SPI's Machinery Division is talking with Germany's plastics machinery trade association, VDMA, about sharing shipment data, and the largest U.S. plastics equipment maker, Milacron Inc., has resumed reporting its machinery numbers to SPI.
``We have a tentative agreement [with the Germans],'' said Lori Anderson, director of economic and international trade issues at the Washington-based Society of the Plastics Industry Inc.
Anderson is leading an effort to improve the quality of SPI statistics for machinery, such as injection molding presses, blow molding machines and extruders.
Anderson met with VDMA officials June 29 at the industry group's headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany. SPI and VDMA hope to begin sharing data — initially about injection presses — in January, she said.
Machinery Division members still have to approve the sharing agreement, Anderson said.
Milacron, meanwhile, again is supplying its machinery data to SPI. Last year, industry sources said, Milacron began withholding its reports from the Machinery Division, trying to hasten change to improve the program.
``We had not been reporting and we're reporting again. We're hopeful [the statistics program] will live up to its potential,'' said Bill Gruber, vice president of U.S. operations for Milacron's Plastics Technologies Group in Batavia, Ohio.
Last month, Gruber and other machinery executives gathered during Plastics Fair Chicago for the first meeting of the new Committee on Equipment Statistics.