PT Blog

Once again, I had the pleasure of attending a pre-K show event in Belgium organized by the international communication consultancy EMG. It was one of several such events which take place every three years just a few months ahead of each K show. Our group of trade media attendees was treated to an interesting excursion to Antwerp, Europe’s second largest shipping port. It included a tour of a previously derelict fire station which was repurposed, renovated and extended into a new headquarters for the port, as well as a lovely dinner boat ride.

Presentations from seven key materials and additives suppliers gave us a pretty good glimpse of what to expect at K 2019. As is the case with my colleagues who attended other such events that included leading equipment and other materials suppliers, sustainability and the circular economy were dominant themes at the Belgium event. As you can see by each company’s highlights below, in addition to some introductions of recycled content materials and other sustainable products, there are new advancements in materials and additives designed to meet emerging and growing technologies such as electrification of vehicles.

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Manufacturing Looks To a New Generation for Employees

Generation Z—adults aged 18 to 22—are more likely to have had manufacturing suggested to them as a career path compared to previous generations and are more open to entering industry than their older peers. Those findings and more are from a survey conducted by Leading2Lean (L2L).

Its 2019 L2L Manufacturing Index, an annual survey of the American public’s perceptions of U.S. manufacturing, found that adults in Generation Z are 19% more likely to have had a counselor, teacher or mentor suggest they look into manufacturing as a career compared to the general population. By comparison, 32% of Generation Z has had manufacturing suggested as a career option, compared to only 18% of Millennials and 13% of the general population.

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Extrusion 2019 Conference: Come to Learn About Extrusion Best Practices

In my last blog I explained why more and more processors have registered to attend the Plastics Technology Extrusion Conference since the event was launched in 2015: To Learn.

The Extrusion Conference is the only conference of its type: sessions devoted to general extrusion—issues that pertain to all extrusion processors regardless of what comes out of their die—coupled with breakout sessions on specific kinds of extrusion: Film, Sheet, Pipe/Profile/Tubing and Compounding.

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Under the shadow of spreading bans of single-use plastic products and growing public concern over “ocean plastics” pollution, the dominant theme at this October’s K 2019 show in Dusseldorf, Germany, will be recycling, under the currently fashionable label of “Circular Economy.”

Visitors will hear plenty about this, to be sure, from suppliers of materials and additives, and builders of machinery for reclamation of waste plastics.

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The Extrusion 2019 Conference: Where the Industry Comes to Learn

So why have processors registered to attend the Plastics Technology Extrusion Conference in increasing numbers every year since the event was launched in 2015?

Two words: To LearnSince we started the Extrusion Conference in 2015 in Charlotte, N.C., attendance has climbed every year. Last year’s event drew a total of 573 people; more than 320 of those were extrusion processors (the rest were speakers and exhibitors) who paid hard-earned money to listen to presentations by the industry’s thought leaders so that they could learn—there’s that word again—how to run their operation more effectively.

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