Molder PMT Named Manufacturer of the Year

By: James Callari 2. July 2014

Plastic Molding Technology Inc. (PMT) was named was named Manufacturer of the Year at the 10th Annual Manufacturing Leadership Summit, held June 6, in Palm Beach, Fla. The El Paso, Tex. injection molder was named the top honoree among companies with revenues of less than $1 billion, and also received the Operational Leadership Award and the Sustainability Leadership Award.


PMT was selected based on its development and implementation of transformative projects that demonstrated innovation and best practices. PMT earned the Operational Leadership Award for its commitment to wide-ranging continuous improvement programs, which have yielded measurable results and contributed positively to quality, service, and overall company performance. PMT’s ongoing sustainability initiative has focused on reducing energy consumption and operational waste through various strategies, including the development of proprietary technologies that reduce the amount of electricity used by molding presses.


 “We are honored to receive these awards, which reflect positively on the entire plastics industry as well as our many PMT team members, who helped develop and implement the programs that earned us this recognition,” said Charles A. Sholtis, PMT’s CEO and owner (pictured). “These honors simply reinforce that the plastics industry is at the forefront of best practices in manufacturing.”


PMT was nominated by IQMS, Paso Robles, Calif., whose enterprise resource planning software solutions were said to have helped to power the injection molder’s initiatives related to both continuous improvement and sustainability.  


amerimold marks record event

1. July 2014

A record 2,919 registrants representing 41 states and 29 countries participated in the amerimold tradeshow and technical conference, organized by Plastics Technology publisher, Gardner Business Media, Inc..


Held at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, Mich., amerimold’s included more than 135 exhibitors displaying products and services used for injection molding as well as designing, building, and maintaining molds.


The 2014 technical conference consisted of three mold-making central tasks: engineer, build, and maintain. More than 50 industry experts presented on topics ranging from mold design and additive manufacturing to automated die/mold machining and advanced mold maintenance.


The 2014 event, included the introduction of Thermoplastic Composites Conference for Automotive (TCC Auto). Presented by CompositesWorld and Plastics Technology, the debut technical conference connected automotive manufacturers, advanced materials companies and injection molders, discussing trends for automobile light weighting and cost reduction.


Two annual amerimold traditions provided networking offerings at this year’s event. The “Top 10 Reasons to Be a Moldmaker,” were announced onsite via a limited edition “Top 10” t-shirt. On the event’s opening evening, attendees and exhibitors came together at the annual Leadtime Leader Award ceremony and networking reception.


amerimold will co-locate with Molding 2015 at Rosemont, IL’s Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, June 17-18, 2015. Earlier this year, Gardner announced the acquisition of the Molding conference earlier this year from Executive Conference Management.

Do You Have Your NPE2015 Hotel Booked Yet?

1. July 2014

Registered attendees can reserve rooms at special low rates for NPE2015, and if you haven’t registered yet (one more to-do item to check off), you can do so at Just click on the “Register to Attend” button.


Organized by SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association, NPE is a triennial international plastics exposition to be held March 23-27, 2015 in Orlando at the Orange County Convention Center. This will be the second iteration of the show in Orlando after it executed a successful and well-received move from Chicago in 2012.


SPI believes NPE2015 will be the largest plastics industry event in 2015, with the trade show portion to include 2,000 exhibitors spread out over more than 1 million-ft2 (93,000 m2) of exhibit space.


Why should you book your room now? SPI is expecting the show to attract more than 60,000 industry professionals from 120 countries. Plastics professionals will come not only for the exposition, but also several co-located events, including the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) ANTEC 2015 technical conference; SPI’s Business of Plastics conference; a Spanish-language seminar; the new NPE3D exhibition and conference about 3D printing; the Zero Waste Zone; and other special programs.


Orlando’s hotels boast an inventory exceeding 115,000 rooms, which sounds like and is a lot, but those hotels are also experiencing higher and higher booking rates. According to Visit Orlando’s Metro Orlando Annual Lodging Industry Results, hotels located on International Drive, where many of the Orange County Convention Center hotels are located, occupancy rates in 2013 were up 1.4% over 2012, to 71.6%.


That compares to 62.3% for the U.S. and 67.0% for all of Florida. Convention and business occupancy rates rose 2.0% in 2013, from 70.2% to 71.6%. The average daily rate for International Drive rose by 2.6% in 2013, from $109.03 to $111.84. That’s a smaller increase than the national rate, which rose 3.9% to $110.35 and the rate for all of Florida, which jumped 4.6% to $118.46.


Orlando had 59 million visitors in 2013, setting an all-time record for U.S. destinations, according to Visit Orlando. The record-breaking year reflected a 3% increase over the previous high water mark set in 2012. Orlando International Airport’s passenger traffic, however, was essentially flat in 2013, slipping 1.0 percent from 2012 levels to 34.9 million.


NPE bump
In 2012, when NPE first moved to Orlando, Orange County Convention Center Convention and Tradeshow attendance jumped 8.7% to 1.316 million. It dropped by 5.5% in 2013 to 1.244 million, but through the start of 2014, was tracking 4.9% higher and will no doubt get a nice NPE bump once again in 2015.


Book through the NPE2015 housing office
By booking your room through the NPE2015 Housing Office (Expovision), SPI notes that attendees will receive the following benefits:


  • The guaranteed lowest rates for the dates of the show—negotiated exclusively for show attendees and exhibitors
  • Automatic adjustment if rates drop after you make your reservation
  • Complimentary shuttle service between your hotel and the Orange County Convention Center

SPI notes that attendees should know all reservations require a deposit equal to the first night’s rate plus tax. Shuttle buses will run between NPE2015 designated hotels and the Orange County Convention Center on Monday, March 23 – Thursday, March 26 from 7:30 am to 10:30 am and 3:30 pm to 6:30 pm. On Friday, March 27, the shuttles will run from 7:30 am to 10:30 am and 1:30 pm to 4:30pm.  


Hotel scams
SPI is warning potential show goers to “be wary” when they book lodging, noting that hotel room scams are on the rise in Orlando. Per SPI:


Visit Orlando has reported hundreds of complaints from tradeshow managers regarding exhibitors and attendees who booked rooms through a “3rd party room broker” and ended up at sold out hotels with no reservations and no recourse for the payment of rooms. The Official NPE2015 Housing Office (EXPOVISION) requires only a one night room plus tax deposit without any contracts to secure hotel room reservations.


New Study Finds Plastic Bag Bans Have Had Reverse Effects

By: Lilli Manolis Sherman 25. June 2014

A new study from the Reason Foundation--a public policy think tank that promotes choice, competition, and a dynamic market economy, assessed the environmental and economic effects of grocery bag bans. The findings may be surprising to the bans’ proponents who claim benefits such as a reduction in litter and other environmental impacts, ranging from resource use to emission of greenhouse gases, to a reduction of municipal costs for litter removal and waste collection. 


Using the best data available, “How Green Is That Grocery Bag Ban”, investigated the claims of proponents of such ordinances, which have been passed in about 190 municipalities in the U.S. within the last 15 years, imposing bans, fees and/or taxes on plastic grocery (HDPE) bags.  The findings include:


• Such bans have had nearly no impact on the amount of litter generated. In fact, plastic bag litter constitutes only 0.6% of visible litter across the U.S. So, even banning all plastic bags would have little impact on overall litter. Moreover, it accounts for less than 1% of visible litter items in storm drains, so it does not pose a flood threat.


• Plastic bags have had no discernible impact on the amount of plastic in the ocean or on the number of marine animals harmed by debris.


• There is no evidence of a reduction in waste collections costs.


• Some alternative bags appear to be superior to lightweight plastic on some environmental measures, such as use of energy and emissions of greenhouse gases. But that is true only if those bags are reused a sufficient number of times—ranging from six to 30 or more, depending on the bag. In practice, households do not typically reuse their bags enough to achieve those gains. At actual reuse rates, plastic bags result in about half the energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions of alternative bags.


• There is likely an adverse health effect from people failing to wash bacteria-ridden reusable bags, the use of which may increase as a result of restrictions on the distribution of other bag types.


• The cost of plastic bag bans fall disproportionally on the poor.


The World Cup…of plastics

25. June 2014

Germany's plastics and rubber machinery manufacturers have revised their expectations for 2014 downward, technically cutting them in half from 6 to 3 percent growth. That said, the sector, which remains the world’s largest still expects business to top Euro 7 billion, breaking that barrier for the first time ever. Further growth is anticipated in 2015, with sales forecast to rise 4 percent to just below Euro 7.3 billion.


Germany’s Plastics and Rubber Machinery Association (VDMA) announced the revision in mid June, noting that the sector is coming off record growth and exports in 2013. Russia, and its political difficulties, remain a drag, with performance hard to predict for what had been the third largest sales market for VDMA members, trailing only China and the U.S. (more on their equipment sector performances here and here). Those countries remain a bright spot, and an important one, with business in Brazil, Turkey, India, as well as Russia described as “markedly negative” by VDMA.


Germany’s exports of plastics and rubber machinery posted a small gain in their share of global exports. According to the data, almost 25 percent of all machines exported (24.5) were manufactured in Germany. China ranks second at 12.3 percent, followed by Japan (9.9 percent) and Italy (9.1 percent).


Italy’s plastics machinery and molds association, Assocomaplast, captured the sector’s struggles in its March summary of 2013, entitled “The Sector Is Holding, In Spite of Everything”. In 2013, production, exports, imports, and the domestic market were all down. There was, however, a slight positive trade balance, as overall production slipped from Euro 4 billion to Euro 3.9 billion.


Overall, imports fell 5.6% from Euro 625 million to Euro 590 million, while domestic demand fell 5.4% from Euro 2.050 billion to Euro 1.940 billion. Exports were fueled by injection molding machine demand, where sales jumped 32% to more than Euro 126 million, while exports of extrusion and blow molding machines shrank. Tooling, which accounts for the largest portion of exports with a 25% share, held steady.


The top five export markets remained unchanged from 2012, led by Germany (Euro 365 million), France (Euro 145 million), U.S. (Euro 143 million), Poland (Euro 125 million), and China (Euro 121 million).  


In an survey, one third of Assocomaplast members expected business to increase in 2014, while 46% anticipated “stability”.  At least in January, order levels were “virtually identical” to month- and year-prior levels.


The British Plastics Federation (BPF) also surveyed its member companies regarding expectations for 2014.  The respondents, comprised 66 percent by processors, were largely optimistic. Nearly three quarters (73 percent) anticipated an increase in U.K. sales in 2014, up from 67 percent in June 2013, and 55 percent at the start of last year.


Of the respondents, 21 percent thought 2014 would be flat compared to 2013, with only 6 percent forecasting a decrease. Nearly half (49 percent) believed profitability would be up in 2014, with the greatest optimism coming from injection molders, rotational molders, recyclers, and masterbatch and machinery suppliers.


Machinery markets were mixed for Japan in 2013, according to the Association of Japan Plastics Machinery (JPM). Production of injection molding machines fell to a three-year low in 2013, dropping 6.5% to 10,765. Extruders rose 9% to 464 units, while blow molding machines had their best result in more than 8 years, rising 8.2% to 645 units.


Germany’s VDMA called out Brazil as an area of lackluster growth, but for what it’s worth, the host of the 2014 World Cup was bullish on plastics in 2014. Jose Ricardo Roriz Coelho, president of the country’s plastics association, ABIPLAST, forecast growth in plastics production (+8 percent), jobs (+2 percent), and consumption (+9 percent), with imports, exports, and the trade deficit in transformed plastics all expected to expand.

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