IACMI leadership reflects on future opportunities, approaches to addressing industry challenges at SPE ACCE

Driving value. That’s the theme of the 2021 SPE Automotive Composites Conference & Exhibition (ACCE) wrapping up in Detroit this week. It was also the tone of IACMI CEO John Hopkins’ keynote address Wednesday as he spoke to the group about how IACMI and its members are driving composites design and manufacturing from laboratory scale to full production. Yet, there are still many challenges to address and his presentation highlighted future opportunities and IACMI approaches to addressing them. 

With the full theme, “Composites – Driving Value by Reducing Weight and Costs & Increasing Performance,” the annual ACCE event brings together engineers, sales personnel, transportation OEM management and Tier suppliers to learn about the benefits and growing importance of thermoset and thermoplastic composites in passenger vehicles, light trucks, and other ground transportation applications.

IACMI CCO Dale Brosius participated in a panel discussion moderated by Leonardo Simon of the University of Waterloo that focused on driving value in automotive composites manufacturing. The panel also included Dan Dowdall of INEOS Composites, Steve Eynon of Stellantis, and Hugh Foran of Teijin Automotive Technologies. 

The student poster competition returned once again, inviting grad, undergrad, community college and high school students to submit poster topics on innovative composite technologies for automotive and ground transportation. IACMI CTO Uday Vaidya served as the 2021 ACCE Student Competition Poster Chair, awarding first, second and third place winners in each respective educational category.

The event featured tours of IACMI’s Scale-up Research Facility (SuRF) in nearby Corktown, a facility that provides full-scale capabilities to augment Michigan State’s comprehensive composites R&D capabilities.