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Topical Conference Drives into Ypsilanti

Plastics Decorating

Over 130 attendees ascended recently upon Ypsilanti, MI, for the 2014 SPE Decorating & Assembly Division Topical Conference (TopCon) on June 10-11. The two-day event combined 22 technical papers with 23 industry supplier tabletops covering a wide array of subjects on plastics decorating/assembly innovations and technology.

TopCon kicked off with keynote speaker Kathy Minnich, manager for North American Materials Engineering at Ford Motor Company. Minnich shared an inside look at decorating trends and challenges for plastics in automotive interiors. "Kathy really set the tone for the conference," said Jeff Peterson, editor-in-chief of Plastics Decorating magazine and the organizer of the event. "She provided enormous insight on what Ford and other car manufactures are moving toward in regards to decorating options for interiors."

The Supplier Trade Fair provided a great opportunity for a variety of suppliers of decorating and assembly equipment/supplies to network and discuss specific applications. "The contacts I made at this year's TopCon have been better than most of the tradeshows we have exhibited at," said Chris DeMell, ITW Security & Brand Identity. "It was an excellent event with high quality leads. Not only are the conversations and applications discussed substantive, they are actionable as well. It was the perfect event to have focused conversations with key partners, customers and new prospects!" Attendees had an opportunity to network with suppliers at the tabletops during an extended lunch period and after the presentations on the first day at a reception with drinks and light Hors d'oeuvres.

"This year's Topical conference was a great success," said current SPE Decorating & Assembly Division Chairman Paul Uglum, Delphi. "The keynote speech by Kathy Minnich of Ford was received with great interest. We had speakers from Europe and North America who covered the latest in all aspects of plastic decoration and assembly. Attendance at both the conference and Supplier Trade Fair was up significantly from previous years and the conference provided a great opportunity to both network and get answers to specific questions."