Two New Events Added!

Webinar – Polypropylene: Commodity Resin, I Don’t Think So

Date: April 4th

Register Here

Webinar – Thermal Analysis in Failure and Compositional Analysis

Date: May 23rd

Register Here


New Upcoming Events!

You won’t want to miss out on all of the events happening in the world of Plastics!

Check out our EVENTS page to see what’s happening and when!


ANTEC® 2024 : The Glenn Beall Symposium

If you’re one of the many THOUSANDS of plastic part design professionals who have been taught by Glenn Beall, make your way to St. Louis, Missouri, and be a part of the Glenn Beall Symposium! 

An Amazing Line of Presenters:

  • Len Czuba – Glen Beall Introduction
  • Glenn Beall – Keynote Presentation
  • Michael Paloian – “How Does Plastic Technology Knowledge Affect Industrial Design Concepts and Products?”
  • Mark MacLean-Blevins – “Plastic Part Design Considerations”
  • David Tucker – “The Application of Design Rules to Additive Manufacturing”
  • Mark Wolverton – “Plastics Materials Selection for Designers”
  • Mike Sepe – “Material Testing as a Tool in Failure Analysis”
  • Ed Probst – “Glenn Beall’s Impact on the Thermoforming Industry”
  • Scott Peters – “Key Considerations to a Successful Tooling / Product Launch” 
  • John Bozzelli – “Processing Glenn Beall’s Design Block”
  • John Ratzlaff – “Improving Part Cosmetics in Rotational Molding” 

Letter from the Chair

Hello Product Design and Development Division (PD3) Members!

I hope everyone had an enjoyable holiday season and you were able to spend time with family and friends to close out 2023! This time of year is often associated with slowing down, reflecting on the past year and setting goals for the coming year. As I reflect on the past year leading the PD3 Board of Directors, I’m very excited about the group we have guiding the Division. The Board consists of veteran, foundational members that bring us a wealth of design and plastic knowledge and perspective to keep us moving forward and relevant to the design community. Additionally, we have added key members that allow us to better communicate with all our membership and help push us into new territories that we have not given as much attention to in the past. As we kick off 2024, I’d like to highlight what we have accomplished in 2023, and what we have planned for you in the coming year.
As I stated in my previous newsletter message, we undertook three large initiatives in 2023. We implemented a new website, The goal of the website is to be a hub that allows us to post relevant design news and guides that will help designers better integrate plastic components into their assemblies and ensure the parts are manufacturable prior to heading to their manufacturing partners. Having a central location for these design guides allows our website to be an anchor for the design community and ensure they are getting the correct base knowledge at the early stages of their design process.
Our second initiative was to implement a bi-monthly webinar series titled “Design for….” This is a more dynamic interaction, where we are allowing for regular discourse in the design community on the key factors product and plastic part designers encounter during their product and part design process. We have been blessed by having two great webinars led by two very experienced designers and plastics engineers. Vik Bhargava helped highlight how we can better identify the root cause of our plastic part performance or manufacturing issues. MichaelPaloian gave a great presentation on how to better select your manufacturing method to economically produce your part, and how that process selection will dictate which features can be integrated into your part design to obtain the original design intent of your product. This webinar series is open to everyone in the design community, whether you are a PD3 member or not. Finally, our last initiative was to regularly put out a newsletter. This is our attempt to keep our membership engaged and aware of both SPE and non-SPE events that are relevant to the design community. While the first two initiatives are a great way to engage the already engaged members, we understand everyone is pulled in many directions. The newsletter allows us to regularly reengage those members that may have been pulled away due to other commitments and allows us to distribute educational material and promote upcoming events.

As you will see in this newsletter, we have a great technical article about how to better integrate sustainability
initiatives into your plastic part design. We also have information about our upcoming events in 2024 with the hope that you can participate in them. The newsletters also provide quick references that help move your design knowledge forward and understand what networking events are coming up.

While 2023 has been exciting, the PD3 Board will not be slowing down in 2024. We already have our first three“Design for…” webinars planned for 2024. The topics align well with many individuals’ common New Year’s resolutions. In January, we will have a weight-loss topic in which we will discuss “Success When UndertakingMetal to Plastic Conversion Projects.” In March, we will have a technical economics discussion about how to effectively scale up your plastic part design for mass production, and how your decisions about design features and secondary processes will affect your end part cost. Finally, in May or June, we will have a sustainability topic, in which we have an expert discuss how you can more effectively integrate an end-of-life strategy and what should be considered when mechanical recycling is included in that strategy. In addition to the virtual events, we will also be co-hosting an exciting in-person event at ANTEC® 2024! At this in-person Symposium, on March 6th, we will be honoring industry titan and PD3 Board member Glenn Beall. This once-in-a-lifetime event will feature a keynote address from Glenn, along with 10 speakers who are, themselves, highly regarded within the plastic design community. Personally chosen by Glenn, they will address elements of Glenn’s 4 Pillars of Plastic Product Design—Material, Design, Mold and Process—as well as fundamentals of Rotational Molding, Thermoforming and Additive Manufacturing. Their presentations will include well-practiced technical content interspersed with personal memories and comments on their relationship with Glenn. After the Symposium concludes, there will be a networking event where you can mingle with others that have a similar passion for plastic part design and manufacturing. This will be THE EVENT for plastic part and product design professionals in 2024! You can register here:
Registration Information | SPE (

Finally, I’ll wrap up my message by asking you, our membership, for your ideas and interests. As I’ve stated previously, we have a strong Board, but we are always looking to add new energetic members who are interested in taking on an active role. If you are interested in volunteering your time and energy in supporting us as a Board, we would welcome you at any of our Zoom Board meetings. If you are interested in volunteering content for a webinar or newsletter, we will gladly review that and look to see how it can best be integrated it into our communication strategy. Alternatively, if you are a corporate or individual that is looking to support the division financially, please reach out to us or ensure you sign up as a PD3 member. As an individual PD3 member or a corporate sponsor you help fund our in-person educational and networking events! Whatever way you choose to contribute, we thank you for supporting us! Have a great 2024, and we hope to “see” you soon!

Erik Foltz
Chair, PD3 Board of Directors


Design For….Success When Undertaking Metal to Plastic Conversion Projects

SPE PD3 is excited to announce our upcoming Design For…webinar with Erik Foltz!

Visit our Events page to find out more and register!


SPE Webinar: Plastic Datasheets: What They Do and Don’t Tell us

February 13th 11AM-12PM EST

Follow the link to register:


SPE 2024 Webinar: Introduction to Plastics

January 16th: 11AM-12PM EST

More Information Here:


Plastics are the most versatile materials ever invented, and have become a universal material, used for everything from water bottles to wings on combat aircraft to implanted artificial joints. Thermoplastic materials display properties that are unique when compared to other materials and have contributed greatly to the quality of our everyday life. At this moment, you are almost certain to be touching plastic. Yet, while plastics play such an important role, we do not always understand the fundamental concepts of their production, compounding, end properties, and use.

If words such as polymer, thermoplastic, creep, amorphous, and modulus are outside your normal vocabulary, this presentation is for you.

At the conclusion of this presentation, you will understand:

  • How polymers build molecular weight through polymerization and its importance in the performance of thermoplastics.
  • The role that polymer structure plays in shaping the key characteristics of plastics.
  • How crystalline the plays an important role in determining the properties of plastics.
  • The essentials of viscoelasticity.

The usefulness of thermoplastics is attributed to the fact that they provide a wide range of properties and can be changed into products by relatively simple and inexpensive fabrication means. In order to take full advantage of these materials, it is important to have a clear understanding of their composition and elementary properties.

About Speaker

Jeffrey A. Jansen
Engineering Manager
The Madison Group

Jeffrey A. Jansen is the Engineering Manager and a Partner at The Madison Group, an independent plastics engineering and consulting firm. Jeff is a proven plastic professional with more than 30 years of experience solving problems and addressing opportunities related to polymeric materials. He specializes in failure analysis, material identification and selection, as well as compatibility, aging, and lifetime prediction studies for thermoplastic materials. Jeff has performed over 5,000 investigations, both for industrial clients and as a part of litigation. He is a regular presenter on the SPE webinar series, covering a wide range of topics related to plastics failure, material performance, testing, and polymer technology. Jeff is a graduate of Carroll College and the Milwaukee School of Engineering.


Looking for Flame Retardant Solutions?

SPE’s National Week of Flame Retardants, hosted by the SPE Non Halogen Flame Retardant Materials TIG, and taking place online January 22-25, 2024, will feature industry leaders showcasing recent advancements in flame retardant (FR) technologies. Attendees will engage in discussions surrounding the technological and regulatory landscape of flame retardants.

Presentations will delve into the innovative applications of halogen-free flame retardants, shedding light on their advantages and potential applications across various industries.

Why Attend?

  • Gain valuable insights into the most recent advancements in fire retardant technologies.
  • Explore the latest testing protocols and regulatory requirements.

Who Should Attend?

  • Material and additive suppliers that offer fire-retardant solutions.
  • Compounder industries.
  • Sectors employing flame-retardant plastics, including building and construction, cables, insulation, automotive and transportation, electrical and electronics, aerospace, military, and defense.

Researchers and academic professionals engaged in the advancement of innovative flame retardant technologies.

Visit our Events page to find out more about it!


Event: The Madison Group – Adhesive Selection for the Joining of Plastics

Join The Madison Group’s, Melissa Kurtz, while she reviews the advantages and disadvantages of various adhesive types!

When: December 12th @ 10 AM CST

Register Here:


Antec Symposium Honoring Glenn Beall

ANTEC® 2024, taking place in St. Louis from March 4-7th at the Marriott St. Louis Grand, will showcase the latest advances in industrial, laboratory, academic, and international work focused on plastics and polymer science. 

Honoring Glenn Beall

We are excited to announce that on Wednesday, March 6th, the ANTEC® program will include a Symposium Honoring the Career Achievements of Mr. Glenn Beall. Glenn, who joined SPE in 1960, has served in many roles during his career in plastics: engineer, inventor, consultant, educator, editor, author, and industry activist. Glenn has stamped an indelible legacy on the growth of plastics and of SPE.

During the symposium, Glenn will give a keynote presentation and symposium sessions will include speakers focused on various areas of Glenn’s expertise such as rotational molding, injection molding, design, additive manufacturing, thermoforming, and more. There will also be a networking event following the symposium. This will be a great opportunity to honor one of our leading plastics innovators! You don’t want to miss it! 

Register Today!: