Kim McLoughlin Senior Research Engineer, Global Materials Science Braskem
Keynote: A Resin Supplier’s Perspective on Partnerships for the Circular Economy
The plastics industry is experiencing a time of unprecedented change, challenge, and opportunity related to environmental sustainability.
Companies across our supply chain, from material suppliers to brand owners, have made bold public commitments to achieve ambitious Circular Economy targets. Molders have a central role in helping stakeholders across the supply chain to achieve those targets.
I will discuss Circular Economy targets, implications for molders, and resources available to molders as they help drive this transition. I will focus on the ways in which partnerships can foster successful sustainability initiatives. Finally, I will share my experience coordinating an industry-academic recycling collaboration, which is facilitated and funded by the REMADE institute.
About the Speaker
Dr. Kim McCoughlin drives technology programs at Braskem to develop advanced polyolefins with improved recyclability and sustainability. As Principal Investigator on a REMADE-funded collaboration, Kim leads a diverse industry-academic team that is developing a process to recycle elastomers as secondary feedstock. Kim has a PhD in Chemical Engineering from Cornell. She is an inventor on more than 25 patents and applications for novel polyolefin technologies. Kim is on the Board of Directors of SPE’s Thermoplastic Materials & Foams Division, where she has served as Education Chair and Councilor.
The plastics industry is changing. Consumers are more worried about sustainability and environmental challenges and the U.S. government is paying attention. In this talk, I will outline some of the challenges on the horizon for the plastics industry and discuss a variety of upcoming technological solutions to address these challenges. These solutions include new materials systems, improved manufacturing efficiency through smart and sustainable manufacturing methods, and changes to end-of-life materials management. I will also discuss how the industry can come together to adapt to a changing social and policy environment.
About the Speaker
Dr. Gamini Mendis has a BS and PhD from Purdue University in Materials Engineering and Sustainability. He joined Penn State as a Post Doctorate Scholar in 2020 prior to his professorship appointment. He works closely with PA plastics manufacturers to implement sustainability programs in their plants.
Developing Circular Solutions in the Petrochemical Industry
Since the development of the polymers industry, plastics have become a widely accepted packaging option worldwide for good reason - these materials are known their high strength, light weight, extraordinary flexibility, low energy usage and low toxicity. But these same materials that offer so many societal advantages are also under increasing environmental scrutiny due largely to gaps in the infrastructure required to handle post use materials. Industry is engaged in an unprecedented effort to create and deploy sustainable circular approaches that address end of life innovations designed to reclaim valuable hydrocarbon resources and return them to commerce – that is, developing a circular economy. In this seminar, we will explore the innovations that have made synthetic polymers the material of choice for so many applications, the drivers behind the growth of this industry, the challenges we face, solutions under development and the collaborative efforts needed to responsibly repurpose post use plastics to circular solutions that meet societal needs.
About the Speaker
Mr. Tom Giovannetti holds a Degree in Mechanical Engineering from The University of Tulsa and for the last 26 years has worked for Chevron Phillips Chemical Company. Tom started his plastics career by designing various injection molded products for the chemical industry including explosion proof plugs and receptacles, panel boards and detonation arrestors for 24 inch pipelines. Tom also holds a patent for design of a polyphenylene sulfide sleeve in a nylon coolant cross-over of an air intake manifold and is a Certified Plastic Technologist through the Society of Plastic Engineers. Tom serves on the Oklahoma Section Board as Councilor, is also the past president of the local Oklahoma SPE Section, and as well serves on the SPE Injection Molding Division board.
Recovery of High Purity Polypropylene from Mixed Plastic Waste
Despite being widely utilized, only about 1% of the polypropylene (PP) produced globally are recycled. A particular challenge is to recover PP from mixed polyolefins float fraction that are typically part of commercial plastic waste recycling. In this talk, we present a sustainable approach to selectively dissolve and recover PP from mixed plastic waste using a biodegradable, non-toxic, and bio-sourced “Green Solvent”. Among all the major polymers, PP alone dissolved in this Green Solvent while other plastics remain insoluble. The dissolved PP is then re-precipitated with an anti-solvent to obtain virgin like material. We have demonstrated PP separation and recovery from a variety of feedstocks, including PP-PE pellets mixtures, melt blended PP and PE pellets, post-consumer polyolefin waste (e.g. takeout containers), floatables from commercial PET recycling, discarded face masks, and multilayer flexible food packaging. Peak temperature for degradation, melting point, melt flow index (MFI), and material structure of recovered PP will be presented. This environment friendly process can recover PP from mixed plastic waste and separate PP and PE from a mixture without significant loss of polymeric material properties.
About the Speaker
Dr. Joseph Lawrence is a Research Professor and Senior Director of the Polymer Institute and the Center for Materials and Sensor Characterization at the University of Toledo. He is a Chemical Engineer by training and after working in the process industry, he has been engaged in polymers and composites research for 18+ years. In the Polymer Institute he leads research on renewably sourced polymers, plastics recycling, and additive manufacturing. He is also the lead investigator of the Polyesters and Barrier Materials Research Consortium funded by industry. Dr. Lawrence has advised 20 graduate students, mentored 8 staff scientists and several undergraduate students. He is a peer reviewer in several journals, has authored 30+ peer-reviewed publications and serves on the board of the Injection Molding Division of SPE.
The HASCO Loc Check allows you to monitor the location of a tool easily and quickly at any time with your cellular device. This HASCO component also allows injection molders to keep track through the shipment process all the way to the press. Whether it is being shipped after the completion of the tool to their facility. Or, possibly transported to another injection molding facility for production. Loc Check provides sustainability in the mold industry by reducing waste/loss. Loss that could be your mold at the building phase or a fully assembled mold ready for trial. This component gives you the security in the palm of your hand to keep tabs on your valuable tools in this global market. This rechargeable device travels with your molds to make sure they end up where you need them most.
About the Speaker
Matt Hammernik serves as Hasco America’s Northeast Area Account Manager covering the states Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky. He started with Hasco America at the beginning of March 2022. Matt started in the Injection Mold Industry roughly 10 years ago as an estimator quoting injection mold base steel, components and machining. He advanced into outside sales and has been serving molders, mold builders and mold makers for about 7 years.
Enabling Circular Economy for Plastics and Composites Industry Via Networked Manufacturing
The circular economy is an economic system that aims at reducing resource consumption and eliminating waste while promising economic development continuity. With this definition, the advances in the areas of digitalization and data analytics, which are known as Industry 4.0 technologies, can provide a breeding ground for circular economy targets. In this context, the plastics and composites manufacturing industry is taking a slightly longer time to visibly adopt these technologies. The main reason is that plastics and composites manufacturing is more challenging than other industries in terms of data collection and analysis due to their inherent complexity. The extensive possible combinations of fibers, fillers, and polymers; the multi-physics nature of their manufacturing processes; their complex tooling systems; and the requirement of human expertise in some sections complicate every aspect of their design and manufacture. To mitigate these complexities and address the need for modernizing the conventional production lines by employing advances in the areas of industrial IoT and data analytics, we have worked on the concept of networked manufacturing – broadly refers to the connection of multiple manufacturing equipment and processes into a large system in which those individual components communicate with each other and transfer actionable data to improve their processes. In this presentation, the implementation route map of networked manufacturing systems will be explained, and its potential challenges and opportunities will be highlighted. Subsequently, several case studies will be presented to demonstrate the capabilities of such connected systems in terms of developing quality monitoring, process control, and predictive maintenance systems for injection molding plant.
About the Speaker
Dr. Saeed Farahani is currently working as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Cleveland State University. He has B.S. and M.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Sharif University and Ph.D. in Automotive Engineering (manufacturing field) from Clemson University. His research is primarily in the field of plastics and composites manufacturing, particularly in the areas of hybrid and networked production system involving integrated analytical models, numerical simulations, statistical and machine learning methods, sensors, and industrial IoT solutions to advance manufacturing systems for polymers, and composites. Dr. Farahani has more than 10 years of working in industry in the Design Strategies and Mechanical Properties of Thick & Recyclable Thermoplastic Foams.
Design Strategies and Mechanical Properties of Thick & Recyclable Thermoplastic Foams
Moxietec injection molded thick thermoplastic foams routinely challenge and exceed longstanding industrial expectations in part design and physical properties, with density reductions from 20 – 80% of the solid equivalent. This talk will describe injection molded thick foam samples of up to 9” in thickness that are realistic alternatives to rigid thermoset urethane foam systems, multi-part assemblies, and other non-recyclable options.
About the Speaker
Dr. Alicyn Rhoades is an Associate Professor in Engineering in both the Plastics Engineering Technology and the Polymer Engineering & Science Departments at Penn State Behrend. She is also the former Technology Director for Moxietec, LLC and currently leads the Scientific Advisory Board for the company. Prior to joining Penn State, Alicyn spent 5 years in the polymer industry, most recently with Bayer MaterialScience (Covestro) in Pittsburgh, PA. She has numerous awards including an NSF CAREER Award, and was named one of the 2018 Top 20 Under 40 Engineering Professors in the US by the American Association for Engineering Education.
James Sternberg Senior Scientist and Research Assistant Professor, Department of Automotive Engineering Clemson University
Circularity Through Redesign: Creating New Polymer Systems That Are 100% Biobased and Recyclable
Polyurethanes rank among the 6th most produced plastic globally and carry significant risks to health and safety due to the use of isocyanates in the polymer composition. In addition, polyurethanes are some of the least recycled materials due to their crosslinked nature precluding typical thermal processing techniques. To address these issues and enable a sustainable and circular design to polyurethane synthesis, a biobased and non-isocyanate route has been innovated that introduces chemical linkages capable of dissociation post-synthesis for chemical recycling. Lignin, as a highly abundant by-product of the paper pulping industry, is utilized as an alternative feedstock to create the non-isocyanate polyurethanes (NIPUs). While only a few examples of NIPU foams can be found in the scientific literature, the lignin-based foams described here combine a lightweight, flexible and 100% biobased nature. As lignin is typically used in the formulation of rigid polymers and foams, the foams presented here are the first to demonstrate flexible properties and densities near commercial materials. The raw materials of the composition can be recovered after chemical recycling of the foams using a high-pressure hydrolysis technique. The recycled precursors are demonstrated capable of reuse in second generation foams enabling a circular lifecycle.
About the Speaker
Mr. James Sternberg is a Senior Scientist at the Clemson Composites Center in Greenville, SC and a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Automotive Engineering at Clemson University. James comes from a chemistry background having completed his B.S. and M.S. in chemistry before studying biobased polymers under Srikanth Pilla at Clemson. James’s work focusses on redesigning polymer systems to be biobased and chemically recyclable. His projects have included recycling and/or redesigning polyurethane foams, nylons, composites, and 3D printing materials. He is currently the leader of the chemical recycling and upcycling group at the Clemson Composites Center.
Industry Insights From Our Premier Conference Sponsors
About the Speakers
Ms. Darlyn McDermott is a Market Leader and Director of Client Engagement responsible for the Northern and Eastern Region of MAGNET of NE Ohio. She is specializes in identifying and solving complex Manufacturing and Tech Services sector barriers to growth for the manufacturing community. As a Market Leader her current responsibilities include new business development technical discussions, industry leadership strategic partner relationships, Smart Factory implementation strategic and operations topics. MAGNET 's state of the art manufacturing facility is located in downtown Cleveland, Ohio and has 4 satellite offices across Ohio. Darlyn holds BA and Master's Degrees from Malone College and is a Six Sigma Green Belt.
Mr. David Leff holds a strong professional background helping colleagues and clients understand risk, improving safety performance, and implementing programs to create a positive safety culture. He began his career at Worthington Industries as a Plant Engineer here he was responsible for managing all facets of engineering, maintenance, and supervision of multiple projects and different disciplines. He went on to hold positions with Worthington Industries including Supervisor, Environmental, Health and Safety Manager, and Corporate Manager of Environmental, Health, Safety and Security (EHSS). He has been with Huntington Insurance since 2017. David earned his Bachelors in Physics with a minor in Management from Wittenberg University in Springfield, OH and his Master’s degree in Manufacturing Engineering from Ohio State University in Columbus, OH.
This educational program is provided as a service of SPE. The views and opinions expressed on this or any SPE educational program are those of the Speaker(s) and/or the persons appearing with the Speaker(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Society of Plastics Engineers, Inc. (SPE) or its officials, employees or designees. To comment or to present an opposing or supporting opinion, please contact us at info@4SPE.org.
Refund Policy for Events
No refunds available for this event.
Copyright & Permission to Use
SPE may take photographs and audio/video recordings during the conference, pre-conference meetings and receptions that may include attendees within sessions, networking areas, exhibition areas, and other areas associated with the conference both inside and outside of the venue. By registering for this event, all attendees are providing permission for SPE to use this material at its discretion on SPE's websites, marketing materials, and publications. SPE retains ownership of copyright to all photographs and audio/video recording obtained at this event and attendees may request copies of any material in which they are included.