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The Automotive Division of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE®) is announcing a “Call for Nominations” for its 47th-annual Automotive Innovation Awards Gala, the oldest and largest recognition event in the automotive and plastics industries, and due dates for the event’s annual Parts Competition and Hall of Fame Award. This year’s Awards Gala will be held Wednesday, November 8, 2017 at the Burton Manor in Livonia, Michigan. Winning part nominations (due by September, 13, 2017) in 9 different categories, and the teams that developed them, will be honored with a “Most Innovative Use of Plastics” award. A “Grand Award” will be presented to the winning team from all category award winners. An application that has been in continuous use for 15 years or more, and has made a significant and lasting contribution to the application of plastics in automotive vehicles, (nominations due by May 31, 2017) will be honored with a “Hall of Fame” award.

“As the auto industry is progressing to meet 2025 CAFE (corporate average fuel economy) and regional emissions standards, it is also advancing rapidly with intelligent vehicle technologies, many of which are already present on today’s cars and trucks,” explains Jeffrey Helms, global automotive director, Celanese Corp. who returns as the 2017 SPE Automotive Innovation Awards chair. “Plastics and composites have always been a material solution for lightweighting, comfort, performance and compact design. These same materials are now enabling the design of parts and components for autonomous vehicle components and subsystems.   The intelligent use of the right plastics and robust design will assist automakers and their suppliers in delivering the technologies and features that customers want while meeting regulatory or affordability targets. This led to selection of Intelligent Automotive Design with Plastics as our 2017 program theme. Last year, our program attracted the largest attendance in recent history, with close to 800 attendees, and with increasing interest in intelligent vehicle systems, including autonomous vehicles, we expect this year’s attendance to be that or higher.

Since 1970, the SPE Automotive Innovation Awards Competition has highlighted the positive changes that polymeric materials have brought to automotive and ground-transportation industries, such as weight and cost reduction, parts consolidation, increased safety, and enhanced aesthetics and design freedom. At the time the competition started, in 1970, many OEM designers and engineers thought of plastics as inexpensive replacements for more “traditional” materials. To help communicate that plastics were capable of far more functionality than their typical use as decorative knobs and ashtrays indicated, members of the board of directors of SPE’s Automotive Division created the competition to recognize successful and innovative plastics applications and to communicate their benefits to OEMs, media, and the public.

Over the years, the competition drew attention to plastics as an underutilized design tool and made industry aware of more progressive ways of designing, engineering, and manufacturing automotive components.  From its humble beginnings, the competition has grown to be one of the most fiercely contested recognition events in the automotive and plastics industries. Today, polymeric materials are no longer substitutes for more expensive materials, but rather are the materials of choice in hundreds of different applications throughout the vehicle.   Without plastics, many of the auto industry’s most common comfort, control, and safety applications would not be possible.

During the competition phase of the event, dozens of teams made up of OEMs and suppliers work for months to hone submission forms and presentations describing their part, system, or complete vehicle module to support claims that it is the year’s “Most Innovative Use of Plastics.” To win, teams must survive a pre-competition review and two rounds of presentations before industry and media judges.

There is no cost to nominate parts, however, nominations that are accepted into the competition need to be presented (in person or via webinar) by their nominating teams during the first round of Automotive Innovation Awards Competition judging, September 27 – 28, 2017 in Auburn Hills, Michigan. Finalists from that round advance to a second presentation before a panel of Blue Ribbon judges made up of media, retired chief engineers, and other industry experts on October 9, 2017 (also in Auburn Hills, Mich.) Winners of each part category, the Grand Award, Hall of Fame, and Lifetime Achievement winner will all be honored during the Automotive Innovation Awards Gala on November 8, 2017. This annual event typically draws over 700 OEM engineers, automotive and plastics industry executives, and media. Funds raised from the event are used to support SPE educational programs including technical seminars and conferences, which help educate and secure the role of plastics in the advancement of the automobile.

Current competition categories include:

  • Aftermarket
  • Body Exterior
  • Body Interior
  • Chassis/Hardware
  • Electrical Systems
  • Environmental
  • Hall of Fame
  • Materials
  • Process, Assembly & Enabling Technologies
  • Powertrain
  • Safety


The mission of SPE is to promote scientific and engineering knowledge relating to plastics worldwide and to educate industry, academia, and the public about these advances. SPE’s Automotive Division is active in educating, promoting, recognizing, and communicating technical accomplishments in all phases of plastics and plastic-based composite developments in the global transportation industry. Topic areas include applications, materials, processing, equipment, tooling, design, and development.

The Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) Thermoforming Division has named Robert Porsche as Thermoformer of the Year.

The award will be presented during the Division’s Thermoforming Awards Dinner, held in conjunction with the 26th SPE Thermoforming Conference®. The conference will take place September 11-13, 2017 in Orlando, FL, at the Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld Hotel. The Awards Dinner will be held on Tuesday, September 12.  

Mr. Porsche began his thermoforming industry career working in sales for Profile Plastics in 1975.  In 1987, he purchased General Plastics, Inc., where he remains president and owner.  At the time, General Plastics had six full-time employees housed in an 11,000 square-foot facility.  Under Mr. Porsche’s leadership, General Plastics now has over 75 full-time employees and recently expanded its facilities to a 93,000 square-foot building. Their modern facility contains a complete collection of the newest single station, rotary and twin sheeting formers with pressure forming capabilities, as well as two 3 axis and six 5 axis CNC routers and four of the most advanced fully robotic trimming machines.

Located in Milwaukee, WI, General Plastics is an ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certified, full service custom plastic thermoformer. General Plastics also houses some of the largest forming equipment in the industry, allowing the company to address a diverse range of product demands. The company provides solutions for point of purchase and OEMs in bus, rail, truck, marine, office, lavatory, medical, health and wellness, gaming, arcade, food and beverage, construction, and machine guarding applications.

Last week, General Plastics was presented with the Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year Award in the small business category, an honor that it also received in 2014. General Plastics has also been named as a finalist for the 2016 Plastics News Processor of the Year Award. The company has received numerous awards for its contributions to the SPE Thermoforming Division’s Annual Parts Competition over the years as well.

An active member of SPE, Mr. Porsche has served in many leadership roles as a Thermoforming Division Board Member where he chaired the Finance, Machinery, and Processing Committees in addition to two SPE Thermoforming Conferences. Mr. Porsche is a prior Division Outstanding Achievement Award Winner, and has served as a heavy gauge technical session presenter and moderator.  He is also active in a variety of local Milwaukee-area business and civic nonprofit organizations.

Mr. Porsche graduated from Southern Illinois University with a B.S. in marketing and management.

“Under Bob Porsche’s leadership, General Plastics has grown from a small business to a thermoforming industry success story,” said Bret Joslyn, SPE Thermoforming Division Chair.  “As a long-time member of the SPE Thermoforming Division’s Board of Directors, Bob’s leadership in a variety of roles has contributed greatly to the Division’s success.”

Past recipients of the Thermoformer of the Year Award may be found on the SPE Thermoforming Division website.

The Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) has created a new technical conference focusing on plastics design. Titled “Successful Plastic Part Design – Doing It Right the First Time,” the first conference will take place October 25-26, 2016 in Portland, Oregon at McMenamins Kennedy School.

SPE’s Product Design and Development Division, known as PD3, organized the conference in collaboration with the Society’s Columbia River Section and the SPE Thermoforming Division.

Presentations will be offered in two tracks:

Injection Molding

  • Overview of Injection Molding – Charlie O’Bosky, R&D Plastics
  • Injection Molding Process & Terminology – Ron Knowlton, Western Washington University
  • Polymers and Material Selection -– Ron Knowlton
  • Injection Molding Flaws – Kyle Tarr, R&D Plastics
  • Design Guidelines – Kyle Tarr and Rod Roth, R&D Plastics
  • Design for Manufacturing Considerations – Ron Knowlton
  • Mold Design and Construction - Ron Knowlton
  • Post Molding Processes – Charlie O’Bosky
  • Product Development Flowchart – Charlie O’Bosky


Composites/Thermoforming

  • Why Use Thermoforming with Process Overview of Vacuum, Pressure and Twin-Sheet Forming – Ed Probst, Probst Plastics Consulting
  • Material Selection for Thermoforming – Ed Probst
  • Design for Thermoforming – Ed Probst
  • Thermoforming Tooling & Troubleshooting – Ed Probst
  • What Are Composites, Their History and What Makes Them Special – Trevor Grundberg, Vectorply
  • Where Are Composites Typically Used and Part Design for Composites – Trevor Grundberg
  • Part Design for Composites and Process Modeling – Trevor Grundberg


Plenary speaker presentations addressing all three processes will also be offered:

  • How Do You Select the Right Process? – Eric Larson, Art of Mass Production
  • Where to Find Answers to Your Plastics Questions – Ed Probst


“SPE chose to hold our new design conference in the city of Portland because of its educational resources and its ties to and appreciation for process and design,” said Ed Probst, conference chair. “We are bringing together the area’s part designers, engineers, and material specifiers to explore the design and process essentials for injection molding, thermoforming and composites.”

For more information or to register, visit: www.spe-pd3.org

SPE (Society of Plastics Engineers) has appointed Eve Vitale as its Foundation Director.

Ms. Vitale’s experience includes six years of corporate and foundation fundraising experience in the automotive and plastics industries and ten years of curriculum development and teaching.

She holds a B.S.M.E. from Oakland University and a M.S.E. with a concentration in manufacturing from Kettering University, where she currently is also the Faculty Adviser of the SPE student chapter and part of the SPE volunteer leadership.

“Eve brings to SPE extensive experience in curriculum development, educational program management, non-profit strategy and fund raising,” said Russell C. Broome, SPE managing director. “She is a well-respected expert in the plastics industry and plastics academia.

We are excited about the contributions that she will make to the vitality of the foundation and the impact it will have on the next generation of talent entering the industry as well, particularly in view of the workforce shortage we all hear about.”

Bill Carteaux, president and CEO of SPI and a member of the SPE Foundation board noted that Ms. Vitale worked with SPI during the initial setup of the plastics program at Kettering University. “I found Eve to be dedicated and aggressive to the cause,” he said. “I'm convinced that she will be a tremendous asset to the SPE Foundation, and, working with the Board, will take it to levels never seen before, benefitting the plastics industry for decades to come."

The SPE Foundation awarded 45+ scholarships worth $112,000 to graduate and undergraduate students in 2015. The Foundation also provides grants to college engineering departments for purchasing equipment for hands-on training. In addition, affiliate groups within SPE also have their own scholarship programs. SPE is now working with universities to develop scholarship programs for graduating high school seniors.

The Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) Thermoforming Division has announced a call for entries in its annual Parts Competition, showcasing the latest advances in thermoforming design and application. The submission deadline is September 9, 2016.

The parts entered in the Competition will be on display during the 25th SPE Thermoforming Conference®, which will be held September 26-28 at the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center Hotel in Schaumburg, Illinois.  Awards for winning parts will be presented at the Thermoforming Awards Dinner on Tuesday, September 27, at the hotel.

Competition entrants may submit parts in several categories, depending on the type of thermoforming operation:

  • Roll-fed categories are Industrial, Medical, or Food.
  • Heavy-gauge categories are Vacuum Form, Pressure Form, and two new categories: Twin Sheet and TPO.
  • Combined. Entrants may submit parts comprised of recycled material (minimum 40% recycled content), which include Value Added Assembly and represent Innovation.


“The theme of the 2016 Conference is, ‘Forming the Future,’” said Matt O’Hagan, 2016 Parts Competition Chair and SPE Thermoforming Division Board Member.  “The 25th anniversary of the Conference will celebrate the success of the thermoforming industry. Parts that point the way toward the future of thermoforming are of special interest.

For guidelines and submission details, visit: www.thermoformingdivision.com/parts-competition/guidelinesentry-form

The Automotive Division of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE®) announced the dates, location, and theme for its 46th-annual Automotive Innovation Awards Gala, the oldest and largest recognition event in the automotive and plastics industries, and deadlines for the event's annual parts competition. This year’s Awards Gala will be held Wednesday, November 9, 2016 at Burton Manor in Livonia, Michigan, where winning part nominations (submitted by September 15, 2016) and the teams that developed them will be honored during an evening that celebrates automotive plastics innovation.

"This is an important year for automakers selling into the U.S. as it represents the midpoint assessment period for 2025 CAFE (corporate average fuel economy) standards," explains Jeffrey Helms, global automotive director, Celanese Corp. who returns as the 2016 SPE Automotive Innovation Awards chair. "Regulators are currently reviewing automaker status with regard to increasing fuel-efficiency ratings toward the 2025 targets. That will put the spotlight on methods and materials for taking mass out of vehicles, which should be good for plastics and composites. We feel it's no coincidence that the last few years have represented the highest attendance in the history of our Automotive Innovation Awards Gala and we expect that trend to continue in 2016. Automakers and their suppliers are very interested in any and all design, material, and process options that can help them meet regulatory targets while still offering exciting, safe, beautiful, and affordable vehicles that customers want to buy. This led to selection of Plastics: Innovation in Motion as our 2016 program theme."

Since 1970, the SPE Automotive Innovation Awards Competition has highlighted the positive changes that polymeric materials have brought to automotive and ground-transportation industries, such as weight and cost reduction, parts consolidation, increased safety, and enhanced aesthetics and design freedom.  At the time the competition started, many OEM designers and engineers thought of plastics as inexpensive replacements for more "traditional" materials. To help communicate that plastics were capable of far more functionality than their typical use as decorative knobs and ashtrays indicated, members of the board of directors of SPE’s Automotive Division created the competition to recognize successful and innovative plastics applications and to communicate their benefits to OEMs, media, and the public.

Over the years, the competition drew attention to plastics as an underutilized design tool and made industry aware of more progressive ways of designing, engineering, and manufacturing automotive components. From its humble beginnings, the competition has grown to be one of the most fiercely contested recognition events in the automotive and plastics industries. Today, polymeric materials are no longer substitutes for more expensive materials, but rather are the materials of choice in hundreds of different applications throughout the vehicle. Without plastics, many of the auto industry’s most common comfort, control, and safety applications would not be possible.

During the competition phase of the event, dozens of teams made up of OEMs and suppliers work for months to hone submission forms and presentations describing their part, system, or complete vehicle module to support claims that it is the year’s "Most Innovative Use of Plastics." To win, teams must survive a pre-competition review and two rounds of presentations before industry and media judges.

There is no cost to nominate parts.  However, nominations that are accepted into the competition need to be presented (in person or via webinar) by their nominating teams during the first round of Automotive Innovation Awards Competition judging, September 29-30 in Auburn Hills, Michigan.  Finalists from that round advance to a second presentation before a panel of Blue Ribbon judges made up of media, retired chief engineers, and other industry experts on October 10 (also in Auburn Hills).  Winners of each part category, the Grand Award, Hall of Fame, and Lifetime Achievement winner will all be honored during the Automotive Innovation Awards Gala on November 9. This annual event typically draws over 700 OEM engineers, automotive and plastics industry executives, and media. Funds raised from the event are used to support SPE educational efforts and technical seminars, which help educate and secure the role of plastics in the advancement of the automobile.

Current competition categories include: Aftermarket, Body Exterior, Body Interior, Chassis / Hardware, Electrical Systems, Environmental, Hall of Fame, Materials, Process, Assembly & Enabling Technologies, Powertrain, and Safety.

The mission of SPE is to promote scientific and engineering knowledge relating to plastics worldwide and to educate industry, academia, and the public about these advances.  SPE’s Automotive Division is active in educating, promoting, recognizing, and communicating technical accomplishments in all phases of plastics and plastic-based composite developments in the global transportation industry. Topic areas include applications, materials, processing, equipment, tooling, design, and development.

For more information, visit: www.speautomotive.com/inno

The organizing committee for the SPE Automotive Composites Conference & Exhibition (ACCE) issued a call for nominations for its fifth-annual parts competition at the group's 2016 conference, September 7-9 in Novi, Michigan. Prizes for the Most Innovative Composites Application will be awarded in three categories ― Materials Innovation and Process Innovation (selected by media and members of the SPE ACCE planning committee), and People's Choice (selected by conference attendees) ― with winning teams receiving recognition and a trophy after lunch on the last day of the show.

There is no cost to enter the competition. Any registered conference participant (speaker, sponsor/exhibitor, or attendee) may nominate original equipment or aftermarket composite parts on passenger cars or light trucks from any geography. The only requirement is that parts must be on a vehicle available for commercial sale and that the vehicle producer must give permission. Nomination instructions may be found at www.speautomotive.com/comp.htm. Preliminary descriptions and photos about the application’s innovations are due July 30, 2016 and should be eMailed to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Physical parts must be brought to the SPE ACCE for final review by judges on September 7 during a formal walk-through at the show.

Last year, the Materials Innovation award went to the nomination jointly submitted by Bright Lite Structures, LLC and Huntsman Polyurethanes for the carbon composite chassis system on the Zenos E10 street-legal track car by automaker, Zenos Cars Ltd. The Process Innovation and People's Choice awards both went to the first composite coil spring on 2015 Audi A6 Avant 2.0-L TDI Ultra sedans by Audi AG nominated by Hexion Inc.

In 2014, the Body Exteriors award went to Mitsubishi Rayon Co., Ltd., which nominated the carbon fiber-reinforced composite decklid made via the prepreg compression molding process on the Nissan GT-R supercar by Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. The event's new People's Choice award (chosen by conference attendees) went to then Momentive Specialty Chemicals Inc. (now Hexion Inc.) for its nomination of the lightweight carbon fiber-reinforced composite door structure with Class A appearance on the Porsche 911 GT Cup supercar produced by Porsche AG.

In 2013, Plasan Carbon Composites swept the competition in all three categories. The company's nomination of the hood for the Corvette Stingray sports car from General Motors Co., produced in carbon fiber-reinforced composites via Plasan's new out-of-autoclave pressure press technology, won the Body Exterior category. And Plasan won both Body Interior and People's Choice awards with its nomination of the engine X-brace on the SRT Viper from then Chrysler Group LLC (now FCA US LLC (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles)) produced in autoclave-cured carbon composites.

In 2012, the first year that the SPE ACCE featured a parts competition, Asahi Kasei North America won the Best Part award with its nomination of the twin-sheet thermoformed glass-reinforced polypropylene composite on the Ram Box assembly with lid for Dodge Ram pickups from then Chrysler Group LLC.

Held annually in suburban Detroit, the ACCE draws over 1,000 speakers, exhibitors, sponsors, and attendees and provides an environment dedicated solely to discussion and networking about advances in transportation composites. Its global appeal is evident in the diversity of exhibitors, speakers, and attendees who come to the conference from Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia / Pacific as well as North America. Fully one-third of attendees indicate they work for automotive and light truck, agriculture, truck & bus, or aviation OEMs, and another 25% represent tier suppliers. Attendees also work for composite materials, processing equipment, additives, or reinforcement suppliers; trade associations, consultants, university and government labs; media; and investment bankers. The show has been jointly sponsored by the SPE Automotive and Composites Divisions since 2001. This year's show will be held September 7-9, 2016 at The Diamond Banquet & Conference Center at the Suburban Collection Showplace, 46100 Grand River Avenue, Novi, MI 48374.

For more information, visit: www.speautomotive.com/comp.htm

Friday, 18 March 2016 14:49

SPE ANTEC® 2016 Plenary Sessions

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Speakers at the plenary sessions of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) ANTEC® 2016 conference will focus on the future of the plastics industry, with special emphasis on additive manufacturing, 3D printing, and the promise of automotive light-weighting through use of carbon fiber composites.

ANTEC 2016, the world’s largest plastics technical conference, will take place May 23-25 at the JW Marriott Indianapolis in Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.A.

Plenary sessions will include the following presentations:

Monday, May 23: Additive Manufacturing and 3D Printing: State of the Industry, by Tim Caffrey, senior consultant at Wohler Associates.
  • Tim Caffrey is a senior consultant at Wohlers Associates Inc., Fort Collins, Colorado. His responsibilities include the execution of consulting projects, speaking, and representing the company at national and international events.  He is a principal author of the Wohlers Report, an in-depth worldwide study of the state of the additive manufacturing and 3D printing industry. He has worked with Wohlers Associates since 2000.

Tuesday, May 24: The State of the Plastics Industry: Outlook for 2016 and Beyond. This will be a discussion by a panel of industry editors, followed by a discussion between the editors and members of SPE’s Next Generation Advisory Board.
  • Plastics Industry Editors Panel will include Jim Callari, associate publisher and editorial director of Plastics Technology; Susan Flynn, managing editor of Composites Manufacturing; Clare Goldsberry, senior contributing editor of Plastics Today; and Don Loepp, editor in chief of Plastics News. Mike Tolinski, managing editor of SPE’s Plastics Engineering, will serve as moderator. Don Rosato, publications chairman for the Plastics Institute of America at the University of Massachusetts—Lowell, will serve as coordinator.

Wednesday, May 25: A Platform for Novel Lightweight Automotive Composite Design, by Antony Dodworth, chief technology and manufacturing officer at Bright Light Structures.
  • Antony Dodworth is chief technology and manufacturing officer at Bright Light Structures, LLC, San Francisco, California. His automotive career began in 1985 with chassis engineering for the Indianapolis 500. He has worked for Bright Lite Structures since 2011. From 2003 until 2011 he was principal research manager at Bentley Motors Ltd. where he led a team investigating the adoption of composite materials. He has designed, worked on, and built chasses for the March Indy 500 car; Leyton House F1; McLaren F1 and F1 road car; Hyundai Coupe concept; Cadillac Cien; Jaguar F Type concept; and Bentley GT concept, road car convertible, Supersport, Mulsanne, and T35. He lectures frequently on composite fibers at universities and serves on the boards of composite fiber industry associations.

 

“The plenary sessions at ‘ANTEC at Indy’ will offer a unique view of the future of plastics,” said Donna S. Davis, technical conference chair of ANTEC 2016. “And with the running of the 100th anniversary Indianapolis 500 race taking place on the following Sunday, we couldn’t miss the opportunity for one of our plenary speakers to look at the future of automotive.”

For more information, visit: www.antec.ws

The organizing committee for the SPE® Automotive Composites Conference & Exhibition (ACCE) announced the dates, theme, and location for this year’s show and issued its annual call for papers. Now in its sixteenth year, the SPE ACCE is the world’s leading forum for automotive composites and draws over 1,000 exhibitors, speakers, and attendees from 15 countries on five continents to the Detroit area, inspiring organizers to select this year's theme of "Innovations in Automotive Composites: from Motor City to the World." The 2016 show returns September 7-9, 2016 to The Diamond Banquet & Conference Center at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, Michigan.

"Based on the continued growth of the SPE ACCE, it’s an exciting time to be involved in automotive composites," notes Rani Richardson, composites & additive manufacturing business experience consultant, Dassault Systèmes and 2016 SPE ACCE event chair. "With less than a decade to go before really challenging emissions and fuel-economy standards kick in for automakers in some of the world's largest economies, the pressure's on to take mass as well as cost out of vehicles without compromising safety, functionality, aesthetics, and customer satisfaction. The ACCE is a great place to discover many of the innovations driving those changes, and to network with those passionate about transportation composites."

Those interested in speaking at this year’s event should upload abstracts by March 31, 2016 and full papers or non-commercial presentations by May 31, 2016. Authors who submit full papers (not presentations) in the proper format will be considered for the conference’s Dr. Jackie Rehkopf Best Paper Awards, which are presented during the event’s opening ceremony.

Held annually in suburban Detroit, the ACCE draws over 1,000 speakers, exhibitors, sponsors, and attendees and provides an environment dedicated solely to discussion and networking about advances in transportation composites. Its global appeal is evident in the diversity of exhibitors, speakers, and attendees who come to the conference from Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia / Pacific as well as North America. Fully one-third of attendees indicate they work for automotive and light truck, agriculture, truck & bus, or aviation OEMs, and another 25% represent tier suppliers. Attendees also work for composite materials, processing equipment, additives, or reinforcement suppliers; trade associations, consultancies, university and government labs; media; and investment banks. The show has been jointly sponsored by the SPE Automotive and Composites Divisions since 2001.

For more information, visit: www.speautomotive.com/comp.htm

Tuesday, 23 February 2016 13:35

Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) ANTEC® 2016

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Early bird registration for the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) ANTEC® 2016 runs through March 1st. After that date, registration fees increase. ANTEC 2016 will take place May 23-25 at the JW Marriott Indianapolis in Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.A.

The annual ANTEC is the world’s largest plastics technical conference, consisting entirely of original, peer-reviewed presentations on a variety of topics relevant to today’s global plastics industry. Besides more than 600+ technical talks in 40 different plastics technical areas, ANTEC 2016 will include “New Technology” forums, plenary & keynote speeches, tutorials for a range of processes and materials, and panel discussions. Other activities include SPE’s global parts competition “Plastics for Life” and “The Plastics Race, a scavenger hunt with a plastics twist. There will also activities for students and young industry professionals.

Information on programs and registration fees is available at www.antec.ws. Prospective attendees can also contact SPE by email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , telephone at 1-203-740-5403, and fax at 1-203-775-8490.

THE SOCIETY OF PLASTICS ENGINEERS (SPE) is the premier source of peer-reviewed technical information for plastics professionals. Founded in 1942, SPE takes action every day to help companies in the plastics industry succeed by spreading knowledge, strengthening skills, and promoting plastics. Employing these vital strategies, SPE has helped the plastics industry thrive for over 70 years. SPE has become the recognized medium of communication among scientists, engineers, and technical personnel engaged in the development, conversion, and application of plastics.

For more information or to register, visit: www.antec.ws

The organizing committee for the new SPE® Shanghai TPO Conference, March 22-24, 2016 at the Shanghai Marriott City Centre hotel in Shanghai, China, has announced the event's two keynote speakers. Dr. Rose Ryntz, vice-president, Advanced Development & Material Engineering, International Automotive Components (IAC) Group (Southfield, Michigan) and Dr. Stéphane Quilliet, engineering manager-injection molding team, RocTool (Le Bourget du Lac, France), will each give a 30-minute presentation highlighting important issues and new technologies that are expected to be of great interest to show attendees.

Ryntz will give a talk entitled The Changing Landscape for Plastics Use in Interior Automotive Applications on Tuesday, March 22, 2016 at 8:45 a.m. As background on her topic, she explains that plastics use in automotive applications is expected to represent approximately 18% of total vehicle weight by 2020 and contribute roughly $110-billion USD to global plastics sales. During that same time period, global sales of automotive interior components (in all materials) is expected to reach $325-billion USD, offering suppliers "great incentives to participate." However, the functional requirements and usage of plastic materials are changing rapidly due to factors like economics and governmental mandates. With increased demand for lighter, more competitively priced vehicles, and current challenges by vehicle-interior suppliers in meeting growing production demands, it is more important than ever to select plastics and design parts efficiently and correctly if a company wishes to become the supplier of choice for a given automaker.

"My presentation will focus on the changing geographic and demographic landscape for vehicle interiors and the effect of those changes on plastic material selection," explains Ryntz. "As the interaction between car and driver becomes, paradoxically, more complex, the key to supplier success will be focused product segments and technology differentiation.  Lifestyle demands, such as the desire for personalization, use of illuminated surfaces, and the focus on occupant comfort and convenience, as well as acoustic performance, environmental stewardship, and safety all will be discussed in relation to polymer selection. Additionally, the advent of the autonomous car and increased human-machine interactions also will be discussed relative to how they affect both the industry and its requirements."

Quilliet will give a talk entitled On the Road to a New Standard:  High-Definition Plastics on Wednesday, March 23, 2016 at 8:45 a.m. RocTool's technologies for rapid mold heating and cooling provide plastic processors with practical solutions that increase productivity ― via faster molding cycles, lower energy usage, better thickness control, and enhanced part complexity ― as well as improve post-mold part quality ― via optimized surface quality (whether matte or glossy) and invisible weldlines. These features are wanted and needed by molders in all major market segments, but especially in the high-volume, cost-sensitive, aesthetically demanding automotive industry.

"The plastic industry is constantly working to offer better process solutions in order to respond to design challenges from automakers. My presentation will focus on the ongoing evolution of several such process enhancements. I also will share our vision of the next key steps to reach a new quality and performance standard” explains Quilliet. “I will share with the attendees our vision and explain what we believe are the conditions needed to reach a new standard in the industry. In addition, I will discuss the importance of the fact that we now can accurately simulate the inductive heating and cooling technique via AutoDesk, Inc.'s MoldFlow® software, which helps improve the accuracy of moldfilling and warpage analyses as well as shows the benefits of our induction technology during the initial design phase, long before tooling is cut. We think of these as 'high-definition plastics' solutions for OEMs and their manufacturers."

For more information, visit: www.speautomotive.com/tpo.htm

SPE® Detroit and SPE China will hold the first-ever SPE® Shanghai TPO Conference, March 22-24, 2016 at the Shanghai Marriott City Centre hotel in Shanghai, China. The new event builds on 18 years of success for the Detroit-area SPE TPO Automotive Engineered Polyolefins (Auto TPO) conference and has been designed to encourage professional development and networking opportunities on the topic of automotive plastics in regions with a rapidly growing thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO), as well as thermoplastic elastomer (TPE), and thermoplastic vulcanizate (TPV) presence, as is the case in Shanghai.

According to Dr. Sassan Tarahomi, manager-Advanced Engineering, International Automotive Components (IAC) Group and 2016 Shanghai TPO conference chair, "This new conference will draw leaders in the fields of automotive TPOs, TPEs, and TPVs to share their knowledge and experience in using these versatile materials via technical presentations, keynote speeches, exhibits, and numerous networking opportunities. Content presented throughout the three-day event will focus on advances in materials, processing, and finishing technologies and their practical application to the design, engineering, and manufacture of passenger vehicles in China and elsewhere in the world."

Show organizers have issued a call for papers (send abstracts as soon as possible to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ; non-commercial papers or presentations are due for peer review by February 17 to the same address), and are still accepting reservations for sponsorship and exhibit opportunities (contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ).

Since 1998, the SPE TPO Automotive Engineered Polyolefins Conference has highlighted the importance of rigid and flexible polyolefins throughout the automobile – in applications ranging from semi-structural composite underbody shields and front-end modules to soft-touch interior skins and bumper fascia. Engineered polyolefins have been the fastest-growing segment of the global plastics industry for more than a decade owing to their excellent cost / performance ratio. The Detroit-area show typically draws over 700 attendees from 20 countries on four continents who are interested in learning about the latest in rigid and elastomeric TPO as well as TPE and TPV technologies. Approximately 300 attendees are expected at the new SPE Shanghai TPO Conference in Shanghai, China. A variety of sponsorship packages are available for companies interested in showcasing their products and services at either event. The Shanghai show is being organized by volunteers from the Detroit Section and China Section of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE).

For more information, visit: www.speautomotive.com/tpo.htm

The Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) Thermoforming Division has announced a call for entries in its annual Parts Competition, showcasing the latest advances in thermoforming design and application. The submission deadline is July 31, 2015.

The parts entered in the Competition will be on display during the 24th SPE Thermoforming Conference®, which will be held August 31 - September 2 at the Renaissance Atlanta Waverly Hotel and the Cobb Galleria Centre in Atlanta, Georgia. Awards for winning parts will be presented at the Thermoforming Awards Dinner on Tuesday, September 1, at the hotel.

Competition entrants may submit parts in several categories, depending on the type of thermoforming operation:

  • Roll-fed categories are Industrial, Medical, or Food.
  • Heavy-gauge categories are Vacuum Form, Pressure Form, and two new categories: Twin Sheet and TPO.
  • Combined. Entrants may submit parts comprised of recycled material (minimum 40% recycled content), which include Value Added Assembly and represent Innovation.


“The theme of the 2015 Conference is, ‘Getting Back to Basics,” said Matt O’Hagan, 2015 Parts Competition Chair. “Along with an exciting group of technical session speakers and in-depth thin gauge, heavy gauge and extrusion workshops, we expect this year’s part submissions will showcase the continual procession of success stories in our industry.”

All product images and descriptions must be emailed to Matt O’Hagan at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it by the July 31st deadline.

For more information, visit: www.thermoformingdivision.com/parts-competition/guidelinesentry-form

The organizing committee for the SPE® Automotive Composites Conference & Exhibition (ACCE) announced the dates, theme, and location for this year’s show and issued its annual Call for Papers. Now in its fifteenth year, the SPE ACCE is the world’s leading forum for automotive composites and draws over 900 exhibitors, speakers, and attendees from 15 countries on five continents. This year’s show, whose theme is Composites: The Next Generation of Lightweighting, returns September 9-11, 2015 to The Diamond Banquet & Conference Center at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, Michigan.

"There's been a lot of talk in the past year about the inroads made by aluminum on notable vehicles like Ford's F-150 pickups," explains Dale Brosius, chief commercialization officer, Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI) and 2015 SPE ACCE conference co-chair. "However, when I speak with automakers, what they nearly always say is that aluminum is a short-term fix but that composites are the next generation of lightweight materials and will become more and more critical the closer we get to the stringent fuel-economy and emissions mandates of 2025."

"One of the best things about attending the SPE ACCE is that you quickly learn that composites aren't some exotic material that our industry will use someday," adds Fred Deans, chief marketing officer at Allied Composite Technologies LLC and SPE ACCE conference co-chair. "A quick walk around our show floor and visits to our technical sessions highlights just how many different types of composites are already being used on cars and trucks. As the needs of transportation OEMs have changed, the supply base has responded with more efficient materials, faster processes, and more ways to use this incredibly diverse and effective class of materials. It's what keeps this show and this industry lively and exciting."

Those interested in speaking at this year’s event should submit abstracts by March 31, 2015 and full papers or presentations are due May 29, 2015 to the review committee via This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Authors who submit full papers (not presentations) in the proper format will be considered for the conference’s Best Paper Awards, which will be presented during the event’s opening ceremony.

Held annually in suburban Detroit, the ACCE draws over 900 speakers, exhibitors, sponsors, and attendees and provides an environment dedicated solely to discussion and networking about advances in transportation composites. Its global appeal is evident in the diversity of exhibitors, speakers, and attendees who come to the conference from Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia / Pacific as well as North America. Fully one-third of attendees indicate they work for automotive and light truck, agriculture, truck & bus, or aviation OEMs, and another 25% represent tier suppliers. Attendees also work for composite materials, processing equipment, additives, or reinforcement suppliers; trade associations, consultants, university and government labs; media; and investment bankers. The show has been jointly sponsored by the SPE Automotive and Composites Divisions since 2001.

For more information, visit: www.speautomotive.com/comp.htm

Speakers at the plenary sessions of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) ANTEC® 2015 will discuss two technologies that will be key drivers in the future progress of the plastics industry: nanotechnology and additive manufacturing.

ANTEC 2015 will take place March 23-25, 2015 at the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) in Orlando, FL, U.S.A. and will be co-located with the NPE2015 international plastics show. The plenary speakers and their topics will be as follows:

Monday, March 23

Michael A. Meador is a NASA specialist in nanotechnology who is currently on loan to serve as the director of the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office (NNCO), National Science and Technology Council, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. His address will be titled The Role of Nanotechnology in Current and Future Space Missions.

Tuesday, March 24

Heinz Gaub is managing director of technology and engineering for Arburg, Inc. His address will be titled Arburg Plastic Freeforming: Additive Manufacturing of Plastic Parts Using Standard Granulates.

Mr. Gaub’s presentation will be the forerunner of two technical sessions on additive manufacturing / 3D printing scheduled for Tuesday, March 24 and Wednesday, March 25.

For more information, visit: www.antec.ws

The sixteenth-annual SPE® TPO Automotive Engineered Polyolefins Conference, the world’s leading automotive engineered-polyolefins forum, will showcase talks by five keynote speakers from WardsAuto, ExxonMobil Chemical Co., Dow Chemical Co., LyondellBasell, and General Motors Co. Interspersed throughout the two-and-a-half-day conference, the keynotes will highlight important trends facing the automotive-plastics market, including access to new feedstocks, approaching vehicle-efficiency mandates, and key pressures driving innovation. Organized by the Detroit Section of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE), this year's technical conference and exhibition returns to the Troy Marriott in the Detroit suburbs from October 5-8, 2014.

On Monday morning, the conference begins with a keynote on Fuel Economy: Getting to 2025 as Efficiently as Possible by John Sousanis, director-Information Content & Presentation, WardsAuto.com and author of the WardsAuto State of the Industry Fuel Economy Report. "The 'final rule' announced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for fuel economy and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for 2017 through 2025 model light vehicles is the key driver behind accelerated lightweighting efforts throughout the automotive industry," explains Sousanis. "If met via fuel economy, the GHG emissions standards would require a projected fleet-wide average fuel economy rating of 54.5 miles per gallon (4.32 liters per 100 kilometers). However, the new standards face a midterm review beginning in 2017, with a 'final-final' ruling due in 2018. In my talk, I'll discuss how automakers are progressing toward these 2025 standards, what challenges remain, and what the outcome of the midterm review hearings might be."

A second keynote on Monday morning will immediately follow by Kurt Aerts, vice-president, global supply chain at ExxonMobil Chemical Co. on the topic of The Changing Role of North America in Global Chemical Production Due to Shale Gas. "Over the coming decades," explains Aerts, "energy sources will continue to evolve and diversify, and natural gas will play an increasingly important role in meeting global energy needs. North America is a leading natural gas-producing region, which provides advantages for this country from an energy security as well as economic standpoint. Growth in production of natural gas and liquids from shale development on this continent is providing a feedstock and energy advantage for the U.S. chemical industry, which, in turn, is driving planned investments for the first time in several decades. Shale is not the first feedstock to shake up our industry, and it won't be the last. While shale has rightly dominated recent business headlines, it's not the only important trend underway in chemical feedstocks. For example, access to shale will not be enough on its own to sustain long-term success for chemical producers. To maintain a competitive advantage in this ever-changing environment, we must continuously innovate across the value chain - from raw materials to finished consumer products."

On Day 2 of the conference, Bart Bowser, global product and asset director, Dow Elastomers, Electrical & Telecommunications, at The Dow Chemical Co. will lead off the morning with a talk entitled North America Plastics Industry Revival Fueled by Shale Gas. "The economic effects of new investment by the chemical industry in the U.S. are overwhelmingly positive," says Bowser. "Recent breakthroughs in technology have made it both productive and profitable to tap into the vast amount of shale gas resources that are here on this continent. Dow's long-term investment in domestic-manufacturing projects reaffirms the importance that the chemical industry plays for us in supporting the growth of technologies to produce differentiated, high-performance elastomers for the fastest growing segments in Dow's existing markets, such as the automotive industry."

A second keynote on Tuesday morning will immediately follow by Sergey Vasnetsov, senior vice-president, Strategic Planning & Transactions, Global Polypropylene Compounds, LyondellBasell, whose topic is Materials Innovation - What it Takes to Meet the Current & Future Demands of the Global Automotive Market. "This keynote addresses innovation from the perspective of the world's largest TPO materials supplier and the requirements that will be necessary to address the needs of tomorrow's demanding automotive market," notes Vasnetsov. "The talk also will cover factors that drive innovation in the global automotive community, megatrends that demand new product development, performance targets that are challenging the boundaries of TPO today, and key elements required by a supplier to support global and multiregional OEMs."

The third day of the conference will again begin with a keynote talk - this from Doug Pickett, engineering group manager - Product Development at General Motors Co., who will discuss Future Trends in Vehicle Efficiency - An Opportunity or Challenge to Future Growth of TPOs in Vehicle Interiors. "After almost three decades of product improvement and expansion in the automotive market, TPOs as a class of material now dominate the vehicle interior on a kilogram per vehicle basis," explains Pickett. "However, the trajectory of that growth is now facing a disruptive challenge with mandatory vehicle-efficiency improvements, which are unprecedented in the history of the automobile. In my presentation, I'll highlight some of the factors that have led to the dominance of TPOs as preferred interior materials, and then explore future growth opportunities linked to the approaching vehicle-efficiency initiatives."

Since 1998, the SPE TPO Automotive Engineered Polyolefins Conference has highlighted the importance of rigid and flexible thermoplastic polyolefins (TPOs), thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs), and thermoplastic vulcanizates (TPVs) throughout the automobile – in applications ranging from semi-structural composite underbody shields and front-end modules to soft-touch interior skins and bumper fascia. Engineered polyolefins have been the fastest-growing segment of the global plastics industry for more than a decade owing to their excellent cost / performance ratio. The show typically draws more than 700 attendees from 20 countries on four continents who are interested in learning about the latest in rigid and elastomeric TPO as well as TPE and TPV technologies. Fully a third of conference attendees say they work for a transportation OEM, and roughly 20% work for a tier integrator / molder, with the balance from materials or reinforcement suppliers, equipment OEMs, industry consultants, and members of academia. A variety of sponsorship packages are available for companies interested in showcasing their products and / or services. The conference is organized by volunteers from the Detroit Section of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE).

The mission of SPE International is to promote scientific and engineering knowledge relating to plastics worldwide and to educate industry, academia, and the public about these advances. SPE’s Detroit Section is active in educating, promoting, recognizing, and communicating technical accomplishments for all phases of plastics and plastic based-composite developments – particularly in the automotive industry. Topic areas include applications, materials, processing, equipment, tooling, design, and development.

For more information, visit: www.auto-tpo.com

The organizing committee for the SPE Automotive Composites Conference & Exhibition (ACCE) issued its call for parts competition nominations for the group's fourteenth-annual show, September 9-11, 2014 in Novi, Michigan. There will be one winner in each of three categories - Body Exterior and Body Interior (with each winner selected by members of the SPE ACCE committee), and People's Choice (selected by conference attendees) - with winning teams receiving recognition and a trophy during lunch on the last day of the show.

There is no cost to enter the competition. Any registered conference participant (speakers, sponsors/exhibitors, or attendees) may nominate original equipment or aftermarket composite parts on passenger cars or light trucks from any geography. The only requirement is that parts must be on a vehicle available for commercial sale and the OEM must give permission. Preliminary descriptions and photos about the application’s innovations are due August 30, 2014. Physical parts must be brought to the SPE ACCE for final review by judges during a formal walk-through at the show.

Last year, Plasan Carbon Composites swept the competition in all three categories. The company's nomination of the hood for the Corvette Stingray sports car from General Motors Co., produced in carbon fiber-reinforced composites via Plasan's new out-of-autoclave pressure press technology, won the Body Exterior category. Plasan also won both Body Interior and People's Choice awards with its nomination of the engine X-brace on the SRT Viper from then Chrysler Group LLC (now Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) produced in autoclave-cured carbon composites. In 2012, the first year that the SPE ACCE featured a parts competition, Asahi Kasei North America won the Best Part award with its nomination of the twin-sheet thermoformed glass-reinforced polypropylene composite on the Ram Box assembly with lid on Dodge Ram pickups from then Chrysler Group LLC.

Held annually in suburban Detroit, the ACCE draws over 900 speakers, exhibitors, sponsors, and attendees and provides an environment dedicated solely to discussion and networking about advances in the transportation composites. Its global appeal is evident in the diversity of exhibitors, speakers, and attendees who come to the conference from Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia / Pacific as well as North America. Fully one-third of attendees indicate they work for automotive and light truck, agriculture, truck & bus, or aviation OEMs, and another 25% represent tier suppliers. Attendees also work for composite materials, processing equipment, additives, or reinforcement suppliers; trade associations, consultants, university and government labs; media; and investment bankers. The show has been jointly sponsored by the SPE Automotive and Composites Divisions since 2001. This year's show will be held September 9-11, 2014 at The Diamond Banquet & Conference Center at the Suburban Collection Showplace, 46100 Grand River Avenue, Novi, MI 48374.

For more information, visit: www.speautomotive.com/comp.htm

Thursday, 13 March 2014 15:38

2014 SPE® Auto TPO Conference

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The sixteenth-annual SPE® TPO Automotive Engineered Polyolefins Conference, the world’s leading automotive engineered-polyolefins forum, returns to the Troy Marriott in the Detroit suburbs from October 5-8, 2014. This year's theme is TPOs:  Gateway to Innovations. The organizing committee also has issued its annual call for papers and presentations, with abstracts due April 18, 2014 and non-commercial papers or presentations due by July 31, 2014.

Bill Windscheif, president, Advanced Innovative Solutions, Ltd. and conference co-chair notes, "As automakers work very hard to reduce mass and cost while maintaining or improving aesthetics, safety, functionality, and other customer-desired features, they increasingly find that rigid and ductile thermoplastic polyolefins (TPOs) allow them to do more with less - quite literally, thanks to the low specific gravity of these materials. In concert with flexible thermoplastic vulcanizates (TPVs) and thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs), these workhorse materials are being used in more challenging environments on the vehicle thanks to the tremendous advances made in polymer modification, compounding, additives technologies, and process enhancements.  For 16 years, SPE has highlighted the latest technologies for automakers and their supply base at our annual TPO Automotive Engineered Polyolefins Conference. Our show's continued focus remains to provide practical knowledge that can be implemented to improve first-pass yield and offer more value to customers.

Conference co-chair, Jeffrey Valentage, global market developer-Polyolefins, Specialty Compounding Automotive, ExxonMobil Chemical Company, adds, “TPOs, TPVs, and TPEs truly can be gateways to innovation for many important applications on passenger vehicles.  Each year our conference attracts a larger and more international group of speakers, exhibitors, and attendees, which serves to underscore the growing demand for these versatile families of materials."

This year's technical program is co-chaired by Dr. Norm Kakarala, Inteva Products LLC and Peter Grelle, Plastics Fundamentals Group LLC.  Sessions currently planned for the event include:  Advances in Automotive Polyolefins organized by Neil Fuenmayor, LyondellBasell and Laura Soreide, Ford Motor Co.; Rigid Polyolefin Compounds organized by Mike Balow, Asahi Kasei North America and Ermanno Ruccolo, Mitsui Plastics, Inc.; Bio-Based Polyolefin Materials organized by Susan Kozora, International Automotive Components (IAC) Group and Dr. Ellen Lee, Ford Motor Co.; Interior Soft Trim & Sealing Systems organized by Dave Helmer, General Motors Co. and Robert Eller, Robert Eller Associates; Surface Enhancements organized by Dr. Rose Ryntz, IAC and Jim Keller, United Paint Co.; Lightweight Polyolefin Parts organized by John Haubert, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Normand Miron, Milliken Corp.; Adhesives & Coatings for TPOsorganized by Hoa Pham, Avery Dennison and Dr. Pravin Sitaram, Haartz Corp.; and Thermoforming of TPO Materials organized by Ed Bearse, Advanced Plastics Consultants and Rob Philip, Mytex Polymers.

Since 1998, the SPE TPO Automotive Engineered Polyolefins Conference has highlighted the importance of rigid and flexible polyolefins throughout the automobile – in applications ranging from semi-structural composite underbody shields and front-end modules to soft-touch interior skins and bumper fascia.  Engineered polyolefins have been the fastest-growing segment of the global plastics industry for more than a decade owing to their excellent cost / performance ratio.  The show typically draws more than 700 attendees from 20 countries on four continents who are interested in learning about the latest in rigid and elastomeric TPO as well as TPE and TPV technologies.  Fully a third of conference attendees say they work for a transportation OEM, and roughly 20% work for a tier integrator / molder, with the balance from materials or reinforcement suppliers, equipment OEMs, industry consultants, and members of academia.  A variety of sponsorship packages are available for companies interested in showcasing their products and / or services.  The show is organized by volunteers from the Detroit Section of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE).

The mission of SPE International is to promote scientific and engineering knowledge relating to plastics worldwide and to educate industry, academia, and the public about these advances.  SPE’s Detroit Section is active in educating, promoting, recognizing, and communicating technical accomplishments for all phases of plastics and plastic based-composite developments – particularly in the automotive industry.  Topic areas include applications, materials, processing, equipment, tooling, design, and development.

For more information or to register, visit: www.auto-tpo.com

Plenary speakers at the second Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) EUROTEC® conference in July will focus on new developments in automotive and aerospace applications and on the influence of global markets on the European plastics and rubber machinery industry.

The EUROTEC conference will take place on Thursday and Friday, July 4-5, 2013, at the Cité Congress Exhibition Centre in Lyon, France and will include 147 original, peer-reviewed technical presentations.

There will be two plenary addresses on each day:

  • Polymer Composites for Aerospace Applications—Past, Present, and Future. [July 4, 11:30] Speaker James S. Griffing is a technical fellow at the Boeing Company and was the 2012-2013 president of SPE. He has been with Boeing for 25 years, specializing in polymer and composite materials for aircraft.

  • Skin-Foam-Skin Rotomolded Structures Made of TP-Seal® or BioTP-Seal® Technologies. [July 4, 13:30]. Addressing “a new concept for the production of car bodies for urban mobility,” speaker Eric Maziers is R&D global manager with Total Company Feluy. He has been head of research projects for polyolefins and biopolymers for more than 20 years, recently focusing on metallocene-based polyolefins and polylactic acid (PLA) development for rotomolding.

  • How the Composites Industry Approaches the Automotive Challenge. [July 5, 11:30] Speaker Jan-Anders Måson, a professor at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, is known for his research on novel cost-effective and high-volume composites. He is also president of AISTS, an organization supported by academic institutions in collaboration with the International Olympic Committee.

  • The Economic Development of European Plastics and Rubber Machines in View of Global Markets. [July 5, 13:30] Speaker Thorsten Kühmann is managing director of VDMA (Verband Deutscher Maschinen- und Anlagenbau e.V.), the association of plastics and rubber machinery producers.


For more information or to register, visit: www.eurotecspe.org

Tuesday, 23 April 2013 08:24

SPE Announces 2013-2014 Executive Committee

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Following longstanding practice, ANTEC® 2013 marks the beginning of one-year terms for new officers of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE), it was announced today by Willem De Vos, SPE CEO. The Society installs Jon Ratzlaff as its new president, succeeding James S. Griffing. Ratzlaff is technical services manager for Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LP. At ANTEC® 2014, Ratzlaff will be succeeded by the new president-elect, Vijay B. Boolani, who is president of Boolani Engineering Corporation in Mumbai, India.  
 
SPE has also announced the membership of its 2013-2014 Executive Committee:
 
President:
Jon Ratzlaff, Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LP

CEO:
Willem De Vos, SPE

President-elect:
Vijay B. Boolani, Boolani Engineering Corporation

Senior Vice President:
Raed Al-Zu’bi, Industrial Manufacturing Executive

Vice President/Secretary:
Dr. Jeffrey H. Helms, Ticona Engineering Polymers

Vice President/Treasurer:
Dick Cameron, Cameron Consulting

Vice President/Web Innovation/Communication:
Dr. Jaime A. Gomez, K-Tron

Vice President/Society Operations:
Gregory A. Campbell, Castle Research Assoc.

Vice President/Marketing:
Olivier Crave, O.C. Team

Vice President/Global Event Management:
Jimmy Masrin, Caturkarsa Megatunggal PT          
 
Biographic Sketches of New SPE President and President-Elect
 
SPE president Jon Ratzlaff is technical services manager for Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LP and resides in Oklahoma. He obtained his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Oklahoma State University.  An SPE member since 1995, Ratzlaff held the positions of president-elect in 2012-13 and senior vice president in 2011-12.  He is an SPE Certified Plastics Technologist and one of the authors of the SPE Injection Molding Technicians Toolbox guide.  Ratzlaff served as chair of the SPE Rotational Molding Division in 2001-2002 and president of the Oklahoma Section in 2002-2003.  He served four years as chair of SPE’s International Committee (2004-2008) and notes that he is especially pleased to see the growth of the Society internationally since that time.
 
SPE president-elect Vijay B. Boolani is president of Boolani Engineering Corporation in Mumbai, India. He served as SPE vice president/secretary in 2009-2010 and as vice president in 2007-2009.  An SPE member since 1981, Boolani was Chair of the very successful ANTEC® Mumbai held in December 2012.  He notes that he strongly supports the introduction of new events not only in the Asia-Pacific region but throughout the worldwide plastics and polymer industry.
 
THE SOCIETY OF PLASTICS ENGINEERS (SPE) is the premier source of peer-reviewed technical information for plastics professionals. Founded in 1942, SPE takes action every day to help companies in the plastics industry succeed by spreading knowledge, strengthening skills, and promoting plastics. Employing these vital strategies, SPE has helped the plastics industry thrive for over 70 years. SPE has become the recognized medium of communication among scientists, engineers, and technical personnel engaged in the development, conversion, and application of plastics.

For more information, visit: www.4spe.org

The Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) has announced a program of 147 original, peer-reviewed technical presentations for the second SPE EUROTEC® conference, which will take place July 4-5, 2013 at the Cité Congress Exhibition Centre in Lyon, France.

The two-day program includes three types of presentation:

  • Plenary Addresses. There will be two plenary speakers on each day. Two of the presentations will be Polymer Composites for Aerospace Applications by James S. Griffing, a technical fellow at the Boeing Company and 2012-2013 president of SPE; and The Renaissance of the US Plastics Industry by William R. Carteaux, president and CEO of SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association.
  • New Technology & Innovative Polymers Forums. Sixteen presentations by representatives of raw material companies and academia will introduce advanced materials for a broad range of applications.
  • Technical Presentations. There will be 25 sessions with a total of 131 presentations on topics such as automotive, medical, and packaging applications; processes like injection and micro molding, extrusion, blow molding, thermoforming, and foaming; mold making and mold design; composites; nanocomposites; biopolymers and sustainability; polymer modifiers and colorants; plastics joining, decoration, and assembly; process simulation; and failure analysis.


For more information or to register, visit: www.eurotec.ws

The organizing committee for the SPE Automotive Composites Conference & Exhibition (ACCE) today announced the dates, theme, and location for this year’s show and issued its annual Call for Papers. Now in its thirteenth year, the SPE ACCE is the world’s leading forum for automotive composites and draws exhibitors, speakers, and attendees from 15 countries on five continents. This year’s show, whose theme is Composites: Lightweighting the Cars of Tomorrow, returns September 11-13, 2013 but to a new venue.

Creig Bowland, senior research associate at PPG Industries, 2013 SPE ACCE conference co-chair explains, “Our conference has been fortunate enough to enjoy excellent growth the past few years - so much so that we have literally outgrown our home of 12 years. We and management at our previous venue tried everything we could to make the most of the space we had, but it became clear during last year's ACCE that we needed to make a change. We've moved our 2013 conference to The Diamond Center, which is part of the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, Mich., U.S.A. We believe it will give us the best of both worlds - the friendly, intimate feel of our old facility and the flexibility to grow and spread out that we so badly needed.

Adds conference co-chair, Antony Dodworth, managing director, Dodworth Design, "It'll be great to have all our exhibitors together in a single room for the first time since 2007, and this facility is still convenient to major highways in the Detroit area. In fact, a brand-new hotel is being built adjacent to the Diamond Center and that will make the show even more convenient for out-of-town guests."

Those interested in speaking at this year’s event should submit abstracts by March 29, 2013 and full papers or presentations are due May 31, 2013 to the review committee via This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Authors who submit papers (not presentations) in the proper format will be considered for the conference’s Best Paper Awards, which will be presented during the event’s opening ceremony.

Held annually in suburban Detroit, the ACCE draws over 650 speakers, exhibitors, sponsors, and attendees and provides an environment dedicated solely to discussion and networking about advances in the transportation composites. Its global appeal is evident in the diversity of exhibitors, speakers, and attendees who come to the conference from Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia / Pacific as well as North America. Fully one-third of attendees indicate they work for automotive and light truck, agriculture, truck & bus, heavy truck, or aviation OEM, and another 25% representing tier suppliers. Attendees also represent composite materials, processing equipment, additives, or reinforcement suppliers; trade associations, consultants, university and government labs; media; and investment bankers. The show has been jointly sponsored by the SPE Automotive and Composites Divisions since 2001.

The mission of SPE is to promote scientific and engineering knowledge relating to plastics. SPE’s Automotive and Composites Divisions work to advance plastics and plastic-based composites technologies worldwide and to educate industry, academia, and the public about these advances. Both divisions are dedicated to educating, promoting, recognizing, and communicating technical accomplishments for all phases of plastics and plastic-based composite developments, including materials, processing, equipment, tooling, design and testing, and application development.

For more information, visit: www.speautomotive.com/comp.htm

Thursday, 14 March 2013 11:34

2013 SPE® Auto TPO Conference

Written by

The fifteenth-annual SPE® TPO Automotive Engineered Polyolefins Conference, the world’s leading automotive engineered-polyolefins forum, returns to the Troy Marriott in the Detroit suburbs from October 6-9, 2013. This year's theme is TPOs: Driving Value, Light Weight, & Innovative Automotive Solutions. The organizing committee also has issued its annual call for papers, with abstracts due April 19, 2013 and non-commercial papers or presentations by July 31, 2013 (email both to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ).

Bill Windscheif, president, Advanced Innovative Solutions, Ltd. and conference co-chair notes, "A few years ago we made the strategic decision to expand our event's coverage beyond just rigid and flexible thermoplastic polyolefins (TPOs) to include flexible thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs) and thermoplastic vulcanizates (TPVs). We clearly saw the role of these materials expanding among automakers, plus their functionality constantly being improved upon by resin suppliers and compounders. We've also featured sessions for many years on improving molding productivity and designing better parts because we know that engineering and manufacturing need to work closely to improve first-pass yield. We work hard to scout the industry each year to find the most interesting and innovative technologies to include in our conference. Attendees tell us over and over that the practical knowledge they gain is why they return every year. They know their time won't be wasted and they'll leave with lots of new ideas and great new contacts, thanks to the event's outstanding networking opportunities."

Conference co-chair, Jeffrey Valentage, global market planner-specialty compounding automotive, ExxonMobil Chemical Company adds, “With the increased focus on improved fuel economy, interest in lightweight, high-performance TPO materials is stronger than ever. Last year's conference broke our all-time attendance record and we expect the same thing to happen in 2013."

This year's technical program is co-chaired by Dr. Norm Kakarala, Inteva Products LLC and Peter Grelle, Plastics Fundamentals Group LLC. Sessions currently planned for the event include: Advances in Automotive Polyolefins managed by Patti Tibbenham, Ford Motor Co. and Neil Fuenmayor, LyondellBasell; Rigid Polyolefin Compounds managed by Mike Balow, Asahi Kasei Plastics North America and Ermanno Ruccolo, Mitsui Plastics, Inc.; Automotive Interior Trim & Skins managed by Dave Helmer, General Motors Co. and Yvonne Bankowski, Ford Motor Co.; Surface Enhancements managed by Dr. Rose Ryntz, International Automotive Components and Jim Keller, United Paint Co.; Automotive TPEs managed by Bob Eller, Robert Eller Assoc., Inc. and Jeff Valentage, ExxonMobil Chemical Company; Tooling & Design of TPO Parts managed by Dave Okonski & Charles Buehler, General Motors Co.; Molding & Forming of TPOs managed by Hoa Pham, Avery Dennison Corp. and Dr. Suresh Shah, SPE; Lightweighting of Polyolefin Parts managed by John Haubert, Chrysler Group LLC and Charles Buehler, General Motors Co.; and Adhesives & Coatings for TPOs managed by Dr. Pravin Sitaram, Haartz Corp. and Dr. Laura Shereda, Inteva Products LLC.

Since 1998, the SPE TPO Automotive Engineered Polyolefins Conference has highlighted the importance of rigid and flexible polyolefins throughout the automobile – in applications ranging from semi-structural composite underbody shields and front-end modules to soft-touch interior skins and bumper fascia. Engineered polyolefins have been the fastest-growing segment of the global plastics industry for more than a decade owing to their excellent cost / performance ratio. The show typically draws more than 500 attendees from 20 countries on four continents who are interested in learning about the latest in rigid and elastomeric TPO as well as TPE and TPV technologies. Fully a third of conference attendees say they work for a transportation OEM, and roughly 20% work for a tier integrator / molder, with the balance from materials or reinforcement suppliers, equipment OEMs, industry consultants, and members of academia. A variety of sponsorship packages are available for companies interested in showcasing their products and / or services. The show is organized by volunteers from the Detroit Section of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE).

The mission of SPE International is to promote scientific and engineering knowledge relating to plastics worldwide and to educate industry, academia, and the public about these advances. SPE’s Detroit Section is active in educating, promoting, recognizing, and communicating technical accomplishments for all phases of plastics and plastic based-composite developments – particularly in the automotive industry. Topic areas include applications, materials, processing, equipment, tooling, design, and development.

For more information, visit: www.auto-tpo.com

Tuesday, 15 January 2013 11:39

Registration Opens For SPE ANTEC® 2013

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Registration is now open for the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) ANTEC® 2013.
 
ANTEC 2013 will take place April 22-24 at the Duke Energy Convention Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. Co-located with ANTEC 2013 will be the “Business of Plastics Conference,” produced by SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association and focusing on current issues affecting business strategy. In addition, SPE will produce a trade show that is expected to be the largest plastics exhibition of the year in the U.S., with exhibitors recruited by the same SPI team responsible for marketing and sales for the NPE show.    
 
The annual ANTEC is the world’s largest plastics technical conference, consisting entirely of original, peer-reviewed presentations on a variety of topics relevant to today’s global plastics industry. Besides more than 500 papers in 40 different plastics technical areas, ANTEC 2013 will include three “New Technology” forums, three plenary speeches, tutorials for a range of processes and materials, panel discussions, technical seminars for professional advancement, and activities for students and young industry personnel.

For more information or to register, visit: www.antec.ws

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) and Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) today announced a new partnership that will increase the value of both associations to their respective members and increase awareness that plastic materials and products are contributing to a more sustainable future.  Through the partnership, members of both organizations will enjoy certain reciprocal benefits and to some extent, the associations agreed to use each other’s communication channels.
 
“Our partnership with ACC’s Plastics Division will provide value to our members by enhancing access to market data and information on the sustainability of plastics, and by creating a framework to better leverage the expertise and the communications networks that exist within this industry,” said Willem De Vos, SPE’s chief executive officer.  “In an increasingly challenging economic environment, the supporting bodies of our industry can only gain by doing things together and taking advantage of each other’s resources to support our industry, our companies and our members in a professional manner,” said De Vos.
 
“Plastics engineers are working every day to bring innovative materials and applications to life,” said Steve Russell, ACC’s vice president of plastics. “Through this new partnership we hope to support their work through access to more comprehensive information about the sustainability of plastics across a variety of applications.”
 
For more information, visit: www.americanchemistry.com/plastics or www.4spe.org

Friday, 14 December 2012 10:25

SPE Plans Second ANTEC in India

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ANTEC® Mumbai 2012, the latest initiative by the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) to make its plastics technical education programs available globally, concluded on December 7 as a resounding success and will be followed in December 2014 by a second ANTEC in India, SPE announced today.
 
The association’s global president Jim Griffing noted that SPE will organize its first ANTEC for the Middle East at Dubai in January 2014 and plans its first technical conference in China for December 2013. In July 2013 at Lyon, France, SPE will hold its second EUROTEC® conference for the European plastics community.
 
At ANTEC Mumbai 2012, more than 450 delegates attended 178 original, peer-reviewed technical presentations across seven parallel tracks over two days.
 
The conference also hosted a special plenary session with an address by guest of honor Shri Manohar Parrikar, chief minister of Goa. Two other plenary addresses focusing on the plastics industry in India were given by Dr. Ernesto Occhiello, executive vice president of technology and innovation for SABIC, and Dr. Ajit Sapre, group president of research and technology for Reliance Industries.
 
“ANTEC Mumbai 2012 was the largest plastics technical conference ever held in India,” said Mr. Griffing, “and we expect the next edition of ANTEC in India to be considerably larger.”
 
Mr. Griffing cited Vijay Boolani, ANTEC Mumbai 2012 conference chair, for providing the inspiration for the event and working tirelessly to make it a reality. “There was great support from the Indian and international plastics industry,” he added, “and participation in networking and plenary events by plastics company executives brought total attendance at ANTEC Mumbai to around 500.”

For more information, visit: www.antecspe.org

The Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) has selected Lyon, France as the site of EUROTEC® 2013, a wide-ranging plastics technical conference with more than 200 original, peer-reviewed presentations on such topics as automotive, composites, extrusion, injection molding, and thermoforming.
 
EUROTEC 2013 will take place July 4-5, 2013 at Lyon’s Cité Congress Exhibition Centre. In addition to the technical presentations, there will be an exhibition with displays by companies representing the entire plastics industry supply chain, including processors, machinery manufacturers, and raw material suppliers.
 
“After the success of EUROTEC 2011 in Barcelona, SPE continues to extend its outreach to the European plastics community,” said Wim De Vos, CEO of SPE. “In years to come, the continued development of exciting new products and applications in the European marketplace will be reflected in the growth of our EUROTEC conference.”
 
Lyon is a center for plastics innovation and is the home of a number of plastics training centers, noted Olivier Crave, chair of EUROTEC 2013. “France’s well-known ‘Plastics Valley’ is located northeast of the city and has the highest concentration of plastics converting companies in Europe,” Mr. Crave said. “Visitors to EUROTEC will also enjoy the beauty of the South of France at the most magnificent time of year.”
 
A leisure program will be available for spouses and guests not attending the conference events.
 
For more information, visit: www.eurotec.ws

For the 42nd year in a row, members of the SPE® Automotive Division's board of directors and their guests joined to honor the year's most innovative use of plastics in ground transportation at the SPE Automotive Innovation Awards Gala.  Over 700 people attended the annual gala on November 7, 2012, at Burton Manor in Livonia, Michigan to learn which applications in this year's Automotive Innovation Awards Competitionwon awards in eight categories and which category winner was also named the Grand Award winner, the most prestigious honor of the evening.
 
Winners survived a prequalification round as well as presentations before a panel of industry of experts on September 27th or 28th, and finalists from that round presented before a Blue Ribbon panel of judges on October 8th, where category and Grand Award winners were selected.  This year's Body Interior category winner was also voted the Grand Award winner.

Details on all this year's nominations will be found at: www.speautomotive.com/Awards%20Modules/2012Awards/Home.html

The organizing committee for the SPE® Automotive Composites Conference & Exhibition (ACCE) today announced Best Paper Award winners for the group’s twelfth-annual show, September 11-13, 2012 at the MSU Management Education Center. Three winners – two from industry and one from academia – who received the highest average ratings by conference peer reviewers out of a field over 70 contenders will be honored for excellence in technical writing during opening ceremonies. Honorees are Duane Emerson, senior applications engineer – Composites Strategic Programs Group with Ticona Engineering Polymers and Christoph Greb, deputy head of Composites, Institut für Textiltechnik (Institute for Textile Technology) at RWTH Aachen University who both tied for first place in this year’s competition, and Dr. Jan Seyfarth, DIGIMAT product manager at e-Xstream engineering came in second place.

Duane Emerson of Ticona Engineering Polymers will present a paper entitled Using Unidirectional Glass Tapes to Improve Impact Performance of Thermoplastic Composites in Automotive Applications in the Advances in Thermoplastic Composites session on September 13 from 8:30-9:00 a.m. The paper describes a study conducted by organizations in Europe and North America last year that looked at methods to increase stiffness/strength and impact resistance of thermoplastic composites by using continuous strand, unidirectional-glass (UD) tapes to produce woven fabrics as well as tailored blank laminates. Combinations of the tape fabrics and the tape laminates in various layup patterns were then used in conjunction with charges produced in the direct-long-fiber thermoplastic (D-LFT) inline compounding (ILC) process to compression mold both test plaques and later an actual automotive underbody-shield part to determine the extent to which impact performance could be improved and to ensure cycle times were consistent with automotive production requirements.

Christoph Greb of the Institut für Textiltechnik (Institute for Textile Technology) at RWTH Aachen University in Germany will present a paper entitled Economic Potential of Single- & Multi-Step Preforming for Large-Scale Production of Automotive Composite Structure in the Preforming Technologies session on September 12 from 9:00-9:30 a.m. The paper discusses the economic potential of single-step and multi-step preforming processes. Three different process chains for an automotive composite structure were designed and evaluated with regard to cycle times and costs per unit. Validation was carried out using a modified multi-axial weft insertion machine and the university’s own ITA-Preformcenter. In the described case study, piece costs were reduced by 11% and cycle time was decreased by 77% vs. conventional processing of standard reinforcement textiles.

Jan Seyfarth of e-Xstream engineering was lead author on a paper entitled Stiffness, Failure & Fatigue of Fiber Reinforced Plastics that will be presented by co-author, Roger Assaker in the Virtual Prototyping & Testing of Composites session on September 13 from 8:30-9:00 a.m. The paper provides an overview of recent micromechanical approaches to predict stiffness, failure, and fatigue for short-, long-, and continuous-fiber reinforced polymer composites more accurately. Each type of composite provides its own challenge and needs individual treatment to predict performance and this is made all the more complex owing to the influence of reinforcements on composites as it causes anisotropic and locally different material behavior depending on processing conditions, strain rates, temperature, static or dynamic loading, and other end-use conditions. The goal is to provide material models in an efficient manner so they can be used in an industrial simulation environment.

Held annually in suburban Detroit, the ACCE draws over 500 speakers, exhibitors, sponsors, and attendees and provides an environment dedicated solely to discussion and networking about advances in the transportation composites. Its global appeal is evident in the diversity of exhibitors, speakers, and attendees who come to the conference from Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia / Pacific as well as North America. Fully one-third of attendees indicate they work for automotive and light truck, agriculture, truck & bus, heavy truck, or aviation OEM, and another 25% representing tier suppliers. Attendees also represent composite materials, processing equipment, additives, or reinforcement suppliers; trade associations, consultants, university and government labs; media; and investment bankers. The show has been jointly sponsored by the SPE Automotive and Composites Divisions since 2001.

For more information, visit: www.speautomotive.com/comp

SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association and the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) have reached an agreement that will add new dimensions to the next three annual SPE ANTEC® conferences, attract more corporate exhibitors and sponsors, and increase attendance, the associations announced.
 
The agreement combines SPE’s expertise as the world’s leading organizer of plastics technical conferences with SPI’s strength as the producer and international marketer of the Western Hemisphere’s premier plastics exposition, the triennial NPE. Of the 2013, 2014, and 2015 ANTEC conferences covered by the agreement, the third, ANTEC® 2015, will co-locate with NPE2015 in March 2015 at Orlando, Florida.
 
SPI’s role in all three ANTEC events will include: 1) producing a “Business of Plastics” conference to be held alongside SPE’s technical conference; 2) selling co-located exhibit space as well as promotional opportunities for corporate sponsors; and 3) contributing to the marketing of the entire ANTEC program.
 
“Building on the successful co-location of our ANTEC conference with NPE2012, the agreement between SPE and SPI will benefit both organizations by creating new avenues for growth,” said Willem (Wim) De Vos, SPE’s CEO. “Our collective efforts will increase attendance at technical sessions, expand the trade show held during ANTEC in non-NPE years, add valuable new educational content, and support SPE’s strategy for international diversification.”
 
The agreement will also generate special benefits for SPI, according to William R. (Bill) Carteaux, SPI’s president and CEO. “Following strong attendance at our Business of Plastics conference during NPE2012, SPI is delighted at the prospect of making this program into an annual event, creating what amounts to a new product stream and increasing our visibility as a provider of educational content,” said Carteaux. “At the same time, our sales and promotional work on behalf of ANTEC-related events will generate new marketing opportunities for the companies that make up our own membership.”
 
The ANTEC conference consists largely of original, peer-reviewed technical presentations. During NPE2012, ANTEC 2012 provided 623 presentations and attracted 1,432 attendees. The trade show that is traditionally associated with the ANTEC conference was not held in 2012 but in 2011 included 84 exhibitors. The show will be held again in conjunction with ANTEC® 2013 (April 22-24 in Cincinnati, Ohio) and ANTEC® 2014 (April 27-May 1 in Las Vegas).
 
SPI’s Business of Plastics conference at NPE2012 had 779 attendees. In contrast to the technical presentations in the ANTEC conference, the SPI program focused on current issues affecting business strategy. It included 28 presentations of original content by industry experts.
 
NPE is a triennial international plastics exposition solely owned and produced by SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association. NPE2015 will take place in March of 2015, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.

For more information, visit: www.antec.ws

The fourteenth-annual SPE® TPO Automotive Engineered Polyolefins Conference, the world’s leading automotive engineered-polyolefins forum, returns September 30-October 3, 2012 with a record number of technical sessions and topics scheduled to be presented. The three-day conference, which is organized by the Detroit Section of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE®), will feature nine technical sessions and 65 presentations – significantly more than the typical six sessions and 40-45 presentations given at the show in previous years. Event organizers also report record sponsorship and exhibitions for the 2012 conference.

Technical Program Co-Chair, Dr. Norm Kakarala, senior technical fellow, Inteva Products, explains “Our planning committee works hard every year to develop rich new educational content for the Auto TPO’s technical program. Our goal is not only to highlight the latest technology advances in this field but, equally important, to offer excellent networking opportunities for participants throughout the TPO supply chain. We know from feedback that this combination provides real value to our attendees. It’s a big reason we draw significant OEM and tier supplier presence and why the conference keeps growing. This year, we’re particularly pleased to be able to offer a custom-tailored session on TPO fundamentals to help automotive engineers build the background necessary to understand and specify these versatile materials.”

The Automotive Interior Trim & Skins session, chaired by Bob Eller, Robert Eller Assoc. LLC and Yvonne Bankowski of Ford Motor Co., has eight scheduled presentations. Topics in this area include lean process technologies for interior soft-trim fabrication; materials/fabrication technology comparisons (slush molding, thermoforming, two-shot molding, etc.); the role of foams in reducing interior soft-trim costs; sustainable surface-materials concepts and trends in interior decoration. Participants in this session represent LyondellBasell, Kraton Polymers LLC, Benecke-Kaliko AG, Zylog Plastalloys Pvt., Ltd., Haartz Corp., SO.F.TER. SpA, Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd., and Robert Eller Assoc. LLC.

Mike Balow, Plastics North America, Inc. and Ermanno Ruccolo of Mitsui Plastics, Inc. chair the Rigid Polyolefin Compounds & Masterbatches session, which has eight scheduled papers from companies that include Innovative Plastic & Molding, RheTech, Inc., PPG Industries, Inc., imat-uve Group GmbH, Asahi Kasei, Japan Polypropylene Corp., and ExxonMobil Chemical Co.. Presented topics will cover glass-fiber-reinforced materials and technology improvements; regulatory and environmental influences on developments of compounds; tackling volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions in rigid compounds; and formulating at-the-press technology with masterbatches.

The Automotive TPEs session, chaired by Bob Eller, Robert Eller Assoc. and Jeff Valentage, ExxonMobil, features eight presentations from CTS Compound Technology Services, Dow Elastomers, Vintech Industries, Inc., Cooper Standard, JYCO Sealing Technologies, Dynasol Elastomers, and SaarGummi International GmbH. Subjects planned for this session include intermaterial competition between TPEs; benefits of TPEs vs. incumbent materials; future prospects for TPEs in automotive applications; role of TPEs in reducing part weight; TPE breakthrough technologies; and factors driving TPE substitution.

Chairs David Okonski and Charles Buehler, both of General Motors Co., have nine presentations scheduled for their session on Part Design, Tooling Considerations, & Processing Guidelines for TPO, which will cover use of moldfilling analysis for upfront design for manufacturing analysis; material properties vs. moldfilling analysis accuracy; P20 steel and aluminum tooling standards; first-shots injection molding procedures/requirements; best practices for troubleshooting part defects; and effect of nozzle and/or screw design on at-the-press compounding. This session’s participants will represent Polycon Industries, Inc., LyondellBasell, ExxonMobil, Borealis Compounds Inc., University of Massachusetts-Lowell, Asahi Kasei, General Motors, Ford, and Alcoa, Inc.

Laura Soreide, Ford and Dr. Jay Raisoni, Asahi Kasei are chairing the Lightweight TPO Structural Applications session, which will focus on new lightweighting developments for TPOs; TPO success stories – metal and other plastics-to-TPO substitution; molding process options; carbon, basalt, and glass-fiber reinforced parts; and an actual case study on the Project Team Approach – design, tooling, process, and material perspectives. Seven speakers will participate in this session representing ExxonMobil, Borealis Polyolefine GmbH, Hyundai Kia America Technical Center (HATCI), 3M Co., Faurecia Automotive, and Oakland University.

The Advances in Automotive Polyolefins session, chaired by Patti Tibbenham of Ford and Neil Fuenmayor of LyondellBasell, will feature a plenary talk given by Kathy Minnich, Ford Materials Engineering Manager on “Material & Supplier Selection: Global Challenges and Evolving Expectations.” This plenary address will be followed by six presentations from companies that include Chrysler Group LLC, LyondellBasell, Macro-M, ExxonMobil, Dow Chemical, and Asahi Kasei. The session will cover new application areas; sustainable TPO materials with a focus on technically challenging applications; developments in traditional and novel additives to improve product developments; and global implementation of TPO grades to meet OEM specifications and platforms worldwide.

Dr. Rose Ryntz, International Automotive Components (IAC) Group and Dr. Laura Shereda, Inteva Products LLC are chairing the Surface Enhancements session, which features eight speakers discussing topics like painting of TPO (including new paint systems, metallic paints, clear coats, and primers); update on colorability enhancements in TPOs; developments for improved scratch & mar; TPO grades for improved paint adhesion or aesthetics; and process developments for surface-finish improvements. Participating organizations include Texas A&M University, Asahi Kasei, Clariant Corp., MacDermid Inc., Cytec Industries Inc., KRAIBURG TPE GmbH & Co. KG, ADEKA USA Corp., and Amfine Chemical Corp.

The Understanding TPOs – Formulation & Compounding Process session also has nine speakers who will discuss issues related to selection of polyolefin resins for performance needs; effect of impact modifiers on product performance; role of fillers in reinforcements and/or lightweighting; processing aids for improved dispersion; stabilization for service life; coloring effects on material/part performance; and effect of compounding process on morphology for performance. Chaired by Hoa Pham of Avery Dennison Corp. and Tom Traugott of Advanced Composites, the session features speakers from Botkin Chemie, Texas A&M University, Chemtura Inc., ExxonMobil, Imerys Talc, Advanced Composites, Dow Elastomers, Uniform Colors Co., and Q-Lab Corp.

The last session, Large Part Thermoforming, is chaired by Ed Bearse, Advanced Plastics Consultants and will feature five speakers discussing actual TPO case studies on thermoformed parts, new TPO resins specifically formulated for the thermoforming process, and the future of the TPO thermoforming process. Companies scheduled to participate in this session include Mytex Polymers U.S. Corp., Arkema, Inc., Premier Material Concepts, and LyondellBasell.

Technical Program Co-Chair, Peter Grelle, president, Plastics Fundamentals Group LLC adds, “Our significantly expanded technical program this year allows us to offer something for almost everyone. We have numerous processes represented, updates on new and improved materials ranging from TPOs to TPEs and TPVs as well as rigid engineered olefins – from pellets to sheetstock – are on the agenda, as are additives, colorants, design and analysis concerns, process controls, tooling considerations, and new and innovative applications. We have worked really hard to pull together a conference that will provide high value and excellent networking opportunities for attendees.”

Since 1998, the SPE TPO Automotive Engineered Polyolefins Conference has highlighted the importance of rigid and flexible polyolefins throughout the automobile – in applications ranging from semi-structural composite underbody shields and front-end modules to soft-touch interior skins and bumper fascia. Engineered polyolefins have been the fastest-growing segment of the global plastics industry for more than a decade owing to their excellent cost/performance ratio. The show typically draws approximately 500 attendees from 20 countries on four continents who are interested in learning about the latest in rigid and elastomeric TPO as well as TPE and TPV technologies. Fully a third of conference attendees say they work for a transportation OEM, and roughly 20% work for a tier integrator/molder, with the balance from materials or reinforcement suppliers, equipment OEMs, industry consultants, and members of academia. This year’s conference returns to the Troy Marriott in the Detroit suburbs. A variety of sponsorship packages are available for companies interested in showcasing their products and/or services.

The mission of SPE International is to promote scientific and engineering knowledge relating to plastics worldwide and to educate industry, academia, and the public about these advances. SPE’s Detroit Section is active in educating, promoting, recognizing, and communicating technical accomplishments for all phases of plastics and plastic based-composite developments – particularly in the automotive industry. Topic areas include applications, materials, processing, equipment, tooling, design, and development.

For more information or to register, visit: www.speautomotive.com/tpo.htm

The Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) invites you to present a paper at its second EUROTEC® technical conference in Lyon, France. This two-day event will be attended by several hundred industry professionals who are interested in learning about the latest global developments in plastics.

SPE is inviting speakers to present papers at this conference in the following areas:

  • Automotive
  • Biopolymers & Sustainability
  • Blow Molding
  • Color & Appearance
  • Composites
  • Decorating & Assembly
  • Extrusion/Flexible/Rigid Packaging
  • Foaming
  • General Business, Marketing & Management
  • Injection Molding/Micro Molding
  • Joining of Plastics
  • Medical Plastics & Polymers
  • Mold Making & Mold Design
  • Nano Composites
  • New Technology & Innovative Polymer Forums
  • Polymer Modifiers & Additives
  • Process Simulation & Controls/Applied Rheology
  • Rapid Design & Development, Rapid Prototyping
  • Thermoforming

We request a 100-word abstract outlining the topic of your paper, followed by a 5- to 6-page technical paper. Your paper will be published in the conference proceedings and in the Society’s online technical library. Your presentation time will be 30 minutes.

Abstract/Paper Deadline
November 29, 2012 - 5 p.m. Eastern

Submit your abstract and paper at the same time. Do not send your abstract separately. Previously presented/published papers may be eligible for submission.

Eurotec® 2013
Cite Congress Exhibition Center
July 4-5, 2013
Lyon, France

For more information, visit: eurotec2013.abstractcentral.com or www.eurotec.ws

The organizing committee for the SPE Automotive Composites Conference & Exhibition (ACCE) today announced that it will hold its first parts competition at this year’s show, September 11-13, 2012 at the MSU Management Education Center in Troy, MI.  One innovative composites application submitted by sponsors/exhibitors or automakers will be selected by the committee and invited judges from entries and announced on the last day of the show during closing ceremonies, with a follow-up announcement describing the application and why it was selected to be released after the event.
 
Creig Bowland, senior research associate at PPG Industries, and the 2011 and 2012 SPE ACCE conference chair said, “We’ve seen our large-parts display area grow considerably over the past few years.  This year, it just seemed to make sense to capture some additional detail on all those parts that were at the show and provide some recognition for the innovation we were seeing – especially since our theme this year is Unleashing the Power of Design. What better way can we show automakers just what composites can do?”  Bowland adds that there is no cost to nominate parts for the competition.  Materials suppliers, molders, or OEMs in any geography may nominate as long as the OEM gives permission.  Parts may be on passenger cars or light trucks, original equipment or aftermarket, as long as they are already in commercial (series) production or will be in production by November 1, 2012.

“Nominations will be judged on the impact and trendsetting nature of the application,” Bowland adds, “including materials of construction, processing method, assembly methods, and other enabling technologies that made the application possible.  Nominations should also emphasize benefits of design, weight and cost reduction, parts consolidation, functional integration, and improved performance.”
 
Held annually in suburban Detroit, the ACCE draws almost 500 speakers, exhibitors, sponsors, and attendees and provides an environment dedicated solely to discussion and networking about advances in the transportation composites.  Its global appeal is evident in the diversity of exhibitors, speakers, and attendees who come to the conference from Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia / Pacific as well as North America.  Fully one-third of attendees indicate they work for automotive and light truck, agriculture, truck & bus, heavy truck, or aviation OEM, and another 25% representing tier suppliers.  Attendees also represent composite materials, processing equipment, additives, or reinforcement suppliers; trade associations, consultants, university and government labs; media; and investment bankers.  The show has been jointly sponsored by the SPE Automotive and Composites Divisions since 2001.

Preliminary descriptions and photos about the application’s innovations are due August 15. Physical parts must be brought to and displayed at the SPE ACCE for final review by judges during a formal walk-through at a date and time to be announced.

For more information or to enter, visit: www.speautomotive.com/comp.htm

ANTEC 2013

April 22-24, 2013
Duke Energy Convention Center
Cincinnati, Ohio USA

SPE is soliciting papers in the following areas:

  • Advanced Energy
  • Alloys & Blends
  • Applied Rheology
  • Automotive
  • Bioplastics
  • Blow Molding
  • Color & Appearance
  • Composites
  • Decorating & Assembly
  • Electrical & Electronic
  • Engineering Properties & Structure
  • Extrusion
  • Failure Analysis & Prevention
  • Flexible Packaging
  • Injection Molding
  • Joining of Plastics & Composites
  • Marketing & Management
  • Medical Plastics
  • Mold Making & Mold Design
  • Nano/Micro Molding
  • Non-Halogen Flame Retardants
  • Plastic Pipe & Fittings
  • Plastics Educators
  • Plastics Environmental
  • Plastics in Building & Construction
  • Polymer Analysis
  • Polymer Modifiers & Additives
  • Process Monitoring & Control
  • Product Design & Development
  • Radiation of Processing of Polymers
  • Rotational Molding
  • Thermoforming
  • Thermoplastic Elastomers
  • Thermoplastic Materials & Foams
  • Thermoset
  • Vinyl Plastics

Abstract/Paper Deadline
October 23, 2012 - 5 p.m. Eastern

  • Submit an abstract (up to 100kb file) and a paper (saved as a .pdf) in ANTEC format, by the deadline above.
  • Papers will be reviewed by the Technical Program Committee and authors notified of the status or required revisions by November 13, 2012.

Submission Formats
Technical or Commercial

Presentation Styles
Podium or Poster

For more information, visit: www.antec.ws or antec2013.abstractcentral.com

The Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) Thermoforming Division has announced a call for entries in its annual Parts Competition, showcasing the latest advances in thermoforming design and application. The submission deadline is September 7, 2012.
 
The parts entered in the Competition will be on display during the 21st SPE Thermoforming Conference®, which will be held September 23-25 at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel and DeVos Place Convention Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Awards for winning parts will be presented at the Thermoformer of the Year Dinner on Sunday, September 23, at the hotel.

“For this year’s conference, SPE is focusing on attracting even more key decision-makers from OEM companies in order to raise awareness of the unique capabilities of thermoforming,” said Eric Short, 2012 Parts Competition chair.  “The parts entered in the competition will enable these participants to discover the best that the thermoforming industry has to offer and can help spark further innovation in product design.”
 
Competition entrants may submit parts from roll-fed systems to one of these categories:  Industrial, Medical, or Food; for parts from heavy-gauge systems, the available categories are Vacuum Form, Pressure Form, or Heavy Sheet.  
 
For more information or to enter, visit: www.thermoformingdivision.com/parts-competition/guidelinesentry-form

The fourteenth-annual SPE® TPO Automotive Engineered Polyolefins Conference, the world’s leading automotive engineered-polyolefins forum, which is organized by the Detroit Section of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE®) and this year runs from September 30-October 3, 2012, will feature five keynote speakers who will highlight important trends that are reshaping the global automotive-plastics market. According to Bill Windscheif, conference chair and president, Advanced Innovative Solutions, “The 2008-2009 global automotive crash triggered major changes in the engineered polyolefins supply chain that are still impacting the industry three-and-a-half years later. That’s why our committee intersperses keynote talks throughout the conference to help attendees better understand challenges and opportunities still facing the automotive-supply community.”

The conference will open on Monday morning with a keynote by Exxon Mobil Corp. Energy Advisor Vincent Yuskiewicz who will give a talk entitled The Outlook for Energy: A View to 2040, which will address a long-term view of the world’s energy future, including the more efficient use of energy through technologies such as hybrid vehicles.

Yuskiewicz will discuss global energy demand, which is expected to rise by about 30 percent from 2010 to 2040. “ExxonMobil expects that demand growth would be approximately four times that amount without projected gains in efficiency,” he says. “Efficiency is the key reason why energy demand will rise by only about 1 percent a year on average even as global GDP rises by nearly 3 percent a year. It also is the reason why energy demand in the developed world will remain relatively unchanged through 2040 even as its economic output nearly doubles. In transportation, ExxonMobil sees advanced vehicles, including hybrids, accounting for 50 percent of the cars people will drive in 2040, compared to about 1 percent today. This, plus improved fuel economy in conventional vehicles, will cause demand for energy for personal vehicles to remain essentially flat through 2040 even as the number of personal vehicles in the world doubles.”

After lunch on Monday, Patrick (Pat) Stewart, vice-president and executive director of Interior Systems at Inteva Products, LLC will speak on the topic of Innovative Concepts for Automotive Interiors.

About his topic, Stewart says, “The automotive interior continues to evolve into a home away from home. What the OEMs considered luxury 5 years ago is now being styled into entry-level and mid-level vehicles. In addition, the pressure on fuel economy continues to drive the need for lower mass materials and systems. The challenge for the supplier is to deliver innovative materials and solutions to enable the styling, manage total system cost to the price point of the vehicle, with no sacrifice in performance, durability, and safety.”

On Tuesday morning, Mary-Beth Kellenberger, director-Global Automotive Aftermarket Research, Frost & Sullivan, will speak on Throwing Light On the Future: Mega Trends and their Ability to Shape Personal Mobility.

Kellenberger explains, “This presentation will examine a variety of mega trends currently at work in society at large and discuss how they will impact personal mobility and the vehicles we use for personal mobility. We’ll cover topics like the evolution of urbanization and smart cities, including implicit social changes, business-model evolution, and a look at the countries in 2020 that will be the next game changers beyond the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) nations. We’ll also review the evolution of personal commuting and its effects on personal vehicles, and then explore future mobility innovations, including multi-modal commuting and alternative transportation plans already underway at various automakers. Since smart is the new green, we’ll define what a smart connected car is and what that implies. We’ll also look at the top 50 emerging vehicle technology trends, take a snapshot of a ‘Zero-Concept’ world in 2020, and then conclude with how to view from the macro level but implement from the micro level.”

Tuesday afternoon will feature a keynote on Global Polyolefins Overview by Howard Rappaport, senior director-Global Plastics at IHS Chemical at this year’s conference.

Rappaport notes, “The global polyolefin market is changing dramatically in response to the fast-advancing industrialization process in emerging markets, as well as improvements in global communications and trade liberalization. Investments are increasingly concentrated in feedstock cost-advantaged or high-demand growth areas, like the Middle East and the Asia/Pacific region. The same trend, particularly in West Europe, is driving industry consolidation, operations optimization, and moves toward the production of higher value, performance products. In North America, low-cost feedstock from shale gas is revitalizing the polyethylene (PE) business, making PE exports highly competitive globally. Growth in polyolefin consumption will be mainly driven by the rapid economic development of numerous transition countries in the Asia/Pacific region, Central Europe, the Middle East, and South America. Higher monomer prices have significantly reduced the cost advantage polypropylene previously enjoyed vs. other polymers and that is limiting growth prospects in lower-end packaging applications. Recent high volatility in polypropylene prices and tight feedstock supplies, particularly in North America, are also adversely affecting consumption. Yet, polypropylene’s excellent properties and versatility will continue to open new and higher value markets. The future shows continued strong consumption growth.”

And Wednesday will start off with a keynote from Alexander (Alex) Buechler, owner and publisher of HB Media who will give a talk about about Less Polypropylene in Automotive Applications.

“An average passenger car contains 130 pounds (60 kilograms) of polypropylene,” says Buechler, “but each year that number drops by approximately 0.70 pounds (0.33 kilograms) due to better flowing materials, which allow wall stock to be reduced; use of foamed polypropylene that lowers mass; and reduction in heavy fillers like talc – all of which means less polypropylene in our cars. We will show which components are most affected, as well as the vehicle segments where polypropylene is making a particularly strong return. Contradictory trends in North America, Europe, and Asia are also covered.”

Since 1998, the SPE TPO Automotive Engineered Polyolefins Conference has highlighted the importance of rigid and flexible polyolefins throughout the automobile – in applications ranging from semi-structural composite underbody shields and front-end modules to soft-touch interior skins and bumper fascia. Engineered polyolefins have been the fastest-growing segment of the global plastics industry for more than a decade owing to their excellent cost/performance ratio. The show typically draws approximately 500 attendees from 20 countries on four continents who are interested in learning about the latest in rigid and elastomeric TPO as well as TPE and TPV technologies. Fully a third of conference attendees say they work for a transportation OEM, and roughly 20% work for a tier integrator/molder, with the balance from materials or reinforcement suppliers, equipment OEMs, industry consultants, and members of academia. This year’s conference returns to the Troy Marriott in the Detroit suburbs. A variety of sponsorship packages are available for companies interested in showcasing their products and/or services.

For more information, visit: www.auto-tpo.com

Following longstanding practice, ANTEC® 2012 marked the beginning of one-year terms for new officers of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE), it was announced today by Willem De Vos, SPE Chief Executive Officer.
 
The Society has installed James S. Griffing as its new president, succeeding Russell C. Broome. A resident of Washington State, Griffing joined SPE in 1989.  He is a Technical Fellow at The Boeing Company.
 
At ANTEC 2013, Griffing will be succeeded by the new president-elect, Jon Ratzlaff, who is a Technical Services Manager for Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LP.
 
SPE has also announced the membership of its 2012-2013 Executive Committee, including the following positions:
 
PRESIDENT:
James S. Griffing, The Boeing Company

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER:
Willem De Vos, Society of Plastics Engineers

PRESIDENT-ELECT:
Jon Ratzlaff, Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LP

SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT:
Dick Cameron, Cameron Consulting

VICE PRESIDENT/SECRETARY:
Dr. Raed S. Al-Zubi, RadiuSenaat (Pipes and Fittings) LLC

VICE PRESIDENT/TREASURER:
Dr. Gregory A. Campbell, Castle Associates

VICE PRESIDENT/TECHNICAL PROGRAMMING/PUBLISHING:
Vijay Boolani, Boolani Engineering Corporation
     
VICE PRESIDENT/EVENT MANAGEMENT:
William D. Arendt, Emerald Kalama Chemical Co.

VICE PRESIDENT/MARKETING:
Olivier Crave, O.C. Team

VICE PRESIDENT/SOCIETY OPERATIONS:
Dr. Jeffrey H. Helms, Ticona Engineering Polymers

2011-2012 PAST PRESIDENT:
Russell C. Broome, The Chatham Group  
 
Jim Griffing:  Integrate
 
An SPE member since 1989, Griffing most recently held the positions of President-elect in 2011-2012, Senior Vice President in 2010-2011, and Treasurer of the Society from 2009-2010.  He has been involved with the SPE Composites Division since 1999 and also served as a Director of the Pacific Northwest Section of SPE.
 
 “A key strategic issue for SPE in the coming year is to fully integrate our new chief executive into the organization.  Wim De Vos brings a fresh set of experiences and ideas to SPE and we are eager to employ his talents to improve the Society’s operations around the world.”
“SPE has adopted many of today’s exciting new methods of communicating technical information, enabling broader networking opportunities, and running organizations,” said Griffing.  “I will focus on integrating these tools into day-to-day operations to further our mission and continue our growth throughout the world.  SPE will continue its quest to integrate the information and services we offer into the daily lives of our members.”
 
Griffing has worked for The Boeing Company since 1987, where he specializes in polymer and composite processing.  He has been awarded two Boeing Special Invention Awards.  He recently received the “Revolutionizing Flight” award from Boeing’s Commercial Airplanes Group.  
 
Jon Ratzlaff: Global Value
 
An SPE member since 1995, Ratzlaff has been involved with the Oklahoma Section, and the Rotational and Injection Molding Divisions along with many global SPE groups and activities. He has chaired numerous positions and served as an SPE Vice President and recently as Senior Vice President of SPE (2011-2012).
 
“The foundation of SPE’s mission lies with our global members who collectively volunteer to promote the knowledge and growth of our plastics industry.  I will be working closely with Jim and Wim to integrate fresh ideas to improve networking for all members. I want to focus on growing SPE’s global exposure through international conferences to provide networking and enhanced knowledge of our industry.”
 
“Imagination and innovation lead to industry growth. We need to enhance our ability to promote new innovations in the plastics industry. The world loves revolutionary innovations, and as the plastics industry creates ground-breaking, engineering marvels in plastics applications, we must share our story.  We should show the world what we can do!”
 
Ratzlaff holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Oklahoma State.  Following a few years in the stretch film industry, Ratzlaff joined Chevron Phillips in 1989 and is a recipient of the company’s Innovation Excellence award and Master of Engineering Technology certification.
 
For more information, visit: www.4spe.org

The organizing committee for the SPE Automotive Composites Conference & Exhibition (SPE ACCE) announced that it will again award two $2,000 USD scholarships for graduate-level research in polymer composites that has impact on ground transportation, particularly in the automotive industry. The scholarships are funded by proceeds from previous SPE ACCE conferences and donations made by the SPE Composites and Automotive Divisions, which jointly organize the conference.

Winners will be selected from the pool of qualified applicants by SPE ACCE committee members. Winning students will be required to report on the results of their findings during the thirteenth-annual SPE ACCE, which takes place September 10-12, 2013. This is the sixth year conference organizers have offered these graduate-level scholarships to fund transportation composites research.

Last year’s SPE ACCE Scholarship Award winners were David Inglefield, a Ph.D. candidate pursuing a dual degree in Chemistry and Biomedical Engineering at Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University for work involving the synthesis of functionalized carbon nanotubes for optimized properties in polymer composites; and Thomas (Tom) G. Loken, a doctoral candidate in Mechanical Engineering at University of Wisconsin-Madison as well as a project engineer at The Madison Group for a project analyzing the effects of processing conditions on fiber-length distribution in short-fiber composites. Both Inglefield and Loken will present the results of their work at this year’s SPE ACCE, September 11-13, 2012.

The 2010 winners were Benjamin Hangs, then a doctoral candidate at the Fraunhofer Institute of Chemical Technology for work on Integration of Features into Parts made from Thermoplastic Unidirectional Tape—Overview & Case Study; and Francesco Deleo, then a doctoral student at the University of Washington on Crashworthiness Energy Absorption of Carbon Fiber Composites: Experiment & Simulation – a report that also won a conference Best Paper Award.

The 2009 awards were presented to Gregorio Manuel Vélez-García, then a Ph.D. candidate at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, whose work focused on Development of a New Method for Predicting Fiber Orientation in Fiber-Reinforced Injection-Molded Thermoplastics, and to Zeba Farheen Abdul Samad Parkar, then a doctoral candidate at the University of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign whose research topic was Novel Aromatic Thermosetting Copolyester (ATCP) / Carbon Fiber Composites.

In 2008, the winners were Uday Sharma of University of Michigan-Dearborn, whose topic was Analysis of Thermoplastic Woven Composites at High-Strain Rates, and Tobias Potyra of Fraunhofer Institute of Chemical Technology, who worked on New Direct Processing Technology for the Manufacture of SMC Parts (Direct-SMC).

The first scholarships were given in 2007 in honor of journalist and composites-industry insider, Steve Loud who passed away in 2006. The recipients were Roston Elwell from Texas A&M University for research on the Use of Active-Core Composite Sandwich Panels for Improved Automotive Safety; and Alejandro Londono-Hurtado from University of Wisconsin-Madison, whose work involved Simulation and Numerical Modeling of Fiber Orientation and Density Distribution During Molding of Fiber-Reinforced Automotive Parts.

Held annually in suburban Detroit, the ACCE draws about 500 speakers, exhibitors, sponsors, and attendees and provides an environment dedicated solely to discussion and networking about advances in the transportation composites. Its global appeal is evident in the diversity of exhibitors, speakers, and attendees who come to the conference from Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia / Pacific as well as North America. Fully one-third of attendees indicate they work for automotive, light truck, agriculture, truck & bus, heavy truck, or aviation OEM, and another 25% represent tier suppliers. Attendees also represent composite materials, processing equipment, additives, or reinforcement suppliers; trade associations, consultants, university and government labs; media; and investment bankers. The show has been jointly sponsored by the SPE Automotive and Composites Divisions since 2001.

Students interested in applying will find a scholarship application form available for download at: www.speautomotive.com/comp.htm

The Automotive Division of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE®) today announced the date, location, and theme for its 42nd-annual Automotive Innovation Awards Gala, the oldest and largest recognition event in the automotive and plastics industries. This year’s event will be held Wednesday, November 7, 2012 at Burton Manor in Livonia, Michigan.

Jeffrey Helms, global automotive director, Ticona Engineering Polymers, who returns as the 2012 SPE Automotive Innovation Awards chair said, “With automakers facing tougher emissions and fuel-economy standards in nearly every geography, and vehicle lightweighting a key strategy for hitting those numbers, this year’s theme is Plastics Drive 54.5. Plastics and composites are the real lightweight materials and they can help transportation OEMs improve vehicle range – whether you’re driving a conventional internal combustion engine, a hybrid, or a plug-in electric vehicle. With polymers, you can also reduce costs, eliminate secondary operations, improve aesthetics, and better manage energy in a crash for better passenger safety. By drawing attention to how plastics can help automakers meet new U.S. Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) regulations of 54.5 miles/gallon [1] required by the year 2025 as well as maintain other important benefits, we at the SPE Automotive Division hope to help drive higher plastics use in tomorrow’s passenger vehicles.”

SPE’s Automotive Innovation Awards Program is the oldest and largest competition of its kind in the world. Dozens of teams made up of OEMs, tier suppliers, and polymer producers submit nominations describing their part, system, or complete vehicle and why it merits the claim as the Year’s Most Innovative Use of Plastics. This annual event typically draws 600 to 800 OEM engineers, automotive and plastics industry executives, and media. As is customary, funds raised from this event are used to support SPE educational efforts and technical seminars, which help educate and secure the role of plastics in the advancement of the automobile.

The mission of SPE is to promote scientific and engineering knowledge relating to plastics worldwide and to educate industry, academia, and the public about these advances. SPE’s Automotive Division is active in educating, promoting, recognizing, and communicating technical accomplishments for all phases of plastics and plastic based-composite developments in the global transportation industry. Topic areas include applications, materials, processing, equipment, tooling, design, and development.

For more information, visit: www.speautomotive.com/inno

The ANTEC® Technical Program will offer 500+ presentations in over 100 sessions. Technical sessions will be offered as standard podium presentations, intended for larger audiences, and as more informal interactive poster presentations, which enable discussion with smaller groups.

In addition, more than 80 interactive poster presentations from graduate and undergraduate students hailing from over 20 countries will be presented on Monday from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Plenary Sessions

Each day from 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., a different plenary speaker will take the stage. Their topics: “Polymer Composites for Aerospace Applications”; “Competitive Advantages Through Efficient Production”; and “The Path to Successful Commercialization of New Materials.”

New Technology & Fundamentals Forums

The always-popular New Technology Forums will be held on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday mornings from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Monday’s topic is on Polymers in Energy and Renewable Energy; Tuesday’s forum is devoted to Polymer Applications in Health Research; and Wednesday’s addresses the exciting topic of Emerging Green Technologies.

A “Fundamentals Forum,” to be held Monday morning from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., will cover innovations and inventions in polymers and processing.

Need To Register Onsite?

Onsite registration will be located on the third floor in the South Hall in the Orlando County Convention Center.

Onsite Registration hours will be as follows:

Monday, April 2: 7:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Tuesday, April 3: 7:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Wednesday, April 4: 7:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

For more information, visit: www.antec.ws

Attend the World’s Leading Automotive Engineered Polyolefins Forum

Now in its 14th year, the show is the world’s leading automotive engineered polyolefins forum featuring 40+ technical presentations, panel discussions, keynote speakers, networking receptions, & exhibits that highlight advances in polyolefin materials, processes, and applications technologies as well as a growing range of thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs) and thermoplastic vulcanizates (TPVs). This year’s show will be held Sept. 30-Oct. 3, 2012 at the Troy-Marriott (Troy, Michigan) in the suburbs of Detroit.

Present to the Largest Group of Decision Makers in Automotive Engineered Polyolefins

The SPE TPO Automotive Engineered Polyolefins Conference typically draws over 500 attendees from 20 countries on 4 continents who are vitally interested in learning about the latest in rigid and elastomeric TPO as well as TPE and TPV technologies. Fully a third of conference attendees work for a transportation OEM, and roughly 20% work for a tier integrator. Few conferences of any size can provide this type of networking opportunity or put you before such an engaged, global audience vitally interested in hearing the latest olefin advances. Interested in presenting your latest research? Abstracts are due April 27, 2012 and Papers/Presentations in July 31, 2012. E-mail abstracts/papers to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Showcase Your Products & Services at the World’s Largest Automotive Engineered Polyolefins Forum

Many sponsorship packages are available. Companies interested in showcasing their products and/or services at the SPE Auto TPO should contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

For more information, visit: www.auto-tpo.com

Registration is now open for the RAPid Impact “Pitch Your Science” student video competition, co-sponsored by the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) and the Rubber and Plastics Research Association, Ltd. (RAPRA).
 
The contest is designed to help students in post-secondary plastics programs develop the skills ultimately needed to accelerate the commercialization of their products by effectively communicating novel technical concepts to a scientifically untrained audience. Entrants may range from undergraduates to post-doctoral scholars at accredited schools in the United States. They will be mentored by plastics professionals.
 
The deadline for registration is May 31, 2012. By that date, an entrant must submit a video of no more than three minutes. Registrants will be advised by email of a series of four free “Pitch Your Science” webinars to be presented in February and March, designed to help them enhance their videos. Submissions will be judged on content, creativity, originality, execution, and effect. Winners will be announced on or about August 1, 2012.
 
First-, second-, and third-place winners will receive cash prizes of $5.000, $1,000, and $500, respectively. In addition, the first-place winner will attend the Global Polymer Innovation Expo as a guest of RAPRA, including free registration and up to $1,000 travel expenses. The event will take place August 26-29 in Columbus, OH.
 
For more information or to register, visit: www.globalpolymerinnovationexpo.com/rapid-impact

The organizing committee for the SPE Automotive Composites Conference & Exhibition (ACCE) today announced the dates, theme, and location for this year’s show and issued its annual Call for Papers. Now in its twelfth year, the SPE ACCE has become the world’s leading forum for automotive composites and draws exhibitors, speakers, and attendees from 15 countries on five continents. This year’s event, whose theme is Unleashing the Power of Design, returns September 11-13, 2012 to the MSU Management Education Center in Troy, Mich., U.S.A.

Creig Bowland, senior research associate at PPG Industries, and the 2011 and 2012 SPE ACCE conference chair said, “With the global automotive industry growing again after several difficult years, and with a host of tough new emissions and fuel-economy standards looming for the industry to meet, interest in lightweight materials like polymer composites is at an all-time high. Fortunately, the composites industry has a broad portfolio representing a wide range of cost, performance, and processing options from which to choose. Whether automakers are working on low volume/performance platforms, or high volume/economy platforms, they will find materials and process options that will meet their needs. And the best way to keep on top of the very latest technology innovations in this field is to attend the annual SPE ACCE show.”

Those interested in speaking at this year’s event should submit abstracts by March 31, 2012 to the review committee via This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Full papers or presentations are due May 31, 2012. Authors who submit papers (not presentations) in the proper format will be considered for the conference’s Best Paper Awards, which will be presented during the event’s opening ceremony.

Held annually in suburban Detroit, the ACCE draws almost 500 speakers, exhibitors, sponsors, and attendees and provides an environment dedicated solely to discussion and networking about advances in the transportation composites. Its global appeal is evident in the diversity of exhibitors, speakers, and attendees who come to the conference from Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia / Pacific as well as North America. Fully one-third of attendees indicate they work for automotive and light truck, agriculture, truck & bus, heavy truck, or aviation OEM, and another 25% representing tier suppliers. Attendees also represent composite materials, processing equipment, additives, or reinforcement suppliers; trade associations, consultants, university and government labs; media; and investment bankers. The show has been jointly sponsored by the SPE Automotive and Composites Divisions since 2001.

The mission of SPE is to promote scientific and engineering knowledge relating to plastics. SPE’s Automotive and Composites Divisions work to advance plastics and plastic-based composites technologies worldwide and to educate industry, academia, and the public about these advances. Both divisions are dedicated to educating, promoting, recognizing, and communicating technical accomplishments for all phases of plastics and plastic-based composite developments, including materials, processing, equipment, tooling, design and testing, and application development.

For more information, visit: www.speautomotive.com/comp.htm

The Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) is sponsoring the annual joint 2012 SPE International Polyolefins® Conference and FlexPackCon®, "Global Advances in Plastics Engineering." The conference will be held at the Hilton Houston North Hotel (12400 Greenspoint Drive, 281-875-2222) in Houston, Texas, on Feb 26–29, 2012.

A presentation and question and answer session will be given by Keller and Heckman covering the following topics:

•    An update on developing global regulatory food-contact requirements
•    Protecting intellectual property rights in an age of “open innovation”
•    Using law AND science to respond to regulatory challenges

Keller and Heckman LLP, a law firm based in Washington, DC, has a broad practice in the areas of regulatory law, litigation, and business transactions. The firm represents companies throughout the food and drug packaging value chain, including raw-material suppliers, convertors, and finished-product manufacturers. Keller and Heckman’s interdisciplinary approach includes in-house scientific staff and technical experts who work closely with the firm’s attorneys to find efficient ways to establish suitable regulatory clearances for packaging materials for foods, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, cosmetics, and other products. The firm’s opinion letters on the regulatory compliance of packaging materials are widely recognized by industry and by government officials around the world. In 2012, the firm will celebrate its 50th anniversary.

For more information or to register, visit: www.spe-stx.org/conference.php

The Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) has appointed Willem (Wim) De Vos as its new Chief Executive Officer.  He succeeds Susan Oderwald, who left SPE in December.  

“In our worldwide search for a new chief executive officer, we were delighted to find in Wim a 20-year veteran of the plastics industry who is already active in and understands our Society, has a truly global perspective, and brings outstanding management experience at a time when SPE is focused on growth,” said Russell Broome, SPE’s 2011-2012 President. “His expertise in extending business activities into emerging markets and his global network in the plastics industry will be of enormous value in carrying out SPE’s mission of strategic growth.”

Willem De Vos comes to SPE after serving as CEO of the Vitalo Group, a global supplier of plastic packaging and thermoformed products. Previously he managed compounding and processing units of Recticel, an international producer of polyurethane automotive components. He entered the industry in 1991 with technical and sales positions at Eurocompound, a supplier to the textile and automotive industries.   

As head of the Vitalo Group, Mr. De Vos oversaw an enterprise with worldwide factories and sales offices, including locations in Europe, the USA, Mexico, India, Thailand, China, Japan, and the Philippines. At Recticel, he first supervised plants in Belgium and Detroit, Michigan; then, as a director of Recticel Interior Solutions, based in Germany, he was responsible for several European and Asian car brands. In addition to his responsibilities in Europe, he set up Recticel’s first plant in China, and was a board member of a Japanese joint venture.

A member of SPE, Mr. De Vos most recently served as chair-elect of the European Thermoforming Division. His speaks Dutch, English, French, German, and some Italian.

Mr. De Vos holds an engineering degree in polymer chemistry from Industriële Hogeschool CTL in Gent, Belgium, and an executive MBA from the Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School.  

THE SOCIETY OF PLASTICS ENGINEERS (SPE) is the premier source of peer-reviewed technical information for plastics professionals.  Founded in 1942, SPE takes action every day to help companies in the plastics industry succeed by spreading knowledge, strengthening skills, and promoting plastics.  Employing these vital strategies, SPE has helped the plastics industry thrive for over 60 years.  SPE has become the recognized medium of communication among scientists, engineers, and technical personnel engaged in the development, conversion, and application of plastics.

For more information, visit: www.4spe.org

The Society of Plastics Engineers announced today that it has retained the international professional services firm Kellen Company to work with SPE leadership in the search for a new Executive Director to replace Susan Oderwald, who will be departing at the end of the year.

Kellen will also consult with SPE on its major strategic initiatives, including global expansion, technology assessment, and increased member engagement.

“Working with Kellen Company will ensure that SPE identifies Executive Director candidates who possess the global plastics industry experience and management expertise necessary to lead and grow SPE,” said Russell Broome, SPE’s 2011-12 President. “As a specialist in professional association management, Kellen will also serve as a valuable resource in our program to build new capabilities for serving the expanding international community of SPE members.”

The Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) is the premier source of peer-reviewed technical information for plastics professionals. Founded in 1942, SPE takes action every day to help companies in the plastics industry succeed by spreading knowledge, strengthening skills, and promoting plastics. Employing these vital strategies, SPE has helped the plastics industry thrive for over 60 years. SPE has become the recognized medium of communication among scientists, engineers, and technical personnel engaged in the development, conversion, and application of plastics.

For more information, visit: www.4spe.org or www.kellencompany.com

Membership in the LinkedIn® group of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) now exceeds 10,000, making it the largest group for plastics professionals on the LinkedIn social media platform, SPE announced today.

“Since its formation in September 2008, the Group has experienced exponential growth in membership, member discussions, and job postings,” said Lesley Kyle, SPE’s Director of Event Management. “Upwards of 150 new members are admitted to the Group each week, and new posts and jobs appear daily on the discussion boards. The SPE LinkedIn Group has become an industry resource for plastics professionals who are seeking answers to technical questions, networking, and even employment opportunities.”

More information on the SPE LinkedIn Group is available at: www.linkedin.com/groups?home=&gid=857357

THE SOCIETY OF PLASTICS ENGINEERS (SPE) is the premier source of peer-reviewed technical information for plastics professionals. Founded in 1942, SPE takes action every day to help companies in the plastics industry succeed by spreading knowledge, strengthening skills, and promoting plastics. Employing these vital strategies, SPE has helped the plastics industry thrive for over 60 years. SPE has become the recognized medium of communication among scientists, engineers, and technical personnel engaged in the development, conversion, and application of plastics.

For more information, visit: www.4spe.org

Thomas (Tom) G. Loken, a doctoral candidate in Mechanical Engineering at University of Wisconsin-Madison (Madison, Wisc.) as well as a project engineer at The Madison Group (Madison, Wisc.), is the second 2011-2012 winner of the SPE Automotive Composites Conference & Exhibition (ACCE) graduate-level scholarship in transportation composites research. Loken, who is from Winona, Minn. and expects to graduate in 2014, won this year’s second scholarship for a research project analyzing the effects of processing conditions on fiber-length distribution in short-fiber composites. He will receive his $2,000 USD check this fall and will report the results of his research during the twelfth-annual SPE ACCE, September 11-13, 2012.

Short-fiber thermoplastic composite materials are widely used in the automotive industry. These materials offer enhanced mechanical properties over unfilled resins, yet remain viable for high-volume production methods, such as injection molding, making metals replacement cost-effective thanks to parts consolidation, weight reduction, and elimination of secondary-finishing operations. However, the mechanical properties of fiber-filled composites are strongly influenced by orientation and length/diameter (L/D) ratios of reinforcing fibers, making final part properties highly dependent upon processing conditions. In the case of injection molding, fiber damage and attrition can occur during processing, reducing final L/D ratio. Therefore it is useful to understand which process parameters have the greatest effect on final fiber length distribution.

“The focus of my research is to study the effects of varying process conditions on the final fiber-length distribution in short-fiber thermoplastic composites,” explains Loken. “I am studying injection molding of a commercially available grade of short-glass/polypropylene and the influence of process variables like injection speed, screw speed, mold temperature, and barrel temperature. Injection speed controls the shear rate of the resin as it passes through the nozzle, runner, gate, and into the mold cavity. Screw speed controls the shear rate of the material during plastification in the barrel. Barrel temperature impacts the resin viscosity. And mold temperature affects material flow into the tool. Once test specimens have been molded, they will tensile tested per ASTM-D638 specifications to obtain tensile strength and modulus values, which will be studied as response variables. Samples with the most varied tensile properties will be selected for fiber-length distribution measurements. I’ve set my project up as a two-level factorial design of experiments (DOE) study to evaluate interaction between process variables. Because temperatures are hard to change, a split-plot design will be used. From personal experience, I’ve found that experimental designs are useful because full randomization is neither cost effective, nor practical. However, careful examination of the treatment variables to account for the split-plot design and randomization restrictions is necessary. I hope that the results will show which variable or variables have the greatest influence on tensile properties, what process interactions are present, and how varying process parameters influences the final fiber L/D ratio and measurement technique.”

Thomas Loken holds a B.S. degree in Composite Materials Engineering from Winona State University (Winona, Minn.), which he received in 2009. During his undergraduate studies he worked as a testing intern at the school’s Composite Materials Technology Center (COMTEC), where he conducted mechanical and analytical testing on composites and plastics. He also worked as a process engineering intern at RTP Co. (Winona, Minn.) in the extrusion/compounding of thermoplastics and short-fiber composites. At RTP, Loken was responsible for SPC charting, corrective actions, and process studies. After graduating, he served as the manufacturing engineer at Rolco Inc. (Kasota, Minn.) where he managed work instructions, corrective action requests, and process optimization, and project managed four family tools used to produce automotive parts using glass-filled polyamide – from mold inspection, to sampling, to production. Loken also conducted considerable research – using factorial screening experiments, response surface experiments, and validation – on secondary spin-welding operations for these parts to ensure a hermetic seal was achieved. He is currently a project engineer at The Madison Group where he conducts failure analysis of plastics and provides consulting services to the plastics community. Loken is concurrently a fulltime graduate student in the Mechanical Engineering department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison working with Drs. Tim Osswald and Paul Gramann.

Held annually in suburban Detroit, the SPE ACCE typically draws 400+ speakers, exhibitors, sponsors, and attendees from 14 countries on five continents and provides an environment dedicated solely to discussion and networking about advances in transportation composites. Its global appeal is evident in the diversity of exhibitors, speakers, and attendees who come to the conference from Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia / Pacific as well as North America and who represent transportation OEMs -- traditional automotive and light truck, as well as agriculture, truck & bus, and aviation – and tier suppliers; composite materials, processing equipment, additives, and reinforcement suppliers; trade associations, consultants, university and government labs; media; and investment bankers. The show is sponsored jointly by SPE’s Automotive and Composites Divisions.

Current sponsors and exhibitors for the show include: Ticona Engineering Polymers, Dieffenbacher GmbH, Magna Exteriors and Interiors, Continental Structural Plastics, RTP Co., American Composite Manufacturers Assoc.’s (ACMA’s) Automotive Composites Alliance (ACA), Bayer MaterialScience, Addcomp North America, Inc., AOC Resins, Asahi Kasei Plastics North America, Inc., Toho Tenax America, Inc., PPG Industries, Acrolab, Ltd., OCV Reinforcements, Bulk Molding Compounds Inc., The Composites Group, Quantum Composites, Ashland Inc., American Chemistry Council - Plastics Div., Dassault Systèmes, BASF, e-Xstream engineering, Flow International Corp., Polystrand, Williams, White & Co., Plasan Carbon Composites, Mitsubishi Rayon Co. Ltd., Newport Adhesives & Composites Inc., National Research Council Canada (NRC), DASI Solutions, LayStitch Technologies, Core Molding Technologies, Inc., Reinforced Plastics magazine, Composites Technology magazine, High-Performance Composites magazine, CompositesWorld Weekly eZine, Ward's AutoWorld magazine, WardsAuto.com, Plastics Technology magazine, Plaspec Global Plastics Selector, Polymotive magazine, Automotive Design & Production magazine, AutoField Blog, China Plastics & Rubber Journal, China Plastics & Rubber Journal International, Plastics Engineering magazine, Automotive NewsWire eZine, SAE International, Automotive Engineering International magazine, JEC Group, Composites Europe, and Modern Plastics India Magazine.

The mission of SPE is to promote scientific and engineering knowledge relating to plastics. SPE’s Automotive and Composites Divisions work to advance plastics and plastic-based composites technologies worldwide and to educate industry, academia, and the public about these advances. Both divisions are dedicated to educating, promoting, recognizing, and communicating technical accomplishments for all phases of plastics and plastic-based composite developments, including materials, processing, equipment, tooling, design and testing, and application development.

For more information about the SPE Automotive Composites Conference & Exhibition, visit: www.speautomotive.com/comp.htm

David Inglefield, a Ph.D. candidate pursuing a dual degree in Chemistry and Biomedical Engineering at Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University (Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va.), is the 2011-2012 winner of the SPE Automotive Composites Conference & Exhibition (ACCE) graduate-level scholarship in transportation composites research. Inglefield, who is from Fairfax, Va. and expects to graduate in 2014, won this year’s scholarship for a research project involving the synthesis of functionalized carbon nanotubes for optimized properties in polymer composites, a project that could have broad application in automotive composites. Inglefield will receive his $2,000 USD check this fall and will report the results of his research during the twelfth-annual SPE ACCE, September 11-13, 2012.

As Inglefield explains, since their discovery in 1991, interest in carbon nanotubes (CNTs) has grown rapidly and their use has expanded into areas as diverse as electronics and bionanotechnology. One of their most promising areas of usage is to improve the properties of polymer composites by increasing mechanical strength (without raising resin weight or density as most reinforcements do) and conferring electrical and thermal conductivity to materials that normally provide neither property. However, wider usage has been limited by many factors, including high production costs and challenges effectively dispersing the nanoparticles into polymer matrices. Developing a functionalized CNT that effectively interacts with the resin in which it is incorporated remains a significant challenge in expanding usage of this technology.

“My work involves functionalization of multiwall carbon nanotubes for more efficient incorporation into polymer composites by increasing dispersion and interactions with the polymer matrix,” says Inglefield. “In their native form, carbon nanotubes don’t interact well with organic groups on most polymers. However, I’ve been able to introduce functionality through the acid oxidation of the pristine nanotubes, increasing dispersion in the polymer matrix. I’ve also worked on the functionalizing nanotubes with metal nanoparticles, which increase conductivity and improve their function in specialized electronic applications. Carbon nanotubes can also be aligned in a magnetic field for anisotropic conductivity in polymer matrices via magnetic nanoparticles. I’m investigating a combination of these techniques for enhanced conductivity at low loadings for specialty electronics applications to preserve polymer properties that otherwise can be negatively affected by high reinforcement loadings.”

David Inglefield holds a B.S. degree in Biochemistry from Virginia Tech, which he received in 2009. Since graduating, he has worked as a graduate research assistant under his undergraduate and graduate research advisor, Dr. Timothy E. Long, professor of Chemistry and associate dean of Strategic Initiatives, Department of Chemistry, College of Science at Virginia Tech. The focus of their graduate work together has been synthesis and characterization of novel functionalized multiwall carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) and MWCNT composites. Inglefield’s undergraduate work with Long involved synthesis and characterization of cinnamate functionalized ultraviolet (UV) cross-linkable ammonium ionenes. Since receiving his undergraduate degree, Inglefield also has worked as teaching assistant (undergraduate Organic Chemistry lab for non-majors) at Virginia Tech and has been an American Chemistry Society (ACS) short-course presenter, where he was responsible for demonstrating various polymerization techniques. His current research expertise is in organic functionalization of MWCNT for polymer composites; electrospinning of polymers and MWCNT composites; performing transmission-electron and scanning-electron microscopy, nuclear magnetic-resonance spectroscopy, differential scanning calorimetry, thermogravimetric analysis, Raman and infrared spectroscopy, cryomicrotomy, dynamic light-scattering analysis, and rheology. In addition he has co-authored two publications presented at industry conferences.

Held annually in suburban Detroit, the SPE ACCE typically draws 400+ speakers, exhibitors, sponsors, and attendees from 14 countries on five continents and provides an environment dedicated solely to discussion and networking about advances in transportation composites. Its global appeal is evident in the diversity of exhibitors, speakers, and attendees who come to the conference from Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia / Pacific as well as North America and who represent transportation OEMs -- traditional automotive and light truck, as well as agriculture, truck & bus, commercial truck, and aviation – and tier suppliers; composite materials, processing equipment, additives, and reinforcement suppliers; trade associations, consultants, university and government labs; media; and investment bankers. The show is sponsored jointly by SPE’s Automotive and Composites Divisions.

For more information about the SPE Automotive Composites Conference & Exhibition, visit the Automotive Division’s website at: www.speautomotive.com/comp.htm

The first confirmed keynote speaker for the 2011 SPE Automotive Composites Conference & Exhibition (ACCE) – held September 13-15, 2011 at the MSU Management Education Center in Troy, Mich., U.S.A. – will be Nathan Armstrong, president and director of Motive Industries Inc. speaking on a topic near and dear to the heart of his company: Return of the Small Automaker. Motive, which has significant experience providing vehicle design, engineering, and prototyping for composite-bodied electric vehicles (EVs), announced last fall that it would be producing prototypes of an all-Canadian content, bio-composites-intensive EV named the Kestrel (http://www.motiveind.com/FD-Kestrel.html) by targeted for commercial introduction in 2012.

According to Armstrong, over the last decade, the pace of technology has advanced in all fields of design and manufacturing at an unparalleled pace thanks to a number of useful tools that have come into common usage. These include highly advanced computer-aided design (CAD), rapid prototyping machines capable of printing useable parts; computer numeric controlled (CNC) mills with up to six axis that allow nearly any shape imaginable to be cut; plastics that can be molded at room temperature using silicone molds; composite materials that have unimaginable strength properties; and the knowledge and experience needed to combine all these elements into what he calls ‘the second industrial revolution.’

“The impact this has had on industry is unquestionably enabling the largest shift in influence ever seen,” explains Armstrong. “The small guys now have the same tools as the big guys, but often with more freedom and flexibility to demonstrate applications in technology that the large companies cannot. This means that fresh innovation and ideas are coming from the bottom up, not from the top down. If we combine this freedom of design with the access to advanced materials, such as fibre-reinforced plastics, the possibility of the small automaker re-emerges. By using composites and plastics, tooling costs to produce such vehicles drop drastically and the performance can be accurately determined before any production begins. Also, with the dramatic increase in strength and durability that composites bring vs. metals, the safety level of these vehicles can be increased, eliminating any fears over liability.”

Nathan James Armstrong has over 16 years of transportation design engineering experience in both the aerospace and automotive sectors. Prior to founding Motive in 2004, Armstrong worked for Boeing and Arrowhead Products on the International Space Station, Delta Rockets, and Joint Strike Fighter programs. In 1996, Nathan moved from aerospace to automotive engineering working for Metalcrafters and Aria Group in Southern California as vice-president-Engineering where he managed the design and construction of a vast array of vehicle projects including over 30 production vehicles, over 200 concept vehicles, and close to 1,000 clay models, interior models, and scale models. Moving himself and the company to Calgary in 2006, Armstrong has become a mainstay of local tech talks and advisory presentations to large companies. These include presentations at the ENMAX Leadership Forum where he gave a one-hour lecture on Electric Vehicles and Smart Grid Technology, the Alberta Clean Tech Forum, the Haskayne School of Business, the Edmonton Division of the American Society of Material Engineers (ASME), and the Canadian Prairies Group of Chartered Engineers, where he gathered the largest audience in the group’s history.

Armstrong is also a member of the Lethbridge Technology Commercialization Centre Pilot Advisory Panel, and holds the position of ‘Advisor for Advanced Manufacturing’ with the Alberta Space Program. He also co-founded Project Eve, a nationwide Canadian consortium of technology companies, research centers, technical schools, and universities all coming together to combine technologies and resources to develop Canada’s own line of advanced transportation technology and production-level electric vehicles. Additionally, Armstrong co-founded the SuperDesigner Project with the Alberta Association of Colleges and Technical Institutes (AACTI) to promote the use of advanced design and engineering tools in colleges throughout the province. He also has taught Automotive Engineering at the prestigious Art Center in Pasadena and has taught Design for Manufacturing at the Alberta College of Art and Design. Motive Industries has recently been recognized as an Outstanding Alberta Science and Technology (ASTech) honoree in the field of Technology Futures.

The date and time of Armstrong’s SPE ACCE keynote address have not yet been set.

Held annually in suburban Detroit, the SPE ACCE typically draws 400+ speakers, exhibitors, sponsors, and attendees from 14 countries on five continents and provides an environment dedicated solely to discussion and networking about advances in transportation composites. Its global appeal is evident in the diversity of exhibitors, speakers, and attendees who come to the conference from Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia / Pacific as well as North America and who represent transportation OEMs — traditional automotive and light truck, as well as agriculture, truck & bus, heavy truck, and aviation – and tier suppliers; composite materials, processing equipment, additives, and reinforcement suppliers; trade associations, consultants, university and government labs; media; and investment bankers. The show is sponsored jointly by the SPE Automotive and Composites Divisions.

The mission of SPE is to promote scientific and engineering knowledge relating to plastics. SPE’s Automotive and Composites Divisions work to advance plastics and plastic-based composites technologies worldwide and to educate industry, academia, and the public about these advances. Both divisions are dedicated to educating, promoting, recognizing, and communicating technical accomplishments for all phases of plastics and plastic-based composite developments, including materials, processing, equipment, tooling, design and testing, and application development.

For more information about the SPE Automotive Composites Conference, visit the Automotive Division’s website at http://speautomotive.com/comp.htm, or the Composites’ Division website at http://compositeshelp.com, or contact the group at +1.248.244.8993, or write SPE Automotive Division, 1800 Crooks Road, Suite A, Troy, MI 48084, USA. For more information on the Society of Plastics Engineers or other SPE events, visit the SPE website at www.4spe.org, or call +1.203.775.0471.

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