Plastics Show will be Bigger and Better than Previous Despite Economy

In defiance of a worldwide economic crisis, NPE2009 has arrived with an unprecedented array of opportunities for attendees to strengthen competitiveness, create new customer values, and forge strategies to meet - and move beyond - today's business challenges, it was announced by SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association, which produces the triennial NPE exposition.

NPE2009 surpasses any previous NPE for the sheer breadth of discovery available to industry professionals, who can not only visit the world-scale NPE trade show but also attend any of a range of special programs and co-located events. Among these are ANTEC 2009, the world's largest plastics technical conference; MoldMaking Expo, a premiere conference and trade show for moldmakers; and SPI's own Business of Plastics Conference, a new kind of event focusing on strategy and best practices.

Also contributing to the uniqueness of NPE2009 is the wide range of emerging technologies to be presented in exhibits and conferences. While NPE has always been a showplace for innovation, there is an added dimension at NPE2009 resulting from a multitude of new technologies that address four of the plastics industry's timeliest concerns: sustainability, bioplastics, nanotechnology, and energy.

"NPE2009 is the product of a comprehensive plan by SPI to provide a new kind of NPE experience by creating a multifaceted event, broader in scope and richer in content than ever before," said William R. (Bill) Carteaux, president and CEO of SPI. "While we could not have anticipated that this dramatically expanded NPE would take place amidst the deepest economic

downturn since SPI founded the event in 1946, it now seems clear that the timing is exactly right for NPE2009 to serve as a catalyst for industry resurgence."

World-Scale Trade Show, Plus Multiple Co-Locations and Special Programs

The core event at NPE2009 is the traditional NPE trade show, this year with 1,600 exhibitors on 900,000 sq.ft. (84,000 sq.m). One-fourth of exhibiting companies are participating in an NPE for the first time.

Even a show this great, however, is just a part of the NPE2009 experience. "Some of the world's largest plastics trade shows have no educational component, and others, including past NPEs, have been accompanied by a single educational program of modest size," noted Gene Sanders, SPI's senior vice president in charge of trade shows. "By contrast, NPE2009 is the largest concentration of plastics events ever held, including multiple conferences with a cumulative total of nearly a thousand wide-ranging, professionally developed presentations, plus an array of innovative special programs like our International Plastics Design Competition."

The co-located events and special programs at NPE2009 include:

  • Antec 2009. Produced by the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE), this year's edition of the annual technical conference includes 738 original, peer-reviewed technical presentations. SPE will also offer twelve of its in-depth seminars for professional training.
  • The Business of Plastics. This SPI program includes 118 presentations on business strategy, best corporate practices, trade and environmental issues, and emerging technologies, plus a "Student Summit" designed for the industry professionals of tomorrow.
  • MoldMaking Expo 09. Produced by Gardner Publications' MoldMaking Technology magazine, this event consists of a conference with 31 technical sessions and a trade show with 131 exhibitors.
  • Time Compression Expo. This is the inaugural edition of a Gardner Publications event focusing on rapid product development. It includes two plant tours, 13 technical presentations, an exposition with 27 exhibitors, and a full-day presentation on rapid manufacturing technologies by 3D Systems.
  • El Seminario para Profesionales Latinoamericanos. Conducted in Spanish, this 3-day event is produced by B2B Portales, publisher of Tecnología del Plástico and Conversión magazines, and includes presentations on sustainability, packaging, and value-added molding.
  • PET Strategies Plus. Produced by Packaging Strategies, this conference opens with a keynote presentation by a Coca Cola company representative that is open to all NPE2009 attendees and held in the Technology Theater in the West Hall of McCormick Place. Subsequently the conference includes 14 technical presentations and two panel discussions.
  • Plastic Substrates Coatings Conference. Produced by the Federation of Societies for Coatings Technology (FSCT), the event includes five technical presentations.
  • International Plastics Design Competition (IPDC). Organized by SPI's Alliance for Plastics Processors (APP), the competition has attracted product entries by 41 designers, processors, suppliers, and OEMS. Thousands of visitors to the competition website have voted for a People's Choice Award, which will be presented, along with awards from a panel of judges, at a special event on Wednesday evening of NPE week. Product entries are on display at the IPDC pavilion in the West Hall.
  • Specialty Pavilions. A total of 120 exhibitors are taking part in eight pavilions in the West Hall: Compressed Air, Contract Manufacturers, Emerging Technologies, Fluoropolymers, New Technologies, North American Moldmakers, Thermoforming, and TPEs and Elastomers.
  • Technology Theater. Located in Booth W113017, this facility will feature 17 pre-scheduled presentations on new technologies, sustainability, and other topics, offered free to all NPE2009 visitors.

Other special programs include the SPI Presidents Lunch, a Policy Makers Discussion by lawmakers, a "speed interview" session for students, and the Plastics Hall of Fame banquet and induction ceremony, with U.S. football celebrity Mike Ditka as keynote speaker.

Emerging Technologies Play a Prominent Role at NPE2009

In the Emerging Technologies Pavilion, 25 companies and organizations have exhibits relating to sustainability, bioplastics, nanotechnology, and energy, but this is just one part of the broad role played by these technologies and issues at NPE2009.

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