This week at NPE2009, the Plastics Hall of Fame will grow by nine members. Plastics News is honored to profile them in this issue.
If you're reading this in Chicago on Monday the first day of NPE you still have time to purchase tickets for tonight's banquet, to be held in the brand-new Skyline Ballroom at McCormick Place West. You can buy tickets on-site at any NPE registration table. The event begins with a reception at 6:30 p.m.
The Plastics Hall of Fame events are a great place to mingle with industry leaders. You can shake the hands of inductees, nine amazing people who have dedicated their lives to advancing plastics.
And you get to hear keynote speaker Mike Ditka talk about life, success and Da Bears.
This year's inductees are:
* Robert Barr, a noted screw designer who also made improvements in large blow molding machinery and extruders. A friendly, outgoing man, Barr has given many presentations for the Society of Plastics Engineers. He is chairman of Robert Barr Inc.
* Paul N. Colby, founder of Spirex Corp., one of the largest screw and barrel makers, and also a screw designer. Colby improved screw and barrel production and pioneered several technologies, including a retrofit vented-barrel conversion for injection molding.
* Trevor Evans, a leading South African authority on plastic packaging. At Evans' urging, South Africa became the second country after the United States to launch a PET Coke bottle. Today he is non-executive chairman of Nampak Ltd.
* Paolo Galli, whose innovations in catalyst technology made polypropylene a widely used resin. He also developed catalysts for polyethylene. Galli became the head of research at Montecatini, later known as Montell.
* James Hendry, considered the father of gas-assisted molding. He also developed early two-stage, shooting-pot molding machines and structural foam molding. Hendry remains active as a consultant 71 years after his plastics career began in 1938.
* Ralph Noble, co-founder of Canada-based vinyl compounder Carlew Chemicals Ltd., which later became Synergistics Industries Ltd. He pioneered plasticizers in flexible PVC compounds, and cross-linked PE, in wire and cable. In 1970, he became the first SPE president who was not a U.S. citizen.
* Georg Schwarz, who built his father-in-law's machinery company, now called Engel Holding GmbH, into one of the most global makers of injection molding machines. Schwarz's leadership helped Engel make presses more efficiently, advance the technology and grow internationally.
* Robert Swain, who founded Chroma Corp., a maker of colorants for plastics, and moved the company into color concentrates. He is a longtime activist in SPE and the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. Swain is managing director of the Plastics Pioneers Association.
* Donald Witenhafer, whose technical achievements as part of B.F. Goodrich Co.'s Code Zero team helped save the PVC industry when, in 1969, scientists discovered that vinyl chloride monomer causes cancer. The vinyl industry took steps to fully contain VCM and ensure the safety of plant employees.
Enjoy the profiles in this issue and don't miss the chance tonight in Chicago to meet these heroes of plastics.