Ticona, the engineering resins maker that hasn't had a booth at NPE for a decade, decided this year to exhibit at its first National Manufacturing Week show.
National Manufacturing Week, held March 3-6 in Chicago, included the National Design Engineering show, a major event for engineers, product designers and people who run factories. Ticona, the technical polymers business of Germany's Celanese AG, introduced two resin formulations and discussed applications.
Officials said they scrutinize the bottom-line impact when deciding which trade shows to attend and which ones to skip.
``The key driver for us is lead generation,'' said Jeffrey Siebenaller, vice president of marketing and sales for the Americas. ``We measure the amount of total leads we have, qualifiable leads, and then we track those leads in a program.'' The company looks at its return on investment, based on how much it costs to exhibit and how much money it makes from the leads.
Ticona does exhibit at the K show in Germany every three years. The company decided not to exhibit at triennial NPE several shows back. ``The mix of attendees really did not fit our needs,'' Siebenaller said.
Ticona, with U.S. headquarters in Summit, N.J., did hold a major off-site event at NPE 2000, renting the Adler Planetarium in Chicago. Officials said they plan to have some type of off-site social event at this year's NPE.
Complicating Ticona's trade show planning this year was the fact that National Manufacturing Week and a major automotive event in Detroit, the SAE 2003 World Congress, fell on exactly the same dates. Ticona generates 52 percent of its sales from automotive, but picked the Chicago show. ``We're trying to get the biggest bang for the buck,'' Siebenaller said.
Ticona announced new materials and several applications:
* A new grade of its polyphenylene sulfide, called Forton 1140EC. Ticona is aiming the material at cooling systems of cars and light trucks, including thermostat housings, crossover pipes and water impellers.
* A Forton PPS suitable for melt-blown nonwoven fibers. Applications include filters in chemical plants, power-plant bag houses and medical devices.
* In application news, Ticona said its Topas cyclo-olefin copolymer now is available to make shrink-sleeve labels for PET bottles. The recoverable shrinkage can be as high as 90 percent, forming a tight fit to the bottle's contours. During recycling, sleeves made of the material separate easily from the PET by flotation or air separation, because the material has a much lower density than PET and does not adhere to the bottle resin, according to the company.
* Ticona announced that the Food and Drug Administration in November approved a new blister pack material for pharmaceuticals made with its Topas cyclo-olefin copolymer resin. KlÃ¶ckner Pentaplast of America Inc. makes the clear, laminate film under its Pentapharm brand, with polypropylene outer layers and a Topas core for a barrier layer.
* Ticona also announced that all seven of its North American facilities are ISO 14001 certified for environmental systems.