SPE and the United National Environment Program

The Society of Plastics Engineers SPE: Inspiring Plastics Professionals recently received accreditation from the United Nations Environment Program (hashtag#UNEP) which gives SPE observer status in the United Nations Environment Assembly (hashtag#UNEA).

This accreditation allows SPE to participate in UNEP activities, including, but not limited to, the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee on Plastic Pollution (INC). SPE’s participation also includes:
– Attending regional and public meetings
– Submitting written contributions to UNEA working documents
– Circulating written statements to governments

As a new member of one of the Major Groups of UNEP (hashtag#Science and hashtag#Technological Community), SPE will contribute educational and evidence-based expertise to the broader discussion of environmental management of hashtag#plastics and hashtag#polymers. SPE will also share details from the UNEP forum to foster discussion among it’s 22,500 members across the globe.

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Newsletter 2024: The President’s Cup Award

Our Membership Chair Mark MacLean-Blevins was honored at ANTEC 2024 with the President’s Cup Award for his meritorious and outstanding service to SPE. The President’s Cup is an award that is given at the discretion of the SPE president, where only 65 individuals have been award this honor since its inception in 1958. Mark is certainly a worthy honoree. Since joining SPE in 2005, Mark has served in many roles for the PD3, from chair, membership chair and councilor. Mark has served with great dedication and has offered invaluable insight to the different groups to guide SPE and our division forward. He has always taken an active role in his volunteering, which he has stated has given him great benefit both personally and professionally. We took this time to ask him some of his favorite aspects and memories of his service during this time. Please enjoy, and reach out to Mark to congratulate him on this great honor!

Mark MacLean-Blevins Speaking after Receiving the President’s Cup from SPE Past-President Bruce Mulholland (holding cup). Mark’s wife, Kim, was also present for the ceremony.

Written by: Erik Foltz

April 22, 2024

Favorite Aspect of Being Active in SPE/PD3:

by Mark MacLean-Blevins

“As an independent design services provider, active participation in PD3 and SPE gives me an extensive network of professionals with expertise in most any aspect of plastics that I might need for any given project for a client. In fact, many of these professionals have become friends that have further strengthened my background through discussions of similar projects and experiences. In turn, I have been called upon by others for my opinion and assistance in areas where I could bring value to their particular project or issue to be solved.”

Favorite Memory of Active SPE Volunteering:

“There are many fond memories from volunteering within SPE, however, I would have to say that meeting other members and learning about their past successes and failures is perhaps the one highlight worth mentioning. Attending ANTEC each year and contributing through meetings and discussions has always been rewarding for me as well. Opportunities to attend various functions, like the dedication of the reading room at the Syracuse Library, or the gathering to celebrate Patsy Beall’s Honorary Membership in SPE, were also personal fond memories. In the end, it circles back to making and keeping good friendships with people in the industry from around the globe, people that we get to see each year at ANTEC to visit and share our lives with for a short time.”


ANTEC 2024: The Glenn Beall Symposium

This year’s ANTEC was graced by a full-day Symposium dedicated to honoring Glenn Beall, a stalwart of the plastics industry and a luminary in plastic product design. With a career spanning more than six decades, Glenn’s contributions were celebrated alongside heartfelt recognition of his late wife and partner, Patsy.

Glenn Beall Speaking at the Symposium

The Symposium boasted an impressive lineup of 10 speakers, personally selected by Glenn, who delved into various aspects of his legacy. Len Czuba commenced proceedings with a poignant overview of Glenn’s life, setting the stage for Glenn himself to share memories and insights into effective plastic product design. Attendees were treated to Glenn’s trademark presentation style, complete with his classic visuals and engaging discourse, including an unexpected reference to Monica Lewinsky.

Following Glenn’s address, the Symposium showcased nine technical speakers, each representing one of Glenn’s renowned pillars of plastic product design: Design, Material, Mold, and Process. Topics close to Glenn’s heart, such as Rotational Molding, Thermoforming, and Additive Manufacturing, were also highlighted. Speakers included Michael Paloian, Mark MacLean-Blevins, David Tucker, Mark Wolverton, Mike Sepe, Ed Probst, Scott Peters, John Bozzelli (recorded earlier via Zoom) and Jon Ratzlaff who offered personal anecdotes and reflections on Glenn’s profound influence on their careers.

The Symposium culminated in a lively social, providing ANTEC attendees with the opportunity to mingle with Glenn, the speakers, and fellow industry enthusiasts. This memorable event was made possible through the generous sponsorship of SPE HQ, PD3, the Medical Plastics Division, the Rotational Molding Division, the Chicago Chapter, and the Plastics Pioneers Association. Moderated by Al McGovern and Erik Foltz, past and current PD3 Chairs respectively, the Symposium was a fitting tribute to Glenn Beall’s enduring legacy.

Albert McGovern

April 16, 2024


Newsletter 2024: Letter from the Chair

Hello Product Design and Development Division (PD3) Members!

It is a nice spring day as I write this, and it is great to see people at the park getting more active and ready for their spring and summer plans. The PD3 board has also been active this spring with their participation in ANTEC. PD3 was highlighted in many facets at ANTEC this year. We helped organize the Glenn Beall Symposium, were honored as a Patron Ambassador for the SPE Foundation, and had one of our Members receive the prestigious President Cup Award! You can read some of the highlights about the Glenn Beall Symposium in this newsletter. We are also profiling Mark MacLean-Blevins in our newsletter to help highlight why he was a worthy recipient of the President’s Cup. Having such a prominent role at ANTEC gave credence to the praise I bestowed on our board in my previous Chair message. Beyond the PD3-centric highlights for us at ANTEC, I enjoyed attending the conference in St. Louis. The three-day conference consisted of great technical presentations, where I was able to increase my knowledge of PFA-Free Lubricants, the utilization of AI to accelerate UL-screening process for flame rating, and development of machine-learning algorithms for in-process optimization of injection molding. Additionally, this was a great event for me to reconnect with individuals I have not seen in-person since the pandemic. ANTEC certainly lived up to its reputation that it is the conference to grow and strengthen not only your knowledge but also your network! I look forward to next year’s event in Philadelphia.

Besides being active at ANTEC, PD3 has been busy with our Design for… webinar series. We had two great talks about metal-to-plastic conversion and how to better utilize design of experiment (DOE) methodology to optimize secondary plastic processes. Through the Design for… webinar initiative, we have been able to bring presenters both within and outside our current membership. This is exactly what we are trying to achieve with this webinar series: help educate our membership while engaging the greater design community. We will look to continue our webinar series with seminars from Dow on “Challenges and Opportunities with Circularity in Plastics” and from Sussex IM. Please follow us on LinkedIn to stay up-to-date on all our activities. You can access our LinkedIn Page here. Finally, if you are interested in giving a presentation, please reach out to me to get on the schedule.

The final item I’d like to address in this newsletter message is to thank our corporate division sponsors. We have been blessed to have many different sponsors that help us fund the activities and initiatives we have undertaken. The sponsors we currently have are leaders in the design field, and share our passion for highlighting the benefits of plastics in design when utilized responsibly. I encourage you to learn more about each of them, and how they may be able to move your design initiatives forward.

That wraps up this message, please enjoy the rest of the newsletter!

Erik Foltz

Chair, PD3 Board of Directors


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2024 Day at the Track!

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Next Design For…Webinar Posted!

Description: Design of Experiments (DOE) has long been used with injection molding and extrusions. DOE is a statistically based methodology for developing empirical equations. The test structure and interpretation is highly effective and efficient. A less recognized DOE application area is for plastic part secondary operations. This can include plasma treatment, ultrasonic welding and bonding. We will discuss the basics about DOE and explore a few common case studies applications, to understand the power of DOE for manufacturing processes.

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Essentials of Plastic Material Selection: Key Steps Simplified

Materials selection can be challenging if one doesn’t have a structured plan. Madison Group shared some insights to get your material selection right.

Plastic Materials selection involves choosing materials that meet some important characteristics like performance, cosmetics, and costs. But there is not a playbook for doing materials selection. On the contrary, this means doing some property research, taking into account product lifetime and even in some cases, regulation.

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Hot Runner Truths, Myths and Overlooked Areas

Addressing hot runner benefits, improvements and everyday issues from the perspective of decades of experience with probably every brand on the market.

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