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Innovation Symposium

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The 2019 ARPM State of the Rubber Industry Report found that 98 percent of rubber companies reported major challenges in workforce development, including finding talent, training their workforce and retaining employees. Manufacturers have also reported that other challenges keeping them up at night included: keeping up with technology, continuous improvement efforts and finances.

ARPM has created the Innovation Symposium to provide some answers to these challenges for member companies. This day-long symposium is an opportunity to discover innovative solutions to some of the industry’s key issues, unite expertise from across the industry and provide paradigm-shifting solutions to advance you in your journey toward manufacturing excellence.

This event will offer engaging keynotes, interactive presentations, cutting-edge technology, innovative approaches and peer-to-peer networking roundtables.

Attendees will learn how current trends impact issues and how to leverage what they learned when they return home.

Speaker lineup includes industry experts from

  • Ace Products and Consulting
  • Sigmasoft
  • REP
  • 180 Skills
  • Endurica L.L.C.,
  • University of Akron
  • LabsCubed

Sessions: (Please check back for updates)

Virtual Elastomer Molding Process and Design Optimization

SIGMASOFT® Virtual Molding was developed as an innovative solution to overcome challenges for development, mold design and production in injection molding. Our approach is to consider all the components of the mold with their specific physical and thermal properties. Then, processing conditions are used, and multiple consecutive cycles are reproduced virtually, representing what happens in the molding machine during the manufacturing process. Thus, allowing users to evaluate and optimize processes and molds, increase efficiency, productivity and part quality.

You can expect to hear more about the following topics:

  1. Optimizing design during product development phase
  2. Optimizing your current process window to maintain robust quality
  3. Defect prevention in elastomer molding

Reaching the Next Generation of the Rubber Industry

The generational gap of the rubber industry continues to spread while the deficit in technical resources only grows.  We have now reached a point where it is critical that the industry adapts and innovates in an effort to reach and develop the next generation of the rubber industry.  Erick Sharp of Ace Products and Consulting will share some successful keys to bridging the gap.

How Digital Competency-Based Learning Connects Non-Traditional Learners With Great Manufacturing Jobs

There are over 100 million Americans that make less than the federal income standard for poverty. For this population, there are countless barriers that prevent them from accessing the education they need to improve their standard of living. In this session, 180 Skills will share how competency-based, self-paced learning models have demonstrated high levels of success and helped thousands gain the skills they need for great middle-skills manufacturing jobs.  You will also learn how employers have applied these models to reach marginalized adults, college non-completers, and displaced workers as sources for new employees.

 Innovation in Polymer Education

Searching for a program to span the gap between the MBA and MS degrees, which allows you to continue to work while obtaining a masters degree? This program will provide training individuals with the skills needed to make technology-mindful decisions as team leaders, managers and supervisors. The University of Akron will speak on this newly formed Masters in Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering, which has been designed to prepare individuals to work in the polymer or polymer-related industries, consulting, or venture capital firms in non-research positions. Also included an employer will provide a testimonial about a recent hire who completed this program. 

Industry 4.0: How to Take Steps Towards the Future

The fourth industrial revolution was started by the German government back in 2012 and has just recently started gaining large amounts of attention in the last few years. With the onset of rising material cost, skilled labor deficits, and higher standards of quality acceptance from customers the time for evolving your manufacturing approach is now. Ben Puffer and John Mohl of Maplan will share a practical approach of what Industry 4.0 will be, is now, and should be for you.

 Engineering Elastomer Durability with Advanced Testing and Simulation

Rubber materials, product designs, and end-use conditions all influence the fatigue lifetimes of tires, hoses, bushings, seals and other elastomer applications. This presentation will discuss modern methods for predicting elastomer product durability using advanced material characterization and finite element analysis (FEA) approaches. The detailed and finitely-scoped testing methodologies that are necessary for quantitative material parameter inputs to the Endurica portfolio of lifetime prediction software for FEA will be described along with related simplified screening procedures that can be implemented in compound development and manufacturing quality control. Case studies will be reviewed that show the combined predictive power of critical plane analysis and rubber fracture mechanics in the Endurica CL fatigue solver which predicts when and where cracks will show up in complex geometries that experience multi-axial, variable amplitude loading cycles. The newest software innovations – Endurica DT and Endurica EIE – will also be highlighted. 

 First In First Out vs Last In First Out

"First in, First Out," or FIFO principles in rubber injection molding, will be discussed and compare with "Last in, First Out," or LIFO alternative method. Rep Corporation will dive deeper into the LIFO method and the impact this concept can have on your company. 

Peer to Peer Roundtables

Growing peer-to-peer networks and having the opportunity to meet other individuals in similar roles and responsibilities is a primary component of the ARPM Innovation Symposium. During these roundtable discussions, professionals will exchange ideas on the most pressing topics. This is a perfect way for professionals to find new ideas, expand their professional networks and explore new methods of improvement. 


Please check back as new presentation write-ups are still being collected. 

This Event will be held at:

Ace Products and Consulting
6800 North Chestnut Street
Ravenna, OH 44266

Hotel Information: ACE Products & Consulting LLC has a negotiated rate of $119 at the Kent State University Hotel & Conference Center. You can call the hotel directly at (330) 346-0100 or (330) 968-6914 (it may be necessary to leave a message) or reserve online at and use promotion code ACE for our rate.



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