Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Menu - Part 3: The Third List of Publications for Potential Posting

Here are some more interesting items for the Journal:

The Nature and Evolution of the Soft Contact Lens Industry in the United States

Early in my career at Arthur D. Little, I became involved with the soft contact lens industry. By the mid-1980's, I had completed over 150 assignments in this field. This writeup summarizes some of the work done and links to my expert report in a landmark Tax Court case that tells the history of the contact lens industry.

Before I began concentrating on ophthalmic and medical lasers, I spent much of my time working in the Arthur D. Little Product Technology laboratories on a myriad of interesting client-sponsored cases (and other interesting pursuits). I have decided to place a few of the more interesting on my web Journal, under the title “ADL Chronicles”. Here are a few:

ADL Chronicles – The EPCON Plastic Pencil

One of my early lab assignments was to develop the materials for the all plastic pencil that we developed for the Empire Pencil Company, a subsidiary (then) of Hasbro Toys. We developed a material and a co-extrusion process that went into commercial production. We obtained two patents on the materials and process that was assigned to Hasbro.

ADL Chronicles – Spin-cast Eyeglass Frames

Another lab-based assignment was to develop an epoxy-based eyeglass frame for Universal Optical, similar to, but getting around the patents held by the Optyl Company. We decided to use a spin casting system and had to invent both a compatible material and process for making the frames. We succeeded in the development (including obtaining a patent), but the process never went into commercial production.

ADL Chronicles -- The Disposable "Motionless Mixer"

This was a unique assignment – to develop a delivery system for two-part adhesives that would not require mixing by the user. We settled on using a prior ADL invention, the motionless mixer, but had to find a vendor that could make it disposable, instead of very expensive as was the original mixer. We did, and this product went on to become a commercial success, although it was not patentable.

ADL Chronicles – An Improved Firefighter’s Glove

Our first assignment was for NIOSH (the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health), to determine what the hazards were affecting the hands of firefighters during fighting fires. The followup assignment for NASA was to use that knowledge to develop a glove of space-age materials that would meet or exceed the criteria that we had uncovered in the first assignment.

We ended up developing (and patenting) several designs of improved firefighter’s gloves that were picked up and commercialized by glove manufacturers.

ADL Chronicles – An Erasable Ink Composition

In the early-1980's, the Gillette Corporation’s Papermate Division had developed and marketed an erasable ink pen. BIC, not wanting to be left out of the game, hired ADL to develop a composition for its use. And so we did, including obtaining a patent on our formulation.

ADL Chronicles – Of Silk Purses and Lead Balloons

And, one for fun. Following in Arthur Dehon Little’s tradition of his producing a “silk purse” from sows ears, the chemists and engineers of the Product Technology Section of ADL decided to hold a contest to see if we could produce a “lead balloon” that would fly! And so we did, and here’s the story behind the story.


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