AUG 2018


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AUGUST 2018 18 CompositesWorld » For the 18 th time in as many years, the Society of Plastics Engi- neers' (SPE, Bethel, CT, US) long-running Automotive Compos- ites Conference & Exhibition (ACCE) returns to the Diamond Banquet & Conference Center at the Suburban Collection Show- place (Novi, MI, US) in the Detroit suburbs, Sept. 5-7, to highlight innovations and applications in transportation composites. e three-day event combines multi-track technical presentations and an exhibit floor, plus panel discussions, student poster competi- tions, awards and more. e lively event typically draws more than 1,000 attendees from five continents who are passionate about advancing composites in mobility applications. Not just automotive Although its name describes the event's original composites focus —automotive — attendees actually hail from a richer, more diverse range of transportation industries, including truck, bus, rail, off-highway, agricultural equipment and even aerospace, and also from the sporting goods market. e full supply chain is represented, from OEMs and tier suppliers to additive, resin and reinforcement suppliers and compounders, equipment providers, research organiza- tions, universities and consultants. e conference has managed to maintain a friendly feel even as it has grown to a much larger size, so networking opportunities are excellent and everywhere to be found. Organizers schedule regular breaks between sessions to encourage those attending the tech- nical programs to get out and see exhibitors on the show floor, and networking receptions are held on the first two evenings. ere's even a pre-event golf outing for those who arrive early and want to start networking right away. Students from high school through post-doctoral studies are there to report their research and to learn about the industry — with many of them looking for jobs. SPE ACCE 2018 preview Seeing the big picture To help the audience track key trends impacting transportation composites, conference organizers have scheduled two keynotes and three panel discussions. John Viera, global director – sustain- ability and vehicle environment, Ford Motor Co. (Ford, Dearborn, MI, US) will discuss "Sustainable Manufacturing at Ford and How Composites can Help to Address Industry Challenges," and Mark Voss, engineering group manager – body structures advanced composites, and pickup boxes at General Motors Co. (Detroit, MI, US) will describe "e World's First Carbon Fiber Pickup Box." Day 1 (Sept. 5) will feature a panel discussion on "How Can the Plastics Industry Profit from the Next Generation of Vehicles?" Confirmed panelists thus far include Jud Gibson, VP, commer- cial Americas, DSM Engineering Plastics (Troy, MI, US) and Paul Platte, manager – automotive and transportation, Covestro LLC (Pittsburgh, PA, US). e panel discussion for Day 2 (Sept. 6) will focus on "How 3D Printing is Changing the Automotive Composites Business" and will feature Ellen Lee, technical leader – additive manufacturing/3D printing, Ford; Jeff LeGrange, chief commer- cialization officer, Impossible Objects Inc. (Northbrook, IL, US); and Kara Noack, regional business director, BASF 3D Printing Solutions NA (Heidelberg, Germany). On the last day (Sept. 7), a final panel will focus on "Sustainable Materials Management & the Circular Economy in Automotive Applications." It will include Debbie Mielewski, senior technical Mobility composites are expected to draw an international crowd to this annual Motor City gathering. Annual meet-up in the Motor City The SPE Automotive Composites Conference & Exhibition (ACCE) returns to the Detroit suburbs to combine a three-day, multi-track technical conference, complete with keynote addresses, panel discussions, poster and part competi- tions, awards for scholarships and best papers, and a large exhibit floor. SPE ACCE draws visitors from around the world. Source | Society of Plastics Engineers / Photo | Pam & Mike Brady SHOW PREVIEW Read this article online |

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