Glen Ellyn, Ill. — The Association of Rotational Molders will celebrate its 40th anniversary at its annual meeting in New Orleans Sept. 24-27.
The event features general sessions with experts from the industry, tabletop exhibits, special forums and workshops, and an awards presentation. ARM leaders also hold committee meetings.
Adam Webb, ARM's executive director, said the association expects more than 300 attendees. “It could be quite a bit more than that,” he said. Last year the meeting drew about 250 people.
Webb said the event will have 57 tabletop exhibits, 30 percent more than last year's annual meeting. The meeting also includes seminars on practical rotomolding and value-added selling.
History will play a big role. ARM is putting together a booklet detailing the association's history, and featuring articles written by past ARM presidents and members of its Hall of Fame, detailing each decade.
Webb said attendees also will see an exhibit of parts from each decade.
ARM was born on Feb. 5, 1976, a snowy day in Chicago when 21 rotomolding leaders met at an airport hotel to discuss industry issues such as standards, freight rates, education and supplier relations, according to Webb. They were: Harold Williams, W.C. Miller, Robert Dunne, Ewing Lofton, Raymond Hoschette, Pat and Thomas Long, James Florsheim, Ray Oliver, George Kraemer, Rush Smith, Darrell Hampton, Virgil Lynch, Thomas Schidel, Harold Brown, John Call, Larry Snyder, Weldon “Red” Smith, Normal Shaefer, Arlen Huff and Bob Bagshaw.
The founders divided into groups to discuss their topics, and then presented reports. Leaders from each interested company signed a form promising to contribute $250, which would be credited to their annual dues.
Three weeks later, a memo was sent to the charter members: Du-Call Miller Plastics, Dunne Plastic Co., El Jay Plastics Inc., Faribo Manufacturing, Formed Plastics Inc., GET Plastics Inc., Glass Plastics Corp., Jiffy Plastics Inc., Kracor Inc., Plastech Division of Penn Pacific Corp., Rotec Inc. Rotocast Plastic Products, Snyder Industries, Solar Plastics, Spin-Cast Plastics Inc. and Unipar Inc.
ARM, based in Glen Ellyn, is working to get rotomolding veterans to attend the meeting in September, to honor the 40th anniversary. ARM is offering a special “luminary” rate — at cost — aimed at people who have retired or are no longer active in the rotomolding industry.
“We have luminaries who haven't been to an annual meeting in years,” Webb said. “We want to celebrate the history of the association with all of our friends and everybody who the association has meant something to over the years.”
ARM has meant a lot to industry veterans, according to Toby Huff, technical sales manager at Jericho Plastic Industries Inc. His father Arlen Huff died in 2005. “He would be pleased to see that the work and people he worked with in this industry has continued to grow and benefit people with jobs and careers that help make this world a better place,” he said.
A panel of ARM leaders will discuss what they learned from the association's 40 years: Daven Claerbout of Dutchland Plastics Corp., Patrick Long of Formed Plastics, Sandy Scaccia of Norstar Aluminum Molds Inc. and Bill Spenceley of Flexahopper Plastics Ltd.
The keynote speaker on Sept. 25, Dennis Snow, had a 20-year career at Walt Disney World, beginning in 1979 as a front-line attractions operator. He advanced through Disney, managing various operating areas throughout the theme park. Snow launched a division of the Disney Institute responsible for consulting with some of the world's largest companies.
Other speakers — rotomolding consultant Paul Nugent and Mark Kearns, rotational molding manager at Queen's University in Belfast — will look at rotomolding in the next 40 years.
Other speakers will examine reasons for failure in rotomolded parts, new pulverizing technology, lightweighting, alternatives to polyethylene, leak testing and hot-plate welding for automotive parts, decorating, inserts and other technical topics.