SPE sets dates for Automotive Composites Conference Exhibition

The SPE Automotive Composites Conference & Exhibition (ACCE) will be held Sept. 16-18, 2008, at the Michigan State University Management Education Center in Troy, Mich.

The organizing committee for the SPE Automotive Composites Conference & Exhibition (ACCE) announced the dates, theme, and location for this year's show and issued its annual Call for Papers. Now in its 8th year, the ACCE has become the world's leading forum for automotive composites and draws exhibitors, speakers, and attendees from Europe, the Middle East, and Asia / Pacific as well as North America. The event returns Sept. 16-18, 2008, at the Michigan State University (MSU) Management Education Center in Troy, Mich.

This year’s conference theme is "The Road to Lightweight Performance,"said Dale Brosius, COO of Quickstep Technologies and returning event chair. "It reflects the progress transportation OEMs, tier suppliers, and composites producers have made in taking weight out and improving performance of vehicles by replacing metal and glass with lightweight, impact- and corrosion-resistant polymer composites.”

"Sustained high fuel prices are convincing consumers to seek more energy-efficient vehicles, but they would prefer not to sacrifice safety, comfort, and performance as part of the bargain,"added Dr. Frank Henning, director-Polymer Engineering, Fraunhofer Institut Chemische Technologie (ICT) and returning ACCE program vice-chair. "With the added pressure to increase fuel-economy standards, advancements in engine technology and alternative powertrains like hybrids and fuel cells can only go so far. Making vehicles lighter with composites deserves equal consideration in closing the gap.”

Despite slowdowns in the North American and European auto industries, for the second year in a row, last year's ACCE topped 400 attendees, drawing participants from 14 countries on 4 continents, and maintained a high level of OEM participation. Interestingly, the types of transportation OEMs represented at the show continued to broaden, capturing speakers and attendees from agriculture, truck & bus, heavy truck, and aviation. This trend may indicate greater interest in technology sharing among transportation OEMs and suppliers.

Those interested in speaking at this year's event should submit abstracts as soon as possible to the review committee via accepapers@speautomotive.com. Full papers or presentations are due May 30, 2008. Authors who submit papers (not presentations) in the proper format by the due date will automatically be eligible for consideration for the conference's Best Paper Awards, which will be presented during the event's opening ceremony.

Held annually in the suburbs of Detroit, the ACCE provides an environment dedicated solely to discussion and networking about advances in the automotive composites industry. Its global appeal is evident in the diversity of exhibitors, speakers, and attendees who come to the conference from Europe, the Middle East, and Asia / Pacific as well as North America and who represent transportation OEMs and tier suppliers; composite materials, processing equipment, additives, and reinforcement suppliers; trade associations, consultants, university and government labs; media; and investment bankers. The show is sponsored jointly by the SPE Automotive and Composites Divisions. The mission of SPE is to promote scientific and engineering knowledge relating to plastics.

For more information about the SPE Automotive Composites Conference, visit the Composites' Division website at www.4spe.org/communities/divisions/d39.php, or the Automotive Division's website at www.speautomotive.com/comp.htm, or contact the group at +1 248-244-8993, or write SPE Automotive Division, 1800 Crooks Rd., Ste. A, Troy, Mich., 48084. For more information on the Society of Plastics Engineers International or other SPE events, visit the SPE website at www.4spe.org, or call +1 203-775-0471.