Society of Plastics Engineers ACCE 2017 preview

The Society of Plastics Engineers’ (SPE, Bethel, CT, US) long-running Automotive Composites Conference & Exhibition (ACCE) continues to draw a global crowd.

The Society of Plastics Engineers’ (SPE, Bethel, CT, US) long-running Automotive Composites Conference & Exhibition (ACCE) continues to draw a global crowd. It returns to the Detroit suburbs for the 17th time on Sept. 6-8. This year, a scheduling issue required that the Composites & Advanced Materials Expo (CAMX), typically held later in the fall, take place, instead, the week immediately following ACCE. Although the unfortunate timing likely will hurt both events in terms of sponsors/exhibitors, presentations and attendance, CAMX organizers — the Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering (SAMPE, Diamond Bar, CA, US) and the American Composites Manufacturers Assn. (ACMA, Arlington, VA, US) — say it couldn’t be helped. Regardless, the ACCE team, made up largely of volunteers from the Society’s Automotive and Composites Divisions, has been hard at work organizing this year’s conference.

With a mandate to educate the global transportation composites supply chain on the latest developments in polymer-based composite materials, processes, machinery and applications, ACCE typically draws nearly 1,000 attendees from the Americas, Europe and Asia. Owing to its Motor City location and the fact that entry fees are waived for transportation OEMs, the event boasts an enviable number of attendees who work directly for automotive, commercial truck, agricultural equipment, off-highway and aircraft manufacturers, making it a perennial favorite for suppliers who target these markets.

Organizers schedule numerous breaks between technical programming for booth visits, and offer evening receptions to facilitate networking and discussion by members of the entire transportation-composites supply chain.

Pre-event social outings on Sept. 5 will be built around a day-long golf outing at Fieldstone Golf Club (Auburn Hills, MI, US) and a tour of the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation’s (IACMI, Knoxville, TN) newly opened facility in Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood.

At CW press time, the three-day event had booked almost 80 presentations on the final program. These will be scheduled in 11 sessions, under the headings listed below, split into three technical tracks:

  • Additive manufacturing and 3D printing.
  • Advances in reinforcement technologies.
  • Advances in thermoplastic composites.
  • Advances in thermoset composites.
  • Business trends and technology solutions.
  • Bonding, joining and finishing.
  • Enabling technologies (process/machinery).
  • Nanocomposites.
  • Opportunities and challenges with carbon composites.
  • Sustainable composites (recycled, bio-based and
  • natural fiber-reinforced).
  • Virtual prototyping and testing.

Keynote speakers are slated from Ford Motor Co. (Dearborn, MI, US), the University of Maine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center (Orono, ME, US) and IACMI. In addition, attendees will have the opportunity to sit in on one of the lively panel discussions for which the ACCE is known. SPE’s educational focus will be exemplified in its Best Paper awards and student scholarships (both presented during opening ceremonies), plus student posters and best composite parts awards (presented, respectively, after lunch on Day 2 and during closing ceremonies).

Learn more at

View 16 years of ACCE proceedings free at

Related Content

Hybrid Five-Axis Machine Builds Near-Net Shape Part Features

Smart Manufacturing Experience 2018: Mazak will exhibit its various Smooth Technology products in addition to live cutting demonstrations on its VC-500 AM and small-footprint Integrex i-100 Bartac-S machine tools.