By Dr. Cameron Chai
SPI, a plastics industry trade association, has declared the commencement of the huge NPE2012 international plastics exposition at its new location. The NPE is being held at the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) in Orlando, Florida, from April 1 to 5, 2012. Over 1900 companies are participating in the NPE2012, which is higher when compared to the 2006 and 2009 expositions.
NPE2012 visitors will witness full-scale demonstrations of plastics processing machines manufacturing film, bottles, sheet and injection-molded components. A large number of equipment have been brought to the show by the exhibitors, this phenomenon has been termed as ‘The return of the machines’ by SPI mainly due to the recovering economy and the streamlined logistics and cost savings offered to exhibitors at New Orlando venue.
At the exposition, most of the exhibitors emphasized on maximal productivity, minimal scrap production and energy efficacy. Specific technologies such as in-mold labeling and assembly, multi-material processing and micro-molding were displayed in the show. In addition, high-volume packaging systems, automotive parts and medical devices manufacturing systems are exhibited as well.
Moreover, advancements in the bioplastics technology are given more importance along with “The Return of the Machines”. A wide range of bioplastic exhibits ranging from the production of novel compounds, additives and bio-based resins to instrument supply for processing the novel materials are included.
Furthermore, most of the materials supplying companies focused on sustainability in the exhibition. Several formulations for sustainability have been developed, which includes recyclability improvement, minimal fuel usage for automotives including ships, reduction in material amount for packaging, support for alternate energy development, such as, film-battery applications, photovoltaic and wind turbine and minimizing carbon footprints in the final products.
SPI has allotted some space for “Technology Central” at South-North Hall, OCCC, where, advances in design, cutting-edge technologies and special industrial sectors are exhibited. The “Technology Central” includes a technology theater, an international plastics design competition (IPDC) and pavilions for emerging technologies and markets.