Uncertainty at the NPE2012


Facebook Share Icon LinkedIn Share Icon Twitter Share Icon Share by EMail icon Print Icon


Prior to the start of NPE 2012 down in Orlando at the beginning of this month there was a lot of uncertainty in the plastics industry. What will the first-ever NPE in Orlando in the month of April be like? Will they have enough electricity? Will they be able to rig my booth? Most importantly, Will the customers attend? And if they do attend, will they spend more time at the show or at one of the local tourist attractions or theme parks? I am happy to report that, with a few small glitches, the show was a success. Booths were set up well in advance, machines ran smoothly, and customers definitely attended to show. Not everything was perfect—it is unlikely that it ever will be—but the Orange County Convention Center and the city of Orlando were both very customer friendly. My guess is that things will be even better the next time the show is in town in 2015. But the apprehension about the location and timing of this year’s NPE was not the only uncertainty that pervaded the show two weeks ago. There was also great uncertainty about the future of the American manufacturing sector, the functionality of the Federal government, and the long-term health of the U.S. economy. This uncertainty is currently the biggest impediment to robust growth in the plastics industry. And unfortunately, it will take more than a trip to Florida to dispel it completely. Nevertheless, signs of a major resurgence in American manufacturing were quite evident in Orlando. There was an abundant display of innovation, education, and dedication. The materials, machines and components on display this year were more productive, more efficient and of vastly greater value than ever before. The halls were filled with not only new products, there was a multitude of new ideas. And if there is one thing that IS certain, it is that any resurgence in American manufacturing will be sparked and then fueled by new ideas. If you saw a great idea at the show, or if you have or know of an idea that could play a major role in the American manufacturing resurgence, then I would love to hear about it.