The conference was an outstanding success, this year we celebrated the 20th anniversary of the formation of the SPE European Thermoforming Division and our 10th conference.
From its initial beginning in 1996 until today there has been a growing together of the thermoforming industry as it expands into different parts of the plastics market and the theme of this year’s conference was Evolution- Thermoforming-Destination. Over the last 20 years the thermoforming industry has gone through major changes as the companies involved have had to adapt and innovate to stay not only current but to be ahead of the market needs. This is one of the main reasons that thermoformers from across the world attend the SPE ETD Conference. Speakers and delegates discussed a wide range of subjects that are pertinent to todays and tomorrow’s needs.
There were more than 250 delegates from 28 countries in Europe, North America, India, The Middle and the Far East. Thermoformers, material suppliers, end users as well as machine builders were able to listen to a variety of speakers during the two-day conference.
The conference was opened by Marek Nikiforov who was the current chair of SPE ETD and Gabriel Bernar who was conference chair.
The first speaker was Thomas Drustrup who spoke about ‘Plastic Pollution in the sea and asking what is the solution’. It was an interesting presentation and it generated a lot of discussion on the various ways this problem can be overcome.
The second presenter was Wim De Vos who is CEO of The Society of Plastics Engineers who spoke about the ‘Future use of Plastics’. There were many ideas and projects already in development or even in use, that were very exciting and some were so innovative that the normal individual in the plastics industry would not have realised such a use of the material could be possible.
Then presentations became more technically detailed in relationship to subjects such as a 3D session that covered areas such as the latest update on ‘3D-Tec’ from David Bue Pedersen from The Technical University in Denmark. ‘Tooling in Thermoforming by 3D’ by Djamila Olivier from Spain.
During the coffee and lunch breaks there were over 40 table top displays from a variety of suppliers to the industry from machine manufacturers to material suppliers with all other aspects of the industry covered as well.
In another section there was a display of thermoformed parts that showed the wide range of products. A jury of experts in their fields were asked to judge the winners and they were as follows:
Heavy Gauge Automotive: Winner:” Engine Hood” produced by Technoplast, France. This was a large part for an industrial application that had post forming assemble.
Heavy Gauge Non-Automotive: Winner: “VELUX Roof Dome” produced by Formplast, Sweden. This had a excellent clarity using a fairly complex sheet material.
Thin gauge Food Packaging Application: Winner: Part” Veggiefresh” produced by RPC, Germany. An in mould labelling product that was thermoformed and would be strong competition to injection moulded product
Thin gauge Non-Food Packaging Application: Winner:” Back lighted Day-Night effect baguette” produced by company Walterpack, Spain. An advance high pressure formed part.
An innovation used at the conference this year was to split the delegates into two groups. The Technical conference presentations on thin sheet subjects were held in one room and heavy gauge commercial/technical presentations were held on the next room. This was then reversed the following session so all could enjoy both technical as well as commercial/technical presentations.
On the last day there was a very interesting presentation by a representative from SEAT on lighting which was well received by the delegates.
In the afternoon of the final day that session was devoted to presentations by Universities on various subjects such as optimisation of thermoforming process, increased material efficiency and Heat under control.
The conference was brought to a close by Gabriel Bernar who was Chair of the conference and the incoming chair of the ETD (2016-2018)
Next conference is scheduled from
14th to 16th of March 2018 in Rome, Italy.
Yetty Pauwels spe.etd(at)skynet.be, Tel. +32 3 541 77 55, www.e-t-d.org