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Montreal Registration Fees Increase After September 14

Register now to receive the lowest rate for North America’s largest gathering of rotomolders and their suppliers.

9493-Crédit FR © Partenariat du Quartier des spectacles, Martin Viau-EN Credit © Partenariat du Quartier des spectacles, Martin Viau

Join us October 21-24 at the Hotel Bonaventure in Montreal. In addition to all of the fun we have planned, you can’t miss these general sessions and workshops included in registration:

  • Product of the Year Case Study – Centro Inc.
  • Company Profile and Case Study – Rotoplast
  • Sustainability Case Studies from a Roto Perspective – Bill Spenceley (Flexahopper Plastics)
  • Accessible Operator Training for Rotomolders – Dru Laws (Seljan Company)
  • Global Rotomolding: Current State-Future State – Paul Nugent
  • DTH (Direct Tool Heating) Presenting a world of possibilities – Martin Spencer (UniqueRoto)
  • Motion Control Optimization of Rotational Molding: Rethinking Rotational Speed and Considering the Powder Flow Trajectory — Jonathan Adams (Queen’s University Belfast)
  • Polymer Ambassador – Dr. Nick Henwood, ARM Technical Director
  • How Pennsylvania College of Technology Serves the Rotomolding Industry – Brennan Wodrig (Pennsylvania College of Technology)
  • New Ways for a Practical Simulation of Rotomolded Parts — Christian Kehrberg (IPT Wismar)
  • Effects on dry-blend color performance of color loading, resin and pigment type and mixing intensity
  • Assessing Regional Rotomolding Growth: Actual and Potential – Peter Mooney, Plastics Custom Research Services
  • Vacuum Molding with Electrical Heated Molds – Jon Ratzlaff, Chevron Philips Chemical Company
  • Are You Cool? The Importance of Cooling– Martin Spencer, (Unique Roto)
  • Automation Case Studies — Carsten Erkel (Elkamet) & Sergio Zilioli (Persico)
  • Automation Case Studies — Rob Miller (Wittman Canada)
  • Understanding Your Tooling Options: What is the Right Mold for Success ? – Tony Short (Diversified Mold & Castings)
  • Product Consolidation Strategies –  Carmine D’Agostino (NOVA Chemicals)
  • What’s Your Problem? – Ron Cooke (ExxonMobil Chemical Company) & Sandy Scaccia (Norstar Aluminum Molds)
  • Why and How You Should Mold Polypropylene – Ted Humphreys (PSD Rotoworx) and Dr. Gareth McDowell (493K)

Read descriptions of the general sessions and workshops.

Rotational Molding Hall of Fame 2018 Inductees: Bill Spenceley & Reijo Strom

ARM is excited to announce that Bill Spenceley (Flexahopper Plastics) and Reijo Strom (Motoral Oy) have been elected to the Rotational Molding Hall of Fame. They will be inducted on October 23 at the ARM Annual Meeting in Montreal.

7fac9ace-9ad3-4b0c-8494-3f8403c15bf3Bill Spenceley

In 1974 Bill Spenceley rotomolded his first part as a summer employee at Flexahopper Plastics in Lethbridge, Canada, where he is now the Owner and President. Since attending his first ARM meeting, he has regularly shared with our industry as a committee member, a speaker, and a Chair of ARM Meetings. For this work he was a recipient of the Charles D. Frederick Distinguished Service Award in 2014. His enthusiasm for maintaining strong bonds between the international rotomolding community was evident during his time serving as the Chairman of the international Affiliation of Rotational Molding Organizations and as the President of ARM. Bill regularly speaks to rotomolders around the world about ways to improve environmental sustainability. At Flexahopper Plastics he installed the biggest solar energy system in the rotomolding industry worldwide. He has supported research and development projects through work at Flexahopper and with his strong financial support of the Roy Crawford Rotomolding Education and Development Foundation.

5246d56d-133a-4be6-89a8-8d9a721f2600Reijo Strom

Reijo Strom has operated Motoral Oy, his rotomolding company outside Helsinki, for more than thirty years. During that time he has been active with ARM in North America and Nordic ARM in Scandinavia. He served twice on the ARM Board of Directors in the 1990s, on the International and Membership committees, and as a presenter of workshops and general sessions at ARM events. He sponsored annual ARM Nordic events across Scandinavia and hosted annual tours of his facilities by design students from four Finnish Universities to help promote the industry. He has helped develop innovative parts for the agricultural OEM industry serving both European and international markets as well as many products for his local Scandinavian market. Motoral Oy have won Product of the year twice in 2003 and 2009 and were instrumental in developing the cast silicone technology used for producing open holes in rotomolded parts, now known as Maus Holes.


The Nomination & Election Process

  • Nominations for the Hall of Fame were collected from the industry throughout the Spring.
  • All nominations received from 2013 – 2018 serve as 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 votes on the longlist to narrow it to a shortlist of five nominees.
  • All Hall of Fame members were delivered a ballot to elect two inductees from the shortlist.
  • Bill Spenceley and Reijo Strom will be inducted October 23 in Montreal.

Register to attend the Annual Meeting.

Congratulate our inductees and share stories of working with or learning from them in the comments. (“Leave a Reply” link above.)

ARM Announces Montreal Workshops

In addition to 12 general sessions, two seminars, and many tours and special events that will make up the ARM Annual Meeting, ARM has announced the workshops for the program. Workshops are 45-minute in-depth sessions that allow for audience Q&A.


The following workshops will be presented on Tuesday, October 23:

  • Are You Cool? The Importance of Cooling – Martin Spencer, (Unique Roto)
    The presentation looks at the importance of cooling in our process. It will look at how we can improve external and internal cooling of our products and what effect this can have on the quality of the finished product and cycle times of our process. Also discussed: technology and techniques available to help improve cooling.
  • Automation Case Studies from Carsten Erkel (Elkamet) & Sergio Zilioli (Persico)
    Elkamet and Persico will share examples of how they are automating the molds, rotomolding machines, demolding, trimming, storage, and more.
  • Automation Case Studies from Rob Miller (Wittman Canada)
    Learn how rotomolders are using resin automation and other automations to significantly increase efficiency.
  • Understanding Your Tooling options: What is the right mold for success – Tony Short (Diversified Mold & Castings)
    What is the best mold for success? For years cast tools were the dominant force in the rotational mold industry. Fabrication has been around for decades and many roto molds are made this way as well. In the last 20 years CNC aluminum molds have become the hot topic and have began impacting the industry. But how do you make the determination on which mold to use? Does the rise of CNC molds mean that a cast or fab tool is not the best option? In this brief discussion I would like to discuss the different tooling options in our industry now and how each one has strengths and weakness in the rotomolding process. It is important in evaluating the merits of each type of tool other than price point. Which tool gives me the best tolerances? Which tools give me the best longevity? Does the type of tool I am looking to purchase limit my design options? By evaluating the stories of current rotomolders who run each tool we hope to learn what tooling option will ensure the best rate of return for years to come.
  • Product Consolidation Strategies –  Carmine D’Agostino (NOVA Chemicals)
    This workshop will explore product consolidation strategies. Personnel working in purchasing, production, operations, engineering and design will be interested in better understanding the value that key material attributes can provide in this area. Specifically, we will discuss strategies for the rotomolder to exploit with respect to the material process window and balance of physical properties. Insights will be shared comparing various polyethylene materials for their processability and physical properties.
  • What’s Your Problem? – Ron Cooke (ExxonMobil Chemical Company) & Sandy Scaccia (Norstar Aluminum Molds)
    A perennial favorite: 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.
  • Why and How You Should Mold Polypropylene – Ted Humphreys (PSD Rotoworx) and Dr. Gareth McDowell (493K)
    Why should rotomolders use Polypropylene? How does Polypropylene Mold? Which applications is Polypropylene best suited? These will be answered as we take the Polypropylene journey. The physical properties of Polypropylene will be shown and how they compare to Polyethylenes commonly used today by Rotomolders. Where there is a need for Strength, Stiffness, Creep Resistance, High Temperature, Harder Surface, Abrasion Resistance, Environmental & Weathering Performance and even Autoclavability, we will demonstrate the improved properties of Polypropylene for use in these demanding applications. Polypropylene molds a little differently to Polyethylene, requiring some basic processing modifications. These will be explained, including the need for more heat to get a high Peak Internal Air Temperature (PIAT) and how this is achieved. Polypropylene’s natural lubricity means a different approach to use of mold release and as Polypropylene has lower shrinkage than Polyethylene, we will explore the benefits this can yield. A demonstration with the “RotoRocket” by Dr. Gareth McDowell will show attendees first hand how Polypropylene melts and produces good inner & outer surfaces with minimal pinholes. So what opportunities does Polypropylene present to the molder? It’s enhanced performance capabilities allow for it’s use in many demanding applications. Actual examples will be shown and selection explained according to the product requirements.

Register now for ARM’s Annual Meeting in Montreal this October.

ARM Management Change

ARM announced they have hired Webb Evans & Associates to manage the association beginning July 1, 2018. 

CM Services will continue to provide day-to-day management services during the transition which will be completed before October 1.

Everyone is committed to ensuring that all association members continue to experience the level of quality they have come to expect at all ARM functions, including the upcoming Annual Meeting in Montreal and the Operator Training webinars.

All parties are dedicated to providing ARM’s members with excellent service during the transition.  Dru Laws, ARM president said, “The Board and I thank CM Services for the 11 years of service they provided to ARM”. 

President’s Message: The results are in!


ARM President Dru Laws

The results are in … 100% of the HR-Focused Executive Forum attendees reported that the event met or exceeded their expectations.  Everyone left satisfied with the location, the meeting, the meals, the activities, and the overall experience.

In similar fashion … 100% of the Madison Regional Meeting attendees scored the entire meeting as having met or exceeded expectations as well.  The venting topic proved to be popular, as this meeting had the highest number of registrants for a regional meeting in the Midwest thus far this decade.

And the operator training program continues to draw more and more visitors to the member-only portion of our website.  We are half-way done with these webinars, but the value this will provide our association for years is just scratching the surface.

Do yourself a favor and put the 2018 Annual Meeting on your calendar.  It’s October 21-24 in Montreal at the Hotel Bonaventure.  The program for this meeting is shaping up nicely, and I can assure you that the only regret coming from our membership will be from those who choose not to go!

My vision is a year of record-setting activities for our association … and it’s happening!  Come join me for the ride!

Dru Laws is the President of ARM and the Senior Vice President of Seljan Company in Lake Mills, Wisconsin.

Removing Stuck-on Debris from a Mold


Dr. Nick Henwood

Our legal counsel notes: Dr. Henwood speaks for himself and not for ARM as a whole. We encourage feedback but comments should be on technical matters raised. Dr. Henwood’s responses are solely his responsibility and not ARM’s.

As part of a recent consultancy assignment, I needed to make a long run of parts in one of my hexagonal test tools.  At the end of the job, the two ends of the tool were coated with a lumpy deposit of overcooked polyethylene (PE).  I was aware that this deposit was building up as I continued to mold parts, but I was under severe time pressure, needed to keep the job going and didn’t have time to clean the mess off every cycle.  This type of thing shouldn’t happen, but it sometimes does, even in a well-regulated molding operation.

So, at the end of the job, I was left with a nasty mess to clean up.  When you repeatedly cook and cool PE, it can have a tendency to crosslink and the result is an extremely tough polymer layer which is extremely hard to remove.  This was certainly the case on this occasion and my attempts to remove it with a plastic scraper were totally ineffective.  I didn’t want to take a metal scraper to it and I really didn’t want to send my tool away for sandblasting, so I decided to try a trick that an experienced molder friend had told me about. Continue reading