Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

As Expected, Many Mighty Machines Roll into NPE2012

Husky H-MED injection molding machine entering NPE2012 show hall

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The theme of NPE2012, “The Return of the Machines,” today became three-dimensional reality. The freight doors of the sprawling Orange County Convention Center opened and plastics production machinery and equipment of all types began streaming in. It will all be on display when the show opens on April 2nd, following the Super Sunday events of April 1st, and much of it will be running

Most of us who will be at NPE2012 two weeks from now, exhibitors or attendees, will never see the load-in and setup that precedes a show this large. And that’s a shame folks, because it is truly amazing, bordering on the miraculous in fact, that so many machines get set up and go operational in a space of nine days. Anybody who has set up just one machine knows what a stunning achievement this is.

I am assuming you are coming to NPE2012, and that’s because I assume you are a plastics professional who intends to be part of the action as our dynamic industry moves forward. You know that whatever the future brings, plastics will be a leading player. Fortunately for you, the timing of NPE2012 could not be better. Though it is still unsteady, the economy gives cause for optimism, manufacturing is trending upward, and innovation, the catalyst of progress, is where plastics thrive.

NPE2012 is the best single resource you will find until, well, until NPE2015. The machines entering the halls today are the first of an armada made of the best in plastics production technology. The photos show injection molding technology, but by the time you read this thermoforming, extrusion, and blow molding machinery, and every type of auxiliary equipment, also have passed through the freight doors.

Like the plastics industry, NPE2012 is more than its hardware. Materials suppliers offer a strong presence at this show, and increasingly application-specific solutions. In all, over 1,900 exhibitors showing their wares are spread across nearly a million square feet of display space. When you include the areas for such seminars and presentations as the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) ANTEC 2012 Conference, SPI’s Business of Plastics Conference, and the Latin American Seminars in Spanish; the special technology and market pavilions; NPE2012 Technology Theater; the International Plastics Design Competition; five Plastics in Sports demo areas, and all the rest, close to two million square feet of opportunity awaits you.

If it’s in any way plastics-related, it’s at NPE2012, April 1st through April 5th at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL. Assuming that you are plastics-related, you’ll be there too.

Once off the flatbed trailer, the Husky H-MED AE (All Electric) shown below the headline will look like the one seen here, and be the heart of a technology-rich medical workcell running in Husky’s booth.

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.