NPE2018: Too big to succeed?: Page 2 of 2

Another co-located conference was Re|Focus, a conference devoted to recycling with two days of talks, put together by the Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS; Washington, DC), formerly SPI, which organizes the entire NPE event. One session dealt with chemical recycling, which may use more energy than it saves. It was pitched as something new but the idea has been around for a long time, as well as the problems of collection and separation. I see it as green imaging more than environmental gain, but imaging matters. What I found more interesting was the use of agricultural waste as fillers (C2Renew, which exhibited products on the Steinwall stand).

Yet another two-day meeting was Agricultural Plastics Recycling, run by materials broker SWIX every year. It is small enough to be useful both for content and networking, but with the competition from NPE, it had to be a challenge to attend this and still see materials and machinery on the really big show floor.

There were many publications distributed during the show, full of huge ads which didn’t say much more than, “Hey, look at us, this is what we do!” Sign of a mature industry? 

If you didn’t go to NPE, try to get a catalog so you have the addresses and sites of all the exhibitors, and go to the smaller, more specialized shows and conferences, like PLASTEC East in New York, June 11 to 13; SPE’s Extrusion Minitec in Atlanta on June 21; and Extrusion 2018 on Sept. 18 to 20 in Cleveland.


Allan Griff is a veteran extrusion engineer, starting out in tech service for a major resin supplier, and working on his own now for many years as a consultant, expert witness in law cases and especially as an educator via webinars and seminars, both public and in-house. He wrote the first practical extrusion book back in the 1960s as well as the Plastics Extrusion Operating Manual, updated almost every year, and available in Spanish and French as well as English. Find out more on his website,, or e-mail him at [email protected].

Griff will present a live seminar in Amherst, MA, on July 11. Seminars in your plant are also available. If you can’t attend his live events, he offers a Virtual Seminar, which can be seen at any time, anywhere. E-mail Griff at the address listed above for more information.

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