NPE 2009 to Feature Plastics Design Contest

The first International Plastics Design Competition (IPDC) will be featured at NPE 2009 in Chicago next June. The awards contest will provide an opportunity for designers and manufacturers of components and finished products to display their most innovative achievements before tens of thousands of plastics professionals attending the gigantic triennial US plastics trade fair.

The NPE show is organized by the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. (SPI). The 2009 edition takes place next June 22–26 at Chicago’s McCormick Place.

The IPDC competition is being organized by SPI’s Alliance for Plastics Processors (APP), which will issue a call for applicants this fall. The APP and its predecessor, SPI’s Structural Plastics Division, have organized 36 previous design competitions, but the one at NPE 2009 will be the first open to products in any end-use market, from automotive to packaging, and to entrants from any country in the world.

Many of the products competing in the IPDC will be on exhibit at a special pavilion in McCormick Place’s new West Building, while others—large-scale products such as concept automobiles—will be displayed in the main concourses. IPDC entries often will address the same issues and technologies—energy, sustainability, bioplastics, and nanocomposites—that are the focus of the new Emerging Technologies Pavilion at NPE, notes Paul Dier, chairman of the APP executive committee.

A panel of experts will serve as IPDC judges. However, there will also be a People’s Choice award for the product receiving the most on-line preshow votes from visitors at www.npe.org. Winners will be announced during the Plastics Hall of Fame induction banquet on June 22.

“The International Plastics Design Competition adds a new dimension to what will be, by any reckoning, the most technologically rich NPE in the 62-year history of the exposition,” pronounced William R. Carteaux, SPI president and CEO. “As a showcase for innovative engineering, the IPDC will complement other programmes and events that are also new to NPE and focused on advanced technologies.”

The advanced-technology events and programmes to which Carteaux referred will all be located in the massive West Building, which serves as Technology Central at NPE 2009.

Two highlights of Technology Central will be major events co-located with NPE: the Society of Plastics Engineers’ ANTEC™ 2009, the largest plastics technical conference in the world, and Gardner Publications’ MoldMaking Expo™ conference and trade show. In addition, McCormick West will house multiexhibitor pavilions dedicated to emerging technologies, ground-breaking innovations by companies exhibiting elsewhere at the show, and specialized sectors such as fluoropolymers and thermoforming.

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