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New perspectives on plastics design explored in free PDM event

01 June 2016

This year’s PDM Event (14 to 15 June) at the multi-million pound Telford International Centre will explore a number of new perspectives on design.

The event includes two free-to-attend conference programs (PDM and Plastics Recycling) with dedicated design sessions where visitors can learn about the latest material, processing and prototyping developments and see examples of innovative plastic designs. The PDM conference will cover moulding, design, materials and industry innovation across the medical, automotive, packaging and construction sectors. Meanwhile the Plastics Recycling conference will focus on the issues facing the plastics recycling market today, including a focus on plastics packaging. 

Around the exhibition, visitors will be able to see the latest developments and discuss their projects with product design companies, injection moulding companies, rotational and blow moulding machinery suppliers, rapid prototyping specialists, masterbatch specialists, software suppliers and materials testing specialists as well as major moulders such as Boddingtons, Protolabs and Pentagon Plastics. Representatives from the Plastics Consultancy Network will be running a “Plastics Surgery” offering effective, creative and cost-effective advice and solutions, and the results of two new industry surveys – Best Places to Work in UK Plastics and Most Influential People in the UK Plastics Industry – will also be announced. 

Free conference packed with dedicated design sessions

Andy Ditchburn, Creative Director, Perro Design and Communications will explore how integrating design with social media and marketing can be used for predicting future design and market trends, and Les Stokes, Director, LA Design will show delegates what can be achieved when design is used as a tool for integrating different processes. “The plastics industry tends to be segmented into vertical organisations, each specialists in their own area: injection moulders, compression moulders, rotational moulders, thermoformers etc. Industrial designers create products, services and interactions for people and work horizontally across many different disciplines. Because we are user-focused, the process is selected to meet particular needs rather than deciding on a particular method at the outset. This often means we combine several different moulding processes to achieve the desired result. My presentation will look at what happens when design is used as a tool for integrating different processes and I will share examples of successful projects we have recently completed,” he explains. 

Other sessions will cover project planning, 3D CAD software, new design opportunities for rotational moulding with effect pigments, and a case study of an award-winning medical device. 

Speakers at the PRE conference will include representatives from Tesco, WRAP, British Plastics Federation Recycling Group and leading lights in the packaging and design industries. 

Conference highlights:

PDM Day 1 (14 June)

10.15 Now What? What got you here won’t get you where you need to be tomorrow

Steve May-Russell, National Board Director, British Industrial Design Association 

10.45 Patenting strategy in injection moulding and plastics design

Jason Lessard, European Patent, Trade Mark and Design Attorney and Patent Director, HGF Ltd 

14.00 CREEP – the hidden killer, how to protect your designs

Dr Nick Henwood, Rotational Moulding Expert, Rotomotive Ltd 

PDM Day 2 (15 June)

10.15 New design opportunities with effect pigments

Dr Laurent Deloux, Lab Manager, Merck

10.45 Beyond the shelf – Linking designing with social media and marketing

Andy Ditchburn, Creative Director, Perro Design and Communications

11.15 Design as a tool for integrating different processes

Les Stokes, Director, LA Design 

11.45 Case study: Braidlock line anchor designing 

Keith Lawson, Commercial Director, Boddingtons Plastics 

12.15 Development of polymers for automotive applications

Dan Jarvis, Technical Manager, Plastribution 

12.45 Current trends in plastics for automotive engineering

Paul Chapman, General Manager – R & D Design, Nifco – UK

13.15 Accelerating product development and designing

Patrick Hall, Development Director, Maddison Ltd

14.15 3D computer-aided design software – a solution for automation of routine operations

Paul Smithson, Support Engineer, Vero Software 

15.15 Auxetic polymers – new business opportunities for plastics industry

Andy Alderson, Principal Research Fellow, Materials and Engineering Research Institute, Sheffield Hallam University

PRE Day 2 (15 June)

10.45 Trends in plastic packaging; does progress made in the function of the material outweigh the lack of recyclability?

Stuart Hayward-Higham, technical Development Director, Sita

11.15 Pots Tubs Trays – can designers of PTT make them more widely recycled? 

Stuart Kershaw, Trading Sales Manager (Plastics), Viridor Waste Management

13.30 The packaging and consumer education challenges and the best recycled plastics products

Steve Morgan, Technical Manager, RECOUP

Anne Hitch, Communications Manager, RECOUP

14.00 Tesco; closing the loop by offering single-use carry bags made from its own plastics waste

Ian Sorensen, Group Head of Consumables and Waste & Recycling Procurement, Tesco

Expert advice from specialists in the PDM event exhibition

Throughout the two-day event, visitors are invited to bring along questions they may have relating to plastics design and moulding to the Plastics Consultancy Network’s (PCN) Plastics Surgery, where PCN’s consultants will be on hand to offer effective, creative and cost-effective advice and solutions. PCN consultant, Dr Robin Kent, explains how they have been able to help PDM Event visitors in recent years: “Once we had a visitor who was interested in producing a part by extrusion and needed assistance with the design. The length of the part and the market volumes meant that extrusion was not actually the best process and injection moulding was recommended. The change of process meant that the visitor could also modify the design to include more features for the end user and increase the value of the product to the market. On another occasion a visitor was interested in entering the medical products market with an innovative device and surveying the possibilities. The Plastics Surgery was able to outline the quality requirements of the market, the time-scales for achieving approval and the potential materials for production. The visitor then decided to use sub-contractors rather than try to set up internal moulding capability.” These examples are very typical of the types of enquiries PCN receives, and visitors are urged to take full advantage of their free expertise at PDM Event this year.

Also offering valuable advice on its stand is Rubber & Plastics Research Association (RAPRA). Any company in need of assistance can access the impartial specialist support from its Polymer Helpdesk twice, free of charge. This service aims to match the requirements of industry to leading polymer scientists and engineers that will provide a solution.

Among the prototype specialists exhibiting is Plunkett Associates who will be celebrating its 10th year anniversary and providing visitors with material, tooling and production advice for their projects – big and small. In particular, its team can offer valuable design tips for achieving successful injection moulded parts. Meanwhile Stanford Marsh offers customer advice, tools and support aiding the complete design workflow process, from conceptual design through to finished product. Visitors to the stand can see a uPrint FDM 3D Printer that belongs to the Stratasys Idea Series, perfect for individual designers and smaller teams. 

Materials and fastener developments showcased

Material suppliers exhibiting include 4Plas, Albis, Axion Polymers, Biffa Polymers, Burgess Colours, Distrupol, Luxus, Plastribution and Gabriel-Chemie. Gabriel-Chemie will use PDM Event to present its new range of Everyday Colours which combine high quality colouration with the affordability needed for everyday objects. The range consists of 18 vibrant colours that can be used in both film and injection-moulding applications. Axion will showcase its range of Axpoly recycled engineering polymers, recovered from automotive feedstocks and suitable for custom injection moulding. Meanwhile technical compounder Luxus and RocTool the ‘Heat&Cool’ technology specialists, have announced a new joint collaboration. The Luxus Hycolene grade 16818 has been selected as RocTool’s preferred high performance PP resin for use with its rapid inductive heating technology. 

Visitors interested in the latest fastener developments are invited to speak to the in-house design team at Harrison Silverdale which is exhibiting at PDM for the first time. With the current drive to reduce weight in the automotive industry it has some interesting solutions with clips, nuts and rivets made from lightweight materials.

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