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April 2006
April editorial

Well, the suitcase is repacked for my third trip in as many weeks — it's conference and show season again. There's really no place like home, but the truth is that industry gatherings are how we network and become acquainted with new applications to cover. Tomorrow, I'm off to Budapest, Hungary for the 8th World

Author:
Posted on: 4/1/2006
Source: Composites Technology

Well, the suitcase is repacked for my third trip in as many weeks — it's conference and show season again. There's really no place like home, but the truth is that industry gatherings are how we network and become acquainted with new applications to cover. Tomorrow, I'm off to Budapest, Hungary for the 8th World Pultrusion Conference, sponsored by EPTA. Then, to Paris for the JEC show. Stop by and visit us at stand J24 — we'd like to meet you and learn about your company.

Composites shows seem to be proliferating. Two new composites-related gatherings are coming this year, one in Essen, Germany on Sept. 20 and the second during the Materialica Show in Munich, on Oct. 12. The September show, Composites Europe, is co-organized by Reed Exhibitions together with the European Composites Industry Assn. (EUCIA). It will be colocated with Reed's ALUMINUM 2006 show. Composites 2006, the October show in Essen — not to be confused with the American Composite Manufacturers Assn.'s U.S. show the same month — will be part of the giant Materialica trade fair. With the theme "Composites in Automotive & Aerospace" organizers expect around 150 composite material exhibitors from Germany and elsewhere. We'll be there to cover them both.

These new gatherings may signal a shakeup in the status quo, similar to the changes we saw after the implosion of the Society of the Plastics Industry's (SPI) Composites Institute in the late 1990s. Nothing stays the same like change, right? In my view, the growing number of shows is a manifestation of the confidence within the composites community — suppliers believe that there's enough interest — and money — to sustain more than one or two major get-togethers.

Our own confidence in the industry's prospects has never been higher. Since last issue, when we announced the establishment of our European sales office, staffed by the very capable Sian Raynor, we've expanded our sales presence stateside. On March 1, Barb Businger, a seasoned professional with experience in both the plastics and composites industries, opened our second U.S. sales office, located in Medina, Ohio. Barb will handle sales in the northeastern U.S. under the direction of global sales manager Dirk Weed, who anchors the sales team in our corporate office here in Denver, Colo.

All this confidence is certainly well placed, based on the articles and applications we have for you in this issue. Our "Engineering Insights" design article (p. 44) profiles a new composite rebar for concrete reinforcement that is enabling much more cost-effective subway construction. Our investigation of fiber sizings and coupling agents (p. 18) is an eye-opener for anyone involved in production of fiberglass parts — many important variables are involved for proper selection of the right sizing for the job. Preforming technology continues to evolve for larger and larger parts, as you'll see in the "Inside Manufacturing" article on p. 28 about the National Composite Center's (NCC) fully automated. And reinforced thermoplastics get their due as well — as we look at the universe of thermoformable preconsolidated panels for a wide variety of potential apps, on p. 36.

Well, see you soon, at a composites gathering near you.

Well, the suitcase is repacked for my third trip in as many weeks — it's conference and show season again. There's really no place like home, but the truth is that industry gatherings are how we network and become acquainted with new applications to cover. Tomorrow, I'm off to Budapest, Hungary for the 8th World Pultrusion Conference, sponsored by EPTA. Then, to Paris for the JEC show. Stop by and visit us at stand J24 — we'd like to meet you and learn about your company.

Composites shows seem to be proliferating. Two new composites-related gatherings are coming this year, one in Essen, Germany on Sept. 20 and the second during the Materialica Show in Munich, on Oct. 12. The September show, Composites Europe, is co-organized by Reed Exhibitions together with the European Composites Industry Assn. (EUCIA). It will be colocated with Reed's ALUMINUM 2006 show. Composites 2006, the October show in Essen — not to be confused with the American Composite Manufacturers Assn.'s U.S. show the same month — will be part of the giant Materialica trade fair. With the theme "Composites in Automotive & Aerospace" organizers expect around 150 composite material exhibitors from Germany and elsewhere. We'll be there to cover them both.

These new gatherings may signal a shakeup in the status quo, similar to the changes we saw after the implosion of the Society of the Plastics Industry's (SPI) Composites Institute in the late 1990s. Nothing stays the same like change, right? In my view, the growing number of shows is a manifestation of the confidence within the composites community — suppliers believe that there's enough interest — and money — to sustain more than one or two major get-togethers.

Our own confidence in the industry's prospects has never been higher. Since last issue, when we announced the establishment of our European sales office, staffed by the very capable Sian Raynor, we've expanded our sales presence stateside. On March 1, Barb Businger, a seasoned professional with experience in both the plastics and composites industries, opened our second U.S. sales office, located in Medina, Ohio. Barb will handle sales in the northeastern U.S. under the direction of global sales manager Dirk Weed, who anchors the sales team in our corporate office here in Denver, Colo.

All this confidence is certainly well placed, based on the articles and applications we have for you in this issue. Our "Engineering Insights" design article (p. 44) profiles a new composite rebar for concrete reinforcement that is enabling much more cost-effective subway construction. Our investigation of fiber sizings and coupling agents (p. 18) is an eye-opener for anyone involved in production of fiberglass parts — many important variables are involved for proper selection of the right sizing for the job. Preforming technology continues to evolve for larger and larger parts, as you'll see in the "Inside Manufacturing" article on p. 28 about the National Composite Center's (NCC) fully automated. And reinforced thermoplastics get their due as well — as we look at the universe of thermoformable preconsolidated panels for a wide variety of potential apps, on p. 36.

Well, see you soon, at a composites gathering near you.

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