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First-ever ShowStoppers awards presented at IFAI Expo 2012

Industry News, Show Stoppers | December 13, 2012 | By:

Eight exhibitors chosen by attendees as the best new products at the show.

On Thursday morning, Nov. 8th, the first-ever ShowStoppers awards were distributed on the show floor to this year’s eight winners: Applied DNA Sciences, Cabrio™ Structures, Carlson Design, Consew®, King Tech Industry Corp., Sommers Plastic Products, Thomson Research Associates and Xtreme Seal. From a total of 84 products entered by 56 exhibiting companies from four countries entered into this year’s inaugural competition and displayed in a special exhibition area, these eight IFAI Expo exhibitors’ new products received the most votes from show attendees on opening day.

The ShowStoppers awards were created to recognize the best new products exhibited at the show: from most innovative to most effective to most economical to most environmentally sound. Show attendees voted for their favorites in five different categories, and IFAI staff delivered the star-shaped statuettes to some very happy recipients the next morning. Congratulations, again, to our eight winners this year!

Fabrics, fibers and films

King Tech Industry Corp.

KTTEX Silicone Impregnated Reflective Fabric features low friction, used here to protect aircraft. Lightweight fabric reflects heat; is water resistant; dries quickly; breathes to avoid water condensation and mildew; maintains softness and drape in extreme cold; features high chemical resistance; and is UV resistant.

Figure 1

Sean Hsu, vice president: “We’re happy to see people have noticed and voted for reflective fabrics with a built-in safety factor! They’re trendy, fashionable and comfortable, with unlimited applications.”

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Accepting King Tech’s award: Sean Hsu, vice president.

Sommers Plastic Products

SPUN thermoformable polyurethane (TPU) lace is extruded into wire and looped over itself to create an open lace-like mesh 42 inches wide. Overlaid onto other materials or used as a wrap or insert, it may be glued or sewn and is fully washable and dry cleanable.

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Sam Schecter, sales executive: “We were delightfully surprised to win! With a small booth in the back of the show, we went from feeling like a small fry at a big show to feeling as though we were the hidden gem, with an amazing product promoted by a great trade show contest.”

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Accepting the award for Sommers (left to right): Fred Schecter, vice president, Sam Schecter, sales executive.

Chemicals, coatings and compounds

Thomson Research Associates

EPA-registered Ultra-Fresh DW30 antimicrobial finish is designed to be applied to textiles and other materials to protect against the growth of mold, mildew and bacteria. Replaces older, OBPA-containing technologies.

Rich Kenney, U.S. national representative: “We wish to thank the IFAI for the opportunity to showcase our Ultra-Fresh DW30 product, and thank all the attendees for their interest and recognition. We entered the ShowStoppers competition to highlight our product’s unique use of two active ingredients, and its ability to treat many different types of products.”

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Accepting the award for Thomson (left to right): Helena Kim, sales specialist; Rich Kenney, U.S. national representative; Claire Magee, sales specialist.

Hardware, findings and accessories

Xtreme Seal

Xtreme Seal® Pro Seal dual-durometer extrusion is designed for use as a weather seal for marine canvases, windows and edge seals of all types. EPDM material is ozone-, UV-, gas- and oil-resistant.

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Steve Griffith, Xtreme Seal: It was truly an honor to win this award. We’ve been working on this groundbreaking technology of a dual durometer (which is both expanded foam and a hard foam at the same time) for a couple of years—it should be a great product for the end user.”

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Accepting the award for Xtreme Seal (left to right): Jim Newman, sales representative; Bob Mills, director, sales and marketing, of product distributor Bainbridge International Inc.’s marine division.

Equipment and tools

Carlson Design

WT-168-inch Plotter/Cutter is designed for ultra-wide textile applications; computer-controlled unit cuts complex, engineered shapes with precision, repeatability and speed. It stores jobs, simplifying re-cuts, recovers and repair work.

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Thomas Carlson, manager: “What a show! In Baltimore last year, we heard lots of demand from attendees for an ultra-wide cutting system. We decided to show the real deal in Boston. As winners of a ShowStoppers award, we weren’t disappointed in our decision to bring such a large system to the show … and apparently neither were the attendees!”

Figure 9

Accepting the award for Carlson Design (left to right): Susan Devonshire, sales; Gregg Carlson, president; Thomas Carlson, manager; Andrew Harmon, engineering.


Lightweight, efficient servo motor replaces all standard clutch motors, and uses less power, makes no sound and is simple to install. Fits all machines, with needle positioner, soft start, rotation change and maximum speed adjustment.

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Doug Glenn, vice president, sales: “For more than 50 years, sewing machines have used clutch motors. Servo motors make no noise, use 70 percent less electricity … and are about the same cost.”

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Accepting the award for Consew (left to right): David Feit, vice president of operations; Doug Glenn, vice president, sales; Murray Feit, president; and Michael Galfend, senior technician.

Services and end products

Applied DNA Sciences

SigNature®DNA Textile Authentication Marker protects the quality and integrity of textiles by safeguarding against counterfeiting with secure, affordable and forensic methods to authenticate all along the supply chain. Cannot be copied or defeated.

Thomas W. Gladtke, sales director: “We entered the ShowStoppers competition because we believe our product is just that—a show stopper. A unique solution that utilizes bio technology and DNA as a forensic taggant in a way that no one else does.”

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Accepting the award for Applied DNA Sciences: Vanessa J. Herman, director, government relations; Thomas W. Gladtke, sales director.

Cabrio™ Structures

Cabrio Frameless Wall System provides clear, unobstructed views, and blocks wind or leaves a “breeze gap” as desired. Panels may be fully interlocked in enclosed position, or slide and be stacked to open the area to the outdoors. Secures the enclosed area against theft when panels are closed and locked. Clear and tinted glass options, curved and corner designs available.

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Paul Kwekkeboom, vice president, sales and marketing: “We entered the Frameless Wall System because we see it as an excellent product line extension for awning companies, as they provide a new option for enclosing patios for their customers. We’re thrilled with the response we received from show attendees.”

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Accepting the award for Cabrio Structures (left to right): Paul Kwekkeboom, vice president, sales and marketing; Kent Forsland, president; Jana Forsland, marketing; Andrew Kloosterman, operations.

Information on entering the ShowStoppers competition for IFAI Expo 2013 in Orlando will be available online in spring 2013.

Galynn Nordstrom is senior editor of Specialty Fabrics Review magazine.

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