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Who Attends the IAPD Plastics Expo?

You can expect a diverse audience at the IAPD Plastics Expo, including:

  • Professionals in the plastics industry there to speak with customers and suppliers
  • End users learning about the power of plastics for their applications
  • Students and faculty finding out what opportunities are out there in the world of plastics

With valuable educational sessions offered in the morning, technical sessions being presented during Expo hours, lots of opportunity to speak with exhibitors, plus networking during lunch and the post-Expo Closing Party at the House of Blues Chicago, there’s something for everyone at the IAPD Plastics Expo on October 30 in Chicago.

Here’s who you can expect to meet at the Expo:

  Distributors provide essential services to both the
    manufacturer they purchase the materials from and their customers. Distributors allow manufacturers’ products extra visibility. They serve as selling agents for suppliers in geographically defined markets, because it’s not cost-effective for manufacturers to set up shop everywhere. They also offer technical knowledge for the end-user. This benefits the manufacturer, who does not have to have a large staff to answer technical questions, and the customer because distributors’ knowledge of a wide range of materials means customers will get the best plastic for their application and their budget. It also means the customer has a personal expert to contact with questions.
  Plastics fabricators perform any number of value-added
    services that help transform plastic shapes into items more closely resembling the finished product. These services could simply be cutting a piece to size, or more complicated, such as welding, gluing, forming, routing and polishing. The fabrication process encompasses a thorough understanding of each client’s applications, requirements, expectations and budget to create a final product — from a one-of-a-kind artistic piece to thousands of commercial or industrial parts.
  Distributor/Fabricators provide manufacturers with the

economies of scale associated with the distributor model while also providing custom fabrication for finished parts for end users. Expanded product knowledge combined with fabrication capabilities provide customers with all the necessary pieces to ensure the right material is used for their application. Distributors/Fabricators specialize in design and implementation of substitute parts and are essential for any engineer looking to replace steel, glass or any other medium with fabricated plastic parts.

  Manufacturers take plastic resin and convert it into shapes,
  sheets or pipes, valves and fittings.
  The resin manufacturer supplies the manufacturer with the
Manufacturers   raw material, plastic resin.
  Manufacturers’ representatives act as an outside sales force
Representatives   for the manufacturers, selling their plastics to distributors.
  APS members offer products and services to help other
Products and   members with their business. This could include tools,
Services (APS)   machinery, software and research, to name a few.
  Recycler members collect unwanted plastics and
    transform them into pellets ready to be repurposed into other products.
  The engineer decides what needs to be built. They are the
    problem solvers and might solve a problem with a metal or plastic part.
  Designers bring the engineers’ ideas into fruition.
    Designers can also be engineers and specifiers.
  The specifier is the person who selects the materials to build
    the part. They may also be the engineer or designer. This person will source the material and, with the help of a plastics professional, will choose the type of plastic for the part.
  An original equipment manufacturer (OEM)
    manufactures products or components that are purchased by another company and retailed under that purchasing company’s brand name. The OEM is the company that manufactured the product.
  Students age 18 and older are welcome to participate
    and learn more about opportunities in the plastics industry.
  Academia are welcome to attend and make
    connections with companies in the plastics industry that are interested in demonstrating the multitude of applications that are possible with plastics.