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Subject: SPE Carolinas Board Planning Meeting

Date: August 8th, 2016

Time: 10:30am check in and 12:00pm

Location: Polymers Center of Excellence

Upcoming SPE Carolinas Board Meeting will be focus on event planning for 2016/2017 fiscal year.

The future is now: 3-D printers are poised to disrupt the economy

MultiBriefs: Ronnie Richard Monday, May 16, 2016

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The future is now: 3-D printers are poised to disrupt the economy

It's Monday morning. Your alarm goes off, and you slowly spill out of bed. You shuffle along to the kitchen and pour a fresh cup of coffee in your favorite mug — all set to start a new work week.

But as you reach for some sweetener to add in, your arm knocks the mug off the counter, shattering it on the floor. How do you replace it?

Not long ago, the only solution would be to go back to the store where you bought it and hope they have another one. That mug from your vacation eight years ago is out of stock? You're out of luck.

Today, you can search online at any number of retail websites — type "coffee mug" into Amazon, and you get 4.6 million results — but you still have to wait at least a couple of days for it to be delivered.

Ten years from now, you may simply fire up your 3-D printer, download an electronic file and make a new coffee mug in your home.

While this may seem like a simple transition in the delivery of a product, 3-D printing (aka additive manufacturing) is actually poised to create a tectonic shift in the manufacturing and retail industries in the near future.

We're already seeing an expansion in materials from plastics to metals, ceramics and even human tissue. And the effect is being felt in industries that require unique parts and customization like healthcare, military, automotive and aerospace.

But it won't be long before the effects are felt on a broad scale, according to several experts who spoke with MultiBriefs Exclusive. The global 3-D printing market was worth $2.89 billion in 2014, and it's expected to reach $12.53 billion by 2022 — an astounding annual growth rate of 20.1 percent.

As author John Hornick explains in his new book, "3D Printing Will Rock the World," 3-D printing has the ability to "break the grip of centralized manufacturing."

"As 3-D printers become more and more capable of making almost any finished product, centralized mass production may no longer be needed and, as a business model, may become a dinosaur," Hornick said.

How does that translate to the U.S. economy? We've already witnessed 20 years of disappearing manufacturing jobs — 4.5 million gone since the North American Free Trade Act took effect in 1994 — that have been lost to a combination of offshoring and technological improvements like automation. As FiveThirtyEight recently illustrated, these jobs are never coming back.

Will 3-D printers be the final nail in the coffin for U.S. manufacturing? Not exactly, according to those who work in the field.

"Every item 'Made in China' has a large percentage of its cost determined by shipping rates and the cost of money from the time an order is placed until it arrives at the customer," says Miles Szczurek, co-owner of a 3-D printer supply company in Illinois called AMX3d. "These costs disappear overnight."

The expansion of 3-D printing reduces the need for cheap labor in developing countries. This may actually lead to the reshoring of some manufacturing jobs — just in a different form. Instead of production-line workers, the market will look for technical experts who can operate a 3-D printer and navigate CAD/CAM files. That will require a new generation of schooling and training.

"It will be like deploying word processors in the 1980s when we had to train a generation of office workers," said David Alan Grier, an associate professor at the Center for International Science & Technology Policy and the past president of the IEEE Computer Society.

"Any country with high labor costs benefits because less labor is involved in 3-D printed manufacturing," Hornick said. "Developing countries also benefit because 3-D printing requires less capital investment than a factory full of traditional manufacturing equipment."

So who gets hurt in this new economy? The biggest loser appears to be the global logistics industry — warehousing and shipping.

Smaller regional "minifactories" spread throughout the country means the need for giant warehouses near large manufacturing plants will be eliminated. And with more production reshoring, the need for overseas shipping will also be reduced.

"I see manufacturing moving into offices with little prior interest in manufacturing because the systems capture the skill that they need to make new parts," Grier said.

How much longer will it take before those minifactories become personal factories in the form of 3-D printers in the home?

"Some say flat out that we will not have a 3-D printer in every home. We have heard that before, about computers and 2-D printers," Hornick said. "I believe most homes will have a 3-D printer of some kind within about 10 years."

But it may not be the technology that will keep 3-D printing out of homes; it may be the law.

As it stands now, there would be nothing to stop you from purchasing an electronic coffee mug file, downloading it and producing 1,000 mugs and selling them for profit. You could also legally alter the file and tweak a part of it to avoid any kind of copyright infringement. There's even a project for a 3-D printer that can produce its own parts, thus replicating itself.

"First and foremost, what is needed is intellectual property legislation and the appropriate technology to protect 3-D models and ensure royalties for duplication," Szczurek said.

Much like the growing pains the music industry endured with the proliferation of electronic media, the 3-D printing industry will need to determine how to approach these legal issues before they grow out of control.

Until then, you may not be able to print your own coffee mug, but you may be able to head to a shop down the street and watch it being printed in front of you in the next few years.

"3-D printing will not change consumption, but it will definitely change how and where items are manufactured," Szczurek said. "The biggest challenge to existing manufacturers is remaining competitive and adapting while changes occur — which represents an opportunity for everyone else."

Volunteerism: You often receive more than you give

April 21, 2016 By

Years ago, my father sat me down and gave me what was some of the best advice I have ever received.  It had nothing to do with making money but everything to do with getting ahead in the world.  It was self-help advice that really focused on helping others.

He told me I would never have any trouble finding opportunities.  And he told me that 20-25 percent of my time should be devoted to this pursuit.

“Volunteer,” he said.  Not exactly music to the ears of a broke, fresh out of college, aspiring millionaire.  But as I have come to appreciate, he was dead-on right – AGAIN.

Volunteering has made my life so much better, and I suspect that anyone who has become passionate about a cause will tell you the same thing. Click volunteer link below to read more....


Edcational Support Programs for Junior High & High Schools

Kasey Britt from Mount Gilead, NC won the "Wonder of Plastics" Essay Contest

Plastics Innovation in Sports

What is innovation? To me, innovation is change in a new, more creative perspective. An innovation enhances the world around us and is involved in everything we do. An example of an innovation is plastic. In particular, plastic is involved in most sports and has caused a revolution to the sporting world. Plastic is contained in most safety materials and is also in most sporting
goods such as running shoes, hiking shoes, clothing, and drills equipment. Plastic is also contained in sports-related venues such as tracks and stadiums. Read more...........

The Presidents Corner

SPE Carolinas 2015/2016

Hello to all and hope everyone is doing well! Welcome to the SPE Carolinas Section upcoming 2015/2016 season. Our meeting/event schedule is complete and posted on the Events page. Please take time to review and choose an event to attend. Bring a friend, maybe your Manager, to see what SPE has to offer. We will gladly listen to any future topic suggestions also. The whole purpose of SPE is to promote and educate people on the plastics industry. Please help us support our industry! We are always looking for more people to get involved in our Carolinas Section. We have posted the current Board of Directors in the About SPE Carolinas tab. Feel free to contact any of us for on how you can help and get involved, maybe even join the Board of Directors. Please remember we are here for you. Anything we can do to help you function better in the plastic industry, please let us know. Of course, thank you for your continued support of the SPE Carolina Section and we look forward to seeing you at one or all of our planned events.

Warmest regards,

Richard Martin

President SPE Carolinas

Membership Chairman Report

Uncle Sam-We Want YouDear Membership,
2015 was a good year and we made money again for our education fund and to keep us going. Thank you for your help and support! However, the greatest gift is having you participate in person. We have 261 active members and if you live in or around Charlotte, there is no excuse not to come! 41 members that are, or were associated with us are from Charlotte, 3 from Concord, 5 from Fort Mill, 3 from Pineville and 5 come from out of state, Rock Hill in South Carolina, including me.

For all others it is a drive and I understand that you may not want to come for every meeting, but when we have a full program with top experts in their field, showing us what is hot and where we are going, it is worthwhile for all of us to be here. Even if it does not impact YOUR exact field, employees have to widen their horizon, understand what the world around them looks like to better understand their customers, their industry and learn from it. I challenge every one of you to make it to at least ONE of our meetings. There is on average one every month you can participate in. Participate not only by being here, to listen and learn, but also to share, to make contacts, to ask questions and to help us learn about you as a person, your capabilities and that of your company.

With the best wishes, your Tim Haake – BoD / Membership

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