical)

Bruce Whitman
Technical Fellow, Technifab Inc, USA

Bruce Whitman has over 20 years’ experience in specialist fabrication, particularly for the aviation market. Along with the Technifab design team, Bruce was the creative leader responsible for the Boeing 787 window seal development, a new complex commercial aircraft window housing that serves as a mounting surface for an electronically-dimmable window pane. The utilization of foam for window seals was first introduced to Boeing for the 737 aircraft in order to save weight. ZOTEK® F was used to replace traditional silicone materials, resulting in weight savings of over 50%. Bruce designed both the seal and the tooling to manufacture it – the combination was crucial in enabling this innovation to become so successful. The 787 window seal application has a highly engineered approach due to its multifaceted requirements, and is required to meet superior aesthetic standards in the aircraft cabin. To add to the challenge, when the cabin is dark there can be no ring of light entering around the seal. Bruce and his team resolved this by incorporating ZOTEK F30 Grey into the outer part of the seal to eliminate sunlight breaking though and affecting the customer experience, while remaining aesthetically pleasing. To put the success of the 787 window seal into perspective, in 2019 Boeing built 14 planes per month, with an average of 94 window seals on each aircraft, all using this sophisticated technology.

Foam Innovator of the Year
Winner (Business)

Timothy Mulqueen
Sales Director, Ramfoam, UK

Tim Mulqueen is a diligent, conscientious leader of Ramfoam. His achievements at the company include establishing facilities in Dubai and around the Midlands. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, Tim has also responded to the UK government’s call for much-needed and critical PPE, safeguarded over 1400 jobs, and created vital revenue streams for many businesses in a time of unprecedented downturns in many markets. Always with a smile on his face and a positive attitude. A recent notable innovation spearheaded by Tim is the RamfoamCare+ visor. Leveraging Ramfoam’s experience in converting medical-grade foam products for the healthcare market, Tim wanted to support the NHS amidst the growing shortage of PPE products. Ramfoam’s innovative solution is a lightweight two-piece full face visor that is cost-effective and sustainable, using foam as the headband, coupled with a robust but recyclable film visor, both of which can be reused multiple times. RamfoamCare+ was the result of regular reviews to discover how the company could use or modify a core product in different industries. After an intense period of design and testing, the visor was developed in a matter of weeks, and in May 2020 Ramfoam was awarded a Department of Health and Social Care contract to produce three million visors per week. At the height of the pandemic, Ramfoam was the leading supplier of face visors to the NHS.