What a show! Takeaways from NPE: The Plastics Show

Last month, Phil and Erica attended NPE, the largest plastics trade show in the Americas. This massive event at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida is produced every three years by the Plastics Industry Association. 

The show brought together more than 50,000 leaders from over 130 countries representing the many sectors that rely on performance plastics—from healthcare to automotive to construction. Over 2,000 exhibiting companies showcased the latest innovations in plastics, materials, manufacturing, and sustainability.

This was Finger Lakes Extrusion’s first visit to NPE. We explored the newest equipment as we prepare to purchase an additional extruder, saw the latest automation technologies that can improve efficiencies for our customers, and continued to build relationships to help us develop new products, grow our business, and ultimately, support our customers’ success.

Erica said Phil, who oversees operations and equipment, was “like a kid in a candy store.”

Here are a few of Phil’s takeaways from NPE:

Diagnostics 

More diagnostics are being used along the full extruder line to better resolve any process issues, maximize productivity, and ensure quality control. 

Phil said, “For us, diagnostics give real-time data to the operator so they can make a more informed decision, which helps keep downtime to a minimum. They also make the learning curve less steep for our newer operators.”

Finger Lakes Extrusion plans to add more diagnostics to its existing equipment and will benefit from the diagnostic technology available on new equipment.

Robotics

Continued advancements in robotics are resulting in greater efficiency and flexibility for manufacturers.

“Robotics are going to be increasingly important to do simple tasks,” Phil said. “This frees up our employees to do higher level tasks and grow their skills.”

Finger Lakes Extrusion is exploring robotics as an option to help package coils of tubing.

People

It’s high-performing people who make performance plastics possible.

“We met some great people who are solving problems in the plastics world. We couldn’t get over the number of individuals who attended this event who are innovators, entrepreneurs, CEOs, and employees who care about this industry. Plastics are a big part of our life now and in the future. We are excited to learn and lead with the people in the plastics industry,” Phil said.

Natalie LeGrett

Customer Account Specialist

Natalie is a 2011 graduate of St. John Fisher College with a bachelor’s degree in business management and concentration in Human Resources. After 14 years of working in the Staffing Industry as a Recruiter and other various roles she was looking to switch gears and start a new career path. She had ties with Erica as she assisted in staffing temporary staff to FLEX for years. She decided not to return to the corporate world after maternity leave and start at FLEX where she has been a Customer Account Specialist. She is passionate about her family and two sons who always keep her on her toes; we enjoy creating memories as a family and enjoying the sunshine every chance we get!