Jon Ratzlaff, a leader of the Society of Plastics Engineers' Rotational Molding Division and the president-elect of the entire SPE, wants rotomolders to get more involved in the society.
“Make yourself smarter in what you're doing and broaden your horizons,” he said.
SPE activism can give rotational molders exposure to competing plastic processes such as blow molding and thermoforming, Ratzlaff said. SPE also is getting more international, with new technical conferences in India, and future events in China and the Middle East.
“It's arrogant for us to think that the technology is only coming out of the United States and Europe,” he said.
Ratzlaff is technical services engineer at Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. LP, working in Bartlesville, Okla. He updated rotomolders on SPE in a May 7 speech, during the division's TopCon 2012 in Cleveland.
He will become the next SPE president at the 2013 Antec conference.
SPE posts a lot of technical information on its website, including an online library, journals and papers from past conferences, Ratzlaff said. Meeting people in person at SPE events is valuable networking, he added.
“I personally believe that the reason the U.S. is strong is a lot of innovation over a lot of years. I'm afraid we're losing that,” he said.
Ratzlaff said learning how to improve your company, by attending conferences, can help strengthen the rotational molding industry. “But it won't happen if we go to the TopCon and just go home and do nothing,” he said.