Once every three years, an extraordinary opportunity comes along. It is the joint meeting of the National Plastics Exposition (NPE) and the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) Annual Technical Conference. It brings together the largest gathering of plastics engineers and professionals in North America, affording the opportunity to see the latest offerings in materials, manufacturing equipment, tools and secondary processes. It also is an opportunity to hear papers from both academic and industry leaders. The joint conference and exposition will be May 7 through 10, 2018, in Orlando, Florida.

There are a multitude of conferences available, but most of them have a fairly narrow focus on one technology or group of technologies. While these are useful to develop skills and contacts in a specific batch of plastic decoration or joining, they tend not to provide the knowledge needed to select the best technique among all of those available. With more options, it becomes all the more important to know what is available and the advantages and limits to each technology. This is the largest annual technical conference in the United States for the plastics industry, with 2,500 attendees, more than 600 paper presentations and an exhibitor floor.

The Decoration and Assembly Division will again have a session focused on the latest technologies in plastic decoration and assembly. This would be a good time to consider writing and presenting a paper if you have a new technology or improvement in a current one. Participation in the conference will provide a high level of visibility with an audience of those who are interested and working in the field. There will soon be a call for papers, so if you are interested, now is the time to begin to identify topics and start writing. Papers on new and emerging technologies and materials are always welcome.

Topics such as problem solving, innovation and cost reduction also are welcome.

Papers can be submitted in one of two formats. The first is the traditional formal paper, which will be published with a technical presentation during the conference. The second is a new format, the technical marketing format. For this, PowerPoint slides will be published and a presentation made during the conference.

This new technical marketing track will be organized into sessions focused on specific topical areas and is intended to be a forum in which new products, processes and services can be effectively shared with attendees in a timely manner. Candidates for these sessions should represent new offerings, with market entry having occurred in the last two years or in an advanced stage of development, with commercialization planned in the near future. Older products and processes will be considered as long as they bring value to those attending.

Presentations are to be directed at a technical audience and are expected to tell a story that includes the problem the new technology is solving, the economic benefit and the ease of implementation. Data and analysis that support the claims and benefits for the new technologies being presented must be included. The presentations will be published in the ANTEC 2018 Proceedings and should not include company-confidential information.

Learn more at the Society of Plastics Engineers website, www.4spe.org, or by contacting paul.a.uglum@delphi.com.

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

SPE’s Decorating and Assembly Division is seeking papers on innovative technologies and materials for in-mold and post-molding process to decorate and join plastic parts. Papers can be formal technical papers or technical marketing PowerPoint presentations focused on new products, processes and services. In each case, submissions must be made by Dec. 15, 2017. Information on submitting and preparing a paper is available at: https://www.eiseverywhere.com/ehome/252707/560626/

If you have questions, please contact the technical program chairs:
Decorated Plastic: Chris DeMell, cdemell@itwids.com, 630.909.5910
Joining: Jeff Frantz, Jeff.Frantz@emerson.com, 203.796.2223