BATH, OHIO - The Polymer Processors Association and the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. have teamed up to serve Ohio's plastics industry. Lowell G. Chrisman launched PPA two years ago to focus on the interests of small to midsized plastics processors, a niche he said SPI did not fill in Ohio. But Ron Bruner, SPI vice president of communications, said the two groups were competing for members - and their limited reserve of dollars.
``Obviously [PPA was] looking for members to support their organization,'' he said by telephone from SPI's Washington headquarters. ``In that sense, there are only so many customers out there.''
As part of the three-year pact, signed March 22, SPI will contribute $250 towards membership dues for each new PPA recruit, Bruner said. The money will allow PPA to lower its flat membership fee for plastics processors from $600 to $250, but still fund its programs, he said.
In exchange, PPA will encourage its members to join SPI, which will give qualifying processors a break on SPI dues.
``They weren't able to get to the grass roots,'' Chrisman said of SPI's Ohio recruitment efforts. He noted that two years ago he never expected his Bath-based trade group to hook up with SPI, which he then said tended to represent large resin and machinery suppliers. PPA will not reduce its membership rate for suppliers.
``If they're going to give us money for our memberships, then they're doing nothing but promoting PPA in Ohio,'' he said. ``And we become a marketing device for SPI.''
The groups will work cooperatively on national industry issues as well as special projects and services related to Ohio's plastics processors, both executives said.
PPA also will change its name to the Plastics Processors Asso-ciation of Ohio. That change was made to identify PPA as a plastics trade group, said Bruner.
In the Akron, Ohio, area, where PPA is located, the term polymer ``carries a [different] connotation ... because of the rubber industry,'' he said.
For the past year, SPI has been looking for ways to become more active in states with large concentrations of plastics firms, Bruner said. PPA presented an opportunity for SPI, which sees it as a prototype for future alliances, he said.
A representative from each group will attend the other's board meetings.