Three technological innovations benefiting jewelry manufacturers will be showcased when the annual MJSA “Thinking Ahead” Award recipients are honored March 8 at MJSA Expo New York.
The winning products—eXtrusion Patterned Metal, the Dual-Action Electro-Finishing System, and the V-Ray rendering application for the Matrix CAD program—all offer multiple benefits, from speed and cost savings to new material and design options, the Manufacturing Jewelers & Suppliers of America said.
It’s no exaggeration to say that the creators of XPM, Steve Midgett and partner Jim Binnion, revolutionized the production of mokumé gane, in which different metals are combined and manipulated to create wood-like patterns. Employing hot extrusion and a proprietary technique for packing metals together, their XPM method solves multiple shortcomings of traditional mokumé: They can combine an almost limitless variety of metals, such as stainless steel, titanium, and zirconium. They can create and replicate specific patterns. And they can produce mokumé in volume: 107-cubic-inch bars, compared with the half cubic inch or less typically created the traditional way.
The Dual-Action Electro-Finishing System, invented by Marc Sarsanedas Gimpera of Supramol.lecular Systems S.L. in Spain, mass-finishes silver jewelry in an hour instead of the usual six, and does so with less metal loss and without the rounded-out effect of other systems. Using electrolytic erosion and mechanical interaction, it leaves flat surfaces smooth and silky, edges intact and sharp, and stones shiny and lustrous.
Likewise, Gemvision’s V-Ray for Matrix delivers both faster and higher quality results. It produces photorealistic renderings that are difficult to distinguish from photographs, and does so in minutes rather than the hours required by other rendering engines, greatly improving its usefulness as a sales tool.
The MJSA “Thinking Ahead” Innovation Awards are given annually to products that are making the greatest differences in the way jewelry is being designed and made. They are selected by an international panel of independent judges.
MJSA Expo New York will run March 8-10 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. In addition to the award-winning products, it will feature the latest in tools, materials, components, and services for the jewelry industry, as well as timely, expert seminars to help companies survive today’s hard times and prosper later.