2007 MJSA Innovation Award Winners

The Manufacturing Jewelers & Suppliers of America and MJSA Journal honored four products in the fourth annual MJSA Innovation Awards competition, which recognizes the most creative tools, technologies, and processes introduced during the past year. The winners, which ranged from a desktop scanner that offers high-quality scans in seconds to an ergonomically designed saw that offers precision cuts by hand, were all featured in the December 2007 issue of MJSA Journal.

The 2007 MJSA Innovation Award-winning products are:

* Blanking Die Saw by Knew Concepts, Santa Cruz, Calif. (pictured) This ergonomically designed saw enables jewelers to make quick, easy, and precise cuts at the bench. “The saw frame is in alignment with the work in such a way that you can make precision cuts by hand—cuts that were attainable only with a machine tool,” says MJSA Innovation Awards judge James Binnion of James Binnion Metal Arts in Bellingham, Wash..

* NextEngine’s Desktop 3D Scanner by NextEngine Inc., Santa Monica, Calif. This desktop system offers high-quality scans at an affordable price. The scanner uses a multi-laser array to sweep across objects at various angles, scanning 50,000 surface points per second; a file with millions of points can be quickly generated, dramatically speeding workflow. “This tool is then ‘Star Trek’…I can place an object in it, scan it, e-mail it, and have that object re-made across the world tomorrow,” says MJSA Innovation Awards judge Charles Lewton-Brain, goldsmith, author, and educator from Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

* Noble Investment by Ransom & Randolph, Maumee, Ohio. Unlike most other platinum and palladium investments, which contain a hazardous acid binder, the Noble investment is a water-mixed solution that is safer to use, ship, and store. Adding to the safety benefits, the investment can be easily removed in an hour or less, without the use of hydrofluoric acid. “Easy and quick devesting will mean significant time savings to casters,” says MJSA Innovation Awards judge Joerg Fischer-Buehner of Indutherm GmbH and Legor Group Srl in Schwabisch, Gmund, Germany.

– 4X ZeroShrink Silicone Mold Rubber by Zero-D Products Inc., Willoughby, Ohio. Designed for jewelry makers who want to mold carved waxes and resins, the 4X ZeroShrink cures in as fast as five minutes per quarter-inch of thickness at 250 degree Fahrenheit, without shrinkage. The rubber also features high tear strength and durability, with the ability to stand up against high clamp and injection pressures. “This product should be advantageous to many casters, as its zero-shrink characteristic will make it easier to produce accurately sized castings,” says MJSA Innovation Awards judge Christopher Corti, a London-based consultant to the World Gold Council.

The Innovation Awards are part of Thinking Ahead: The MJSA Innovation Initiative, an effort to celebrate and motivate innovation in all areas of the industry. As part of the Initiative, MJSA will feature a series of free innovation sessions, as well as the fourth annual Innovation Awards presentation at its Expo New York 2008 show.