Monday, October 19, 2015

Industry Flocks to 17th Annual SPE Automotive TPO Conference

Americhem enjoyed a key role in this year’s SPE TPO Automotive Conference, held annually in Detroit. Our speaker, color expert Rick Mathew, helped kick off the conference on Sunday, Oct. 4, with an opening address/workshop on colors for TPO. Rick touched on numerical versus visual color tolerancing and creating color harmony between automotive TPO materials and other polymers, including polypropylene. This session was very well attended, with an estimated 50 conference participants in attendance. This is particularly noteworthy since the address occurred on Sunday evening, the evening before most of the conference activities were to commence. 

We got a lot of good feedback on the presentation, and a number of people stopped to tell me how entertaining and engaging Rick was. They also mentioned how his address made them think differently about color representation. The SPE board also appreciated our contributions and would like us to contribute similar content to next year’s conference.

As far as the conference itself, the attendance was the best I’ve seen in my years of participation. In particular, Monday’s programming was attended by a large throng, the best one day attendance I’ve seen at the conference. The receptions and other networking opportunities were outstanding and extremely well attended.

There was good representation from OEMs and others within the automotive supply chain, such as resin and additive companies. The exhibition portion of the programming seems to add more exhibitors each year. Our technical team was extremely pleased with the subject matter and the papers that were delivered. Each year, we see a lot of familiar faces, and the conference really has become the automotive plastics industry event where everybody is together in one place at one time. 

Industry personnel were optimistic about the growth of TPO materials in automotive applications and they were enthusiastic about the industry in general. The global diversity of the conference attendees continues to grow and evolve each year. Next year, the conference will potentially go overseas for the first time with the 2016 Shanghai TPO Conference, to be held March 22-24 in Shanghai, China. Look for Americhem to participate.

We continue to find that this growing event is an excellent platform for innovations and insight from Americhem. If you were at the conference, we’d love to hear your feedback, so leave us a comment to continue the conversation.

Brett Conway
Group Director – Plastics, Americhem Inc.

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