Beginning October 20, ARM will deliver our next training series directly to ARM members’ inboxes. Technical Director Nick Henwood has created presentations on health and safety that you can use for staff training.
Topics covered include: risk management, machinery safety, heat, explosions, slips, trips, and more.
The first four presentations will be released every other week in October and November. The final four will be released in the first quarter of 2022.
This new series on Health and Safety follows previous webinar series on Operator Training, Finishing, and Design. All are available free and on demand to ARM members, in addition to hundreds of additional training, technical, and roto industry webinars and videos.
We now offer more than 100 videos on-demand for members. Non-members can join ARM here. Members can access all of the titles listed below immediately.
The Association of Rotational Molders presented a number of awards and recognized Board members who have completed their service to ARM at our Annual Meeting on September 23, 2021.
Charles D. Frederick Distinguished Service Award was presented to Michael Paloian of Industrial Design Systems
Student Design Awards were given to Bryce Lee, Amanda Evans, and Szymon Salamon, all from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design
Safety Awards were presented to Formed Plastics and Gregstrom Plastics
Product Competition Awards were presented to Centro Inc. in the Innovative/State of the Art category for the Vector product, to Duracast for the Pilon Master in the Conversion Category, and to Roto Dynamics for Rowdy Hound, the Product of the Year.
ARM is excited to announce that Dru Laws (Tango Manufacturing) and Tom Murdough (Simplay3) have been elected to the Rotational Molding Hall of Fame. They will be inducted on September 23 at the ARM Annual Meeting/Rotoplas in Rosemont.
Dru Laws Dru Laws has shared his experience and expertise with other rotomolders endlessly through his involvement with ARM. He has frequently organized and spoken at rotomolding conferences large and small. He has presented at multiple international conferences. For many years he has presented ARM’s Introduction to Rotomolding seminar which is an entry into rotomolding for many members. When the Association needs a volunteer, he is often the first to say yes.
Laws is ARM’s immediate Past President. He has chaired Committees and written ARM’s Rotational Molding Foam Process Guide. He graduated with distinction from the Queens University of Belfast in Northern Ireland with an MSc in Polymer Engineering, emphasizing in Rotational Foam Molding. He began his experience in rotational molding at Mity-Lite and is now an executive at Tango Manufacturing.
Tom Murdough Tom Murdough is the innovative founder of Little Tikes, Step 2 Corporation, and most recently Simplay3 Corporation. Tom and his design team changed the face of the small household toy and the outdoor home playground markets and ultimately convinced many other molders that there was a business beyond tanks and simple moldings.
Murdough and his companies provided significant technical contributions to the global rotational molding industry, including pioneering the use of Teflon coating of molds and designing products that can be assembled with few or no fasteners. Through smart design techniques, Murdough inspired complicated mold designs that previously had been thought to be impossible. Little Tikes’ needs drove innovations in UV protection and color matrix developments for its outdoor products that all molders enjoy the benefits of today.
The Nomination & Election Process
Nominations for the Hall of Fame were collected from the industry throughout the Spring.
All nominations received from 2016 – 2021 comprised the longlist.
The ARM Executive Committee elected a Hall of Fame Selection Committee comprised of six members of the Hall of Fame.
The Selection Committee narrowed the longlist to a shortlist of five nominees.
All Hall of Fame members voted on a ballot to elect two inductees from the shortlist.
Rotoplas will be held September 20-23 at the Donald Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL (a few minutes from O’Hare Airport). Learn more about the event.
Do I need to register? This is our most frequently asked question. Yes, you need to register. Online registration is available here. You can register onsite at the Stephens Convention Center in Hall B beginning Tuesday, September 21 at 6:45 AM.
How do I get my badge? Your badge is available in Hall B at the Stephens Convention Center. You can pick up badges from 7:00 AM – 5 PM on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
What does my registration include? This depends on the registration level you selected. (Check the confirmation emailed to you.) Annual Meeting includes exhibit floor, breakfast & lunch (Wed), welcome reception (Tues), supplier-sponsored reception (Wed), breakfast & lunch (TH), gala & awards dinner (TH). Exhibits Only includes the exhibit floor (Wed and TH). Spouse/Guest includes Welcome Reception (Tues), supplier-sponsored reception (Wed), gala & awards dinner (TH). Retired includes exhibit floor, gala & awards dinner (TH).
Do exhibitors receive free registration with their booth? Each booth includes four Exhibitor Personnel registration for employees of the exhibiting company to work the booth. Your exhibitor personnel only have access to events being held within the exhibit hall. Discount codes for these passes have been emailed to you. Contact staff if you have any questions.
Exhibiting companies also tend to register many employees for the Annual Meeting, which includes education sessions and many networking opportunities. One person from each exhibiting company is required to register for the Annual Meeting.
When are the exhibits open? The exhibit hall is open Wednesday 1:30 – 6:30 PM and Thursday Noon – 5 PM.
What’s the rest of the schedule? The schedule is available here. The online schedule will be updated to include room numbers. The schedule will also be available in the show guide which is given to each registrant and there will be a schedule behind your name badge.
Is the meeting at the Hotel or the Convention Center? Most of the meeting is held at the Convention Center.
Golf departs from the Hilton Rosemont Lobby. Tuesday’s Welcome reception, Thursday’s gala, and Friday’s Board meeting will also be held at the Hilton.
Everything else is at the Convention Center.
I need a break! There are thirty-minute networking breaks in the middle of the general sessions and before the workshops. There will be coffee and other refreshments.
What’s the difference between the general session and workshops? The general session is the only rotomolding programming Wednesday morning and for the first hour Thursday morning. All Annual Meeting attendees attend these sessions.
Multiple workshops run at at the same time Thursday morning. Annual Meeting registrants choose among seven workshops to attend during two time slots.
The Exhibit Hall
Who is exhibiting? You can review a list of our exhibitors here.
Where is the Product Competition? Along Row 600 near the ARM Booth and Presentation Theater. This year you will vote on your phone or on a tablet at the ARM Booth.
What if all this walking around makes me thirsty? There will be cash bars on the floor for the entire afternoon. There’s a Starbucks in the convention center, just outside our Halls. At 5:30 PM on Wednesday, we’ll conduct a one-hour reception (with passed appetizers and open bar) in the Exhibit Hall.
When is exhibitor setup? Monday 12:30pm-4:30pm, Tuesday 8:00am-4:30pm, and Wednesday 8:00am-11:00am. Most questions about exhibiting are covered in the Exhibitor Service Manual.
What is suitcasing? Suitcasing is an unprincipled business practice in which companies who are not exhibiting gain access to an event by obtaining event credentials (attendee badge, expo-only badge etc.) and then solicit business in the aisles or other public spaces used for the conference. Please note that while all meeting attendees are invited to the exhibit floor, any attendee who is observed to be soliciting business in the aisles or other public spaces, or any company’s booth will be asked to leave immediately. Don’t make it weird.
Is there a shuttle from O’Hare airport? The Hilton Rosemont provides a shuttle from 5:00 AM – Midnight. Details here.
Aloft picks up at Door #3 at the :15 and :45 minute mark of every hour. It is on call after 10:30pm: (847) 671-4444
What are the COVID-19 precautions? The State of Illinois mandated masks for indoor events regardless of vaccination status at the end of August. There is an exception for eating and drinking while stationary. The Convention Center will post whatever the local rules are at the time of our meeting.
Since our meeting is held in Rosemont, the City of Chicago travel guidance does not apply to our event.
What should I wear? The meeting is business casual. Some people will wear blue jeans. Dress up a bit for Thursday night’s gala dinner.
Do Illinois restrictions indicate cases are especially high in Illinois?
Illinois cases are below the US average. Daily average cases in Cook Country (which includes Chicago and Rosemont) are 20 per 100,000 — compared to the U.S. average of 48 per 100,000. [This information is accurate as of September 1.)
What if I need help at the show? Our registration staff will be able to answer many questions and can contact ARM staff for help. If there’s an emergency, contact security.
What can I buy at the ARM Booth/Presentation Theater? A variety of ARM books, some rare rotomolding text books, t-shirts, cycling jerseys, and posters.
I’ve got some free time. What should I do? Nearby Dining and Entertainment: Parkway Bank Park is right behind the hotel. The site features eight restaurants/bars, a comedy club, movie theater, and indoor sky-diving. Shopping: The Fashion Outlets of Chicago is a multi-story mall that’s one big block away from the meeting. Approximately a 10-15 minute walk. Get to the city: Take the Blue Line Rosemont station (a ten-minute walk from the meeting) to Chicago. Thirty minutes to hipster neighborhood Logan Square. One hour to downtown. Chicago Dining: Your best close Deep Dish pizza option is Lou Malnati’s. Gene and Judes (since 1946) is an authentic hotdog stand open late. Paradise Pup was featured on Diners Drive-In and Dives.
I have a question you didn’t answer! Send an email. We’ll keep adding questions as the event gets closer.
Below we are announcing the initial lineup of education sessions at Rotoplas, our 2021 Annual Meeting. The theme of the meeting is A Rotomolding Revolution.
Tuesday Education (Seminars)
Introduction to Rotomolding (Full-Day Seminar)
ARM Past President Dru Laws, Tango Manufacturing, will cover the key elements of the rotomolding process. This includes available materials, the main types of equipment used, processing parameters, process control methods to optimize part properties and key design guidelines. Attendees will have plenty of opportunities to ask questions and explore areas of particular interest.
Design and. Processing – Yin and Yang (Half-Day Afternoon Seminar)
In this half-day seminar Michael Paloian (Industrial Design Systems) and ARM Technical Director Nick Henwood will spar over the challenges of what happens when part design theory meets the practicalities of rotational molding. The seminar will be based on a series of design case studies. Attendees will interact with each other and ask questions of the presenters.
Value-Added Selling in Volatile Markets (Half-Day Seminar)
Paul Reilly, Reilly Sales Training, will lead a seminar on value-added sales. The presentation will be tailored to fit our audience and will also address current hot button issues including how sales teams can address supply chain disruptions.
Automation in Manufacturing: How AI and Robotics are Changing the Way We Manufacture
John McElligott will kick off our Annual Meeting at Rotoplas. John was employed as a combat engineer during 9/11. Specializing in demolitions, explosives, construction and engineering, he also served as a SAW (squad automatic weapon) gunner and ultimately Squad leader. John was honorably discharged with the rank of Sergeant. As Co-Founder of Royal Square Development and CEO of the Squared Collective, John spearheaded technology, marketing, community engagement and investor relations as well as being a driving force in Business and Economic Development. A sought after national speaker on the impact exponential technology, robotics and artificial intelligence will have on rural and 3rd tier cities, John left Royal Square 3 years ago and is currently the CEO of “York Exponential” a collaborative robotics company.
The Future of Automation in Rotational Molding Machines
Robert Sly and Matthew Jeffries of Rotoline will speak on the future of automation in rotational molding presenting a case study of rotomolders currently using a robotic machine. The talk includes labor studies, information on safety and liability in automation, why Rotoline developed the machine, and where they see applications.
Embracing Change with Advanced Technologies
Daren Balderson, Trilogy Plastics, will compare the impact of automation with how Trilogy embraced and pioneered CNC routers in the roto workplace in the early 1990s as a paradigm shift away from hand fixture finishing and heavy intense human labor. He will discuss how it helped re-allocate human assets to other areas of production, increasing throughput and productivity with safety gains and profitability gains.
Getting Connected – What is the best track and trace method for rotational molding?
Jim Crawshaw and Toby Huff, PSI Brand, will propose the best traceability solution suited to rotomolders.
Track and traceability is very important for rotomolders and it is undeniably known as the future of all manufacturing. Considering the significant cost, resource, and productivity advantages it provides, it is not hard to see why traceability offers so many benefits to connect products with the manufacturer and the end-user.
Benefits include quick and efficient identification of affected products in recalls, a higher level of quality control, insight into operational efficiency, and improved customer satisfaction.
Control cycle parameters and reduce variables using process control and live telemetry
Adam Covington, Ferry Industries, will share how process control and live telemetry can go beyond simple reporting to allow rotomolders to take better control of their cooking and cooling processes.
An Automation Journey
Ken Bather, Seljan Company, will share automation insights from his decades in manufacturing, where he has seen companies journey from no automation to CNC routers to CNC and Robots. At Seljan Company he works with a rotomolder that uses CNC and produces Robots for other rotomolders.
Rob Miller, RotoLoad, will share the concepts of common automation technologies and practices within INJECTION, EXTRUSION, and BLOW MOLDING to inspire rotomolders to think about which concepts they may be able to implement in their manufacturing process.This is a great opportunity for molders to think outside the box to improve efficiency and tackle labor shortages.
SMART: Rotomoulding solutions towards new market trends
Sergio Zilioli, PERSICO, will share video of a fully automatic production cell made of 3x Smart machines with robot and automated molds. He will also show a new market trend, related to hydrogen tanks for electric vehicles, manufactured with Smart machinery.
Rotomolders will identify new markets for rotomolding and understand the possibilities of full automatic production cells.
Molding Quality Parts by Staying in Your Processing Window
Carmine D’Agostino and Hassan Riaz, NOVA Chemicals, will share the benefits of producing parts with the correct processing window and the shortcomings when a part is not molded within the optimum processing window.
Through recent observations, while optimizing processing conditions for the new NOVA TRx resins, the presenters have learned that operating outside of the optimum processing window can have more dramatic implications to the quality of a rotomolded part than previously understood. This presentation will review the effect of some standard properties as well as ESCR, creep, and tensile properties when the rotomolding cycle has fallen outside of the processing window. This will include a review of both undercured and overcured part properties.
Rotomoldable Acetal for Tank Applications
Darin Grinsteinner, Celanese, will inform our members about a single layer, low fuel permeation acetal material, developed specifically for rotational molding of tanks for a wide-variety of applications.
Hostafom® acetal copolymer possesses a linear structure with a highly crystalline quality that provides a variety of characteristics: outstanding wear, long-term fatigue, toughness and creep resistance as well as excellent resistance to moisture, solvents and strong alkalis. Its chemical structure provides a higher stability to thermal and oxidative degradation compared to acetal homopolymers. Recent developments have provided new acetal compounds that have been optimized for rotomolding applications. The new formulas provide the opportunity for a single layer solution or alternatives to secondary processes such as fluorination in applications such as fuel tanks. The newly developed formulas increase the impact resistance while still maintaining excellent resistance to fuels. These formulas have been formulated to be processed on typical rotomolding equipment and process windows.
Hydrogen cylinders – Roto’s role in hydrogen fuel revolution
Aldo Quaratino, Matrix Polymers, will inspire attendees to look at a new market segment, and understand new technology to be implemented in rotomoulding.
Billions of Dollars across the globe are being invested in developing hydrogen technology to produce clean, renewable and carbon-free energy, and rotomoulding has a huge part to play. As of early 2021, over 30 countries have released hydrogen roadmaps and governments worldwide have committed public funding in support of decarbonization strategy through hydrogen technologies. These include large-scale industrial usage, transport applications, integrated hydrogen economy and infrastructure. Matrix Polymers is working with several Rotomoulders and OEMs to produce cylinders for storing hydrogen for use in all forms of transportation and power generation. This presentation will discuss this massive opportunity, which has the potential to take rotomoulding to a new level.
RESILITY™ Innovative Rotomolding Resins Steven Ma, Dow Inc, will share robust polyethylene (MDPE-HDPE) based solutions are needed to meet and exceed current industry demands. The process to design long-lasting performance and improved processing materials will be discussed. Included in this talk will be case studies that analyze materials to determine benefits and how these benefits can differentiate a molder. Rotational molders will learn about a new set of material options for consideration.
Automation concepts for Conventional and RoboMoulds (Workshop)
Oliver Wandres (Maus) will showcase different concepts to enable a partial or complete automation of necessary handling operations typical for rotomolding. Approaches to automate operations such as mould closing and opening, part retraction and demolding, material loading, etc. in conventional rotomolding and electrical Robomolding
CNC Router vs. Robot: How to choose?(Workshop)
Ken Bather (Seljan Company), Dru Laws (Tango Manufacturing), and Alvin Spence (Centro Inc.) will address a question that comes up time and again: how do decide whether a CNC router or robot is best for your part.
Defining Automation (Workshop)
Rob Miller (RotoLoad) will explore what automation means and how we can apply sound engineering principles to the powder side of the roto process. Using creative, fun, unique, and interesting methods and examples, we will demonstrate how clearly and easily adapting powder automation fits with the roto customer’s goal of automating their process and their facility. Based on real current case study powder automation examples from various customers, we will show the resin process and how it has directly benefited the customer, their process, their parts, their facility, their employees, and their bottom line. We will show that the benefits of automation are fast, simple, real, and cost-effective. Our goal would be to demonstrate various real examples, showing the process from idea through to implementation. We would demonstrate the ease of automating this part of the roto process and the clear and definable return on our investment. We will examine the different examples to show the aggressive payback that investing a very small amount of time and effort can make for their facility.
Setting Standard Operating Conditions for New Resins or New Parts(Workshop)
Henry Hay, NOVA Chemicals, will host a workshop focused on how to conduct and document a trial for a new resin or a new part with an existing resin. This will include how to define the processing window and how to set standard operating conditions. Considerations include using part quality requirements to set initial oven temperatures and determining the operating window at a given oven temperature. Finally, he will discuss where to set the standard operating parameters within the known processing window.
What’s Your Problem? (Workshop)
Join Ron Cooke (ExxonMobil Canada) and Sandy Scaccia (Norstar Aluminum Molds) for the beloved (too much?) workshop where members troubleshoot problems with panelists, experts, and peers. This discussion earns perfect marks from our attendees every year.
What’s New Presentations
These 15-minute presentations are held in the theater on the Exhibit Hall show floor and highlight new technology and services.
NOVA Chemicals on TRx0338 and TRx0535 Wednesday, September 22 at 3:00 PM
The new TRx resins provide a decreased cycle time, broader processing window, along with improved physical properties such as impact performance. The team at NOVA Chemicals can help rotomolders make the most of these new resins.
Celanese on Hostaform RF – Rotomoldable Acetal Wednesday, September 22 at 3:30 PM
Hostaform RF is a single layer solution developed specifically for rotomolded low permeability fuel and oil tanks.
Diversified Mold & Castings on CNC machines & new fabrication equipment Wednesday, September 22 at 4:00 PM
Take more in-house control of deliveries and larger production volume.
Jerico on Adhesion PE and Sustainable compounds Wednesday, September 22 at 4:30 PM
Eliminate a step in material Adhesion and offer a green friendly product with non-traditional PE content.
Stoner Molding Solutions on RotoFlow WB400 Wednesday, September 22 at 5:00 PM
Non-Flammable and lower VOC than Solvent products.
Persico on SMART and AUTOMATISM Thursday, September 23 at 2:00 PM
Material and energy savings.
Arkema on Polyamide 11 Thursday, September 24 at 2:30 PM
A strong material candidate for traditional and alternative fuel tanks.
Lyten on 3D Graphene’s mechanical improvement of Rotomolded polymers Thursday, September 24 at 3:00 PM
We can’t wait to step into the exhibit hall and see our friends September 21-23, 2021 at Rotoplas as the world of rotomolding gathers together again.
Rotoplas is the largest exposition for the rotational molding industry, offering the latest in advanced technology, products, services and innovative parts made specifically for the rotomolding process.
As the world reopens over the next few months, we will address logistics questions and ensure the meeting meets all CDC guidelines.
Our Forums & Programs Committee has been hard at work on the presentation schedule. We expect to open registration and provide you with all the details in July.
In the meantime, we wanted to provide you with a rough outline of what happens when at Rotoplas.
Monday 9/20: Optional Social Events TBA Tuesday 9/21: Seminars and Committee Meetings Wednesday 9/22: Presentations and Exhibits Thursday 9/23: Presentations, Exhibits, and Gala
The state of Illinois is reopening and the prospects for holding Rotoplas have improved. ARM will make an official announcement about the meeting in June.
Recently we surveyed a group of rotomolders and asked them to give us their best estimate of how many people their company would send to the meeting at the end of September.
The median number of attendees per rotomolder company remains the same as in 2017. The typical rotomolder company estimates they will send 4 people to the show. Only one of the 20 companies that responded indicated they expected not to send anyone. A few companies indicated they would send more people than in 2017. Based on everyone’s best estimate for what they will do more than four months from now and how we interpret the data, the number of decision makers at the meeting should remain about the same as in 2017.
While the average number of rotomolders per company decreases 23% according to the survey, the biggest decreases are in companies that sent 10+ in 2017 and in some companies outside the United States. The median number of attendees per roto company outside the U.S. only dropped from 3 to 2, which is better than we expected.
We are excited to see the situation improving and hope to see everyone September 20-23. We will make an official decision and announcement in June.
Before sharing this study on improving adhesion in our member newsletters, we asked Technical Director Nick Henwood to let us know whether the paper would be valuable to rotomolders. He offered some notes for context:
I think this is work is useful, especially in relation to rotomolded gas tanks.
Gasoline permeates PE too easily to pass current conformance tests (EPA and CARB requirements).
PA-Polyamide (aka “nylon”) has much better permeability characteristics, but is also much more expensive than PE.
Therefore it makes sense in principle to make a two-layer moulding using PE with an internal “lining” of PA.
Problem is that inner layer of PA will not adhere to PE and delamination occurs to a considerable extent. Often the delamination is complete.
Anything that improves the adhesion of the two layers would be very helpful.
The first option put forward, plasma treatment of PE powder, is known already, primarily as a way of improving adhesion of PE with polyurethane (PU) foam. Interesting to see it being used for PA.
The second option mentioned, creating polymer “entanglements” has been put forward in principle previously, but actual performance data takes this option forward considerably.
The ARM Education Committee plans to refresh the ARM Listing of Resin Properties this spring. ARM supplier members are invited to contribute their resin data to the publication by March 2, 2021. Review the current document here.
Data is provided by suppliers, but test methods and specimen preparation protocols are standardized, to provide apples-to-apples comparison.
When you complete the form, a copy of your submission will be emailed to you. Complete the form for as many resins as you would like to list. If you need to change the data you entered, complete the form again and contact staff to let us the know the date and time of the form that should be deleted.
If you wish to list any specialty materials (e.g. foams, flame retardants, conductives, rotolining, etc.), please contact ARM Technical Director Nick Henwood as soon as possible.
As in the past, suppliers must ensure, with the exception of the melt index, density and ESCR, that all of the technical data in the listing has been obtained solely from rotationally molded specimens and that the data for each resin, with the exception of the low temperature impact data, have been obtained from only one sample per resin. ESCR has been obtained from compression-molded specimens molded under the conditions specified in those procedures. The current version of the ARM Low Temperature Impact test method is version 4.0 (July 2003), available here.
Supplier Members of the Association of Rotational Molders may publish their data in the Resin Properties Listing at no charge; this is a Member Benefit. Suppliers who are members of other associations affiliated to ARMO (the Alliance of Rotomoulding Organisations) may publish their data for a fee of $1,000 payable prior to publication. Alternatively, you can join ARM.
Technical Director Nick Henwood’s Ask Dr. Nick series allows ARM a way to share his feedback on interesting technical questions we receive at ARM. Here’s a handy list of the ten posts we’ve published so far.