Mexico City — It took a team of 12 researchers three years and 8,600 hours to compile but one of the Spanish language's most comprehensive encyclopedias on plastics is now available in Mexico.
“There's nothing like it in Spanish,” its editor, Rafael Blanco, said in an interview at Plastimagen México 2016.
The work, called Enciclopedia del Plástico Siglo XXI, comprises 1,200 full-color pages in two hardback volumes. Eight thousand copies have been printed.
Five thousand are being distributed free of charge among plastics processing companies across the country by Blanco's company, Centro Empresarial del Plástico (IMPI), of Mexico City.
Others will be sent to universities, technical colleges, libraries and the like in Mexico and some will be distributed in other parts of Latin America and the United States.
It's the third edition of the work. The first appeared in 1997, the second in 2000.
IMPI, which Blanco launched more than three decades ago, is a private institution offering training courses to technicians, managers and executives alike. It also offers consulting, information and research services. Its aim is to promote the plastics industry's development in Mexico.
Blanco said the encyclopedia, which covers commodity, engineering, specialty, biobased, thermoset and elastomer plastics (102 materials in all), is aimed at technicians and managers, rather than executives. “Most technicians and managers in Mexico learn their trade by word of mouth,” he said.
Blanco is paying for the work via sponsorship. Twenty-two companies have signed up to date. “We need more sponsors,” said Blanco. “They will be present in the minds of the encyclopedia´s readers for a minimum of 10 years.”
Separately, Blanco said IMPI will start an eight-month course on plastics to chemical engineering students at the Mexican capital's La Salle University in May, the first time IMPI has taught within a prestigious university.
“There's a crisis in the plastics industry because of the shortage of supervisors, machine operators and managers,” he said.