IHS Chemical and the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. are taking their Global Plastics Summit into the fourth dimension.
That's because Houston-based IHS and Washington-based SPI have lined up MIT professor Skylar Tibbits to speak at the event, which is scheduled for Oct. 28-30 in Chicago.
Tibbits has worked on what he calls 4-D technology, which takes 3-D printing technology one step further to allow the printing of items that adjust themselves over time in order to accommodate changing physical conditions. 4-D printed items also can repair themselves.
4-D printing is being looked at by many different sectors, including health care, construction and infrastructure. In 2013, Tibbits gave a TED talk on the emergence of 4-D printing.
“Our goal is to make this the preeminent event for the market, and 3-D printing is a key technology,” IHS executive Nick Vafiadis said in a recent phone interview. “It's all about the future of the plastics industry.”
The first full day of GPS 2015 — Oct. 29 — will focus on emerging resin capacity and the impact on key segments of the supply chain, Vafiadis said. Speakers and panelists from numerous resin makers, processors and brand owners will be represented, including Borealis, Ineos, Sasol, Braskem Idesa, AEP Industries, Albemarle and Krauss-Maffei Corp.
Day two will focus on emerging technologies and will feature Tibbits, along with speakers from Proto Labs, Underwriters Laboratories, BD Medical, KW Plastics, Muehlstein and the Houston Mercantile Exchange. SPI President and CEO Bill Carteaux will serve as a moderator.
IHS consultants will present market outlooks on both days.
Last year's GPS drew around 300 attendees, with attendance this year on pace to surpass that total, Vafiadis said.