Plastic Product Decorating Summit Exceeds Expectations

By Jeff Peterson, editor-in-chief, Plastics Decorating

The first Plastic Product Decorating Summit, hosted by Plastics Decorating Magazine and the In-Mold Decorating Association (IMDA), took place September 28-29 at the Milwaukee Marriott West, Waukesha, Wisconsin. The Summit drew attendees from a wide range of industry segments; OEMs, brand owners, molders, decorators and those providing equipment and consumables all were part of the event.

“We were blown away by the array of companies represented at our event in Milwaukee,” said IMDA Managing Director Dianna Brodine. “The diversity of industry expertise and experience among the attendees created a strong platform for the networking and education that occurred over two days focused on plastics decorating and labeling processes.”

The evening before the Summit began, attendees were invited to an optional Milwaukee Brewers baseball game at American Family Field in a private event area in right field. Those who were able to attend had a field-level view, with a viewing window into the relief pitchers’ bullpen. Not only did the Brewers win against the St. Louis Cardinals, but the event provided an opportunity for attendees to network before the Plastic Product Decorating Summit started the following morning.

“It was a great way to begin the event,” said David Schoofs, product and business development for event sponsor Central Decal. “Everyone had a great time at the game, and there was a lot of discussion and networking.”

Programming on September 28 was focused around direct-to-object plastic decorating and in-mold decorating and labeling. Sessions included several technical presentations as well as industry panel discussions. Subjects covered included automation and robotics, selecting and implementing direct-to-part decorating processes, surface treatment and cleaning, troubleshooting in-mold films and labels, and durable decorating trends in the transportation industry.

The first day of programming ended with a reception, during which the 2023 IMDA Award winners were announced (see article on page 18). The reception also provided additional time for attendees to visit the companies that had tabletop exhibits in the Supplier Trade Fair.

The event concluded on September 29 with an in-depth tour of custom injection molder Sussex IM. With over 40 years of experience, Sussex IM is a reliable supplier across a variety of markets, including consumer products, agriscience/garden, medical/pharma, residential durable and industrial. The company opened its doors to showcase its expertise in injection molding, in-mold decorating, pad printing and other decorating processes, in addition to sharing its quality control practices, employee retention efforts, safety achievements and more.

“We can’t say enough good things about the plant tour at Sussex IM,” said IMDA Board of Directors’ President Bob Travis, InkWorks, LLC. “It’s an impressive facility with an even more impressive team of people who presented the innovative practices that make their company a success. The tour was a terrific way to end this year’s summit.”

“We were pleased with the results of our first-ever Plastic Product Decorating Summit,” concluded Plastics Decorating Publisher Jeff Peterson. “Milwaukee turned out to be an excellent choice, with a location that brought attendees in regionally and nationally.”

Thank you to these industry-leading Sponsors and Supplier Trade Fair Exhibitors:
Central Decal
Diversified Printing Techniques
Duratech Industries
Nissha Eimo Technologies
Northern Coatings and Chemical Co.
Profile Plastics
Regal Graphics
Sussex IM
Vibrant Graphics