If you haven't noticed yet, there's a new face around these (plastic) parts — mine, that is. I'm Audrey LaForest, and I'm your new host of the weekly Plastics News Now video as well as your go-to reporter for all things automotive and machinery in the plastics industry.
This blog, In Motion, will be a space for me to dive deeper into stories about equipment, the growing role of plastics in the automotive industry as suppliers and OEMs weave the word "lightweight" into present and future innovations, and even how some plastics equipment suppliers are ditching traditional team-building exercises for a more hands-on approach to boosting camaraderie — but more on that later.
First, let me tell you a little about myself.
Prior to joining Plastics News in September, I was covering a different sort of industry. When it's nearly 100° F and humid outside, it's an industry that some might even say they worship. Yes, it's the heating, ventilation and air conditioning industry. When it's hot out, HVAC technicians are working to keep you cool, and when it's cold out, they're making sure you're staying warm. That's not to say that at your office there will finally be a "just right" balance between too hot and too cold, but as with the plastics industry, innovation in technology and controls is leading to increased efficiency and consumer happiness.
And when I wasn't looking up at ductwork, I was covering a smaller segment of the plastics industry: flexible packaging. But many of you already know what stand-up pouches are because you're extruding the film, forming the pouch or figuring out how it can be recycled at end of life.
From injection molding machines to acronyms like TPO, the learning curve of the plastics industry is steep, but I'm confident that in no time saying things like "carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic" will become just as commonplace as reminding people that my name is Audrey, not Aubrey.