(March 14, 2008) — I would like to thank Plastics News for the recent story that focused on the Society of Plastics Engineers Thermoforming Division [“The little SPE division that could,” Feb. 25, Page 1].
What makes our division successful is the volunteer efforts of a diverse group of individuals that carry out the mission statement: “to facilitate the advancement of thermoforming technologies through education, application, promotion and research.”
Thermoforming encompasses many industries, techniques, materials and end markets. Our divisional board is very representative of this mix and, therefore, we are able to adapt to innovations in different areas of plastics technology. This ensures that we consistently provide relevant information to our members. In fact, many of our members are secondary members belonging to a vast array of industries that are directly and indirectly involved with thermoforming.
The board of directors is responsible not only for the highly successful annual conference but also for the creation and development of strong relationships with universities and technical colleges around the country, including a new network of centers of excellence. The amount of money donated for scholarships each year ensures a steady supply of talent into the industry and thus guarantees future employees for companies involved in thermoforming. Given the relative decline of manufacturing skills in today's economy, this is no small accomplishment.
I highly recommend readers of this magazine to consider joining our group to both enjoy divisional benefits and contribute to our continued success.
There is a wealth of untapped knowledge in the form of undiscovered ideas in the minds of our current and potential members. We stress the importance of knowledge capital. Innovation, creativity and mastery of techniques are what drive us on in the pursuit of greater returns. Our industry and our board are no different — it is the human element that gives us a competitive advantage.
Conor P. Carlin
SPE Thermoforming Division