The State of ARM: Roy Crawford Rotomolding Education and Development Foundation

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Professor Roy Crawford

In June 2018, the Rotomolding Education and Development Foundation’s Board of Governors voted to change the organization’s name to the Roy Crawford Rotomolding Education and Development Foundation. This change is an opportunity for the Board to proudly pay tribute to a true pioneer and giant in the rotomolding process, Dr. Roy Crawford.

This year the Foundation has been able to take significant steps in achieving its mission by moving forward with two projects identified early on as primary goals: making rotomolding training more accessible and funding research projects that support our industry as a whole.

The first of the Foundation’s 2018 milestones is the completion of a rotomolding curriculum, which the Board of Governors has been developing since the Foundation’s earliest days. The curriculum has been made accessible to rotomolders by ARM in the form of the Operator Training Program, a series of webinars discussed above.

The Foundation’s second major milestone of 2018 is the collection of proposals to fund rotomolding research projects and the awarding of $10,000 in grants this year. The funded projects will be presented at future rotomolding conferences for the advancement of our industry.

The Foundation is currently announcing the funding of a research project on the Effect of Pigment Addition Rate on Impact Strength for Dry Blends to be conducted by Dr. Nick Henwood.

The Foundation also plans to announce funding for a second project once a schedule for the research has been finalized.

We’re ending the year by sharing updates with our members on The State of ARM.

The State of ARM: Webinars

ARM concluded our year-long Operator Training Program webinar series.

Here is a complete outline of the webinars conducted as part of the series in 2018. The entire series is available on demand to ARM members on our website. It represents more than 8 hours in training for operators and new hires.

      1. What You Need to Know on Day One

      2. Venting

      3. Minimizing Waste & Contamination

      4. Parting Lines

      5. Review Session of 1-4

      6. Molds & Mold Maintenance

      7. Material Weighing

      8. Inside the Mold

      9. Mold Temperature

      10. Shrinkage & Warpage

      11. Thickness Control

      12. Review Session of 6-11

      13. Polyethylene

      14. Other Rotomolding Materials

      15. Mold Release

      16. Safety Review

      17. Review Session of 13-16

  1. Beginning November 1, ARM also began publishing Spanish translations of the webinar series. You can find the translations here. More are added at the beginning of every month.

    In addition to the operator-oriented series, ARM presents additional webinars on a variety of rotomolding-related topics. In August, ARM presented one of it’s most popular webinars yet: a discussion of the new Proposition 65 rules and how it can affect rotomolders. During the program Mike Haubert of Mosaic Roto Division of Mosaic Color & Additives answered our common questions gathered from our members about the California law that can affect anyone making a part that is sold in California. A recording of the webinar is available along with our entire library of 40+ webinars on demand for members on ARM’s website.

    During the ARM Annual Meeting, our Committee will meet to finalize plans for 2019’s webinar series on important technical and practical subjects for rotomolders.

    We’re ending the year by sharing updates with our members on The State of ARM.

The State of ARM: Wage Survey

Wage Survey

ARM’s new Wage & Fringe Benefit Study covers many of the critical elements needed to attract and retain the best staff possible. Work environment, safety, hiring procedures, training, and benefits are all important components of this package.  The final element is providing competitive compensation — particularly in a tight labor market.

If you are having trouble attracting candidates, or are losing valuable employees, it is time to reevaluate your total compensation package.  How do you know if your compensation package is competitive? One place to begin is by comparing your wages and benefits to other companies within the rotational molding industry.

The ARM Wage & Fringe Benefit Report will provide statistical information on the rotational molding industry so you can benchmark your company against others.

The Wage & Fringe Benefit Survey will provide you with the data driven results to make informed decisions about your workforce. Participants in the Wage & Fringe Benefit Survey will receive information related to:

  • Hourly wages for 17 shop floor job titles

  • Benefits (Retirement, Healthcare, Vacation, etc.)

Contact ARM staff to find out if there’s still time to submit data.

We’re ending the year by sharing updates with our members on The State of ARM.

Effects of pigments in dry mixing: What REALLY happens to physical properties?

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Dr. Nick Henwood

Many parts of the North American roto industry still rely on using dry color materials.  The main reasons for this are reduced cost and operational convenience. However, it is generally recognized that using dry color, rather than fully compounded pre-color, can result in a significant loss of material properties.  

If you’ve sat through as many ARM meetings as I have, you’ll have heard many different opinions voiced on the negative effects of using dry color and whether these effects can be mitigated.  As a scientist, my normal response to strongly held opinions is: “Do you have any data that supports this?” Unfortunately, when it comes to questions of dry color, there seems to be a dearth of hard data available to support us in making sensible decisions. Continue reading

The State of ARM: 2018 Resin Data

ARM has posted online a complete reorganization of the rotomolding resin data. The Resin Data Guide is now a dynamic spreadsheet on the ARM website that can be sorted by the viewer to review rotomolding resins by density, melt index, company, and much more.

 

The guide gathers data for polyethylene, crosslink, nylon, polypropylene, and specialty grades. For the first time, ARM mandated that all the data had to be collected from testing rotomolded samples.

This is a powerful and easy-to-use tool for our members, a project of the ARM Education Committee and Technical Director Nick Henwood.

We’re ending the year by sharing updates with our members on The State of ARM.

Thickness Control – What’s Possible in Rotomolding?

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Dr. Nick Henwood

As we all know, a significant benefit offered by rotomolding is that we can achieve even wall thickness, compared to other processes.  One question that rotomolders often ask me is: how much thickness control can I actually achieve, in normal practice?

I pondered this question recently, while I was preparing resource materials for the ARM Operator Training Program.  I wondered whether I could get some data from a real-world example, then I remembered a product development that I was involved in a few years ago.  As part of this project, I carried out an assessment on the variation in wall thickness of a medium sized rotomolded part. Continue reading

Montreal Meeting FAQ

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Where is the hotel and meeting space?
The hotel is on the top two floors of Place Bonaventure — a large multi-use building that takes up an entire Montreal block. When arriving at the hotel, you want to enter at the Hotel Bonaventure entrance. This will take you to the level with the front desk, lobby, restaurant, and rooftop pool. From here, our conference level is at the bottom of an escalator.

How do I get my badge?
Your badge is available in the Inscription lobby — which is at the bottom of the escalators. Almost all of our meetings are on that conference level. You can pick up badges:

  • Sunday  7:00 am to 3:00 pm
  • Monday  7:00 am to 5:00 pm
  • Tuesday 7:00 am to 4:00 pm

Schedule

Where can I find the schedule?
The schedule is available here. The online schedule will be updated to include any changes.

What’s the difference between the seminars, general session and workshops?
The general session is the only rotomolding programming during the listed times. Everyone is in the same large hall (Montreal).

Multiple workshops are conducted at the same time on Tuesday. There are 4 sessions (11:40am, 2:00pm, 3:15pm, 4:15pm) so you can attend different workshops.

All Annual Meeting registrants are invited to attend the general sessions and the workshops. Seminars cost an additional fee. There are still spaces in both seminars, please contact staff as soon as possible to get added.

Can I still sign up for a tour?
At this time, all tours are full. Tour lists will be posted at the registration desk. When you get your badge, please check the tour lists to make sure we have you registered.

Exhibit Hall

Who is exhibiting?
You can review a list of our exhibitors here.

When are the exhibits open?
The exhibit hall is in Saint Laurent A-E. It is open Monday from 2:45pm-7:00pm, Tuesday 7:00am-8:00am (during breakfast), and during coffee breaks on Tuesday morning.

Travel to Montreal

What can I do in Montreal? Don’t miss the Lantern Festival if you have a free night. Also, check out this article on 36 Hours in Montreal that was published a few weeks ago.

Does everyone speak French? You will be fine speaking in English in Montreal. If you need help with some translations, we recommend you download the magical Google translate app.

Can I use American money? No, please plan to use your credit card or Canadian Currency during your time in Montreal. Canadian bills available in $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 dollar denominations. You will use coins for  $1 (loonie) and $2 (toonie). There is a foreign currency exchange at the Hotel Bonaventure.

How far is the hotel from the airport? 25-40 minutes depending on traffic. The fixed rate for a taxi from the airport is $40. Looks like Uber is an inexpensive option.

How do I get around? Taxis, Uber, and the Montreal Underground are popular. Access to the Underground is available from the main entrance level of the hotel.

What Else?

What should I wear?
The meeting is business casual. Some people will wear blue jeans. Dress up a bit for Tuesday night’s gala dinner. This year’s theme is Vintage Circus.

What can my spouse/guest attend?
If you registered your spouse or guest, you should have received an email from Anna Evans yesterday. Please contact her if you need the email again. It has detailed notes about spouse options.

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. Anna Evans and Adam Webb are available to answer any questions you may have. ARM Ambassadors will have teal ribbons and are happy to help as well.

Can I smoke at the hotel?
Smoking of any kind is prohibited in the hotel. There is an outdoor smoking section. We haven’t had time to parse the Quebec marijuana laws. Check with the front desk.

I have a question you didn’t answer!
Ask your question here