The Association of Rotational Molders International has cut back its funding of university rotomolding research, as leaders move the trade association back into the black, boost membership and expand around the world.
ARM will not provide primary funds for research projects, at least for now, but will work with outside funding sources, officials of the Oak Brook, Ill., trade association said at a membership meeting Oct. 4, during ARM's fall meeting in Cleveland.
It's part of the group's turnaround strategy under Jeffrey Arnold, who became ARM director in 2002.
Mike Dorsey, secretary and treasurer, said ARM is projecting black ink this year for the first time since 1999.
``After a few tough years, we are back on track, with increased membership and increased resources, with some cutbacks,'' said Dorsey, vice president of manufacturing and engineering for rotomolder Meese Orbitron Dunne Co. of Madison, Ind.
ARM President Daven Claerbout said officials decided last year that the trade group would not spend a lot of money on research activities. In the past, ARM-funded research has yielded greater understanding of cycle-time reduction, rotomolding ABS resin and other subjects.
The group and its members will continue to be involved, he said. ``We want to cooperate with external funding sources and contribute what ARM may bring to the projects,'' said Claerbout, sales director and co-owner of Dutchland Plastics Corp. in Oostburg, Wis.
Arnold said that when he joined ARM, the big issues were increasing membership and stopping a string of money-losing years.
Another topic in Cleveland was ARM International's global reach. The association formed an India Division earlier this year, and is holding two technical conferences there in December.
Past President David Mulligan is leading up the global effort. He said the India Division now has 30 member companies.
``We anticipate by the end of the year that could grow by 40 or 50,'' he said.
Mulligan is president of Roto Plastics Corp. of Adrian, Mich.
Ravi Mehra, a native of India who spearheaded the new division, said India has about 300-350 total rotomolding companies. Mehra is managing director of Norstar International LLC, which manufactures molds in Cedarburg, Wis.