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Editor's Notebook

Now’s the Time to Invest in the Future

Karen Koenig

The mood around ANTEC was decidedly mixed. Despite the hushed discussions regarding the “R” word (recession), despite the high costs of fuel and utilities hitting most of the nation, especially the West Coast, and despite the threatened closing of plants by some of the big boys in plastics — people were still cautiously optimistic about the economic future of their businesses.

It’s an industry-wide phenomena. A recent survey of various industries, including plastics, by Grant Thornton LLP bears this out. The national survey found that while general optimism was down 8 percent from last year, 83 percent of those surveyed said they still believed their company would experience sales growth in the coming year. In addition, 80 percent said they envisioned that growth would come internally, as compared to 2 percent who saw no growth at all. (A complete rundown of the survey can be found on page 10 of this issue.)

In order to experience both sales and production growth, companies need to invest in their own futures. This means putting out the money for new equipment and technology, despite the threat of rolling blackouts on the West Coast, and possibly even the East Coast if it gets too hot this summer. It also means investing in training your workers.

Seminar programs, such as the Third Annual Plastics Machining & Fabricating Conference, and trade shows, such as the upcoming Anaheim Fair and K 2001, are some of the best ways to maximize your exposure to new technology.

The Plastics Machining & Fabricating Conference with tabletops, to be held June 28-29 (with an early-bird reception on June 27), will focus on selecting and specifying materials; developments in molding and forming; milling, routing and laser machining criteria; software developments; and bonding, welding and finishing. Plus, case studies by Pulsar Plastics, Seelye Plastics and Schafer Systems will give fabricators a virtual “tour” of these shops and a chance to hear their experiences.

The conference offers a great opportunity to network and learn from others in the industry. Details on the program can be found on page 44 of this issue. I hope to see you there.

For details on the seminar program, contact me at (847) 634-4366 or E-mail If you are interested in exhibiting at this event, contact the IAPD at (913) 345-1005, E-mail

We hope to see you there.

Still Time to Join The Fast 50

Just a reminder, the September issue of PM&F will focus the industry’s attention on 50 of the most progressive, fastest growing secondary plastics processors and report on the factors that led to their success.

Companies will be ranked based on their growth percentage of gross sales in 2000 compared to 1999.

To qualify for consideration in this year’s FAST 50, the following criteria must be met:

1. Your company is a secondary manufacturer of products ma#de from plastic material. The products manufactured could include, but are not limited to: automotive and transportation components, POP displays, medical equipment and devices, computer housings, products for the electronics and semi-conductor industries, tanks, sporting goods, distributors offering value-added services, etc.

2. Your company has generated annual sales of at least $100,000 in each year since 1998.

3. Your sales were greater in 2000 than in 1999.

Companies interested in participating in the FAST 50 can contact me at (847) 634-4366 or e-mail: to receive a form. An online version of the form suitable for e-mail, printing and faxing, is available on our Web site,

Please fax or mail your information to:
PM&F Magazine
400 Knightsbridge Pkwy./P.O. Box 1400
Lincolnshire, IL 60069
Fax: (847) 634-4374

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Plastics Machining & Fabricating
P: (847) 634-4347
F: (847) 634-4379
P.O. BOX 1400