President’s Message from Dru Laws


Conchita Miranda and Dru Laws at Rotoplas 2017

To say I am humbled to now be President of ARM is an understatement.  I consider myself very fortunate to be following in Conchita Miranda’s footsteps.  She is a wonderful leader.  With a successful 40th anniversary year and Rotoplas year in our rear-view mirror, I am excited to see what this year will bring.

I clearly remember falling in love with the rotomolding process immediately after molding my first part about 18 years ago.  Similarly, I clearly remember falling in love with the rotomolding industry when I attended my first ARM meeting a couple years later.  What a ride it has been!  I owe so much of who I have become professionally to this organization and the people within.

This will be a fantastic year for ARM, with numerous continuing education opportunities for your employees.

  • Our troubleshooting teleconferences continue to draw impressive participation. With two already on the calendar, you can expect these to continue as a great benefit to you and your employees
  • We are already working on regional meeting locations in Wisconsin, South Carolina, and California. As usual, the target audience for these meetings are your shop floor workers and leaders.
  • The March Executive Forum in Orlando promises to be a valuable event, designed to heavily focus on the labor issues that plague manufacturing. Your HR departments shouldn’t miss out on this one.
  • The Annual Meeting this year returns to the Hotel Bonaventure in Montreal in October. Watch for more information about this in the coming months
  • And finally, as a free benefit to ARM members, we are excited to be launching a series of eleven Operator Training webinars. These webinars offer your employees an industry endorsed training program, complete with continual assessment evaluations and completion certificates.  The first is scheduled for February 14th.  You’re going to love this!

Please join me in making this a great year.  And please let me know if I can help in any way.

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

ARM Listing of Resin Properties: Forms and Instructions

The ARM Education Committee plans to publish the next edition of the  ARM Listing of Resin Properties this April – the publication will be available on the ARM website with updated versions to be published every six months if new data is available.  Our molder members tell us that they view this publication as a valuable information resource, which they frequently use to make choices of suitable roto materials.

ARM supplier members are invited to contribute their resin data to the publication by March 2.

The listing comprises a series of tables, where the properties of different suppliers’ grades can be compared.  Data is provided by suppliers, but test methods and specimen preparation protocols are standardized, to provide apples-to-apples comparison.

Use these forms to enter your data:

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.

Deadline for submission of data is Friday March 2.  The Resin Properties Listing will be formally launched on Tuesday April 3.  Hopefully this provides plenty of time for you to generate and submit your data. For those who miss the deadline, we will publish a revision in May, with updates to follow approximately every six months.

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 $1000, payable prior to publication.  Alternatively, you can join ARM.

2017 ARM Awards

ARM congratulates all of of the award winners at our 2017 Annual Meeting. We also thank everyone who submitted an entry or nominated a member.

Hall of Fame
Celal Beysel for consistently demonstrating his willingness to share what he knows with rotomolders around the world.


Distinguished Service Award
Tom Innis for his participation in webinars, many committees, and as one of the representatives for the Roto Made Local initiative.


Product of the Year
Centro Incorporated for the Intimidator GC1K, a side-by-side utility vehicle with eleven rotomolded parts.


Conversion Product Award
Dutchland Plastics, LLC for the ITW / Hobart Mobile Generator, a diesel generator with rotomolded top hood cover, cable trays, and diesel tank.


Innovative/State of the Art Product Award
Centro Incorporated for the Intimidator GC1K, a side-by-side utility vehicle with eleven rotomolded parts.


Large Product Award
Master Spas, Inc. for the Getaway Bar Harbor, a rotomolded hot tub.


Safety Competition
Flexahopper Plastics
Formed Plastics, Inc.
for their excellent 2016 safety records.


Student Design Competition
First: Abigail Scray, UW Stout
Second: John Fox, UW Stout
Third: Nate Eberle, UW Stout

Rotoplas FAQ


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 25 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 6:45 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.) Full Convention VIP includes exhibit floor, general sessions and workshops (Wed and TH), 1 seminar (Tues), breakfast & lunch (Wed and TH), supplier-sponsored reception (Wed), gala & awards dinner (TH).  Annual Meeting & Workshops includes exhibit floor, breakfast & lunch (Wed), supplier-sponsored reception (Wed), breakfast & lunch (TH), gala & awards dinner (TH). Exhibits Only includes the exhibit floor (Wed and TH). Spouse/Guest includes exhibit floor, breakfast (Wed, TH), supplier-sponsored reception (Wed), gala & awards dinner (TH). Retired includes exhibit floor, gala & awards dinner (TH).

Can I change my registration?
Yes, click here and enter your confirmation number.

Who is registered?
Our attendee list (last updated September 20) is here.


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.

All tours depart from the Hilton Rosemont Lobby. Tuesday’s Board reception, Thursday’s gala, and Friday’s Board meeting will also be held at the Hilton. There are some Tuesday evening social events (details below) held outside of the Convention Center.

Everything else is at the Convention Center.

Are there breaks between sessions or will I be running everywhere?
It’s very unlikely you will need to run. There are thirty-minute networking breaks in the middle of the general sessions (9:10 AM Wednesday and 8:45 AM Thursday) and before the workshops (10:40 AM Wednesday and Thursday).

These networking breaks will include refreshments. You can call them coffee breaks but we call them networking breaks.

What’s the difference between the general session and workshops?
The general session is the only rotomolding programming from 8 AM – 10:40 AM. All Annual Meeting and Full Convention registrants will attend this session.

Multiple workshops run at at the same time (11:10 – 11:55 AM) Wednesday and Thursday. Annual Meeting and Full Convention registrants choose one out of seven or eight to attend each day.

Can I still sign up for a tour?
Probably. We can accommodate additional guests for Monday’s Harley Davidson steel toe tour, probably for Tuesday’s Architectural boat tour, and for the Cubs v Reds game at Wrigley on Friday. The Rotomolding plant tour is sold out and the Morton Arboretum is surprisingly strict about ticket purchase deadlines.

What’s happening on Tuesday night?
We have two free social events:
››› Human Resources Happy Hour
Tuesday, September 26, 6:30pm – 7:30pm at the Hilton Bar
Join Karen Moser (our HR teleconference moderator) and other HR professionals to network and discuss the issues that are keeping rotomolders up at night. The first round of drinks is on ARM!
››› Young Members “Committee Meeting”
Tuesday, September 26, 7:00pm at Bub City
Network and discuss how young members can influence the rotomolding community while enjoying appetizers, drinks and live band karaoke. Anyone born during or after the Carter administration is encouraged to attend. (All others are encouraged to buy a round.) Bring your significant other!

The Exhibit Hall

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

What can I do on the show floor in addition to meeting with exhibitors?
You can vote on the Product Competition by the ARM booth, play ping-pong or bags or a number of other games at the Entertainment Zone, attend presentations on the show floor Wednesday and Thursday, and grab a boxed lunch on Thursday.

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.


Can I get a hotel room?
As of September 20, Aloft has rooms available again for our guests. Contact Director of Sales Kerri Oots directly. (By the way, Kerri has personally helped put our most-procrastinating guests in hotel rooms for three Rotoplases in a row!)

We also have a block of budget rooms available at the Comfort Inn O’Hare Convention Centre at a rate of $99.99 + tax. The hotel is located 2.5 miles from the Convention Center. They are offering complimentary shuttle service is included to/from Rotoplas. Call 847-635-1300 and mention ROTOPLAS or email.

If you still need help, we recommend you use this link which sorts hotels in Rosemont by their distance from the Convention Center. As of this writing, they show rooms available at the Embassy Suites and the Hyatt Regency O’Hare which are as close as our host hotels. Room prices decrease the farther you get from the Convention Center.
Lyft and Uber are highly available in Rosemont.

Do you have a coupon I can use for Uber?
If you’ve never used Uber before use the code cfyk8 for $5 off your first four rides.

Does my hotel offer a shuttle to/from the airport?
Hilton Rosemont: Yes. The shuttle picks up at O’Hare at the Shuttle Bus center at Door #3. The shuttle departs every 20-25 minutes from 3:25 AM until 1:15 AM. International travelers should call the hotel for pick-up: 847-678-4488.
Aloft: Yes. It departs every thirty minutes between 5 AM and Midnight. (Arriving outside of that time? Click here and scroll down for more information.) The hotel shuttle is a large white van or bus, with a blue Aloft logo outside Door #3.
Crowne Plaza: Yes. It departs every thirty minutes from Door 2 of the Shuttle Bus Center. International travelers must call (847)-671-6350. Details.

Where is the Shuttle Bus Center a.k.a Bus/Shuttle Center?
Domestic travelers: Upon exiting your plane, follow the overhead signs to the Shuttle Bus Center. This will direct you through baggage claim. The Bus/Shuttle Center can be reached by foot, and is centrally located between all 3 Terminals.
International travelers: Please call your hotel. Or use Uber or Lyft.

What else?

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 and — if you’re up for it — wear something that fits the 1920s Chicago Mobsters theme.

Is there free Wifi?
Yes, the Convention Center offers free Wifi. Connect your device to the Wi-Fi signal BOINGO HOTSPOT. Once connected, launch your web browser. A Boingo splash page will appear. Click link to connect to “Complimentary WiFi” and follow instructions to get online. If you are having any issues, please call Boingo Support at 1-800-880-4117. You must have your device with you so the representative can help you directly.

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. ARM staff will be wearing bright orange shirts so you can find us easily. (We are wearing ugly shirts for your convenience.) If there’s an emergency, contact security.

Are there translation services?
Simultaneous Spanish translation will be offered during the General Sessions (8 AM – 10:40 AM) on Wednesday and Thursday.

What can I buy at the ARM Booth/Presentation Theater?
A variety of ARM books, some rare rotomolding text books, the In-Mold DVD, t-shirts, cycling jerseys, and posters. Stop by and we’ll give you a surprise freebie.

What should I do if I arrive Sunday night but don’t have any plans for Monday?
Find the ARM show staff in the Hilton lobby from 7:00 – 8:30 AM on Monday. We’ll be seeing off our Monday morning tours and will be happy to feed you donuts and coffee while we share recommendations for your day in Chicago. (We bought extra donuts just for you. So please stop by and say hello.)

I’ve got some free time. What should I do?
Nearby Dining and Entertainment: MB Financial Park is right behind your hotel but you probably need to walk through a parking garage to find it. 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.
Art: The Chicago Architecture Biennial at the Chicago Cultural Center. (Free.) The Cultural Center is a short walk to the Art Institute of Chicago.
Local Junk Food: 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!
Ask your question here and we’ll add it to the blog post.

Rotomolding Styrenic Polymers – is it feasible?


Dr. Nick Henwood

ARM Technical Director, Nick Henwood, is drafting a publication for the ARM Education Committee on rotomoldable polymers other than PE, PP, and PVC. Early drafts of each chapter will be published here every two weeks.

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

In the world of commodity plastics, it’s hard to ignore styrenics.  These plastics form a family of relatively low cost polymers and rival polyolefins (ie polyethylene and polypropylene) in the volume consumed in processes like injection molding.


The patriarch of the styrenics family is polystyrene (aka GPPS – general purpose polystyrene) which is a rigid, hard, transparent homopolymer.  Despite these useful properties, it is too brittle for some applications, so a product called HIPS (high impact polystyrene) is also available.  This is a copolymer of styrene and butadiene; the inclusion of butadiene should increase the impact strength by a factor of about three, albeit from a relatively low base figure.

If you make a copolymer of styrene and acrylonitrile, you get a material with significantly higher heat resistance, called SAN (styrene acrylonitrile).  Impact-wise, SAN sits somewhere between GPPS and HIPS.

We rotomold lots and lots of polyethylene (PE), plus increasing amounts of polypropylene (PP), so why can’t we rotomold styrenics? Continue reading