Letter from the Chair

It has been an exciting year. Advances in decoration and assembly technologies continue to provide solutions to more and more complex design problems. Smart materials have resulted in coatings that are not only decorative, but also functional and responsive to environmental changes. Nano technology has enabled in-mold circuitry, and quantum dots have allowed for brighter colors in tablets and cellphones.

The line between plastic decoration and joining and functional solutions to problems continues to blur, making it all the more important that you understand all of the technologies available to you. In all industries using plastic decoration and assembly, the competition is intense, and success is based upon offering the appropriate technology and the most value to your customer.

So, the question you face as an engineer or business owner is how can you best keep up to date and offer your customer or employer the best solution with the best value in the products and services you provide. There is no one easy answer, but the Decoration and Assembly division of SPE offered several opportunities in 2014 and will offer more this year. First, last year we presented papers showing the latest technologies both at the ANTEC in Las Vegas and at the Plastic Decoration and Assembly Topical Conference (TopCon) in Ypsilanti, MI.

More importantly, we have provided an opportunity to network with industry leaders. It often is far more important to know where to go to get the answers you need than to try to know everything yourself. I would encourage you to plan on attending industry events next year and expanding your personal network.

Many advances in technology were presented at this year’s TopCon, and I am pleased to announce that our division is making a link to the papers/PowerPoints available to all of our division members who were not able to attend. I hope that this gives you a window into available technologies and the advantages they bring.

A new book, “Innovation Trends in Plastics Decoration and Surface Treatment,” was published this year, and I would recommend it as a window into the field.

This coming year, the SPE Annual Technical Conference (ANTEC) and National Plastics Exposition (NPE) will be jointly held from March 23-25, 2015, in Orlando, FL. This is the largest annual technical conference in the United States for the plastics industry, with 2,500 attendees and over 600 paper presentations, and an exhibitor floor. The Decoration and Assembly Division again will have sessions focused on the latest technologies in plastic decoration and assembly. As well as providing a window into the latest technologies, ANTEC will provide opportunities to develop a strong and broad-based network of contacts.

If you are not already a member of SPE, I would encourage you to join SPE and the Decorating and Assembly Division. In addition to reducing the cost of attending the ANTEC and TopCons, membership gives you access to the extensive SPE library and many other benefits. You can learn more at the Society of Plastics Engineers web site, www.4spe.org, or by contacting at paul.a.uglum@delphi.com.

Paul Uglum
Delphi Electronics and Safety
Chair, SPE Decorating & Assembly Division

SPE Decorating & Assembly Sessions to be Presented at ANTEC

Benefits and Limitations of Ultrasonic Film Sealing, Bill Aurand, MS Plastic Welders, LLC

A Case for Round Energy Director: Utilizing Advanced Control Capabilities of Servo-Driven Ultrasonic Welders in Evaluating Round Energy Director Performance, Alex Savitski, Dukane Corp.

Meeting Global Challenges with Micro Solutions: The Role of Plasma Surface Treatment in the Future of Plastics, Paul Mills

Innovations in Hybrid Structural Instant Adhesive Technologies, Nicole Lavoie, Henkel

New Highly Flexible Cyanoacrylates: LOCTITE® 4902™ and LOCTITE® 4903™, Michael Pomykala, Henkel

Content Bridge Value Creation – How In-Mold Labeling and Smart Phone Connectivity Can Add Value to Plastic Products, Robert Travis, InkWorks Printing LLC

When Permanent Really Means Permanent. iMIG, the New Heat-Fused Graphic for Polyethylene, Polypropylene and Other Olefin Resins, Jason Brownell, Polyfuze™ Graphics Corp.