PLASTICS: See why NPE2024 content is ‘Made For You’ 

Feb. 21, 2024
Lineup of more than 100 speakers includes automotive expert Edwin Pope, injection molding guru Brandon Birchmeier.

As you have learned in the last few months, the Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS) is taking a new approach to its signature NPE tradeshow — the largest plastics trade show in the Americas. “Made For You,” this year’s trade show theme, is a concept that will allow attendees to have a personalized, in-depth experience at NPE2024. 

A significant aspect of the “Made For You” concept is NPE2024’s rich agenda of education sessions. Here is a sample of what you can learn about from more than 100 expert presenters.  

Delve into Automotive Industry Trends 

Edwin Pope, a principal research analyst with S&P Global Mobility focused on materials and vehicle dynamics, is a presenter at NPE2024. “I basically study material demands and the changing material market,” he said, “from a few different angles, but automotive-specific.” 

Plastic makers and molders attending Pope’s educational sessions will get a thorough overview of the kind of market demands they can expect regarding plastic content requirements. He described his overall content as “the mega trends within automotive. This is how markets are changing. These are the major initiatives and the tailwinds and headwinds that are going towards different polymer groups.” 

NPE attendees can be assured that, at these sessions, they will hear from someone with a true passion for the automotive sector and what plastics mean for its future. “I'm a gearhead through and through,” he shared. “If there's a part that's been on a car, I've probably encountered it while working on cars.” Prior to his current role as a research analyst, Pope worked at General Motors on the latest-generation Corvette. “That was an awesome, awesome team to work with and a great honor,” he said. 

All of the above are just the broad strokes of what Pope will address at NPE2024. He is in the process of developing even more detailed content to share with trade show attendees. 

Enjoy a Whiteboard Session with Your White Russian 

PLASTICS isn’t wasting a moment at NPE2024 — including at “happy hour.” Injection molding consultant Brandon Birchmeier says he’ll be presenting, “Monday through Thursday at four, when the bar opens next to the Bottling Stage!” 

Birchmeier is known for his “whiteboard sessions,” during which he packs a lot of information into a few simple illustrations and some targeted, expert insights. “I hate PowerPoint slides with a passion,” he said. “I think there's something poetic about mastering a field and being able to riff and go on a whiteboard just like professors do at universities to work out the whole thought process.” 

At each of his sessions, Birchmeier will share the stage with a co-presenter — an expert in a particular area of injection molding — for a discussion that is illustrated on a whiteboard. “The hope is, we're going to have audience participation, too,” he said, “getting questions from the audience and working those out on the whiteboard.” 

A mechanical problem solver since his days helping his dad fix machinery on the family farm, Birchmeier eventually made his way into plastics engineering. He enjoyed a varied career in the automotive sector before going to work for irrigation systems giant Rain Bird. “If you've ever seen the inside of a sprinkler, it's like a Swiss watch with all the gearing and stuff,” he said. “And the way it's powered through water is fascinating to me.” After that, he became technical director for Procter & Gamble’s iMFLUX injection molding technology. Spending a good deal of time on the trade show circuit in that role, Birchmeier became interested in the idea of forming his own company, which led to the founding of Birchmeier Plastic Solutions. 

This year at NPE the content is truly “Made For You.” Make sure to choose the Expo Pass level that works best for you, and don’t miss the exciting education sessions that are offered this year in Orlando. To learn more and view the full schedule, visit