Archive for the 'Careers' Category



19
Mar
16

SPE® Issues Call for Applications (Due May 1) for 5 #SPEACCE, #Rehkopf Scholarships through #SPEFoundation

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The SPE® Automotive Composites Conference & Exhibition (SPE ACCE) organizing committee has issued its annual call for applications for 3 SPE ACCE scholarships as well as 2 awards from a new endowed scholarship still in the process of being funded in honor of the late Dr. Jackie Rekhopf, a long-time SPE ACCE volunteer and automotive composites expert. Applications are due May 1, 2016 and winners will be announced prior to the 2016 SPE ACCE show, September 7-9, 2016 in the Detroit suburbs.

R Broome & C Boise_LREach of the three ACCE scholarships is in the amount of $2,000 USD. Two of the scholarships (given annually since 2007) are for full-time graduate students anywhere in the world who are pursuing degrees in Polymer Science, Composites, Plastics or a related Engineering discipline.

R Broome & N Kamar_LRA third ACCE scholarship is available for a graduate or junior or senior undergraduate student pursuing similar academic programs at a university or college in the U.S. state of Michigan. In addition to a letter of recommendation from an advisor or mentor (and other SPE Foundation requirements), students must provide a succinct 2-page essay explaining how their planned work will benefit polymer composites usage in the automotive or other ground-transportation industry. Winning students are required to submit a formal paper on their research by June the following year and are expected to present their results in person at next year’s SPE ACCE conference, September 6-8, 2017.

R Broome & M Kardos_LRIn just five months, the new Dr. Jackie Rehkopf scholarship is approximately half-way to its $100,000 USD goal to reach full endowment. Contributions from the SPE Automotive and Composites Divisions, which have co-organized the ACCE show since 2001 and provided seed money to start the scholarship, will allow two scholarships to be given in 2016. The scholarships are available to either full-time graduate or junior or senior undergraduate students anywhere in the world pursuing degrees in Polymer Science, Composites, Plastics or a related Engineering discipline, with preference given to female students (although the best candidates will be selected). Up to two $5,000 USD scholarships each will be awarded to qualified graduate students, or up to two $2,500 USD scholarships each will be awarded to qualified undergraduate students if no graduate applications are received, or a combination of one $5,000 graduate award and one $2,500 undergraduate award for the 2016-2017 academic year will be provided. As with the ACCE scholarships, a letter of recommendation from the student’s advisor/mentor (in addition to other SPE Foundation requirements) and a 2-page essay is required showing planned work and how it benefits composites usage in the automotive or other ground-transportation industry. Work supported by the scholarship must be formally presented at an SPE technical conference like the ACCE or published in an SPE technical journal.

Applications for ACCE, Rehkopf, and many other SPE scholarships for the 2016-2017 academic year may be found on the SPE Foundation® website at http://www.4spe.org/Foundation.

Also see:  http://speautomotive.com/comp.htm or http://specomposites.com.

07
Mar
16

SPE® Announces Dates, Location, Theme for 16th #SPEACCE, Issues Call for Papers

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The organizing committee for the SPE® Automotive Composites Conference & Exhibition (ACCE) today announced the dates, theme, and location for this year’s show and issued its annual call for papers. Now in its sixteenth year, the SPE ACCE is the world’s leading forum for automotive composites and draws over 1,000 exhibitors, speakers, and attendees from 15 countries on five continents to the Detroit area, inspiring organizers to select this year’s theme of “Innovations in Automotive Composites: from Motor City to the World.” The 2016 show returns September 7-9 to The Diamond Banquet & Conference Center at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, Mich. in the Detroit suburbs.

Diamond Center at Suburban Collection Showplace Main EntranceThose interested in speaking at this year’s event should go to http://SubmitACCEpapers.com and upload abstracts by March 31, 2016 and full papers or non-commercial presentations by May 31, 2016. Authors who submit full papers (not presentations) in the proper format will be considered for the conference’s Dr. Jackie Rehkopf Best Paper Awards, which are presented during the event’s opening ceremony. Questions for the peer review committee may be addressed to ACCEpapers@speautomotive.com.

Continue reading ‘SPE® Announces Dates, Location, Theme for 16th #SPEACCE, Issues Call for Papers’

16
Nov
15

Fred Deans Honored with Lifetime Achievement Award @ 45th #SPEInnovationAwards

IAG15 Banner for BlogFrederick (Fred) Deans, P.E., who has more than 45 years’ experience at companies like Continental Structural Plastics, AZDEL, Inc., General Electric Co., and Pittsburgh Plate Glass (PPG) working in the automotive, architectural, and industrial market segments, has been named the 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award winner by the Automotive Division of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE®). Deans is an expert in composite materials and molding processes, product engineering, specification development, global sales and marketing, and new product introductions. He was honored last week for his role leading automotive plastics and composites innovations at the 45th-annual Automotive Innovation Awards Gala on November 11, 2015 at Burton Manor in Livonia, Mich.

Continue reading ‘Fred Deans Honored with Lifetime Achievement Award @ 45th #SPEInnovationAwards’

18
Oct
15

1st GMT Bumper on ’84MY Corvette Named Hall of Fame Winner for 45th #SPEInnovationAwards

 

IAG15 Banner for BlogThe first use of glass-mat thermoplastic (GMT) composite on the front bumper of the 1984 model year (MY) Chevrolet Corvette sports car from then General Motors Corp. (GM) has been named the 2015 Hall of Fame winner by the Automotive Division of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE®) for the group’s 45th-annual Automotive Innovation Awards Competition. To be considered for a Hall of Fame award, an automotive plastic or composite component must have been in continuous service in some form for at least 15 years and preferably have been broadly adopted within the automotive or ground-transportation industries. GMT bumpers meet this criteria having been in continuous use on a variety of passenger vehicles for more than three decades and having proliferated beyond GM to vehicles built by automakers in North America, Europe, and Asia. In fact, many of the different GMT bumper design variants over the years have been category or Grand Award winners of the Automotive Innovation Awards Competition.

“The front bumper on the 1984 Corvette not only was the first in a long line of weight- and cost-saving front and rear bumper beams in GMT composites” explains Nippani Rao, president, RAO Associates, and co-chair of the SPE Automotive Division Hall of Fame committee, “but it also led to increased use of GMT as well as other thermoplastic composites in a broad range of interior and exterior automotive applications worldwide.” Continue reading ‘1st GMT Bumper on ’84MY Corvette Named Hall of Fame Winner for 45th #SPEInnovationAwards’

05
Oct
15

GM’s Matt Carroll a Keynote Speaker at 17th #SPEAutoTPO Conference, Oct. 7

 

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The seventeenth-annual SPE® TPO Automotive Engineered Polyolefins Conference, the world’s leading automotive engineered polyolefins forum, will showcase talks by five keynote speakers from Ford Motor Co., Auto Harvest Foundation, Sumika Polymers North America, Inc., Asahi Kasei Plastics North America, and General Motors Co. Interspersed throughout the two-and-a-half-day conference, the keynotes will highlight important issues facing the automotive-plastics market, including customer wants and needs, future automotive trends, global outlook for automotive polyolefins, oil and shale gas impacts on vehicle lightweighting, and evolution of TPO material performance. Organized by the Detroit Section of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE), the 2015 technical conference and exhibition returns to the Troy Marriott in the Detroit suburbs from October 4-7, 2015.

Matt Carroll LROn Wednesday, the conference’s third day, the event will begin with a keynote from Matt Carroll, engineering group manager, General Motors Co., who will discuss The Evolution of TPO Material Performance. “The performance of thermoplastic polyolefins for both interior and exterior components has been scrutinized and steadily improved over the past 20 years,” states Carroll. “Besides the all-important dimensional stability of parts, material properties like UV stability, oxidative stability, impact resistance, scratch and mar resistance, stiffness for handling, and paintability are all keys to producing successful parts. In several cases, the property needs are in conflict and a ‘balancing act’ is required to optimize part performance. In this talk, I’ll review improvements in the performance of TPO over time and provide some personal thoughts about future usage and growth of this class of polymer in the automotive industry.”

Carroll is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Michigan and holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Chemical Engineering from University of Detroit and Wayne State University respectively. Earlier in his career he worked at a paint plant for BASF Corp., a polymer plant owned by Huntsman, and at the Chicago-based facility for a plastics machinery manufacturer. Carroll joined General Motors in 1994 as a materials engineer and later became a vehicle system engineer on the Buick Lucerne program. In his current role, he is engineering group manager-Materials for the Body Exterior and Electrical group. Carroll has presented 15 conference papers and presentations, is the former newsletter editor and membership chair of the SPE Detroit Section, and is currently a member of the board of directors for the SPE Automotive Division.

About the TPO Conference

Since 1998, the SPE TPO Automotive Engineered Polyolefins Conference has highlighted the importance of rigid and flexible polyolefins throughout the automobile – in applications ranging from semi-structural composite underbody shields and front-end modules to soft-touch interior skins and bumper fascia. Engineered polyolefins have been the fastest-growing segment of the global plastics industry for more than a decade owing to their excellent cost / performance ratio. The show typically draws more than 700 attendees from 20 countries on four continents who are interested in learning about the latest in rigid and elastomeric TPO as well as TPE and TPV technologies. Fully a third of conference attendees say they work for a transportation OEM, and roughly 20% work for a tier integrator / molder, with the balance from materials or reinforcement suppliers, equipment OEMs, industry consultants, and members of academia. A variety of sponsorship packages are available for companies interested in showcasing their products and / or services. The show is organized by volunteers from the Detroit Section of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE). Learn more: http://auto-tpo.com/ or http://speautomotive.com/tpo.htm.

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® SPE is a registered trademark of the Society of Plastics Engineers. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

 

 

22
Sep
15

John Moyer, Asahi Kasei to Give Keynote at 17th #SPEAutoTPO Conference, Oct. 6

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The seventeenth-annual SPE® TPO Automotive Engineered Polyolefins Conference, the world’s leading automotive engineered polyolefins forum, will showcase talks by five keynote speakers from Ford Motor Co., Auto Harvest Foundation, Sumika Polymers North America, Inc., Asahi Kasei Plastics North America, and General Motors Co. Interspersed throughout the two-and-a-half-day conference, the keynotes will highlight important issues facing the automotive-plastics market, including customer wants and needs, future automotive trends, global outlook for automotive polyolefins, oil and shale gas impacts on vehicle lightweighting, and evolution of TPO material performance. Organized by the Detroit Section of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE), the 2015 technical conference and exhibition returns to the Troy Marriott in the Detroit suburbs from October 4-7, 2015.???????????????????????????????

On Day 2, John Moyer, president & chief operating officer, Asahi Kasei Plastics North America will give a talk entitled, Oil, Shale Gas, Fuel Efficiency, Lightweighting, & Other Funny Things that Happened on the Way to the TPO Forum. “My talk will begin with a discussion of all the changes in the world of energy costs,” remarks Moyer, who adds “and I expect that there will be more changes between now and October of this year. I will also talk about compounders ― both how we fit into this world of plastics and how we can change rapidly to meet the ever-changing world.”

In his current role, Moyers leads activities for Asahi Kasei Plastics North America, a subsidiary of Asahi Kasei Chemical Corp. and a leading custom compounder of advanced engineered polymers for the automotive, commercial truck, commercial seating, water handling, and construction markets. During his time at the helm, Asahi Kasei Plastics has grown substantially in the U.S. and has expanded its business base to include Mexico, Brazil, Europe, China, India, and Japan. Moyer joined Asahi Kasei Plastics in 2005 as president. Previously he worked for Dow Chemical Co. for 24 years holding various manufacturing leadership roles in the U.S., Indonesia, and Hong Kong. He also has been involved in starting up new businesses in Indonesia and China. Moyers is a member of the board of directors for the Livingston County United Way, the board of trustees for Kettering University, and the board of trustees for Cleary University. He is a past board member for the Livingston Country Red Cross, the Howell Chamber of Commerce, and the Styron Asia Ltd. joint venture between Dow Chemical Co. and Asahi Kasei Chemical Co. Moyer holds a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Cincinnati.

About the TPO Conference

Since 1998, the SPE TPO Automotive Engineered Polyolefins Conference has highlighted the importance of rigid and flexible polyolefins throughout the automobile – in applications ranging from semi-structural composite underbody shields and front-end modules to soft-touch interior skins and bumper fascia. Engineered polyolefins have been the fastest-growing segment of the global plastics industry for more than a decade owing to their excellent cost / performance ratio. The show typically draws more than 700 attendees from 20 countries on four continents who are interested in learning about the latest in rigid and elastomeric TPO as well as TPE and TPV technologies. Fully a third of conference attendees say they work for a transportation OEM, and roughly 20% work for a tier integrator / molder, with the balance from materials or reinforcement suppliers, equipment OEMs, industry consultants, and members of academia. A variety of sponsorship packages are available for companies interested in showcasing their products and / or services. The show is organized by volunteers from the Detroit Section of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE).  Learn more: http://auto-tpo.com/ or http://speautomotive.com/tpo.htm.

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® SPE is a registered trademark of the Society of Plastics Engineers. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

18
Sep
15

Sumika Polymers’ Brian Weider to Give Keynote at 17th #SPEAutoTPO Conference, Oct. 6

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The seventeenth-annual SPE® TPO Automotive Engineered Polyolefins Conference, the world’s leading automotive engineered polyolefins forum, will showcase talks by five keynote speakers from Ford Motor Co., Auto Harvest Foundation, Sumika Polymers North America, Inc., Asahi Kasei Plastics North America, and General Motors Co. Interspersed throughout the two-and-a-half-day conference, the keynotes will highlight important issues facing the automotive-plastics market, including customer wants and needs, future automotive trends, global outlook for automotive polyolefins, oil and shale gas impacts on vehicle lightweighting, and evolution of TPO material performance. Organized by the Detroit Section of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE), the 2015 technical conference and exhibition returns to the Troy Marriott in the Detroit suburbs from October 4-7, 2015.

Brian Weider 3

On Tuesday, the conference’s second day, Brian K. Weider, president of Sumika Polymers North America, Inc. will lead off with a keynote on the topic of Global Outlook for the Polyolefin and Automotive Businesses. “I’ll start off by discussing long-term trends affecting polypropylene, polyethylene, and the elastomers supply base,” says Weider. “Then I’ll look at current trends in the automotive industry for TPOs and TPEs. Finally I’ll discuss some future trends we anticipate that will affect the entire global automotive resin market.”

Weider has spent more than 35 years in the plastics industry and 30 years of that in the automotive-plastics industry. He began his career in R&D at B.F. Goodrich and later joined the Santoprene TPE business of Monsanto. He also worked at GE Plastics in engineering resins and has spent the last 17 years at Sumitomo Chemicals. In his current role, he leads Sumika’s North American efforts, which are solely focused on the automotive industry. Weider holds a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from The Ohio State University and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the Weatherhead School of Business at Case Western Reserve University.

About the TPO Conference

Since 1998, the SPE TPO Automotive Engineered Polyolefins Conference has highlighted the importance of rigid and flexible polyolefins throughout the automobile – in applications ranging from semi-structural composite underbody shields and front-end modules to soft-touch interior skins and bumper fascia. Engineered polyolefins have been the fastest-growing segment of the global plastics industry for more than a decade owing to their excellent cost / performance ratio. The show typically draws more than 700 attendees from 20 countries on four continents who are interested in learning about the latest in rigid and elastomeric TPO as well as TPE and TPV technologies. Fully a third of conference attendees say they work for a transportation OEM, and roughly 20% work for a tier integrator / molder, with the balance from materials or reinforcement suppliers, equipment OEMs, industry consultants, and members of academia. A variety of sponsorship packages are available for companies interested in showcasing their products and / or services. The show is organized by volunteers from the Detroit Section of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE).  Learn more: http://auto-tpo.com/ or http://speautomotive.com/tpo.htm.

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® SPE is a registered trademark of the Society of Plastics Engineers. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

04
Sep
15

2015 #SPEACCE has Something for Everyone

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Composites Remain a Hot Topic in the Motor City

The 15th-annual SPE Automotive Composites Conference & Exhibition kicks off next week with record sponsorship and exhibits, a solid technical program on the latest technologies, 5 excellent keynotes on notable topics, a rousing panel discussion, 3 networking receptions, and what looks like it will be another attendance record breaker.  Clearly, polymer composites remain a hot topic in the Motor City and SPE’s Automotive and Composites Divisions look forward to welcoming close to 1,000 guests to the show.

There’s a little something for everyone with an interest in transportation composites, as the conference covers technology ranging from glass-reinforced injection molded thermoplastics to inline produced carbon/epoxy prepreg and nearly everything in between.

  • Interested in biopolymers or recycled resins? We’ve got a whole session on that plus a free 1-hr tutorial.
  • RTM more your style? Got a whole segment on that.
  • Interested in nanotechnology? See our 3-segment track.
  • More partial to natural fibers? Got those too.
  • Have questions about bonding, joining, and finishing composites? We’ve got a session on that plus a 2-hour tutorial.
  • Looking for ways to repurpose steel stamping presses to form composites? Catch our 90-minute panel discussion.
  • Looking for the right suppliers for your next project? We have 86 exhibitors from around the world waiting to meet you on the show floor.
  • Curious to learn what’s happening in Europe, Asia, and North America? Our show typically attracts people from 15 countries on 4 continents.

 

Keynote Speakers Highlight Important Issues, Discuss Latest Breakthroughs

Five keynotes spread across the 3-day conference, will cover broad range of important topics. Here’s the 2015 lineup.

Keynote 1:  Sept. 9, 3:30-4:00 p.m.

Anthony Schiavo, Research Associate, Lux Research Inc.
Topic:  Carbon Fiber 2.0: Roadmap for Growth to 2020 and Beyond  
Abstract: Carbon fiber-reinforced plastics (CFRPs) combine high strength and light weight, making these materials attractive to many industries. However, due to high costs and other technical hurdles, thus far their use has been restricted to high-end niche applications. In order to forecast the near- and mid-term penetration of CFRPs into both major and emerging target industries, we built a detailed cost model based on current and near-term production technology, and an industry demand model based on the needs and adoption cycles of each application. We further analyzed key technological, market, and regulatory factors likely to affect the long-term growth of the carbon fiber market to create a road map to large-volume automotive applications.

Keynote 2:  Sept. 9, 4:00-5:30 p.m.

Multiple Speakers:

  • Dr. Craig Blue, CEO, Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI)
  • Dr. Lawrence Drzal, IACMI Director – Vehicles Technology Area, Michigan State University
  • Dr. Byron Pipes, IACMI Director – Modeling and Simulation Technology Area, Pursue University
  • Brian Rice, IACMI Director – Compressed Gas Storage Technology Area, University of Dayton Research Institute
  • Cliff Eberle, IACMI Director – Materials and Process Technology Area, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Topic:  Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI): A Disruptive Moment in Automotive History  
Abstract: The need to reduce CO2 emissions and improve fuel economy is providing an impetus for developments in lighter weight materials and alternative powertrains. In order to realize commercial application in mass produced vehicles for advanced composites, costs and cycle times both need to be reduced. Further, end-to-end simulation tools need to be integrated, validated and made widely available to speed development time and improve confidence in their ability to predict as-built performance. The recently launched Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI) is integrating materials, manufacturing and simulation development concurrently, to aggressively meet the needs of the automotive industry for hybrid and composite intensive vehicle structures. This presentation will lay out the organization of the institute and summarize work planned and already underway to make advanced composites more competitive.

Keynote 3:  Sept. 10,  1:00-1:30 p.m. 

Deborah Mielewski, Senior Technical Leader of Sustainable Materials and Plastics Research, Ford Motor Co. 

Topic:  Owning the Future: Sustainable Materials Research, Development & Implementation at Ford 
Abstract:  The Ford biomaterials research program was initiated in 2001, and the group was the first to demonstrate soy-based foam that met all the requirements for automotive seating.  Ford and Lear launched soy-based foam on the 2008 Mustang, and soy seat cushions and backs have now found their way into every Ford North American-built vehicle. Bio-based foams currently reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 25-million pounds and reduce petroleum dependence by over 5-million pounds annually. The biomaterials research team continues to pioneer the development of sustainable plastic materials that meet stringent automotive requirements, including natural fiber-reinforced plastics and polymer resins made from renewable feedstocks.  Ford currently has 8 renewable materials in production vehicles, making them a leader in automotive. Ford scientists are continuing to search for innovative and creative bio-technologies that can reduce our dependence on petroleum, create new markets for agricultural products and additional revenue streams for farmers, as well as reduce vehicle weight, which results in improved fuel efficiency and lower vehicle emissions.  The past year, we have begun investigating cellulose nanofibers (CNF, CNC, cellulose filaments) because of their larger surface area, greater aspect ratio, and fascinating properties.

Keynote 4:  Sept. 10,  1:30-2:00 p.m.

Stefan Stanglmaier, Technologieentwicklung CFK Material- und Prozessabsicherung, BMW Group
Topic:  Mass Production of CFRP in Automotive Applications – Potential and Challenges in Implementing Local Reinforcements
Abstract:  In 2013 the BMW Group put the fully electric BMW i3 and in 2014 the hybrid super sports car, the BMW i8 on the market. Both cars have a two-piece chassis, in which the lower (Drive-Module) primarily consists of aluminium and the passenger cell (Life-Module) is constructed from carbon fibre-reinforced plastics (CFRP). BMW successfully implemented CFRP fabrication processes for the production of the Life-Module components of both cars with an automation level and cycle times suitable for mass production. From the experience gained from the production of structural CFRP components, the BMW Group applied different promising approaches on how to further improve the methods and techniques of current production systems. Based on this knowledge, the future focus of the advancements in the CFRP sector at the BMW Group will be on design and production of parts with maximum exploitation of the material’s mechanical potential, minimal material input, optimized weight, and with equivalent costs compared to other materials. This presentation will first look at the current production processes for the BMW i3 and BMW i8 as starting points to advance the current CFRP production systems, and then provide perspective on future development projects. As an example of these projects, several results will be shown from one venture enhancing the RTM (resin-transfer molding) and Wetpressing processes for the production of local reinforced CFRP parts with the required properties at the process and component level.

Keynote 5:  Sept. 11,  1:00-2:00 p.m.

Antony Dodworth, Chief Technology & Manufacturing Officer, Bright Lite Structures

Topic:  Zenos E10: A Platform for Novel Lightweight Automotive Composite Structural Design
Abstract:  The Zenos E10 is a new English sports car designed as a modern take on the famous Lotus 7. The vehicle features low-cost composite chassis structure that functions as both interior and exterior, requires minimal body work, and is self-jigging and slottable together. The structure uses a unique new honeycomb-sandwich composite that meets or exceeds the compression, stiffness, and torsional rigidity required for the vehicle’s chassis.  Because of the nature of the sandwich structure, it enables the use of complex, deep-draw designs, which are not otherwise possible without preforming and which enable significant reductions in part count and bill-of-materials vs. structures in steel, aluminum, or monolithic carbon composite.  This presentation will detail development of the novel structural composite made with thermoplastic honeycomb cores and polyurethane chemistry including recycled carbon fiber and polycarbonate. Complete curing and fabrication cycle time is under 10 minutes using patent-pending methods. Parts can be produced in a low-cost manufacturing cell capable of producing up to 15,000 parts/year using off-the-shelf presses, and spray and robotic equipment.

Continue reading ‘2015 #SPEACCE has Something for Everyone’

09
Aug
15

Dr. David Cole to Give Keynote at 17th #SPEAutoTPO Conference, Oct. 5

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During the seventeenth-annual SPE® TPO Automotive Engineered Polyolefins Conference, the world’s leading automotive engineered polyolefins forum, five keynote speakers will highlight important issues facing the automotive-plastics market, including customer wants and needs, future automotive trends, global outlook for automotive polyolefins, oil and shale gas impacts on vehicle lightweighting, and evolution of TPO material performance.

Cole PhotoDr. David Cole, chair, Auto Harvest Foundation will give a keynote on October 5 entitled The Auto Future: Fast, Furious and Exciting. “The auto industry has gone through an amazing transformation in the past few years,” explains Cole. “Through capacity reduction, restructured labor contracts, financial restructuring, staff reductions, new technological tools, global scale, and more, the U.S. auto industry’s break-even has been significantly reduced. The domestic manufacturers, in particular, have become far more competitive as they have moved from a cost disadvantage to cost parity with many of their international competitors. This is evident with their surprising level of profitability. There are a number of concerns however: there is still excess capacity at the global level, with re-expansion of the domestic market there is a growing shortage of appropriately educated future employees, and that’s exacerbated by accelerated retirement of ‘Boomers.’ Furthermore, there are tough new regulations to meet, economic uncertainty across many of the world’s economies, and much more. Because of all this, we’re at the edge of a revolution in both product and process technologies. New production facilities are both lean and agile with advanced software control everywhere. In the product area, the powertrain is moving to at least partial electrification, but advanced internal combustion engines assure a lively competition for some time to come. New material systems are being developed that feature significant advances in both materials and their manufacturing processes. And the connected vehicle is becoming a reality that will yield enormous benefits, particularly in safety. All in all, the modern auto industry is on the move and the process of change is accelerating.”

Cole also is chair emeritus of the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) and the former director of the Office for the Study of Automotive Transportation (OSAT) at the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute as well as an engineering professor at the school. His technical and policy consulting experience includes a variety of assignments for industry, labor, and government and he has spoken to more than 1,000 different groups on automotive issues. He has been and is actively involved in the start up of nine different Ann Arbor, Mich.-based companies and is currently a director on the board of three automotive-related companies. In 1993 Cole received the National Automobile Dealers Association Foundation’s International Freedom of Mobility Award. In 1994, Design News magazine named him as one of eight engineering leaders, and he was also selected to receive Sweden’s Order of the Polar Star that same year. In 1998 Cole was named Marketing Educator of the Year by the Society of Marketing Executives and also received the Rene Dubos Environmental Award for his contributions to the industrial ecology of the automobile. In 1999 he was given the Chevalier of the National Order of Merit from France and he was the 2008 Mechanical Engineering Distinguished Alumni Award recipient from the University of Michigan. In 2013 Cole was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame, the industry’s highest honor. He long has been active in industry engineering societies, including SAE International® where he served two terms on the board of directors and was named a fellow in 1986. He also is active in the Engineering Society of Detroit (ESD) and was elected to fellow status in 1990 as well as received ESD’s highest award, the Horace H. Rackham medal in 2000. Additionally Cole is a member of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) and was elected to fellow grade in 2009. He is currently a member of the editorial advisory board of Popular Mechanics magazine and is listed in Marquis’ Who’s Who in America. He holds B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering (M.E.) and Mathematics, as well as M.S.M.E. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Michigan as well as an honorary doctorate from Cleary University.

Learn more: http://auto-tpo.com/ or http://speautomotive.com/tpo.htm.

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® SPE is a registered trademark of the Society of Plastics Engineers. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

 

 

 

 

07
Aug
15

Ford’s Michael Whitens to Give Keynote at 17th #SPEAutoTPO Conference, Oct. 5th

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The seventeenth-annual SPE® TPO Automotive Engineered Polyolefins Conference, the world’s leading automotive engineered polyolefins forum, will showcase talks by five keynote speakers from Ford Motor Co., Auto Harvest Foundation, Sumika Polymers North America, Inc., Asahi Kasei Plastics North America, and General Motors Co. Interspersed throughout the two-and-a-half-day conference, the keynotes will highlight important issues facing the automotive-plastics market, including customer wants and needs, future automotive trends, global outlook for automotive polyolefins, oil and shale gas impacts on vehicle lightweighting, and evolution of TPO material performance. Organized by the Detroit Section of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE), the 2015 technical conference and exhibition returns to the Troy Marriott in the Detroit suburbs from October 4-7, 2015.

Mike Whitens - LROn Monday morning, after brief remarks by conference co-chairs the event begins with a keynote entitled TPO: A Customer’s Perspective by Michael Whitens, director-Vehicle & Enterprise Sciences at Ford Motor Co. “We automakers live in a rapidly changing world where we’re under relentless pressure to lower CO2 emissions, reduce vehicle weight, increase safety and fuel efficiency, and of course continually add new technology while maintaining or lowering the cost of our vehicles,” notes Whitens. “That’s a very challenging set of deliverables for this whole industry. In my talk I’ll discuss what a customer, namely Ford Motor Co., wants and needs with regard to thermoplastic polyolefins (TPOs). I’ll cover some key improvements that have boosted performance and lowered cost over the past few decades, then describe areas where we’d like to see these materials improve as we move forward. If the TPO community can do this, it’ll create the window of opportunity for TPOs to displace more costly materials.”

Continue reading ‘Ford’s Michael Whitens to Give Keynote at 17th #SPEAutoTPO Conference, Oct. 5th’




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