2014 SPE® Auto TPO Conference

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

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