Letter from the Chair

I don’t believe anyone could have imagined the situation we are currently living and working in. It is so hard to predict what might happen next. What we do know, as things start improving and getting back to some type of normal, is that things cannot go back to exactly how they were – our world will be different.

From our SPE Decorating & Assembly Division standpoint, we will need to adapt as well. We were certainly disappointed that we were unable to have our Topical Conference (TopCon) along with the IMDA Symposium this past June in Ypsilanti – but it was a decision we had to make.

So what do we do moving forward? Our board of directors is analyzing the best way to proceed right now. We are exploring some type of virtual TopCon or Summit or developing a series of webinars sponsored by our division and Plastics Decorating. We will keep you updated on how we will move forward.

Speaking of webinars, we have started a program that allows industry suppliers to sponsor a webinar and receive a list of all of those who attend. Recently, Scott Sabreen of The Sabreen Group  conducted a webinar on surface pretreatment where we had nearly 140 registrations. You can visit the Plastics Decorating website (www.plasticsdecorating.com) and click on the Webinar tab to view this recorded presentation and others we have done in recent months, including the COVID-19 webinar conducted for our SPE Division members and others in the industry.

We are not sure when we will have an in-person TopCon or meeting again. We will be looking at when this makes sense from both an attendance and health standpoint. We are most definitely committed to another TopCon in the future. We firmly believe that there are opportunities to network and create discussion that are just not possible through something virtual or online. So, our TopCon will be back – we just are not sure when.

We thank all of our SPE Decorating & Assembly Division members for sticking with us. Please stay involved and be sure to look for upcoming information on virtual events, webinars and in-person event updates. We certainly hope we will be able to be together again very soon.

Jeff PetersonJeff Peterson
President, Peterson Publications, Inc.
Chair, SPE Decorating & Assembly Div.


SPE Awards Student Scholarships

SPE’s Decorating and Assembly Division recently awarded scholarships to Antonia Chin and Tyler Plekker. Chin is a senior studying chemical engineering at Kettering University in Flint, Michigan. Her involvement in plastics is though coatings. She interned at PPG in the dispersions and pigments evaluation lab. She worked on design of experiment test models for dispersion quality, using different resin technology on plastics and metal, which fueled her desire to become a coatings engineer. Plekker is a senior at Kettering University studying mechanical engineering. While at Kettering University, he has been the founding president of the Kettering Investment Club and the founding treasurer of the Kettering Combat Robotics team working directly with the university’s president and other administrators. Additionally, he is a freshman orientation team member and active in Greek life. Upon graduating, Plekker plans to find a job in continuous improvement and business optimization.

SPE’s scholarship program is intended for undergraduate students with experience in the decorating of plastics by painting, vacuum metallizing, electroplating, hot-stamping, assembly or other related supplies and equipment, including courses taken, research conducted or jobs held. For more information, visit www.4spe.org.