As an active industry consultant with nearly 60 years of experience in the field, Patrick Ellis is widely recognized as a global expert in Polypropylene (catalysts, processes, markets), elastomers (NR and SRs), TPEs, ETPs, and thermoplastics compounding. In preparation for this year's event, our conference team recently sat down with Patrick to discuss current industry challenges, the importance of new product development, and why anyone who deals with either silicone elastomers or TPE materials should plan on joining us this June in Cleveland!
Find out what Patrick had to say in the brief interview below:
Smithers Rapra: First and foremost, why should people attend this event?
Ellis: This summit is a global event and anyone who deals with either of these elastomer products should do their best to attend. Both markets are currently moving forward at an advanced pace, and the only way to keep abreast of recent developments is to maintain an active presence in the industry. The available networking opportunities are also very important, in that many of the key players and game changers in these markets will send representatives to this conference."
Smithers Rapra: Why have you decided to support this event?
Ellis: While there are excellent periodicals discussing the latest trends in the market place, the only real way to learn what is going on is to discuss such matters directly with the experts.
Smithers Rapra: Why is this meeting important to the Silicone Elastomer industry?
Ellis: The silicone elastomer market is growing at a healthy rate, but in order to maintain this pace, it it is essential to be aware of any new materials or processes that are coming through the pipe line. At the same time, there may be opportunities for replacing silicone elastomers with TPEs for some applications - such as medical and healthcare, automotive, and others - where the properties of TPEs are limited and cannot perform sufficiently well.
Smithers Rapra: Why is this meeting important to the Thermoplastic Elastomer industry?
Ellis: For the same reasons as those expressed for silicone elastomers, those with a focus on thermoplastic elastomers should be actively looking for opportunities to incorporate silicone elastomers into TPEs.
Smithers Rapra: What value does the co-location of the Silicone Elastomers US Summit with the Thermoplastic Elastomers US Summit offer to delegates?
Ellis: Both product groups have more in common than many people think. An exchange of ideas and cross-fertilization of knowledge is an excellent means to uncover new opportunities and improve the viewpoint of both groups.
Smithers Rapra: What are some of the industry challenges that this year’s conference will address?
Ellis: Property improvements are highest on the list. Uncovering new applications for existing products is also a rewarding goal that should receive some attention. Political changes in the world’s markets will likely impact what's to come in the future, and those involved in the elastomers industry should study these changes when predicting future outcomes or developing new strategic plans. In this regard, future technologies and raw material resources should also take high priority on everyone's agenda.
Smithers Rapra: Would you like to provide any last minute advice or share any additional thoughts about the Silicone Elastomers US Summit 2018?
Ellis: I'll just reiterate the importance of continuous improvement by repeating the fact that product development and new applications should be continuously high on everyone's agenda.