TROY, (DETROIT) MICH. – The fifteenth-annual SPE® TPO Automotive Engineered Polyolefins Conference, the world’s leading automotive engineered-polyolefins forum, returns to the Troy Marriott in the Detroit suburbs from October 6-9, 2013. This year’s theme is TPOs: Driving Value, Light Weight, & Innovative Automotive Solutions. The organizing committee also has issued its annual call for papers, with abstracts due April 19, 2013 and non-commercial papers or presentations by July 31, 2013

Bill Windscheif, president, Advanced Innovative Solutions, Ltd. and conference co-chair notes, “A few years ago we made the strategic decision to expand our event’s coverage beyond just rigid and flexible thermoplastic polyolefins (TPOs) to include flexible thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs) and thermoplastic vulcanizates (TPVs). We clearly saw the role of these materials expanding among automakers, plus their functionality constantly being improved upon by resin suppliers and compounders.

We’ve also featured sessions for many years on improving molding productivity and designing better parts because we know that engineering and manufacturing need to work closely to improve first-pass yield. We work hard to scout the industry each year to find the most interesting and innovative technologies to include in our conference. Attendees tell us over and over that the practical knowledge they gain is why they return every year. They know their time won’t be wasted and they’ll leave with lots of new ideas and great new contacts, thanks to the event’s outstanding networking opportunities.”

Conference co-chair, Jeffrey Valentage, global market planner-specialty compounding automotive, ExxonMobil Chemical Company adds, “With the increased focus on improved fuel economy, interest in lightweight, high-performance TPO materials is stronger than ever. Last year’s conference broke our all-time attendance record and we expect the same thing to happen in 2013.” This year’s technical program is co-chaired by Dr. Norm Kakarala, Inteva Products LLC and Peter Grelle, Plastics Fundamentals Group LLC.

Sessions currently planned for the event include: Advances in Automotive Polyolefins managed by Patti Tibbenham, Ford Motor Co. and Neil Fuenmayor, LyondellBasell; Rigid Polyolefin Compounds managed by Mike Balow, Asahi Kasei Plastics North America and Ermanno Ruccolo, Mitsui Plastics, Inc.; Automotive Interior Trim & Skins managed by Dave Helmer, General Motors Co. and Yvonne Bankowski, Ford Motor Co.; Surface Enhancements managed by Dr. Rose Ryntz, International Automotive Components and Jim Keller, United Paint Co.; Automotive TPEs managed by Bob Eller, Robert Eller Assoc., Inc. and Jeff Valentage, ExxonMobil Chemical Company; Tooling & Design of TPO Parts managed by Dave Okonski & Charles Buehler, General Motors Co.;

Molding & Forming of TPOs managed by Hoa Pham, Avery Dennison Corp. and Dr. Suresh Shah, SPE; Lightweighting of Polyolefin Parts managed by John Haubert, Chrysler Group LLC and Charles Buehler, General Motors Co.; and Adhesives & Coatings for TPOs managed by Dr. Pravin Sitaram, Haartz Corp. and Dr. Laura Shereda, Inteva Products LLC.

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 500 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).

The mission of SPE International is to promote scientific and engineering knowledge relating to plastics worldwide and to educate industry, academia, and the public about these advances. SPE’s Detroit Section is active in educating, promoting, recognizing, and communicating technical accomplishments for all phases of plastics and plastic based-composite developments – particularly in the automotive industry. Topic areas include applications, materials, processing, equipment, tooling, design, and development.

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