American plastics show breaks its own size record

Through the support of a surging plastics industry, NPE 2015 is said to have surpassed the largest previous NPE in exhibition space, said plastics industry association SPI, which produces the triennial NPE.

Based on the number of exhibitors thus far, booths will fill more than 106,000 sq m of exhibit space, the amount used at NPE2000, the largest NPE on the books until now. And with more companies anticipated, SPI expects an additional 930 sq m to be occupied before the show floor opens on March 23, 2015.

Exhibiting companies cite the success of the previous NPE in 2012 and the ongoing surge of the plastics industry as reasons for their strong investment in NPE2015. For equipment companies this has resulted in larger booths in which to display and operate more machines. One such company, Milacron Inc., will have 2,285 sq m of space, constituting the largest booth in NPE history. Overall, more than 600 companies will have equipment at their booths and over 400 will be operating systems.

Following are some highlights of equipment companies with the 50 largest booths:

  • Absolute Haitian will have a 25% larger booth and more machines on display than at NPE2012, said Glenn Frohring, president. Four injection muolding machines will be in operation, including a high-speed all-electric unit for cap and closure production.

  • Branson Ultrasonic will have at least 21 fully-operating materials assembly stations for a cross section of end markets, incorporating vibration, ultrasonic, laser, infrared, and spin welders.

  • Engel will have one more moulding cell than at NPE2012 and operate eight in all. One of the systems on exhibit will be for moulding a geometrically optimised, stress-resistant brake pedal based on a new process developed in partnership with ZF-Friedrichshafen. Using a vertical insert moulding machine with a multi-axis industrial robot and infrared oven, a continuous-fibre-reinforced thermoplastic semi-finished product (known as thermoplastic fabric) will be heated, preformed in a mould and immediately overmoulded with polyamide. The system produces ready-to-fit components; no cutting is necessary.

  • KraussMaffei Group has taken a bigger booth than in 2012 to demonstrate a broader range of innovations. Its KraussMaffei brand will include a process combining injection moulding and thermoforming of composite sheets. At the booth, the company will produce glass-reinforced nylon airbag housings in cycle times of 45 seconds. Showcasing the Netstal brand will be a moulding line producing 44-oz stadium cups and another producing 16-oz containers with cycles of 5.5 seconds on a 4 + 4 cavity mould.

  • Sumitomo (SHI) Demag will demonstrate nine machines, including one with which the company will attempt to beat the world speed record for production of water bottle caps. The machine will be running a 96-cavity hot runner mould. “Each hour, the machine will be producing over 180,000 lightweight 1.3-g HDPE water bottle caps with tamper-evident band moulded by mechanical slides,” said vice president and COO John F. Martich III. “The sub-two-second cycle, the waterfall of 96 caps out of the mould, and the caps literally flying by on the IMDvista vision inspection system— it will definitely draw a crowd.”

  • UBE Machinery will show more equipment at NPE2015 due to the “great attendance and excellent response to NPE2012,” said David Bernardi, senior sales and marketing manager. Shown in operation, dry-cycling the clamp in 4 seconds, will be a 1,000-tonne, fully servo hydraulic moulding machine, equipped with a SmartHeat barrel from Nordson Xaloy, that offers 70% savings in electricity.

  • Wittmann Battenfeld has expanded its total show footprint by 10% over NPE2012, said David Preusse, president. Shown in operation will be fully integrated, turnkey injection moulding cells. Also new will be a smartphone app that enables moulders to monitor the status of all of their production cells and robots.

  • Yushin America will have about 30% more space than in 2012 and double the number of injection moulding machine, said Ronald Bryant, equipment sales manager.

NPE will take place Monday through Friday, March 23-27, 2015, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. The trade show portion will include 2,000 exhibitors on over 93,000 sq m of space. NPE2015 will host over 60,000 industry professionals from 120 countries.

Founded in 1937, SPI promotes growth in the US$380 billion US plastics industry. Representing nearly 900,000 American workers in the third largest US manufacturing industry, SPI delivers legislative advocacy, market research, industry promotion, and the fostering of business relationships and zero waste strategies. SPI also owns and produces the international NPE trade show. All profits from NPE are reinvested into SPIs industry services.


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