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Successful U.S. American plastics industry meets at NPE

| Editor: Rosemarie Stahl

The Bottle Zone is one of NPE's show floor features, concentrating on bottle and container manufacturing.
The Bottle Zone is one of NPE's show floor features, concentrating on bottle and container manufacturing. (Source: NPE)

NPE, the North American show that covers “all things plastics", will be held from 7 to 11 May 2018 in Orlando, Florida. Since the last edition in 2015, the American plastics industry has witnessed a period of stable growth.

Recognised as one of the world’s largest plastics trade shows and conferences, NPE 2018 brings together all industry sectors, including vertical and peripheral markets, end markets, brand owners and recyclers in North America. Held every three years, NPE attracts more than 65,000 plastics professionals and features industry-focused education and leading suppliers of emerging technologies, equipment and materials for every phase of plastics processing, all in more than 1.1 million net square feet of exhibit space, the organiser, the Plastics Industry Association (Plastics), announced.

The plastics industry in the United States is witnessing years of growth. Employment in the U.S. plastics industry grew by one percent in 2016, from 954,000 workers to 965,000, according to data in the 2017 Size & Impact Report, released by Plastics. According to the association, the plastics industry is the third-largest manufacturing industry in the United States.

Last year, the association applauded the immediate expensing and research and development provisions in the U.S. tax reform: “The economic outlook for the plastics industry provided by the report suggests that 2018 will be a banner year in NPE history,” said Plastics President and CEO William R. Carteaux. “Additionally, now that investments in capital equipment can be immediately and totally expensed by companies thanks to the newly approved tax bill, NPE 2018 is set to reach new heights of business activity.”

Part of the NPE exhibition is every phase of plastics processing, including manufacturing equipment, materials, automation and industry trends like Industry 4.0.
Part of the NPE exhibition is every phase of plastics processing, including manufacturing equipment, materials, automation and industry trends like Industry 4.0. (Source: NPE)

NPE 2018 will cover several different downstream markets, including chemicals and plastics, automotive and transportation, packaging, building and construction, medical, consumer products and bottles and containers. Besides the exhibition, there is also an accompanying programme with conferences and forums.

The Plastics Industry Association announced Expert Super Sessions, a new educational component of NPE 2018, to be part of the trade show. The Plastics Show will provide a forum for plastics industry experts, offering an insider’s look into the latest technical insights and innovations driving next-generation trends and solutions in plastics manufacturing. Topics will include hot-button industry issues and emerging trends such as Industry 4.0, innovative approaches to sustainability and the implications of automation and the Internet of Things on plastics companies.

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The plastics industry in the United States

Educational components and conferences at plastics show

“We are giving NPE 2018 attendees expanded and improved opportunities to learn from peers and thought leaders, maximising their experience in Orlando. Expert Super Sessions were re-named for the NPE 2018 show to reflect their true purpose – to give plastics experts a forum to present their industry-changing ideas and insights,” said Susan Krys, Vice President of Trade Shows and Marketing at Plastics. “The sessions give attendees the unique opportunity to hear straight from the sources that are shaping the industry.”

Expert Super Sessions at NPE 2018 include:

  • How Intelligent Robotic Automation Can Improve Your Bottom Line: Presented by Fanuc America, this session explores how intelligent robotic automation will help manufacturers achieve higher productivity.
  • Trends and Material Solutions for the Building & Construction Market: Presented by A. Schulman, this session explores the latest trends and technologies addressing critical issues in building and construction.
  • Gaining the Competitive Advantage with Industrial IoT: The presentation by Oden Technologies uncovers how the Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) enables manufacturers to improve quality, eliminate waste and gain a competitive edge.
  • Industry 4.0: Implementing a Smart(er) Factory: TSM Control Systems USA and Now Insight present their journey towards smarter factories using IoT technologies.
  • Trends and Material Solutions for the Packaging Market: A presentation by A. Schulman about packaging trends, from optimising barrier properties for shelf-life extension to reducing food waste through smart packaging.
  • Innovative Approaches to Sustainability – A Look at Hydraulic Fluids: Presented by Exxon Mobil Chemical Company, this session features speakers from Exxon Mobil and discusses how EVCO Plastics was able to reduce energy consumption on one of its injection moulding machines by 3.19 percent.

Along with an expanded conference and education programme, NPE 2018 will also feature innovative show floor features, the organiser announced. These include:

  • Bottle Zone – a resource for companies that work with PET pre-forms, moulds, labelling, filling, closures, design and inspection equipment in bottle and container manufacturing.
  • Additional Market Segment Zones – spaces that allow exploration of the trends and technologies in various plastics market segments including 3D and 4D printing, mould-making, medical parts processing, flexible vinyl, thermoforming and material science.
  • Re-focus Sustainability & Recycling Summit Zone – an annual Plastics event co-located at NPE 2018 providing recycling and sustainability professionals access to revolutionary equipment, reliable supplies and innovations for processors and brand owners seeking sustainable solutions for their business.

This article was first published on ETMM online.

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