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NPE 2015 posts unprecedented achievements
Date Published：5/7/2015 04:05:01 PM
The crowds of attendees and the noise of on-floor machine demonstrations that filled the giant exhibit halls at NPE2015 told the story better than numbers, but now there are statistics to make it official: NPE2015 was the largest show in NPE history.
Data from SPI (The Plastics Industry Trade Association, founder and producer of NPE) 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. In addition, registered attendance for NPE 2015 was 65,810 — 19% higher than the previous edition. These registrants came from 23,396 unique companies — 22% more than the 19,198 companies at NPE 2012 — representing a substantial increase in buying potential.
International participation also set new NPE records. Nearly 44% of exhibiting companies and 26% of registrants came from outside the United States. Of all exhibitors, more than 20% are from China, which led the 37 participating foreign countries. In descending order of number of exhibitors, the ten largest participating countries are China (Taiwan not included), Taiwan, Canada, Italy, Germany, India, Turkey, France, Switzerland, and South Korea. These figures don’t include many companies that are based in other countries but exhibited through their US subsidiaries.
Nearly 5,000 registrants were from Latin America alone. Besides, many Brand-owner buying teams from companies as diverse as Apple,Bayer/Medtronic, BD/Becton Dickinson, Berry Plastics, Bemis, Chrysler, Covidien, Ford, John Deere, Kimberly Clark, Mars, Newell Rubbermaid, Phillips Respironics, Tervis Tumblers, and Toro also visited the NPE2015.
SPI president and CEO William R. Carteaux acclaimed NPE 2015 as the most successful NPE by many measures. “What made NPE 2015 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,” said Mr. Carteaux. “The hundreds of machines operating on the show floor, the customer service centres provided by material suppliers, the pavilions and programmes 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.”
One of the highlights of the exhibition was the unique fashion show at the opening ceremony which featured recycled plastics where models wore creations made from recycled, reused, or repurposed plastics. The garments and accessories were designed by The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) students.
“We found the students at SCAD to be not only talented and creative, but also very involved with environmental issues,” said Brad Williams, director of marketing and sales for SPI. “Their designs are vivid demonstrations that recycled plastics can gain new lives in many forms—both as purely utilitarian goods and as objects of beauty. The Pursuing Zero Waste Fashion Show at NPE2015 added a new dimension to our industry mandate to reduce, reuse, and recycle the valuable materials that make up our products.”
The next edition, NPE2018, will take place on May 7-11, 2018 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.
Automation gains in plastics manufacturing
“It’s your choice to be a winner!” is the motto of ENGEL at NPE2015. Presenting eight innovative applications, the injection moulding machine manufacturer and system supplier demonstrated how the specific requirements of five industrial branches—automotive, packaging, medical, teletronics and technical moulding—can be realised with efficient and economical injection moulding solutions.
The highlights at the ENGEL’s booth included the first composite brake pedal manufactured in a one-shot process, the new high-performance ENGEL e-speed machine, the particularly dynamic ENGEL e-pic Pick & Place robot , as well as innovative service tools for an even higher level of process security and machine availability.
“The plastics industry in North America continues on a course of growth. In particular, there is an increasing demand for innovative techniques and economic solutions for high-performance applications. This trend can be reflected in our exhibits at NPE2015.”so said Friedrich Mairhofer, Product Manager of All-Electric Injection Moulding Machine. “We also see automation, integrated automation growing very fast in China so we will attend the Chinaplas2015 in May in China.”
Siemens presented latest solutions
At this year’s NPE, Siemens showcased various automation, drives, motion control solutions and plant communications enhancements for the plastics industry and related end-user markets. Many visitors came to the booth to experience demonstrations of the developments from Siemens.
Craig Nelson, Product Manager, Motion Control Systems at Digital Factory Division, presented the highlights on the motion control systems for plastics machinery: Whether for blow moulding, extrusion or injection machines — or moving parts, materials and machine components, Siemens offers the plastics industry complete hardware and software solutions for motion control from a single vendor. In blow moulding, the parison control package provides machine builders 256 points for linear interpolation, saving machine designers considerable programming, setup and integration time. For injection, all speeds, pressures and up to 24 zones of temperature control can run on a single Siemens programmable logic controller (PLC).
Siemens also presented many other solutions for plastics industry, like industrial ethernet connectivity, automation solutions for extruders, Totally Integrated Operations (TIA) and TIA Portal, Energy-Efficient Servo Pump Technology.
The most dynamic MuCell demonstrations
At NPE 2015, Trexel had the world premiere of its newly developed T-100 Series. The Trexel T-100 Series SCF (Super Critical Fluid) Delivery System is a state-of-the-art gas delivery and dosing system based on Trexel’s patented technology, and built to the most stringent industrial standards. The system is specifically designed for small shot size moulding applications of < 140gr. / 5 oz.
Meantime, Trexel showcased the most dynamic live demonstration of its MuCell technology at a show in the company's history. There were a variety of project part samples that benefit greatly from MuCell technology – such as running shoes, packaging and automotive parts. Stephan Braig , President and CEO, said Mucell can boast high part dimensional stability with significant weight and costs savings, as well as improve the design flexibility.
Adding value to consumer goods
The unique balance of attributes of Eastman Tritan™ copolyester is valued by every customer since it was launched in 2008. It provides aesthetic and functional advantages compared with other clear thermoplastics such as polycarbonate (PC), clarified polypropylene, styrenic copolymers, and acrylics.
“Well-known companies have been using Eastman Tritan™ copolyester for years, and it’s time we empower consumers to make purchasing decisions based on the advantages the material brings to the products they purchase,” said Randy Beavers, Global Sales Director.
At NPE2015, Eastman claimed to launch a new website featuring the material Tritan™: TritanFromEastman.com. “This site educates consumers on why the material used to make the products they love really matters.”
Ultra clear PP help consumers make the choice
Milliken & Company announced highlights its Millad® NX™ 8000 clarifying technology at NPE2015. The company is expanding the use of ultra-clear polypropylene (PP) as the material of choice in thermoformed food and beverage packaging, as against traditional polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and polystyrene (PS).
Wim Van De Velde, Marketing Director - Plastics Additives, quoted a report from the Freedonia Group, “Demand for polypropylene is expected to outpace overall container resin demand growth through 2016 due to the material’s numerous advantages, as well as the continued development of polypropylene grades with improved clarity. This growth will be amplified by the increased abundance of shale gas and the propane dehydrogenation units (PDH) announced in North America coming inline during 2015-2016, leading to PP pricing stability and abundance.
“The confluence of several factors is driving the increased use of clarified PP - instead of PET and PS – in food and beverage packaging thermoformed applications,” said Cristina Acevedo, Global Product Line Manager for Millad, Plastics Additive. “Our Millad NX 8000 clarifier allows packaging manufacturers to take advantage of PP’s cost-effectiveness, high performance, microwavability, lower density and recyclability without compromising on exceptional aesthetics. Ultra-clear, thermoformed PP represents the next wave of material technology for the packaging industry.”
Millad® NX™ 8000 offers significant advantages across the entire packaging value chain: canners are able to utilize existing downstream infrastructure, as well as the same easy-open and traditional lids used with metal cans. Brand owners benefit by being able to differentiate their products at the point of purchase and consumers can easily view the quality and freshness of fruit, vegetables and other foods through the clear container.
Providing customers with superior local support
At NPE2015, Nordson Corporation introduced to US market a unified, global strategy encompassing all of the technologies in its polymer processing range, which includes four well-established and respected brands of production-line components for melting, homogenising, filtering, metering, and giving shape to plastic and fluid coating materials.
A breakthrough Nordson EDI flat-die mechanism for sheet extrusion was showcased at NPE2015. Called SmartGap™, the new, patent-pending system available only on new dies, eliminates the extended shutdowns for changes in lip components that have often been necessary when transitioning to new job runs, reducing to a matter of a few minutes changeovers that used to take two hours or more. At the same time, the SmartGap system enhances product quality and consistency, in part by keeping the lip faces and lip lands parallel while carrying out changes in thickness.
“Additionally, We have a strong local service capability. Nordson has employed a strategy of focusing more closely on the processes in which customers actually employ Nordson’s polymer processing products. Each of the sales teams in a given region is dedicated to a specific family of applications: extrusion, injection moulding, and polymerisation / compounding. ”said Kelly Harings, Global Manager, Marketing Communications-Polymer Processing Systems.
New machines for improved plastics processing
Wilmington Machinery showed off its new In-Line Multi-Clamp Intermittent Reciprocating Blow Moulding Machine at NPE. The machine is built for medium volume production of industrial, agricultural and other forms of rigid packaging. The machines produce medium/heavy wall parts at rates at up to 600 pieces an hour. Models are available for both monolayer and coex multi-layer mouldings. The company also announced that the injection moulding LUMINA Series would now include two new 500 and 750-tonne general-purpose models and one new dedicated pallet model capable of either two single decks or one double deck pallet on the same machine. The combination of two-stage extruder/accumulator injection and a configurable multi-nozzle manifold makes it possible to run one to six molds with precise filling control.
At NPE 2015, Wilmington Machinery received a highly positive response to its new machinery. The company was also impressed by the larger global audience which created opportunity to introduce its machines to important markets in Asia and South America, according to Jeff Newman, Vice President for Sales & Marketing. “Wilmington Machinery continues to expand globally as we develop new business in Asia and South America. Many global plastics processors have ideas for improving primary processing machinery and systems, yet some of these ideas are non-traditional and outside the mainstream. Wilmington Machinery has been able to help these processors develop unique, customised, proprietary machinery and systems for new applications and enhanced plastics manufacturing,” according to Mr. Newman.
Ready to explore the US market
Guangdong Liansu specialises in the development and production of different types of plastic pipe/profile extrusion equipment. It offers a complete range of plastic extrusion lines, different types of profile extrusion lines, extrusion mould for pipes and profiles, and other products.
“We have seen strong growth in North America for many professional buyers visited our booth at NPE 2015.Compared with clients from other regions, Americans or Europeans have set a very high standard on the machinery and service. They demand for stable quality for the machines and timely service，which we can achieve through our local partners,” said Huang Zhengxiong, R&D Manager.
Meeting the most demanding requirements
Since its establishment in 1999, TSP has stood for precision and been supplying tooling parts with tolerance of 0.001mm to rigorous tool users.
Roison Qiu, Project Management & Sales Director, shared that they have been supplying precision tools and inserts to leading companies from electronics, automotive and medical markets for a long time and to different countries. “Therefore, we know customers’ most demanding requirements and have the targeted solution to meet them. This is one of our biggest advantages,” he said. “Many customers came to our booth at NPE 2015, and we hope to find more opportunities in the US market,’ Mr. Qiu added.