The Polyurethane Foam Affiliation (PFA) lately resumed internet hosting a reside assembly for its members in St. Petersburg, FL, celebrating its 40th Anniversary and a robust rebound in orders for foam merchandise.
PFA’s two-day assembly in late Could was a “hybrid,” that includes reside attendance on the Vinoy Renaissance Resort and digital streaming of its classes to members who couldn’t attend in particular person. General attendance was close to pre-pandemic ranges.
Attendees included foam producers, chemical suppliers, tools makers, and different firms supporting the trade. Discussions coated pandemic restoration, regulatory proposals, end-user markets, and technical improvements. Explicit consideration was targeted on traits within the automotive markets and in challenges associated to uncooked materials provides.
PFA additionally took the event to mark its 40th Anniversary, a celebration postponed from final yr due to COVID-19. PFA created a video historical past of the affiliation, which might be considered at www.pfa.org/40th-anniversary.
“Our members have been very comfortable to be again to an in-person assembly, with the flexibility to community and renew previous friendships,” famous Chip Holton of NCFI Polyurethanes, PFA’s President. “I feel everybody senses the joy of getting again to enterprise practices that we typically took as a right.”
A collection of technical papers have been pre-recorded and included within the assembly, with a day session devoted to their dialogue. “It was very encouraging to see the standard of this Spring’s technical providing,” famous Invoice Gollnitz of Plastomer, who moderated the Technical Session remotely. Matters included novel silicone surfactants, Dow Chemical’s RENUVA™ foam recycling know-how, polyether polyol components, and stable components to extend the effectivity of flame retardant methods.
Vasilios Dounis of Repi was acknowledged with the Herman Stone Technical Excellence Award, as voted on by assembly attendees. His presentation was entitled “Non-FR Synergistic Additive can Scale back FR Loading and Enhance FPF Bodily Efficiency.” Ending a really shut second in voting was Melissa Kern of Momentive, who introduced “Novel Silicone Surfactant With Improved Foam Properties For Typical Foam.”
“Through the pandemic, PFA labored exhausting to ensure its members have been supplied with data and instruments wanted to assist their companies, however it’s refreshing to have the ability to get collectively as soon as once more with our buddies and colleagues,” stated Russ Batson, Polyurethane Foam Affiliation Govt Director. “As we emerge from this unprecedented separation, we already see PFA members working carefully collectively once more in robust assist of the versatile polyurethane foam trade.”
When requested for phrases of knowledge for the furnishings trade concerning the foam scarcity and its decision, Russ responded, “That’s the $64,000 query. And with inflation working excessive, perhaps it’s now the $92,000 query.
“It’s one thing we mentioned completely at PFA’s current assembly. Opinions differ, however estimates counsel that in three to 6 months, issues will start to be extra regular.
“Nonetheless, we even have to think about the paradox that enhancements in some sectors may harm elsewhere. For instance, as difficult as the provision chain is for mattress and furnishings producers, they’re not seeing supplies being diverted to the auto trade, as a result of carmakers produce other shortages, like microprocessors, making a much bigger influence. If the auto provide chain rights itself, demand for foam, materials and different supplies may get tighter.”
Batson additionally acknowledged a brand new PFA member in attendance, Constitution Subsequent Era of Milton, WI, a producer of excessive efficiency movies. Two different first-time attendees, Concentrol and Hexion, made technical shows.
About The Polyurethane Foam Affiliation: The Polyurethane Foam Affiliation is a commerce affiliation based in 1980 to assist educate foam customers, allied industries and different stakeholders. PFA supplies info on environmental, well being and questions of safety and technical data on the efficiency of FPF in client and industrial merchandise. FPF is used as a key consolation part in most upholstered furnishings and mattress merchandise, together with automotive seating, carpet cushion, packaging, and quite a few different purposes. For extra data, go to www.pfa.org.
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