Getting people fired up about thermoforming and its possibilities is the goal of a special exhibit at NPE2009 put together by the Society of Plastics Engineers' Thermoforming Division (Booth W119025).
On Day One of the show, the Thermoforming World feature was already seeing good traffic, said Brian Ray, chairman of the division's executive committee, and president of Ray Products Inc. of Ontario, Calif.
People have been coming to the booth saying, 'I didn't know thermoforming could make parts like that,' he said.
The booth was designed with areas that specify thermoforming's history, materials, tooling and processing technology.
The division's members have contributed thermoformed products and components. The emphasis has been very much on the variety of what thermoforming can do, from packaging up to large, heavy-gauge parts.
Featured at the stand is a large health-care application, the casing of a CT body scanner. High-gloss finishes are showcased on vehicle body panels and a tonneau cover formed from coextruded polycarbonate/ABS sheet.
Ray spoke of other automotive applications, such as twin-sheet gasoline tanks, which have been a success for thermoforming because of their lower upfront tooling costs compared with blow molding.
The 1,500-square-foot NPE booth is a first for the division and came about when show organizer SPI offered the space for a non-commercial exhibit, said Roger Kipp, a member of the division's executive committee, and vice president of marketing and rngineering at McClarin Plastics Inc. of Hanover, Pa.
Brian Ray said the spotlight has fallen on the NPE presence since the decision to cancel SPE's annual thermoforming event. It was the right decision, he said, as end markets in construction and automotive have grown even worse.
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