It has been 6 years since Mold In Graphic Systems (MIGS) first attended the Nordic ARM conference and it has grown into a truly quality event, with a broad and interesting range of speakers, workshops, table-tops, Cipax factory tour and an excellent networking dinner – which included the traditional Nordic ARM Quiz. This was won by Alexander Datzinger of Maag Automatik, who led from the first question. Unfortunately, the Nordic ARM Run, organised by Walter Bonazsi, had to be cancelled because of the icy conditions!
The Nordic ARM conference celebrated its 10th anniversary, and this was the biggest event to date – with over 115 delegates attending. Delegates came from not only the Nordic region, but from more than 15 other countries. An impressive attendance for a regional event.
Ronny Ervic, the Nordic ARM founding President, announced that he would be stepping down. After 10 years of hard work by Ronny and the Board, the association is in excellent shape and the record attendance at the event was testament to this.
There were a number of international speakers including Bill Spenceley of Flexahopper Plastics Canada, Dru Laws of Seljan Company USA (and ARM President) and Paul Nugent. Bill gave a fascinating insight into their solar array, the largest in use anywhere in the world by a rotational moulder. The solar array is expected to pay for itself in under 8 years. The array is expected to help significantly with Flexahopper’s sustainability goals – and has attracted a great deal of positive attention from the media, government, customers as well as the broader roto industry.
Dru gave an excellent presentation on the phenomenon that is the US cooler box industry. The numbers are truly mind boggling and, from a market that barely existed a few years ago, the cooler box market is set to become the roto market of the decade in the US. There are currently 123 US based cooler box companies – and turnover is expected to exceed $1 billion in 2018. Drew also gave an overview of their own coolers, including the C3 Rover (C3 Custom Cooler Creations) – a mobile, radio controlled cooler with a range of a 100 feet. These branded coolers are highly effective corporate promotional items.
Gary Nolan of Matrix polymers presented on their new product FoamBond, engineered to improve the adhesive properties between PE and PU foam. This of course goes to the very heart of MIGS’s core purpose – to permanently decorate “non polar” PE and PP plastics, polymers that have traditionally been considered as impossible to decorate. Permanent adhesion can only be achieved through the integration of compatible materials and all other polyolefin decorating methods are ultimately doomed to failure. Every Mold In Graphic transfer manufactured by MIGS is literally a “slice” of polyethylene, a highly engineered product that will last the life of the product it is moulded into.
The Cipax factory visit in Bjørkelangen, gave interesting insight into their business. Cipax, the largest rotomoulding operation in Scandinavia are headquartered in Sweden, with moulding operations in Estonia and Norway. Their Pioneer range of boats have been manufactured in Norway since 1959 and are a best seller in Norway, with sales expanding across Europe.
No conference would be complete without the support of the sponsors, suppliers and exhibitors – and the 25 table tops were busy with visitors over the 2-day event. Two of our distributors, Matrix Polymers (UK and Poland) and Dram (Italy) had table tops. Katia Zoppetti of Dram was running 493K’s desk top RotoRocket – and was able to give a hands on demonstration, showing how easy Mold In Graphics are to apply.
Paul Nugent closed the conference by sharing his wealth of knowledge and experience with an in depth look at the current and future state of rotomoulding. MIGS is grateful to attend this world class event and congratulates Anna Walorek of VALOR, Ronny Ervic and the Nordic ARM Board for providing this opportunity to connect in knowledge sharing for our industry!