Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

Looking Forward to Jon Huntsman, Jr.’s NPE2012 Keynote Address

It is fortunate that Jon Huntsman, Jr. was able to accept SPI’s invitation to deliver the keynote address at the Opening Gala of the NPE2012 international plastics expo on April 1st in Orlando, FL. Rarely does a person suit his assignment so well, his roots in the plastics business being but one among many reasons to say that. (The Washington Post enjoyed SPI’s choice of Huntsman as well!)

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Jon Huntsman, Jr.

Jon Huntsman, Jr., will be the keynote speaker at the Opening Gala of NPE2012 on April 1st in Orlando, FL.

He has been active since 1981 in the chemicals and plastics business of Huntsman Corporation, the company founded by his father, Jon Huntsman, Sr., in 1970. He held the post of CEO for some time and currently is a member of the board of directors.

Huntsman is a plastics industry insider then, but he also is much more. His skills and experience span global commerce, international trade alliances, mission critical diplomacy, and political governance. What is most interesting is that every aspect of his multifaceted career in some way touches the daily lives of the plastics industry professionals that will form his audience that evening.

His most recent diplomatic posting as U.S. ambassador to China is vitally relevant, of course. Previous to his Beijing posting he also served as ambassador to Singapore and held appointments of increasing responsibility from four U.S. presidents. During his tenure as U.S. Trade Ambassador, one of several U.S. Dept. of Commerce posts, he negotiated or brokered dozens of trade agreements, including those with China, Taiwan, and India.

Huntsman’s role in the 2001 global trade negotiations in Doha, Qatar was a critical one, guiding the entry of both Taiwan and China into the World Trade Organization. With Chinese and Taiwanese leaders in the same room, the highest level of diplomacy was essential. Surely it helped that Huntsman had lived in Asia several times in his life and is fluent in Mandarin Chinese.

He is often addressed as Governor Huntsman, an honor given to him twice by the citizens of Utah. He was a founder of the Pacific Council on International Policy and held senior positions at the Brookings Institute, Center for Strategic and International Studies Pacific Forum, Asia Society, and National Bureau of Asian Research.

All that is more than enough reason to expect an outstanding keynote address, but Gov. Huntsman has another very particular reason to inspire the audience in Orlando.

The Opening Gala is a formal event that, besides the keynote address, includes a reception, banquet, and the induction ceremony honoring ten new members of the Plastics Hall of Fame. Jon Huntsman, Sr. was inducted into the Plastics Hall of Fame during NPE 1994. I don’t know for certain that Jon Huntsman, Sr. will be in the audience, but I will call it likely. Father and son have good cause to celebrate each other’s achievements.

More reasons to celebrate: SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association is celebrating its 75th anniversary, and the Plastics Hall of Fame is celebrating its 40th anniversary. See you in Orlando!

P.S. A complete schedule of NPE2012 events can be found at The opening gala takes place at the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel near the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, from 6:00 to 9:45 p.m. on April 1, 2012. For individual or group ticket sales and sponsorships, contact Tiffany Freud at or 1-202-416-4653.

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

Have a Ball at NPE2012: World Champion of Plastics Industry Trade Shows!


SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association has ”flipped the switch” over at the NPE2012 web site and the “Registration” button for NPE2012 is now “live.” Plastics professionals worldwide can now register online to attend a plastics exposition that will be bigger and better than previous NPEs. It will also be markedly different in the following ways:

  • Instead of the traditional NPE dates in late June, NPE2012 will occur on April 1-5, 2012.
  • The show will take place in Orlando, Florida, at  the Orange County Convention Center after 40 years in Chicago.
  • The show will start on a Sunday for the first time. The event-filled “Super Sunday” on April 1 will consist of 14 hours of back-to-back activities, including technical sessions, panel discussions, networking events, an industry golf tournament, and an evening Opening Gala.

As a sports fan, I am partuicularly excited about NPE2012′s “Plastics in Sports” exhibits and demonstration areas!  Plastics technology plays an important role in the safety, protection, performance and enjoyment of sports. From the evolution of the golf ball, to the science and technology behind building race cars, to protecting baseball players and football combatants from injury. At NPE2012, the ”Plastics in Sports” exhibits and demonstrations will showcase the impact of plastics in the sporting world in an interactive way that will feature the entire plastics industry supply chain and allow attendees the opportunity to participate. There will be five “Plastics in Sports” areas of focus: Golf, Contact Sports, Playing Surfaces, Sportswear and Active Sports.

Of course, chief among the events and programs making up NPE2012 is the world-scale NPE trade show, comprised of 2,000 exhibiting companies on 1-million sq.ft. of exhibit space and demonstrating more running machinery than ever before! And don’t forget the educational programs – SPE’s ANTEC® 2012, SPI’s Business of Plastics conference, and theLatin American Seminar en Español, produced by Publicar-B2Bportales. Take all that, and then add in the 2nd International Plastics Design Competition and at least a dozen multi-exhibitor technology pavilions, and it is no wonder that…

NPE2012 is the World Champion of Plastics Industry Trade Shows! 

Register Now!

Monday, November 1st, 2010

SPI and NPE2012: Making News at the K-Show

As I wrote about two weeks ago, SPI team members have been out and about over the last few days at the K-Show in Düsseldorf, Germany kicking off  SPI’s own international plastics showcase, NPE2012, in a grand style!  Hundreds of K-Show attendees turned out for the NPE2012 Reception to meet with show leaders and learn more about the new venue — the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) in Orlando, Florida.  And there has even been some breaking news made at other SPI-hosted events. 

At a media breakfast, in addition to unveiling the NPE2012 “Breaking the Mold” marketing campaign, SPI officially announced that the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) will co-locate the 2012 edition of its ANTEC® technical conference with NPE2012. ANTEC is the world’s largest plastics technical conference.  NPE2012 will take place April 1-5, 2012.  Both ANTEC 2012 and the NPE trade show will begin on Monday April 2. (SPI’s  own “Business of Plastics” educational program will be held on April 1.)  In addition to the traditional conference sessions, SPE will organize poster sessions on the NPE show floor in the South Hall of the OCCC. 

In a well-attended presentation given on October 28, SPI President Bill Carteaux cited new 2009 statistics released by SPI that indicate that the U.S. plastics industry remains one of the largest manufacturing sectors in the United States and its trade surplus continues to grow. During his presentation, Carteaux told K-Show attendees:

“While our industry’s number of facilities and employees has declined in recent years, U.S. plastics companies today have remained competitive through innovation, more sophisticated technology, smart efficiency and a strategic focus on developing new markets overseas. This explains why, at a time when the trade balance for all U.S. manufacturing was declining, the plastics industry trade surplus continues to increase substantially.”

Immediately after his presentation, Carteaux was interviewed by media outlets — including the K-Show’s own TV reporter (see the video above).

To keep up with all the latest NPE2012 news, photos and videos, check the NPE2012 web site and be sure to also “Like” the NPE page on Facebook!

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

“It’s K Time”…for NPE2012!

Plastics industry companies are gearing up to take part in K 2010 next week. More commonly referred to as “the K-Show,” the  international plastics trade fair will be held October 27 – November 3 in Düsseldorf, Germany.  “It’s K Time” is the show’s official tag line and, ironically, that means it is also time for everyone involved in staging NPE2012 to shift into a higher gear! 

That’s right.  SPI will use the occasion of K 2010 to officially kick-off NPE2012 — the largest plastics technology exposition in the Western Hemisphere and the world’s largest plastics technical conference set to take place April 1-5, 2012 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. This is a new location and venue for NPE after more than 40 years in Chicago.

At an October27 press conference at the K-Show in Düsseldorf, SPI will unveil some exciting new plans for NPE2012, as well as its  “Breaking the Mold” marketing campaign for the show. “Breaking the Mold“ marks NPE’s exiting new beginning in Orlando and highlights the new benefits that NPE2012 will offer to exhibitors and attendees — including substantial cost savings, travel advantages, more exhibits of working machinery and a more “user-friendly” experience.  A key part of the campaign message is “Reshape the Future of Plastics,” highlighting the role of NPE2012 as a showcase for technological innovation and a catalyst for industry transformation 

On October 29, SPI will host an “NPE2012 Reception at K-Show” where industry leaders will  gather for refreshments and networking as a celebratory official  kick-off for the NPE2012 show. Guests will have the opportunity to speak with SPI President Bill Carteaux, Senior Vice President of Trade Shows Gene Sanders, NPE2012 Chairman John Effman and other NPE organizers  and learn about the show’s new venue at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando.  

SPI is also sponsoring two U.S. Pavilions at the K-Show –  one for machinery and one for materials – that will enable approximately 50 American companies to showcase their technologies to an international audience.  SPI will also have its own NPE2012 exhibit marking the opening of booth space and attendee marketing for its own international plastics exposition.

It may still be 17 months before NPE2012 opens its doors, but since “It’s K Time,” the excitement for NPE2012 begins building in earnest now! Next stop: The NPE2012 Space Draw in January.

Sunday, July 11th, 2010

Flexible Vinyl World Comes to Virginia this Week…and to NPE in 2012

I’m starting out this week in a world of flexible vinyl. Actually, I’m at the Lansdowne Conference Center in Virginia where the flexible vinyl products world is convening July 11-13 for the preeminent conference for the vinyl industry: SPI’s Flexible Vinyl Products 21st Annual Compounding Conference. Combining business and technical programming, this event has attracted more than 125 attendees who will hear presentations from technical experts conducting cutting-edge research, business leaders providing strategy and market guidance and legislative and regulatory speakers with the latest from the nation’s capital and around the world.

And there’s some breaking news already! I had the opportunity to sit in on the SPI Flexible Vinyl Products Committee‘s  Executive Committee Meeting this morning and a very exciting development came about concerning NPE2012. But more on that below…

This week’s conference is hosted by SPI’s Flexible Vinyl Products Committee (FVPC), part of the association’s Material Suppliers Council. The FVPC works for the benefit of all companies within the flexible vinyl industry regardless of end market application – and, because of the material’s many advantages, that is an enormous amount of applications!  Because flexible vinyl is inexpensive, durable, safe, easily processed and recyclable, it is appealing to product manufacturers and ideally suited to myriad uses.  From construction (such as flooring and roofing) to life-saving medical products (such as blood/intravenous fluid bags, cardiac catheters, endotracheal tubing) to packaging (food wrap, container lids) to wire and cable and a vast variety of automotive uses, flexible vinyl makes modern life better.

Topics to be presented and discussed here in Virginia over the next two days include the latest research on new materials, optimizing product quality using new lab tools, global updates concerning the resin and plasticizer markets, and presentations concerning product de-selection issues and the ways in which science and statistics are used (and sometimes abused) by the media. Rebecca Obniski, a chemistry and music double-major at the College of William and Mary will present a paper on “New Metal-Based Smoke Suppressants and Fire Retardants for Flexible PVC.”  Veteran industry insider William Carroll, vice president for industry issues, Occidental Chemical Company, will reflect on his experiences in the plastics industry and his perspective on the future.  A number of  SPI staff experts will be on hand to deliver the latest news on the legislative front, REACH and Walmart’s retailer sustainability initiatives.

Speaking of news, this morning the FVPC Executive Committee preliminarily signed off on having a pavilion devoted to flexible vinyl products at NPE2012 in Orlando. Similar to successful specialty pavilions staged at NPE2009 that were devoted to fluoropolymers, thermoformers and TPE elastomers,  an “FVP World” pavilion would provide the flexible vinyl products community with a platform to discuss advancements in technology, educate participants and highlight member companies and organizations in a unified and organized format.  “FVP World” would be part of  NPE Technology Central in the Orange County Convention Center’s South Hall.  At this morning’s meeting, SPI President Bill Carteaux brought up this idea to FVPC leadership, saying, “We invite flexible vinyl products companies to host FVP World at NPE2012, and provide this opportunity to your members, suppliers and their customers to see and hear what’s new in flexible vinyl.” Needless to say, the FVPC Executive Committee liked the idea! Stay tuned for more details.