The Plastic Pipes Conference Association (PPCA), a well-known platform to share and discuss technical breakthroughs and to network in a global forum, will celebrate its 50th anniversary in September 2023, coinciding with its conference – PPXXI in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, September 25 – 27, 2023.
“What started off as a forum to share technical information about plastic pipe systems, has become the pivotal event for learning about cutting edge developments and the continued evolution of the science of plastic pipe systems,” stated David M. Fink, president of the Plastics Pipe Institute, Inc. (PPI) and chairman of the PPCA Board of Directors.
Now, the Plastic Pipes conference organised and hosted by PPCA members PE 100+ Association, PPI and The European Plastic Pipes and Fittings Association (TEPPFA), is held every two years on a schedule rotating between European and North America sites. Participants include plastic pipe and fittings manufacturers and those for resin and additives/ingredients, users and installers, plus representatives from major energy, water, telecom and sewer utility companies along with consultants, technicians and engineers, suppliers of raw materials, extrusion equipment manufacturers and joining technologies.
As a result of the conferences, PPCA reports that it has one of the world’s largest databases of technical papers starting with those presented during its first conference in the 1970s. This library includes nearly 2,000 documents, plus video recordings of recent conferences, all of which are available on its website for free. “This is such a fantastic and unique forum,” offered Robin Bresser of PE100+ Association and PPCA secretary, and one of the original organizers, “that is really technical in nature, with innovations that address current and future industry challenges, and where people are proud to present their R&D study, new developments or products and case studies.”
In 2020, PPCA invited other trade associations involved with the plastic pipes Industry to become ‘PPCA Conference Partners’ to encourage submission of papers and to organize spin- off conferences in collaboration with PPCA. The global family of conference partners has now expanded and includes PVC4Pipes Association, as a member of ECVM, PVC Pipe Association (USA) and plastic pipe national trade associations based in Australia, Southern Africa, China, Europe and the USA.
“Originally, it was a joint effort with those four trade associations,” Tony Calton, former general manager of TEPPFA and current PPCA vice chairman and treasurer explained. “Back some 20 years ago, in many countries, plastic pipes were still “the new material” coming along and expanding into systems utilising traditional pipe materials such as concrete, ductile iron, copper, and other materials. Then, the tendency amongst engineers was to stick with traditional materials. However, that is definitely not the case today as the benefits, the science and technologies are known and well proven during a number of years.”
The Next Level in Sustainability
Recent PPCA conferences have discussed the environmental benefits that plastic pipe systems have over other materials. Calton explained, “The use of recycled plastic to make pipes is a major focus of the industry. For many years now, non- or low-pressure plastic pipe systems have consumed recycled plastic that started life as a container for milk or shampoo bottle, etc. Now, the one-off single-use product is value added rather than going to landfill. The main focus in recent times has been how can the industry use more recycled material in plastic pipes systems without compromising the performance of the product or the longevity expected of a sustainable system.”
As evidence of that trend, more manufacturing technologies are being developed that can increase the recycled content of pipes while not jeopardizing its integrity or useful life. “A number of manufacturers are extremely sophisticated in the development or use of the mechanical or chemical recycling technologies,” stated Sarah Patterson of PPI, PPXXI organising committee chair. “Additionally, companies are working to expand the network of collection points for recyclable products whereby improving efficiencies allowing other manufacturers to value-add those finished goods. For PPXXI, the Organizing Committee (OC)
worked hard to attract companies who developed or utilise chemical or mechanical recycling technologies, which furthers collaborations within our respective industries.”
“The papers, presentations and discussions offer technical and engineering solutions using plastic pipe systems, leverage lessons from case studies, plus identify market and business opportunities, all of which further growth of plastic pipe systems worldwide.” explained Zoran Davidovski of Pipelife, PPXXI OC Co-Chair/ Technical Program Chair.
Information, online registration, exhibition space and sponsorship opportunities for Plastic Pipes XXI can be found at: https://ppxxi.com
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