The NPE 2018 “The Plastics Show” took place in Orlando last week, and featured professionals in the plastics industry from 128 countries, and in every field from automotive, to construction, to medical. As members of the plastic and injection molding industry, PPI found that the conference was a key event that could benefit their future success.
Some members of Team PPI attended the conference, and were able to experience the best in new technology and the future of the plastics industry. Although the conference was extensive and innovative, PPI was able to pull 5 major takeaways from the conference. These are ways that those in the plastics industry can benefit from attending NPE or other conferences.
Here are PPI’s top takeaways from NPE 2018. To learn more about what the conference offers, be sure to read this article.
The conference features industry leaders, and different zones of NPE showcased their various new innovations, zones like - 3D printing, medical parts, thermoforming, and more. No matter what sector of the industry it involved, there’s no doubt that NPE displayed the best of the best when it came to future technologies.
One of the new technologies PPI had the chance to see was Sodick’s Add/Subtract 3D printer. This innovative additive manufacturing tool can print steel - yes, steel - and it also features CNC capabilities.
Another new technology that PPI found impactful was Yushin’s 7 axis robot. Team PPI was able to teach this robot basic functions within just 5 minutes of visiting the booth.
The NPE show was comprehensive, covering everything from raw materials to finished products, and the newest products and processes in the industry. As with the robot, there were also hands-on opportunities for experiencing emerging technology, and it was probably one of the greatest affordances of actually going to the event.
PPI was able to see the company Arburg, who had a display where they were loading a design for a cup into a mold, molding the cups and removing the cups from the mold all within 1.9 seconds - a very impressive speed
Also, Canon’s booth showed off their tremendous ability to machine steel within microns. With this, they are changing the way the industry looks at texturing molds. Instead of burning in texture or using a laser to texture, Canon’s approach is machining. This method is very cost-effective when it comes to repair as they now have the ability to weld a localized area and re-machine. This saves them from trying to match textures with a laser since their machining is accurate to the micron level.
After the NPE show it’s nice to get out and network with potential suppliers and clients. As comprehensive as the conference is when it comes to plastics, it’s the perfect place to network and make connections within the industry, no matter what zones or sectors you work in.
While at NPE, Team PPI was able to take potential customers out to dinner and follow up on future business potential, including an after-hours cocktail party with a couple of key customers and partners. One event was put on by Progressive Components, who is a major supplier of tooling supplies.
NPE boasts a countless number of potential suppliers. PPI was able to get a more in-depth look at some of these suppliers and figure out if - and how - they will line up with what the company needs.
Everyone in the manufacturing industry, plastics especially, understands that continuous improvement is a critical part of becoming successful. It helps you stay up to date, and it is one of the qualities that advanced manufacturers possess. At NPE, you have a tremendous opportunity to grow and educate your business, as well as find new methods to help you advance at a successful rate. The technology and vendor booths at the conference are a comprehensive, innovative, and intelligent resource.
PPI’s overarching goal at NPE was to help facilitate their shop with the equipment needed to complete potential new orders coming their way. The NPE conference is filled with anything and everything that any company would need so fortunately, PPI came out with multiple options on how to complete the goal. Now it’s their aim to qualify and figure out which one will actually work best for their facility.