Awards Recognize 2014 Aluminum Extrusion Design Competition

Of the 95 competing entries, the Grand Prize of $3,500 went to the “Hercules” patient repositioner, which uses a special sheet that rolls into the aluminum housing to pull the hospital patient back up to the top of the bed.

A total of $20,000 was awarded to professional designers and students in the 2014 International Aluminum Extrusion Design Competition awarded by the Aluminum Extruders Council (Wauconda, IL).

Ninety-five entries were received for the competition, including more than 80 designs from students at universities and technical schools. The awards, sponsored by Sapa Extrusions North America, included a Grand Prize, Professional Class prizes, and Student Class scholarships, which included the Sapa Sustainable Design Award.

The Grand Prize of $3,500, awarded across all classes and categories went to David Hornbach, the senior product designer for the Morel Company (Batesville, IN), for his design of the “Hercules” patient repositioner.

The Hercules allows a single caregiver to reposition a patient in bed with a simple push of a button. The repositioner uses a special sheet that rolls into the aluminum housing, pulling the patient back up to the top of the bed.

The unit is comprised of 7 unique aluminum extrusions that include two cavities, one that houses the roller that repositions the sheet, and one that houses the motor, clutch, circuitry, and power supply. Hornbach explained that the motor housing side of the unit, “This cavity was designed for easy service and creating a closure which could withstand our fluid ingress, EMC and grounding requirements.”

Competition judge Joseph Benedyk, the editor of Light Metal Age magazine and Research Professor at Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, said of the design, “This entry is truly an engineered product made of multiple extruded components engineered to work together to solve a real world problem in the medical field. It’s a great example of how extrusions can save time and money.”