Rotomolding Education Sessions at the ARM Annual Meeting in Houston

ARM has announced the complete education schedule for our Annual Meeting in Houston (October 27-30). We have already exceeded last year’s attendance and we’re on track to have a very impressive group.

Patrick Schwerdtfeger


Patrick has been a full-time professional speaker since 2007. He got his start after his “Beyond the Rate” podcast (focused on mortgages and the real estate industry) gained popularity in 2006. During the subprime ‘mortgage meltdown’ (2007) and ensuing financial crisis (2008), he was interviewed regularly on mainstream media and soon began speaking at business events and conferences. He covered developments in the collapsing financial markets and, before long, spoke about the burgeoning field of podcasting and social media as well.

Today, Patrick is a business futurist specializing in technology trends including big data, artificial intelligence and blockchain. He’s the founder of Trend Mastery Inc. and host of the Strategic Business Insights video blog. Trend Mastery is a strategic consulting agency, identifying a world of transformational opportunities, and Strategic Business Insights has over 25,000 subscribers and five million views on YouTube.

Outside the Box: Smart Containers
Jose Gomez, RotoPolymers


Thought of as inconsequential to our pursuit of a more modern, efficient process, boxes remain the most common (though not the most practical) vessel in which Rotomolders store resin. This presentation explores alternative solutions. From small to bulk packaging, new developments turn containers into active, purposeful parts of our operation which help address some of our industry’s current concerns, such as labor, productivity, environmental impact, and of course, cost efficiency. What if a bag could absorb or bypass steps in our process, eliminating human error and waste? What if a container could provide useful, real-time intelligence on inventories and even optimize purchasing? What if these were not things of the future, but available tools of simple application? These are some of the topics we will elaborate on, proving that small choices can lead to big improvements.

Rotomolders will take away a path towards significant savings and process optimization that, unlike most, can be taken easily, immediately, and at very little or no cost to them.

Industry 4.0 Will Rotomolding Be Left Behind?
Johan Portagent, AMS Belgium

The Industry of the Future 4.0, the 4th industrial revolution, will certainly change manufacturing. This is a real industrial revolution with the arrival of Automation, Predictive Maintenance, and Big Data. The fourth industrial development is coupled with major changes in the world: energy, environment, organizational, and societal interests. The human will be at the very center of this industry with a new role: Digital will be between machines and workers. New jobs will be created and training will be strategic in organizations. It’s an amazing opportunity for the rotomolding industry to enter a new age to bring new opportunities: innovation (process and resin developments, new kinds of studies), competitiveness, productivity, customer focus, service focus, a factory networking suppliers and clients, high flexibility, a clean plant oriented to sustainability, an automatized plant to get rid of hard work for people. Let’s have a look to see if the rotomolding industry can enter soon into the industry of the future 4.0.

What If?
Rob Miller and Lisa Allong, Wittmann Battenfeld Canada Inc.


What if someone could explain Industry 4.0 as it can apply to roto? This presentation will break down the term Industry 4.0 and highlight key opportunities for rotomolders. The presenters will clearly identify, define, explain ROI and provide 10+ key examples of mature automation ideas that would exemplify the adoption of the 4.0 revolution into the roto industry. The presenters will draw from their experience in the robot world and the associated automation to employ proven industrial products and theories. Molders will leave with an understanding of a cross-section of basic, mature automation concepts that they can investigate, develop, and potentially employ within their facilities to make them more efficient, reduce costs, save labor, and genuinely take them into the 4th industrial revolution. 

Dry Blending Study
Dr. Nick Henwood, Rotomotive/ARM Technical Director

Funded by the Roy Crawford Rotomolding Educational & Development Foundation, this study examines the effects of pigment dry blending on material strength. It builds on previous research and concentrates on the effect of pigment type on the retention of impact strength.

Pigment warpage and interactions with HDPE Rotomolding resins
Mike Haubert, Mosaic Color and Additives

In order to provide rotomolders with a deeper understanding of how pigments affect their process, this presentation will report on new research comparing various pigment choices in HDPE. Shrink, warp and impact have been measured to compare how individual pigments affect performance.

Keeping Powder and Pellets Out of the Environment
Doug Biela, NOVA Chemicals

In a time when plastics and the environment are on the minds of consumers, politicians and our customers, this discussion will highlight the paramount importance of keeping powder/pellets out of the environment.  It will cover management systems and tools that rotomolders can employ to ensure that their plants are not putting plastic where it’s not supposed to be.

Rotomolders will gain an understanding of some actions they can take immediately to improve their powder/pellet management and reduce or eliminate environmental impact.  They will also learn about Operation Clean Sweep® and how to join other rotomolders to take the pledge to eliminate pellet and powder leakage into the environment.

An Industry Profile of Rotational Molding
Troy Meinhard, KnowHow Strategy & Analytics

Comprehensive market intelligence on the rotational molding industry is limited.  Low product volumes make data challenging to collect and general plastic industry market research doesn’t address the rotational molding industry in detail because rotational molding is <1% of annual resin consumption.  By combining existing sources of data in an analytically rigorous way and supplementing it with creative and gritty data acquisition from non-traditional sources, ARM and KnowHow have created an industry profile that segments and sizes the producers and consumers in the industry along multiple dimensions.

Members will have a data-driven understanding of the structure of the industry. This market intelligence is critical context for:

  1. Sales planning

  2. Growth strategy development

  3. Competitive analysis

  4. Baseline for understanding changes in the industry (e.g., the impact of consolidation, generational transfer that results in sales to strategic and financial investors)

  5. Other business decision-making

Rotomolding Application in Historical Preservation and Artifacts
Oliver Wandres, MAUS GmbH
Alongkorn Kanokboriboon, SCG ICO Polymers

Case Study on converting very traditionally wood carved artifacts to beautiful rotational molded products which — with a great amount of post-molding work — become unique pieces of artwork, that on a first glance nobody would or could associate with rotomolding.

In close co-operation between the end customer, SCG ICO Polymers and MAUS GmbH were able to develop the sensitive transformation from historical and religious wood carved objects to very unique examples of what is achievable in rotomoulding when combining handcraft, high-quality mold making, the latest mold making technologies, and out of the box thinking.

This case study provides an example of the infinitely versatile application possibilities of rotational molding.

Designing for the Future
Martin Spencer, UniqueRoto

The presentation looks at how rotational molding has changed over recent years with new machinery and materials now available to molders. It will look at how, if grasped, by molders these developments open up many new markets and opportunities giving those designing considerably more freedom to exploit the process.

Case Study on Slushing Tests for Diesel Tanks
Celal Beysel, Floteks

The market for rotomolded diesel fuel tanks and Adblue [urea] tanks is growing globally. Further market penetration for Commercial Vehicles with irregularly shaped high volume tanks holds much potential & promise for rotomolding. Floteks has developed patented technology to mold integrated baffles; these have been tested with sloshing simulations and experiments, accelerating the tanks to +/-0.8 g.  This technology also enables to mold an integrated fuel and AdBlue tank separated by a 100% sealed baffle.

Persico & Kaercher’s Rotomolding Evolution
Sergio Zillioli, Persico

This presentation will investigate the evolution of the relationship between Persico and Kaercher over more than 15 years. How and why the technology used in production has changed from cast aluminum
tools to CNC machined tools to electrically heated DTH tools, from gas heated ovens to Leonardo oil heated machines to ‘Smart’ machines. The presentation will include a video of these technologies in use within the Kaercher factory in Germany and an interview with Kaercher production manager outlining the advantages and disadvantages of the various systems. The presentation will also look at fully automated systems developed by Persico including Leonardo-based composter production and animations of a fully-automated production cell in production.

Automation Case Study
Rotoline and Toter 

Presenting the current project between Rotoline and the Toter group where a fully automated rotational molding machine is running at Toter in order to help them achieve targets on safety and liability, labor issues, material loss, scrap, and consistency. Toter will explain the process of how and why they decided to look further into automation and what role this machine plays in their business model. Rotoline will speak on taking the process and creating equipment that will better serve the molder as well as the end customer for a better-rotomolded product. This presentation will open the eyes to those who have not been exposed to how technologically advanced the industry has become and where the industry is heading.

Modeling the Rotomolding Process: Practical Benefits and more
Hassan Riaz, NOVA Chemicals

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In this presentation, the complete functionality of RotoSim as a process modeling tool is explored at the NOVA Centre for Performance Applications. Mainly, the importance of model inputs such as machine conditions, resin properties, and mold drawings will be discussed as well as a protocol to follow for molders to build confidence in RotoSim as a technical tool. Furthermore, this presentation will outline how to practically apply modeling results from RotoSim, such as PIAT curves, thickness distributions, etc. to guide molder’s manufacturing processes.


Alternative Materials in Rotomolding Today
Ron Cooke, ExxonMobil Chemical Company
Ron Joannou Jr., Formed Plastics Inc.

This workshop will provide rotomolders with an understanding of materials other than polyethylene that are successfully being used in rotomolding operations today. The discussion will include the attributes molders are looking for in their parts and which materials may work for them.

Internal Cooling
Martin Spencer, UniqueRoto
Dru Laws, Seljan Company
Daven Claerbout, Dutchland Plastics

Environmental Panel
Doug Biela, NOVA Chemicals; and Jon Ratzlaff, Chevron Philips Chemical Company

Hidden Costs Only Front Line Personnel See and How Making Toast Can Find Them
Ken Bather, Hedstrom Plastics

This workshop is an interactive program using the Shingo Prize-winning Introduction to Continuous Improvement & Lean Principles video combined with actual rotomolding plant operations. A great first step to having your front line operators tell you where your hidden costs are lurking. This workshop is the icebreaker to get over the initial hump of the “we’ve heard it before” attitude by making a relatable link between something everyone can actually relate to and the often unrelatable process of Lean Continuous Improvement. It nails the 7 wastes by showing how to find them with real rotomolding operation examples and gives you the opportunity to take the information back to your team. Introduce or reinvigorate lean concepts to your shop floor production team without onerous terms, paperwork, or oversight. This is a simple way for the hidden talents of your team members to shine through and save you money and lost margins.

How Does Mold Release Affect Warp?
Evan Silo, McLube Release Agents & Lubricants
Larry Whittemore, Stoner

Incorrect mold release application is one of the top causes of part warpage. Almost all of the attendees at this year’s ARM regional meetings on warp told us that they were eager to take what they learned about mold release and bring it back to the shop. So we’re bringing the session back to our Annual Meeting in Houston.

This presentation will address curing of mold release, properly applying release to the mold, and more.

Pigment Discussion
Mike Haubert, Mosaic Color and Additives
Nick Henwood, Rotomotive Inc.

What’s Your Problem?
Ron Cooke, ExxonMobil Chemical Company
Sandy Scaccia, Norstar Aluminum Molds

An ARM tradition: troubleshoot your problems with your colleagues and industry experts. This is a simple and effective workshop that can change your operation, help you reduce scrap, and reduce significant expenses.

What’s Your Problem en Español


Rotomolding 101 in Spanish
October 27 8:00am

This full-day seminar will be taught in Spanish and serves as an introduction to the rotomolding process taught by a team of rotomolders from Operadora Miraplastek.

Advanced Design Methods
Michael Paloain, Integrated Design Systems
October 28 8:00am

This intensive four-hour seminar presented by Michael Paloian will focus on integrating industrial design with rotational molding to optimize a product design for the user and manufacturer. Attendees should be familiar with basic rotational molding design considerations. The seminar will review design considerations from the early stages of the design process, which are typically conceived by industrial designers and describe the progression of the design process through to a production design. These phases of development will be presented by referencing actual case studies as well as good engineering practices.

More detailed descriptions to come. Register for the Annual Meeting today. 

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