Persistence has yielded its reward for the unit of the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. responsible for collecting and disseminating data on plastics machinery shipments. After four years of effort, SPI's Committee on Equipment Statistics recently secured Japan's agreement to share data.
The result according to Lori Anderson, who heads CES' data-gathering efforts, is that ``for the first time ever, the three largest plastics machinery-making countries - the U.S., Germany and Japan - will share plastics machinery data.'' Anderson, SPI's strategic planning and industry relations officer, announced the development April 29 at the joint spring conference of the SPI Machinery and Moldmaking divisions in Scottsdale. The cooperative effort will begin with the sharing of statistics retroactive to January.
Anderson said efforts to involve the Japanese had been complicated by the fact that two rival groups there - the Association of Japan Machinery and the Japan Society of Industrial Machinery Manufacturers - each collected their own data. While the two groups shared their statistics with each other, until early April they could not come to an agreement to share them with Washington-based SPI.
CES has been spearheading an effort to collect, standardize, compare and, when possible, publish plastics machinery data worldwide, to help all better understand related business and trade trends. Anderson said it is too early to say whether the Japanese will allow SPI to publish some of their data. Germany does not allow SPI to release its statistics publicly.
Separately, Anderson announced SPI has retained plastics economist Bill Wood of Mountaintop Research to provide analytical commentary about the broad industry statistics of Plastics Data Source, of which some CES numbers are a part.