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NPE2018 Show Daily - Friday

NPE is truly ‘Breaking the Mold’ as a multifaceted experience, with activities, discoveries and opportunities to satisfy the needs of anyone who works in the plastics industry or has a need to know about plastics

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FRIDAY NPE 2018 : THE PLASTICS SHOW SHOW DAILY 88 Your New Alternative to High-Pressure Injection Molding Let us tell you about the LUMINA MP800 Medium-Pressure Injection Molding Machine > Versatile > Efficient > Advanced Technology wilmingtonmachinery.com 45 Years Serving the Plastics Industry See us at NPE BOOTH W1823 The Then and Now of NPE The very first NPE was in New York City in 1946. There were 164 exhibitors—most of them in 10x10 booths—and the show occupied one 24,600 [² exhibit hall. By Sco Francis CompositesWorld NPE has been a plasঞcs industry "must-at- tend" event for more than 70 years. Parঞci- pants represenঞng more than 20,000 com- panies from all over the world a•end. But how has it grown and evolved over the years? Ma• Naitove, execuঞve editor of Plascs Technology, has some pre•y good insight. Naitove began a•ending the show in 1973 as a cub reporter and this is his 16th NPE. So, it's fair to say he knows the ropes. According to Naitove, the very first NPE was in New York City in 1946. There were 164 exhibitors–most of them in 10 x 10 booths–and the show occupied one 24,600 [² exhibit hall. Reportedly, 87,000 people showed up. Why so many? The first NPE was open to the general public. "The place was mobbed, and the fire mar- shal had to shut the doors," says Naitove. When Naitove started coming to NPE in the 1970s, a•endance was around 40,000 and has grown to 65,000. There are now more than 2000 exhibitors and the show occupies 1.1 million [²–a far cry from those early days of the 10 x 10 booths. So, what was big at NPE in the 1970s? "Solid state controls, if you can imagine," says Naitove. "I'm amused to look back and see solid state controls on machines was a news item–I mean as opposed to vacuum tubes. And I remember people touঞng hav- ing a microprocessor on their machines. Now, that's like saying 'my machine runs on electricity!'" Technology isn't the only thing that's changed. Business has become increasingly more global. According to Naitove, the first NPE was composed enঞrely of U.S. exhibi- tors. Today, internaঞonal companies make up at least 40% of exhibitors. "That's a big change in the industry," says Naitove. "A lot of consolidaঞon, and the fact is that the ma- chine technology for plasঞcs largely comes from abroad today." Along with new technologies and new markets come new trends. In the 1980s, it was robots. In '88, quick mold change sys- tems. In the last decade, medical applicaঞons have become a big trend. "Back then it wasn't unusual to see a ma- chine standing on the carpet cranking out some parts," recalls Naitove, "Today, compa- nies are promoঞng what you would call a work cell. There's a collecঞon of equipment up- stream and downstream, automated feeding and blending equipment, a robot's puমng a part on a conveyor or feeding an inspecঞon, assembly or decoraঞng operaঞon–a whole manufacturing system." The way exhibitors showcase their prod- ucts and services has also evolved. "There's more wow-factor and showman- ship today," says Naitove, "Some of it is more entertainment-oriented: Wi•mann-Ba•enfeld (Booth W374) is famous for showing robots playing basketball, and at the last NPE show Star Automaঞon (this year in Booth W3373) played miniature golf with robots." Technology advancements and trends con- ঞnue to come down the pipeline. Just how much will NPE grow? Looking back at 1946, it sounds like 87,000 is sঞll the number to beat! One thing's for sure, the plasঞcs industry will conঞnue to grow and evolve. And NPE conঞn- ues to evolve right along with it. "A show like this becomes a big pool of informaঞon you can draw on for the next few years," says Naitove. "You'll see a group of people at the show talking about the same thing and the next thing you know, it's a trend. I guarantee you're going to find something you didn't expect–something you weren't looking for." The show occupied one 24,600 [² exhibit hall. Reportedly, 87,000 people showed up. Why so many? The first NPE was open to the general public.

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