Tuesday, June 30th, 2015

Murphy builds up both Davis-Standard and NPE

By Bill Bregar, Plastics News

PAWCATUCK, CONN. — Jim Murphy, named in May as Davis-Standard LLC’s president and CEO, said industry activism is time well spent for machinery manufacturers.

“It’s important work,” Murphy said in a recent interview at Davis-Standard’s headquarters in Pawcatuck.

Murphy should know — he has served for 15 years in a leadership role at the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. That work culminated when Murphy served as chairman of NPE 2015 in Orlando, Fla. He will remain on the executive committee through the 2018 NPE, as the immediate past chairman.

Jim Murphy, NPE2012

Jim Murphy, NPE2012

As an executive committee leader, Murphy worked with other members, and SPI officials, to research the decision to move NPE from its longtime home in Chicago to Orlando, beginning with NPE 2012.

“Whenever you make a change, there’s always an uncertainty around the unknowns, right? Clearly I think that everybody saw a lot of opportunity, a lot of upside to the decision,” he said. “And when the show came in 2012, everybody that exhibited and attended had a great experience. A positive experience. That kind of feeds it, and the 2015 show grew nicely.”

Davis-Standard, which makes extrusion and converting equipment, takes the top executive position vacated when Bob Preston left the machinery maker to become top executive at GSE Environmental last November.

Murphy is a 25-year veteran of the company, which generates sales of about $300 million. Davis-Standard runs plants in Pawcatuck; Fulton, N.Y.; Suzhou, China, and Erkrath, Germany.

A native of Canton, Ohio, Murphy graduated from the University of Akron, then worked for a small company before taking a field sales job at extruder maker NRM Corp. After three years at NRM, he joined Davis-Standard. His most recent position, before becoming president and CEO, was vice president of global sales and marketing.

The sales role prompted Murphy to get active with SPI, on the Committee for Equipment Statistics. He got involved with the NPE marketing committee for the shows in 2003 and 2006, then got deeply involved in the NPE operations side in 2006 and 2009. He chaired the operations committee for NPE 2009 — the final one at Chicago’s McCormick Place.

Moving NPE to Florida was a major undertaking, led by Bill Carteaux, SPI’s president and CEO, and Gene Sanders, senior vice president of trade shows and conferences. Together with the two SPI leaders, the NPE executive committee got to work before the final decision was made.

“We pulled together and evaluated a lot of that data regarding the services — do we have the right services in Orlando? Do we have infrastructure — electric, power, water, floor loading, the ability to move material. All the kind of things you need to do to get it accomplished,” Murphy said.

Murphy said Davis-Standard management has always supported the volunteer work of its employees on trade associations. Company engineers also take an active role on SPI’s safety standards efforts.

And Murphy said Davis-Standard is in a good position, as a business. More than half of its sales comes from machinery for the growing packaging market. The company employs 90 people in the Asia-Pacific region, including about 60 in Suzhou. The middle class in China and other countries in the region is growing, fueling demand for better food packaging — which fuels sales of more-advanced equipment, he said.

“Asia-Pacific represents about 25 to 30 percent of our sales. It’s been that way, and growing, for the last decade,” Murphy said.

Private equity firm Oncap, part of Toronto-based Onex Corp., bought Davis-Standard in 2011. “They’re extremely supportive in terms of providing financial strength, and extremely supportive of the business and the strategy of the business,” he said.

Murphy said Oncap expanded the number of Davis-Standard employees who hold an ownership stake to 100, from about 50 under the prior ownership. About 860 people work at Davis-Standard.

“Employees who are owners have a longer-term view of things, as an owner,” he said.

Davis-Standard’s veteran workforce is a big strength, he said. At the last service awards dinner, the company recognized one employee with 45 years at the company. Eight employees got 40-year awards. Many people have worked at the company for more than 20 years.

“We have a clearly dedicated group of employees that understand the business and the technology,” Murphy said.

This article may be accessed on Plastics News’ website by clicking here.

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015

SPI Recognizes CPR for Its Outstanding Performance as the Official Recycler of NPE2015

NPE2015 ended nearly three months ago but SPI continues to recognize all of the parties that helped make this year’s international plastics showcase the largest, most international and most sustainable NPE in history. Recently SPI CEO and President Bill Carteaux and VP of Member Services Mark Garrison visited the Tampa, Fla.-based offices of Commercial Plastics Recycling, Inc. (CPR) to present the company and its team with a plaque recognizing them for their partnership and performance during NPE2015.



During the show, which ran from March 23-27 in Orlando, Fla., CPR collected, sorted and recycled an astounding 191 tons of processing scrap, 62 percent more than was collected at NPE2012 and 235 percent more than at NPE2009. Altogether NPE2015 generated 518 tons of waste at the Orange County Convention Center, including both processing scrap and post-consumer waste. Of that, 452 tons, or 87 percent, was recycled.

SPI thanks CPR for its outstanding work during NPE2015 and looks forward to relying on the company’s insights to make the next NPE (NPE2018) an even greater success!

Thursday, April 9th, 2015

“This is Marketing:” After NPE2015, Wittmann-Battenfeld Offers Tips on Making the Most of Your Trade Show Booth

If you were there, you saw it. Robotics and plastics manufacturing machinery provider Wittmann-Battenfeld’s booth at NPE2015, the largest NPE in the show’s history, drew in a steady crowd of attendees with an eye-popping, jaw-dropping display of robotics performing the duties of a NASCAR pit crew. There was almost always a crowd at the Wittmann booth in the West Hall, a testament to Wittmann’s products and market position, sure, but also to their savvy understanding of trade show booth design.


The centerpiece of Wittmann-Battenfeld’s booth at NPE2015.

While not every company has the resources to put on a full-fledged robotic racing pit crew in their trade show booth (nor does every trade show have the capacity or space to host as many top-quality, cutting edge displays as NPE), there are some important assumptions guiding the design of Wittmann’s booth at NPE that any company can put into practice when exhibiting at a trade show, whether it’s one as large as NPE or something more boutique.

“We try to excite the senses,” Wittmann CEO David Preusse said regarding the company’s booth at NPE, as well as their overall philosophy when it comes to booth design. “Lots of big, bright signage,” he added.

For Wittmann’s product line, Preusse noted that they virtually build a fully operational molding plant in two weeks for NPE attendees, as they did in 2012 and again in 2015. “We all know attendees like to see these injection molding work cells running. In our case, we want to show molders the possibilities of state-of-the-art technologies, and the continuing Internet of things,” he added. “All of our molding cells are connected, and can be viewed remotely. This means we can service any customer, anywhere in the world, at any time; 24/7 service with our experts.”

Additionally, when it comes to booth design, size matters. A big booth suggests a big company and a big investment in what they’re selling to potential buyers traversing the trade show floor, and a bigger booth design typically yields its own benefits in potential new sales and customer leads. “Attendees want to deal with big companies. They perceive a supplier’s commitment. To be in big arms is one additional important ingredient,” Preusse said. “It’s important to show our size in staffing, with experts from different specialties, for automation, injection molding niche areas such as micro or nano-molding up to large macro-tonnage molding and material handling resin conveying systems and a range of auxiliaries, all of which we own the designs, and we make the products. Attendees want to deal with experts to help them with the best and most innovative solutions for them to better compete both here locally and globally.”


A full view of Wittmann-Battenfeld’s booth at this year’s NPE.

Both of these items are important points, but make no mistake; Preusse and his team know what brought you to their booth, and it wasn’t necessarily the size, or the fact that they had a fully operational molding plant toiling away under Wittmann flags and banners. People came to see the NASCAR booth, and that was entirely the point.

Wittmann has at least a couple NPEs worth of experience when it comes to eye-catching thematic booths. “Attendees are drawn into a booth with action. With robots we can be active,” Preusse said. “In 2012, our guys were able to have our robots dribble basketballs, pass and shoot three pointers. People still watch those on YouTube. It was a large, up high, nonstop activity and it stopped attendees in the aisle. They stared, pulled out their phone and videotaped the show, and they clapped when the robots scored a basket,” he added, noting that the display’s popularity resulted in what, in trade show terms, would be considered a “good problem.” “At one point, show guards came by to ask us what we can do about all the traffic in the congested aisle,” Preusse said.

Topping the 2012 display wouldn’t be easy, but Preusse noted that, like the basketball display from the prior NPE, the company’s booth couldn’t simply rely on something that would appeal to plastics technology and robotics wonks; it had to appeal to any consumer, inside the industry or not. “Don’t get me wrong, the 5D curvilinear precision and powerful programmable control with payloads for these robots certainly help one’s mind to the possibilities, the flexibility, the power and sophistication we can accomplish, so no, we do not desire a circus act,” he said. “We are however, a FUN company.”

The process of planning began more than a year prior to NPE. “Kenny Pond, our lead robot technician, was the leader behind the Basket Ballers for NPE2012, did not want to continue on basketball. Kenny originally was an auto mechanic, out of high school, and he had this idea we could develop a pit crew of robots to change race car tires,” Preusse said. “Kenny made a sketch over a year ago and showed me and our team what he thought was possible. He even had images of booth models in designer pit crew jump suits.”

Wittmann’s executives in Austria weren’t originally sold on the idea, but Preusse urged them to let the team work, allowing Pond and the Wittmann engineering team led by Rob Eselby to develop the idea into something valuable, and the result ultimately was what we all saw at NPE2015.


Attendees stop to watch Wittmann-Battenfeld’s robotic pit crew display in action.

Sure, the booth and the performance contained therein cost Wittmann some money, but one of the advantages, from a budgetary standpoint, of a triennial show like NPE is that, as Preusse’s boss Michael Wittmann said, you have three years to pay for it. More than that however, it’s important to remember that a booth isn’t merely an investment in future business, but an investment in existing business and existing employees and staff. “Honestly, some staff here actually love the chance to change things up from their normal work life, to do something different,” Preusse said. “A show is not just for the attendees, but for our own staff, our sales agents, our field sales and service troops, management and our colleagues from around the globe. Wittmann is in 52 countries. There is a bit of an ego in showing what a team can do when allowed to do great things. NPE is our Olympics.”

In many ways, for Wittmann, the booth isn’t merely an opportunity to bring in new business, but an opportunity to celebrate. “I sent many cheerleading emails when times leading up to the show were getting difficult,” Preusse said. “I pointed out in one email that what we as mankind, can achieve together is one of man’s best possibilities and triumphs to celebrate. NPE is a celebration.”

This attitude was infectious among Wittmann’s staff, and infectious among attendees and visitors to their booth as well. “I think attendees see this. I think it inspires them. It creates positive energy and a buzz,” he added. “And this would’ve been the case, even without one of our 20 truck trailers being stolen in Daytona, then rolling over and totally damaging our show shipment of two molding machines worth over $500k, and only nine days before the opening.”

In short, all the things that made Wittmann’s booth design, implementation and execution were as beneficial for the staff and for Wittmann as they were for the mood of the attendees who stopped by to photograph the company’s robotic pit crew in action. Creating a buzz within the office often translates to a buzz outside of it, a certifiable truth of business and sales that Wittmann’s booth proved throughout NPE2015. “This is marketing,” Preusse said.

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

Officially Official: NPE2015 Sets Records for Exhibitors, Space, Companies in Attendance and International Participation

NPE2015 has officially come to a close and while the crowded halls of the Orange County Convention Center might’ve hinted at a record-setting year, the numbers released today by SPI officially confirmed it: NPE2015 was the largest show in NPE history.

The South Hall of NPE2015.

The South Hall of NPE2015.

By number of exhibitors, amount of space and unique companies in attendance, NPE2015 exceeded all prior iterations of the International Plastics Showcase. The data showed that NPE2015 attracted 2,029 exhibitors over 1,128,200 net square feet (104,813 sq.m) of exhibit space—exceeding the previous records of 2,009 exhibitors and 1,041,000 net square feet (96,712 sq.m) set in 2000.

Additionally, registered attendance for NPE2015 was 65,810—19 percent greater than three years ago at NPE2012—and these registrants came from 23,396 unique companies, a 22 percent increase over the 19,198 companies at NPE2012 that represented a substantial increase in buying potential.

As expected, NPE2015 also set new records for international participation as well. Nearly 44 percent of exhibiting companies and 26 percent of registrants came from outside the United States, with nearly 5,000 registrants coming from Latin America alone.

Exhibitors came from 37 nations in all. In descending order of number of exhibitors, the ten largest participating countries were China, Taiwan, Canada, Italy, Germany, India, Turkey, France, Switzerland and South Korea. These rankings don’t include many companies that are based in other countries but exhibited through their U.S. subsidiaries.

View of the West Hall of NPE2015.

View of the West Hall of NPE2015.

SPI president and CEO William R. Carteaux acclaimed NPE2015 as the most successful NPE by many measures. “What made NPE2015 a milestone in the 69-year history of NPE was not only its size and international diversity, but also the richness of its offerings to attendees,” Carteaux said. “The hundreds of machines operating on the show floor, the customer service centers provided by material suppliers, the pavilions and programs on current issues and emerging technologies, the extensive agenda of co-located conferences—this wealth of content surpassed our previous shows and now provides a guideline for making future NPEs even more attractive to participants. The plastics industry should be truly proud of its show”

All focus now turns to the next NPE, NPE2018, which will take place Monday through Friday, May 7-11, 2018, again at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. Visit www.npe.org for more information and click here to receive updates on the NPE2018 program.

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

NPE2015: A Quick Look Back on the Largest, Most International NPE in History

The SPI and NPE team wrapped up what was by any and all measures an outstanding NPE2015 last week. Here’s a look back at some of the highlights.

_F4C5169_webNPE2015: The International Plastics Showcase kicked off with the Pursuing Zero Waste Fashion Show, the result of many months of work by students from the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in collaboration with SPI. All of the featured garments were made using post-consumer recycled, reused or repurposed plastic products, and the final products were outstanding. Check the fashion show photo album on SPI’s Facebook, and read an interview with two of the participating SCAD students here on In the Hopper.

Many, many announcements were made on-site at NPE2015, particularly on Monday, the first day of the show. Among the largest of them was SPI’s announcement of its new annual recycling summit, the re│Focus Recycling Summit & Expo. The inaugural summit and expo will be held in April 2016 at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando, Fla. and invites the entire plastics supply chain to collaborate together to find future sustainability solutions and new markets in recycling. Learn more here.

SPI President and CEO William Carteaux at NPE2015 announcing ReFocus, SPI's first-ever annual recycling summit and expo, to be held in Orlando in April 2016.

SPI President and CEO William Carteaux at NPE2015 announcing ReFocus, SPI’s first-ever annual recycling summit and expo, to be held in Orlando in April 2016.

On Tuesday at the SPI/IHS Key Market Breakfast Briefing, the plastics industry got an invitation from Walmart Vice President of U.S. Manufacturing Cindi Marsiglio to help the world’s largest retailer fulfill its goal to source an additional $250 billion worth of products from the U.S. Marsiglio also invited attendees to consider attending Walmart’s next Open Call event, where manufacturers can work directly with Walmart buyers to pitch their products to the company and, ideally, get them into stores. Read more about Marsiglio’s presentation here.

One of the best attended receptions of the week was the FLiP N’Sip young professionals event, where hundreds of plastics professionals under 40 were able to relax after a day at NPE while networking with their colleagues and making the connections they need to continue their careers in plastic. Hosted by SPI’s Future Leaders in Plastics (FLiP) and SPE’s Next Generation Advisory Board (NGAB), the event also served as the venue for a joint announcement from SPI and SPE about a new student membership option that makes it even easier for students and new plastics professionals to get involved with their trade association and set them on a path to plastics success right at the start of their careers.

Young plastics professionals at the FLiP N'Sip reception.

Young plastics professionals at the FLiP N’Sip reception.

SPI’s Bioplastics Division (BPD) also honored Eastman Kodak with this year’s Innovation in Bioplastics Award on Wednesday at NPE2015 in the BPD booth in the South Hall Lobby. Eastman Kodak won for its creation of a biotoner that contains greater than 90 percent biobased and biodegradable materials, which has the potential to have a major impact on the electro-photographic printing market. Learn more about the award here and stay tuned to SPI’s website and In the Hopper blog for more news and information on Eastman Kodak and their award-winning innovation.

A crowded view of the South Hall at NPE2015.

A crowded view of the South Hall at NPE2015.

All this and so much more from NPE2015! Stay tuned to SPI’s website and to In the Hopper for more NPE highlights (and photos) in the weeks and months to come, and scroll back through SPI and NPE’s Twitter accounts for more from what was one of the most socially-networked NPEs ever. And don’t forget to mark your calendar for the next NPE! Click here to sign up for updates, and we’ll see you in Orlando in 2018. SPI thanks every attendee, sponsor and supporter for making NPE2015 a true milestone!